Instead of writing their names on an attendance list, tech savvy Bowdoin students used their smartphones to scan a QR barcode to sign in at a recent “Google Tech Talk” on campus.
Bowdoin Career Planning recently invited Google Software Engineer Tom Hazel ’05 to campus to give Bowdoin students a peek into working in the fast-paced world of Google. Hazel shared his experience in landing a competitive job at Google and the different internship and job opportunities available there.
The Google career talks with Hazel ’05 and University Programs Recruiter Kira Chappelle ’07 over two nights brought crowds twice as large as any other recruiter this year, according to Todd Herrmann ’85, Career Planning’s associate director of employer relations.
“With all the interest brewing about careers in the tech sector, Tom was getting a lot of calls from individual [computer science] majors interested in his work. He decided that the entire community would be better served by a group discussion,” said Herrmann. “What a great opportunity it was to learn what a liberal arts student can do at Google with a little coding experience.”
Hazel double majored in computer science and Spanish. After working at start-up software companies for a couple of years, Hazel landed a job with DoubleClick, a division of Google responsible for running Internet ads for major news companies such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. With data analysis achieved through complex coding, Hazel collaborates with companies on how to target specific demographics for advertising.
Hazel recommends Bowdoin students interested in working at Google to apply to the various summer internships they offer, which range in length from a week to the full summer.
Ruben Martinez Jr. ’15, computer science major and creator of the Dining with Strangers App., participated in Google’s Chrome Academy last summer. “Chrome Academy is a great option for students looking to build teamwork skills and come out with both a broader awareness of the tools available to them as developers and a more intimate knowledge of the technologies that power the web,” Martinez said.
Outside of applying to Google’s internships, Hazel emphasized the importance of networking.“Coming to this talk helps a lot. Also, use LinkedIn seriously! Google does all of their sourcing from there,” Hazel stressed.
Google usually hires computer science majors with a liberal arts background, or as Hazel said, “Comp-sci majors who can read and write and exist in the real world,” to work in product management. This involves designing user-friendly products and traveling internationally to work at one of the many Google offices around the world. Yet computer science majors at liberal arts colleges who want to code should not be dismayed.
“Google is looking for smart people, not people who are good at X,” Hazel stressed. “It really helps to take the self initiative to gain coding experience outside the classroom by creating your own blog or designing a website.” creating your own blog or designing a website.”