On June 11th 2014, I was lucky enough to be able to spend the day at Google’s London Office for their Women in Tech Training Day. If you haven’t heard of this before it’s an event for female technology students to meet others like them from universities across the UK. This gave us the opportunity to improve our skills, gain some useful tips and advice for the future and to learn more about Google. To be honest, I couldn’t believe it when I got an email confirming my place, I never thought I would get the chance to do anything like this so I was nervous but more excited as I couldn’t wait!
The day first kicked off with registration and I had just spent my whole journey worrying that something would go wrong because I’m a total wally and overthink when I’m nervous. However when I arrived at the office I realised that all the worrying was for the nothing as I was greeted by two friendly volunteers who registered me, gave me my name badge and after everyone had arrived took us to where the event was going to take place.
We all sat down and started to introduce ourselves to each other with a little icebreaker game. On the back of our name badges it had the animal of the group we were in and as we didn’t know each other we had to make the sound of that animal to find the rest of our group. It was pretty funny hearing everyone making animals noises. So there was me going round meowing hoping to find someone meowing with me but I found my group surprisingly quick! We were each given a post-it note and were asked to write our names, our favourite programming language and lastly a random fact about us! The game was to introduce someone from your group so everyone gets to know something about one another. I feel like it was the best exercise to do as we were all shy and it took us out of our comfort zone a bit while having fun, making us feel more relaxed. FYI my random fact was that I’m a massive Harry Potter fan and later on, one girl even came up to me and said
“Hey! Aren’t you the Harry Potter girl?” and not going to lie, that made me happy being known as that haha!
After that some Googlers (definition: google employees) came and gave us a talk about what Google do. The first one was on Engineering@Google which was an insight into what areas Google have like software, hardware, networking etc. The other talk was on Interviewing@Google explaining how the interview process goes and what type of candidates they look for! I won’t give too much away as I have already said a lot as it is haha!
Top tip: bring a notepad and pen, they say some really useful stuff.
Lunch started which gave us time to have some food (really nice by the way) and talk amongst each other! It was great to talk to other female computing students as I haven’t previously met any outside of my university. We exchanged our experiences and realised how much we had in common. Some of the girls I met on the day I’m still in contact with now and that on it’s own is great!
We then all came back together as it was time for some group sessions. My group first did the CV Workshop; we were told to bring our CVs for a Googler to look through and give some advice and point out any improvements that might be needed. I found this very useful as I will be sending out my CV to potential employers for my placement year in 2015. After that we were taken around the office for a tour, this gave us the chance to have a look and take photos which I was really happy about! Lastly we had the mock interview (this was the most nerve wracking part for me) but it was better than I thought it would be, it meant that we could get some feedback and get a glance of the real thing!
Later we had the chance to have a Q&A with a panel of Google Interns and Googlers; this gave us time to ask about their own experience and other useful questions! It’s so great when you get to hear from them what working at Google is like. From this I got the feeling that Google is very “Work hard, play hard” so when you work hard there you get to have more fun throughout (well that’s my opinion anyway?)
Overall, it was an amazing experience for me and one that I will never forget! I would DEFINITELY recommend it to any female computing students that are interested. If you’re a female technology student and interested in this training day then you should apply! I’m sorry that I don’t have any links right now as the one for next year is not available but when it is, I’ll make sure to find it and add a comment with the link on this post.