A Googley Summer: Things I Learned
I can't believe I'm writing this already but 13 weeks have flown by and I'm sad to say that my internship at Google has officially ended. I'm thankful and grateful for this internship because I got to meet a ton of talented, inspiring, and awesome people at Google and also in the Bay Area. The people here are truly amazing and I will definitely stay in-touch with them. It is so important for a company to have great people in order to have a great culture and Google definitely has a ton of them.
People often ask me what the greatest perks at Google are or what are some of my favourite things there. Of course, the free food and fun events are a plus, but I have to admit, it's the people and the amount of resources/classes that are available to us that I truly love the most. When I say resources, I don't mean technology and products, but more so the amount of people that are available to help me grow and learn. I've really taken advantage of that this summer by setting up one-on-one lunches, or coffee chats with people that I think I can gain insight, wisdom and knowledge from.
I've learned a lot about design, the development process, user researchers' roles, and also how important everyone is in order to successfully launch a product. I've also gotten to develop my presentation skills and communication skills too by having a lot of 1:1s with people and by presenting my work in front of my entire team.
The one-on-ones and mentorship I had with various people including Matias Duarte, Jon Wiley, Nicholas Jitkoff, Mike Buzzard, Noah Levin, Dickson Fong, etc, across the company were invaluable and taught me so much. Each 1:1 was very special to me and I learned something new in each of them ranging from school advice, to understanding more about user research, or how kids think, to desirable skills to have, to learning how to follow your gut.
Some of the key skills that were desirable to have were listening, communication, people skills, and empathy. It really goes to show how important it is to be able to understand people and to communicate effectively. It's powerful and effective in creating better design solutions, better work collaboration and in general, to become a better well-rounded co-worker, designer, and friend.
A few other things that I learned from Google
- Be a T-shaped person; have breath of knowledge, and depth of expertise
- Follow your gut. There will always be push vs pulls when making a decision
- Don't be afraid to take risks.
- Realize and understand your values and what you want to do, and find a place that aligns with that.
- Find your passion and immerse yourself in your craft.
- Be motivated. Be a self-starter. Be willing to learn.
- Never be afraid to ask for help.
- Surround yourself with people smarter than you.