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Over the past month, we've been showcasing the amazing work of some of Google’s Student Programs Alumni in their communities. In the final installment of the Black History Month Student Tribute series we are catching up with Michael who participated in the 2010 BOLD Internship Program and went on to be elected as a Councilman for the city of Stockton, California.

What’s one thing about you that many people do not know?
My email address in high school was “lovetobball247@aol.com”! This is a tough question. I feel like J. Cole when he said, “Share my life with strangers who know me better than I know myself.” I tell my story so many times, I’m not even sure what people don’t know!

Since you’ve graduated from the BOLD internship program, what have you been up to?
As a BOLD intern, I learned about project management, how to interact with others and the importance of transparency and communication. I immediately put these skills to work as an intern in the White House and during my time studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. The summer after, I co-founded the Summer Success and Leadership Academy at the University of the Pacific and designed a week long residential experience for 50 Stockton students. During my senior year at Stanford, I received my bachelor’s degree with honors, my master’s degree in Policy, Organizational and Leadership studies, and decided to run for city council in my hometown of Stockton.

Since graduation, I’ve been featured in a documentary, True Son, that was screened at Google and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. As a Councilman, I have been able to to equip our officers with body cameras and establish an Office of Violence Prevention in partnership with the Police Chief. I have also been able to start literacy programs with the Housing Authority, pass “Ban the Box” legislation to give ex-offenders the chance to apply for jobs for which they qualify, open the first bank in my district in 50 years and I have increased philanthropic support for my district.


You’re a Stockton City Councilman. Was that always something you wanted to do?
Absolutely not. I view it more as a calling, as I was motivated by the murder of my cousin to go back and do my best to use the considerable blessings I had been given to improve my community.

You inspire a lot of your peers but who inspires you?
Mostly local people and luminaries from my past. My mom, aunt and grandmother inspire me and continue to inspire me. They are three single women who are not well educated, yet have done a phenomenal job. Historically, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth have inspired me because they drove change despite facing so many more obstacles than we face today. Marian Wright Edelman inspires me, too, as do the original Freedom Riders. Finally, people in Stockton who are doing amazing things despite extraordinary challenges inspire me.

Why do you think it’s important to give back to others?
“The greatest of you shall be the servant of all,” said Jesus and I agree. Giving back is not a choice but a necessity because we all exist in this ecosystem together and the principle of Ubuntu is so true - “I only am when we all are.”


Posted by Shawn Dye, University Programs Team

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Internal mobility is one of the great ways that Googlers can develop and grow their careers. Meet Julia Arndt a German university graduate, who started her Google career learning and working in the SMB Sales team and has now gone on to work with the world’s top advertisers. Take your first step towards a Google career, by checking out our Associate Account Strategist positions in the SMB Sales and Global Customer Experience teams, here: google.com/students/emea

Tell us about your path to Google?

I’m from Naumburg, a very small town situated two hours South of Berlin near Leipzig. I studied International Management in Bremen and Marseille; followed by a Masters degree in Management and Marketing. Before graduating, I had already signed my contract with Google and joined the SMB team at the end of 2011.


Give us a brief overview of your career at Google, so far?

I started at Google as an Associate Account Strategist on the Sales team, working with small and medium sized businesses (SMB). This was a strategic, consultative sales role where I liaised directly with advertisers regarding their online marketing strategy. I advised clients on how to optimize their Adwords accounts and how they can further develop their online marketing activities with Google’s cost-effective, targeted and attractive products and solutions — in order to grow their business and increase their profit. I see sales as a consulting job, with a better work-life balance.

After one year, I moved roles within SMB, to join the Agency Program; where I worked for 1.5 years. In this role, I managed a portfolio of agencies where I helped grow their clients' accounts by discussing online strategies and advising them on new products and features. Generally, each account strategist manages a portfolio of 5-10 agencies, who in turn can have up to 90 clients.

I’ve recently started a new position as an Incubator Account Strategist on the SMB Solutions team, for which I’ve had to relocate to Google’s Global Headquarters, in the United States. I work with clients to test and get feedback on products before they are fully launched.


How did your two and a half years experience on the SMB team help you being successful in your current job?

It was very helpful to start on the SMB Sales team. This experience helped me get to know Google’s products inside and out and become confident to talk about them to all of our different clients. If I had not had the SMB experience, I would have missed out on a lot of key learnings, such as how to react in different situations and how to handle customer inquiries.

Time management, efficiency and organization are also key learnings of the job, as these are vital skills needed in order to achieve the three-months target, which is set for all Account Strategists. Furthermore, I gained incredible online marketing knowledge, as well as knowledge about the competitive landscape.

What skills are helpful when aiming to enter Google?

Languages — At the Dublin office, Google’s European headquarters, we have Googlers from almost 70 different countries. Speaking English is therefore essential and having knowledge of other languages is always helpful. I personally speak French, English and German fluently.

Leadership — The ability to manage projects is very important. Googlers are expected to learn very quickly how to organize their own workload and other projects that they might support on the side.

Communication — People that would like to apply for this position should be communicative and able to express themselves well when talking to clients on a daily basis. This does not mean that everyone at Google is super outgoing and talkative, but it is crucial to be self-confident and sharp.


What did you like about living in Dublin, Ireland?

I really like Dublin. As it’s the capital of Ireland, it has a lot of cultural activities to offer, such as concerts, theatres and shopping. Dublin airport with its low budget airlines is also only a 20 min cab ride from the office.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

One of the big advantages of working for Google is all the facilities we have. In my free time and sometimes during the work day, I go to the gym, which happens 4 - 5 times per week. I do a lot of weight training, I visit classes such as Tai Bo and Pilates or do cardio training like running at the beach.

What do you like most about your job?

I think everyone at Google would give the same answer: the people. Googlers are very smart people with great ideas. Not only do they have different backgrounds and can tell incredible stories, but they are super open and helpful, which is unique in a work environment.

Whether it’s developing new business strategies, providing online marketing consultancy, selling a great advertising solution to our clients or bringing products to market, there are plenty of graduate opportunities at Google that don’t involve algorithms. Take your first step towards a Google career, by checking out our opportunities here: google.com/students/emea

Posted by Nicole Zwaaneveld, University Programs

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We’re continuing our student tribute in honor of Black History Month and showcasing Maurita, a Sophomore at Spelman College and Google Student Ambassador.

Tell us one really interesting fact about you?

I used to live in Italy for 2 & ½ years!

How were you introduced to Computer Science and what prompted you to study it in College?

I was introduced to Computer Science when I was twelve years old living in Rome, Italy. I spent a lot of time on the computer playing games like Neopets when I lived there. On Neopets, users connected with each other through “Guilds”. After joining a few of them I realized I wanted to make my own. However, once I made them, no one would join. I started browsing through multiple guilds to see what theirs had that mine didn’t. This was how I discovered HTML/CSS, Adobe Photoshop, and Computer Science. After teaching myself how to code and do some graphic design I was able to get over 100+ members to join my Guild.


How are you helping others who are interested in Computer Science?

As a Google Student Ambassador (GSA) for Spelman one of the first events I held was a social for the Spelman College Computer Science major’s where our freshman Spelman Sisters each received between 1-2 upperclassmen Spelman Sisters. The point of the event was to connect freshman with upperclassmen and for the upperclassmen to act as their mentor. If the freshman needed help understanding complex computer science concepts or just a new friend who could help guide them through the transition into college, the upperclassmen would assist them. I believe that Computer Science is a very challenging major/field, and as a freshman it can be an overwhelming experience, especially since it’s not a topic learned in great detail before college.

If you were given $1,000,000 to help others, how would you use the money?

I would establish as many computer labs for K-12 graders as possible. I would create these labs in poorer areas that don’t have the resources to fund a fully functioning computer lab. I would also give money to the American public education to change/improve what is taught in the Computer Science classes. I believe that if you know how to code, do graphic design, or effectively use a computer to gain knowledge, you can do anything your heart desires. They could use their creative and critical thinking skills to build android/ios apps or even websites. According to Time Magazine, “Even if students wanted to dive into programming [Java], the course is only offered in 10% of American high schools”. Without being given the education to dream bigger, students are also not given the opportunity to think outside of the box.

Why do you think it’s important to give back to others?

Life is a difficult and beautiful journey with obstacles that may seem insurmountable at the time. I believe that giving back causes a positive chain reaction, inspiring people to overcome the hardships that they are faced with, and enjoy the moments that take their breaths away. By giving back, you’re not only spreading positive energy that can turn an individuals day or life around, but you’re also giving someone the ability to do the same for another.


Posted by Melanie Lazare, Student Outreach team

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(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog.)

The 2015 Google Science Fair starts today! To learn more about entry details, prizes and more tune in to today’s Hangout at 2pm EST and follow along on Google+.

Science is about observing and experimenting. It’s about exploring unanswered questions, solving problems through curiosity, learning as you go and always trying again.

That’s the spirit behind the fifth annual Google Science Fair, kicking off today. Together with LEGO Education, National Geographic, Scientific American and Virgin Galactic, we’re calling on all young researchers, explorers, builders, technologists and inventors to try something ambitious. Something imaginative, or maybe even unimaginable. Something that might just change the world around us.


From now through May 18, students around the world ages 13-18 can submit projects online across all scientific fields, from biology to computer science to anthropology and everything in between. Prizes include $100,000 in scholarships and classroom grants from Scientific American and Google, a National Geographic Expedition to the Galapagos, an opportunity to visit LEGO designers at their Denmark headquarters, and the chance to tour Virgin Galactic’s new spaceship at their Mojave Air and Spaceport. This year we’re also introducing an award to recognize an Inspiring Educator, as well as a Community Impact Award honoring a project that addresses an environmental or health challenge.

It’s only through trying something that we can get somewhere. Flashlights required batteries, then Ann Makosinski tried the heat of her hand. His grandfather would wander out of bed at night, until Kenneth Shinozuka tried a wearable sensor. The power supply was constantly unstable in her Indian village, so Harine Ravichandran tried to build a different kind of regulator. Previous Science Fair winners have blown us away with their ideas. Now it’s your turn.

Big ideas that have the potential to make a big impact often start from something small. Something that makes you curious. Something you love, you’re good at, and want to try.

So ... what will you try?

Posted by Miriam Schneider, Google for Education team

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Internal mobility is one of the great ways that Googlers can develop and grow their careers. Meet RenĂ© Zimmermann, a German university graduate, who started his Google career learning and working in SMB Sales and has now gone on to work together with the world’s biggest brands, in Google’s Large and Customer Sales (LCS) team. Take your first step towards a Google career by checking out our Associate Account Strategist positions in the SMB Sales and Global Customer Experience teams here.

Describe yourself in keywords

Hamburger, curious traveler, football lover, passionate foodie, movie and series fan, sports enthusiast, coffee drinker, entrepreneur, music lover and spreadsheet pioneer.

What was your path to Google?

I’m from Hamburg, Germany. I moved to Munich for my Bachelor’s in International Business at Munich Business School. I also spent a semester abroad at the University of Melbourne, followed by an internship in Beijing. Afterwards, I studied International Business with a focus on entrepreneurship at Maastricht University, in the Netherlands.

Your first job at Google was in the SMB Sales team. What did you do during this time?

After completing my studies in 2011, I joined Google’s SMB Sales Team where I worked with high potential new clients that were just starting their online advertising with Google products. My job was to advise them on how to best reach their marketing goals with Google’s advertising solutions and helped them to become successful right from the start.

I worked closely with new clients who were either traditional medium-sized business, without a lot of digital experience, or young start-ups who were trying to find new customers. I really enjoyed advising Chiefs of Marketing, founders and investors on their online advertising strategy. During that time, I gained insights into many different and interesting business models. It was great to learn about the clients’ value proposition, target audiences, and to help them successfully tailor Google’s products around their business.

How did working on the SMB team give you an advantage?

Starting off within Google’s SMB Sales team gave me the opportunity to work with many clients from different industries, gain a broad overview on different marketing strategies, and develop insights into how best to achieve them through online marketing. The deep product and solution knowledge has been a constant asset. The fast-paced work environment also honed my ability to optimize my priority setting and time management.

I developed a deep knowledge of online marketing, but also of Internet business models in general, as well as how digital marketing fits into the marketing and branding strategy of large traditional corporations. Since this industry is changing rapidly, I definitely learned to cope with changes quickly. Since my daily job is customer-facing, I also acquired valuable sales skills.


There are loads of opportunities for internal mobility. How have you progressed in your Google career?

After 2.5 years in SMB Sales, I joined the Large Customer Sales (LCS) team, working with the German Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) clients. I’m currently working in a newly founded global team called Global Clients & Agency Solutions (GCAS). GCAS is the team that helps serve some of the world's largest brands. I personally get to work with one of the largest international Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands to help them become more successful in digital advertising to achieve their local and international business goals, such as brand awareness.

What makes Google a great place to work?

I love working for a company in such a fast growing industry. There is something new to learn every day and it never gets boring. Since Google is very innovative, there will be future opportunities that we might not even be aware of yet.

Besides the thrilling industry, I really appreciate the environment at Google. The great food, the gym and sports classes enable me to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Last but not least, it is amazing to work in such an international environment, with smart people, from many different backgrounds. I’ve had the chance to make many friends during my time at Google.


You work at Google’s European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. What’s do you like about living in Ireland?

Dublin is a great city with a sunny mediterranean climate! Well, not really... The weather could definitely be better, but Dublin has a lot to offer, especially if you’re into films, music and good food. I was amazed by the density of excellent restaurants and I enjoy meeting friends for a beer (aka a pint)! Within the core city, you can reach everything in walking distance. In my free time I do a lot of sports, such as Squash or exercising in the Google gym. I also play for Google’s Football team, which competes against other companies in the Dublin area.

How do you see your future at Google?

I am currently very happy to have the opportunity of making branding more efficient through digital marketing — a major shift in the traditional advertising world. Since my team is truly international, I could imagine transferring internally to another market, such as the US, on a mid-term perspective.

What advice would you give a student interest in starting a Google career?

An SMB position would be a good match for you, if you enjoy working with people and desire a client-facing job. Candidates should be interested in online marketing, enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, and have some sales talent. From a career perspective, people have the opportunity to either go for a sales-oriented path or to become a people manager in the future.

Whether it’s developing new business strategies, providing online marketing consultancy, selling a great advertising solution to our clients or bringing products to market, there are plenty of graduate opportunities at Google that don’t involve algorithms. Take your first step towards a Google career by checking out our opportunities here.

Posted by Shawn Dye, University Programs

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Last week, we kicked off the Black History Month Student Tribute series by showcasing the amazing work Elizabeth Davis has done both on and off her college campus. This week we’re catching up with Robin, a member of our inaugural BOLD Discovery class and co-founder of The Village Micro Fund.

What’s one really awesome fact about you?


I’m one of those Southern kids who can trace their whole family’s history back to a few small towns. In fact, a good number of my older relatives live in the same towns and neighborhoods where my family has lived for generations. It seems small, but I’m grateful for being able to acknowledge my roots.

What are you most passionate about?


Community development as it pertains to building up neighborhoods and the people who live there. I was a community organizer my senior year of high school. The experience exposed me to the way neighborhoods and communities work and instilled in me the desire to serve and significantly impact others. In college, that drive extended to helping make structural change in communities and finding ways to build with struggling communities instead of giving back from a distance. Over time this has become something that drives me, not just a responsibility or something I derive happiness from.


You helped start a non-profit along with a few of your peers. Tell us about it and what motivated you guys to create it?

We’re creating platforms for people to invest in small business throughout Atlanta. We provide financial and consulting services to small business, primarily in distressed communities like the ones surrounding our school. Each of us has a strong conviction about using our interests in business and entrepreneurship to serve the community. Over time we realized the need to help communities (especially underserved black communities) become self-sustainable. Money has to circulate within a community for people who live there to feel its effect. So if every business in a neighborhood is a franchise, most of the money spent there won’t be reinvested in employment, infrastructure, and education for the people spending it. The Village Micro Fund became a way for us to give people the intellectual and financial resources to grow with their community.

Why do you think it’s important to give back to others?


I grew up with plenty of privileges and opportunities. At the same time, I have family members who were never able to enjoy some of the life experiences and opportunities that I have. I’ve learned to cherish what I have and make the most of every opportunity, and in the same vain, create as many opportunities for other people as I can.

Robin (far left) and his peers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia


Posted by Chastity Wells, Student Outreach team

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At Google, we value diversity and inclusion and support individuals who do the same. In this series, the Google University Programs team is celebrating diversity and honoring Black History Month by showcasing four of our student programs alumni who have done incredible things in their community. This week we're catching up with Elizabeth Davis, who participated in our 2014 Summer Trainee Engineering Program (STEP) in Zurich.


It’s great to catch up with you again. What’s one of the most exciting things that has happened to you since we last featured you on the blog?
This past fall, I had the amazing opportunity to travel with Google to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Phoenix, Arizona. The conference was an incredible experience for me as it was the first real chance I’ve had to connect with so many women of color in Computer Science. I was inspired by the thousands of women present who are not only techmakers themselves, but also passionate about supporting other women techmakers from all over the world. I left the conference with some phenomenal new mentors and friends.
Elizabeth at Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, October 2014
Can you give us a quick recap of the Google Women in Engineering Mentorship Program you launched and how it has developed since your internship ended?
During my internship this past summer, I, along with another intern, saw the need to cultivate a stronger community for women at Google. We realized that female Nooglers (new Googlers) needed to feel supported as they began their careers. With that in mind, we worked with the president of Google Women in Engineering (GWE) in Google Zurich, and the Google Head of Diversity for EMEA and decided that our best approach to addressing this need would be to start a mentorship program that connected female Nooglers to experienced employees. We completed an incredibly successful cycle of the program at the Zurich office over the summer, and have actually expanded the program to two other offices: Munich and Krakow. At the end of the summer we also had the chance to talk to the Google Global Diversity and Inclusion Director Yolanda Mangolini who has helped us plan out how we can continue to expand the Google Women in Engineering Mentorship Program (GWE-MP) globally.

What other initiatives have you been working on since being back in school?
As a section leader for our introductory programming course, I have the opportunity to teach undergraduate and graduate students who are trying out programming for the first time. This is a unique opportunity for me to not only help my students build a strong foundation in programming methodology and concepts, but also dispel any misconceptions they may have about the field and hopefully keep them involved in Computer Science.

I’m also involved in she++ which is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women in the technology industry. We are currently organizing our national #include Fellowship Program, which provides resources and support to high school students who want to start grassroots initiatives to increase Computer Science education in their local communities. Diversity is really important to me so I have also recently begun working with professors in the Stanford Computer Science Department to figure out how to increase the representation of Black and Hispanic students in the CS major.


Why do you think it’s important to give back to others?
Giving back and helping others in need is a huge part of my core values and beliefs. I want everyone to experience the opportunities I’ve had as well as the confidence to pursue their dreams without feeling like an outsider in a largely homogenous community, or feeling like an imposter due to stereotype threats or other factors. I believe everyone has their unique talents and is capable of so much, and I want people of every gender and race within the technology industry to feel confident and empowered.

For information on additional Google student programs, visit google.com/students/programs.