Hi everyone!


The characters on the divider say ぐーぐる”(Google)
but look like steam coming out of a bath."
It’s been three weeks since I’ve started my internship at Google and it’s already a whirlwind of endless activity - every day gives me an opportunity to discover something new about what it means to be an Associate Product Manager (APM) at Google and what it’s like to work in the Tokyo office.

I often get the question- what does an APM intern do? Over the past several weeks I’ve come to learn that it means being a particularly ardent and persistent advocate of a particular product or feature. This requires also knowing a lot about the product in order to be able to make the right kinds of decisions about what features to launch and what to shelve. It also means coordinating and facilitating dialogue about what other stakeholders in the product think - which often means doing Hangouts with people in Mountain View! I’m working on YouTube’s captions feature with Brad, who is my mentor and who has helped me familiarize myself with all things related to YouTube, captions and the awesome team here.

What’s particularly exciting about working on captions is that I’ve always championed the notion that we should have greater accessibility online. Google's mission is to “make the world's information universally accessible” so I truly feel like the work I'm doing is a direct impact on these efforts. Captions help people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing understand the dialog and audio cues within a video. YouTube already integrates great features that let speech recognition technology automatically generate captions, but there is a lot that Google can continue doing and improve! It’s really motivating to be part of that process.

There’s so much else that enlivens my work day at Google Tokyo, not merely the fact that I can see Tokyo Tower from my desk! I really enjoy hanging out with the other interns here and hearing about their own projects, and the first weekend after I started, a couple of us went to the Tsukiji fish market to see the tuna auctions. We had to wake up at 3 in the morning, but it was very much worth the trip. I also help coordinate efforts to send Googlers to the northern part of Japan to volunteer in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami from last year.

Until next time!

- Rio

Fun Google Fact: One of the floors at the Google Tokyo office is designed to look like a Japanese public bath (onsen), complete with fabric dividers and a giant wall with a painting of Mount Fuji! There’s also a secret koi pond somewhere in the office!