Google Takes Some of the Mystery Out of Its Internships

Google brings its internship program out from behind the curtain to tell the world a bit more about the internships it offers to students.

Google Internships

Google has been employing plenty of interns since it began its operations in 1998, and now the search giant wants to let people know just what those interns are doing as they do their work for Google.

To help decipher some of the many intern opportunities at Google, Maggie Hohlfeld of the university programs team put together a guide about the "7 Kinds of Google Interns You Haven't Heard Of," in a June 17 post on the Google for Students Blog.

The company got lots of attention about its intern program in June 2013 following the release of the film, "The Internship," in which Google had a cameo role in a zany comedy. Reality, though, is quite different.

The seven types of little-known internships at Google, according to Hohlfeld, include the Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development (BOLD) Internship, which is "a unique summer experience for students who will be placed in various teams across the business, from advertising sales [and] marketing to people operations. BOLD also offers personal and professional development programming, executive speakers, mentoring and community-building."

Also available are internships in Google's Engineering Practicum Program, where the company "strives to capture the best and the brightest early on." These internships are open to all first- and second-year college students majoring in or intending to major in computer science or electrical and computer engineering, she wrote. The chosen interns work for 12 weeks on a software project, skills-based training and professional development while at Google.

MBA interns are also sought at Google, wrote Hohlfeld. "MBA interns at Google can expect to make a big impact during their summer. MBA interns not only work on projects that are core to Google's business, they also get an inside glimpse at what a business career at Google looks like."

Applicants between their first and second years of their MBA program are eligible to apply.

If software engineering interests you, then Google's internship program for software engineering Ph.D.s is available, wrote Hohlfeld. "Getting your Ph.D.? Software engineering Ph.D. interns work on Google's core products and services and are critical to creating and implementing complex computer science solutions at Google." These interns work on product and systems development, engineering productivity and site reliability, she added.

Data center interns are also sought at Google. "Behind Google's simple search box is one of the most complex technology infrastructures in the world," she wrote. "As a data center intern, you'll be a part of the team that designs, builds and keeps the lights on for Google's users. The data center team uses creative approaches to consistently improve upon Google's data centers and make them the most energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable in the world. And as a data center intern, you'll be right in the thick of it."

IT support interns are key at Google as well, wrote Hohlfeld. "The ITRP (Information Technology Rotational Program) internship is an introduction into IT support at Google. ITRP interns spend their time figuring out the secret sauce of what it takes to deliver great user support and how to scale Google's internal technology. ITRP interns have an equal amount of love for technology and for helping others as they become the go-to people for Googlers' computer hardware and software needs."

These interns also get opportunities outside the normal day-to-day operations, she wrote, including chances to "improve the Googler user experience by contributing to longer term projects while immersing themselves in 21st century IT."

Site reliability interns are also a lesser-known group at Google, wrote Hohlfeld. "Known as the 'world's most intense pit crew,' Google's site reliability engineers, or SREs, ensure that all of Google's services run seamlessly 24/7," she wrote. "Behind the magic of every Google product, there's a team of engineers who not only makes sure that the products are super-reliable, but also that they're super-fast. SREs are the pit crew that changes tires of cars going 100 mph—the work is fast, intense, and adrenaline-pumping. As an SRE intern, you'll work alongside engineers from diverse backgrounds to maintain the stability, reliability and performance of all things Google."

More information about internships at Google can be found at the company's careers page for students, where internship hopefuls can fill out applications and learn how the process will proceed.

Google's internship program has been admired by thousands of eager applicants each year because they pay well, offer good fringe benefits, and when completed, look awfully good on resumes of graduating students. Google also runs other programs for finding new talent, including its annual Summer of Code program for students.

Google's internship program is actually the company's top source for new hires made each year. About 1,500 summer interns were hired in 2013, out of a pool of some 40,000 applicants.