How I got hired at Google
This story took place almost 5 years ago, but I figure it’s worth writing down sooner rather than later.
When I was 6, I told my mother I wanted to “build houses to keep people warm” when I grew up”. At 17, I spent two weeks touring the Northeastern United States figuring out which Architecture program was best suited for me. A few months later, I decided I wasn’t interested in preparing a portfolio of art (as most Architecture programs require), and instead began applying to Civil Engineering programs. I always loved math and science, and the built world. Civil Engineering seemed like it would be a good fit for me.
To make a long story less long, we’ll fast forward a bit, and I’m in my last year at RPI where I would be earning a BS and an ME in Civil Engineering. It’s November 27, 2012 and I was up late studying. I checked my LinkedIn account and found an InMail with the subject line “Google!”. The message said:
I would like to schedule a 20 minute call with you to discuss a career opportunity with Google. Please share an email to best reach you at to schedule a call. You background is impressive and would be a good fit for the position.
Cindy [redacted contact info]
I don’t know what about my profile on LinkedIn caught Cindy’s eye, but my profile is largely intact. I haven’t changed much on the profile since that time. Following Cindy’s message, we connected via email, then via phone (December 3). The career opportunity she had in mind was in an Operations team within Google’s People Operations (our affectionate name for Human Resources). Following the informational call where she explained the role and how the team functioned, I let her know that I was interested in moving forward with the discussions. We scheduled a phone screen (December 10), and by December 19 we were talking about onsite interview scheduling. My onsite interview took place on January 10, 2013. On January 31 (after passing around transcripts and completing my hiring committee packet), I received a verbal offer over the phone.
At age 22, I became Google’s expert on US Maternity Leaves (among other things) and helped to operationalize Google’s benefits, focusing on Time Offs and Leaves of Absence.
At age 24, I transferred to Nashville to help build Google Fiber. This was I move that I initiated as it put me closer to infrastructure development and family, two things I love. I guess you could say I became an expert on telephone and utility poles, among other things.
So… if you’re looking for a young professional who’s knowledgeable on maternity leaves and telephone poles, I’m your guy. Just kidding; I am not looking to leave Google!
While I recognize that (a) working at Google is highly sought-after, (b) I was a highly-motivated and relatively-successful student, and (c) I spent a lot of time on extra-curriculars in school and odd jobs in the summer, I didn’t do anything special in my job search. Simply put: I had a relatively complete (and apparently interesting) LinkedIn profile that was found with some search criteria by a Google Sourcer.
I’m super thankful this “career opportunity” happened, as it’s turned into great early career professional development and a wonderful experience for me, but it’s certainly not the traditional path for a job search of a graduating senior or graduate student.