Industrial Year Placement – Google

The course that I am studying, G401 Computer Science, included a mandatory year in industry as our third year, our fourth year being the last year of teaching. Although it is possible to not do the year in industry, I can see nothing but positives to be gained from a year being immersed into the real world of work, gaining vital and valuable experience about the field of employment you may wish to pursue for the foreseeable future. As well as earning some money to go towards paying back our University fees, it gives a chance for employers to get to know you, and for you to demonstrate your natural abilities and work ethics in a more genuine environment over the course of the placement, rather than under pressure in a short hour long interview.

Upon hearing about industrial year placements, and discovering the benefits mentioned above, I decided that it would be a very good idea, and when the second year started, I began researching the companies and placements that interested me, earlier than the majority of my colleagues. Why so early? Knowing that sometimes placements get filled before their application deadlines, and being the sort of person that likes back-up options and fall-back plans as standard,  I started preparing my CV for the applications. I started off by applying to the places I really wanted to work for, such as Google, Intel and HP. I also then applied to about another 4 companies or so, to ensure I had enough back-up options I was not successful in obtaining one of my preferred placements.

I started applying for these placements in late November last year,  after our University trip to Gregynog [where employers helped us improve our CV's and interview techniques]. It is now February, and I still have not heard from many companies, however I have heard from a few, and a few important ones…

I was relatively sure I would not hear from Peugeot-Citeroen, as their application website kept loosing my progress, and not submitting my application. Despite creating a new account, and trying again – still no luck as the site threw errors and lost my progress. HP said they were very busy, as they had many applications. ProspectSoft gave me a phone interview and a coding challenge a while back, but I have since heard nothing from them. Gloversure offered me an interview very recently. Those were mainly my back-up choices, running along side my preferred applications.

Intel gave me a phone interview, online test, and I also attended an assessment centre. It provided me with great experience, and I was offered the placement there, which did look brilliant, but I was still pursuing the Google internship, the one I really wanted more than anything. My trip down to Google last summer for the Google BOLD immersion programme had made me see what a clever, logical and innovative company Google was, and I knew that I would love to be a part of their team.

I have now been offered an Internship with Google, and can’t wait to go to work for them. I really look forward to going somewhere where I can be happy, make a difference, and have my innovative, logical ideas listened to, ideas that can save time, money and other resources. I have found it frustrating in the past to see the companies that employ me waste money where there is no need, and are unwilling to listen to other’s advice. I am now very much looking forward to July, where new experiences, people and knowledge will be found.

Matt out.

 

4 thoughts on “Industrial Year Placement – Google”

  1. Hi Matthew, I’m about to start my second year of A levels and since taking computer science for the first time last year, I’ve found a real enjoyment for the subject.
    I started looking around some possible places to work in software development and programming and noticed that the majority of places prefer students with experience, and this combined with the £9,000 a year tuition fees was a slight off-put. However, I was reading through a few prospectus’ and the G401 course with a year in industry sounded perfect.
    I went to an open day at Liverpool university today where someone mentioned to me about a friend who was striving for a job at Google, which had never crossed my mind but sounded like a great idea, so I’ve spent a few hours looking into it, and found that they do internships.
    I instantly wondered whether it would be possible to do this as a year in industry as part of a university course, which lead me to your blog, and it couldn’t have been better for what i was looking for!
    If there’s any chance you could drop us an email with any advice it would be greatly appreciated!
    Congratulations, and I hope it goes well!
    Harry

    1. Hi Harry!

      I just saw your post on my blog (in amongst about 40-50 spam comments – really need to update the WordPress spam filter!!)

      So you are doing A levels at the moment? Aah good times! I had no idea what I wanted to do after my A levels when I was doing them, but knew I always liked computing and I found the computer science degree from there. Aberystwyth Uni is pretty cool too, and the G401 – Comp Sci with a year in industry is a great scheme to be on – especially because of the placement.

      Half way through the second year I started looking to apply to companies for a year placement, and I applied to around 7-8 in total – to give myself the best chance of success! I applied to places like HP, Intel, Google, Apple, Peugeot-Citroen as well as smaller, local companies (gloversure, prospectsoft). I never dreamed I would get into Google, but I got an offer from both Google and Intel. Any advice that I would give? When you are at uni, and especially as you are paying £9k a year, make the absolute most of it! Many of my friends didn’t fully grasp that they were there to learn, and didn’t turn up to lectures, weren’t bothered about practicals etc…. I have missed few few lectures, which is vital if you want to do well.

      But thats not to say work 24/7 at uni – there is still loads of time for socializing – I became a member of the St John first aid society, as well as some others like Motorsport and gaming. Its pretty vital to do these extra curricular activities too, for a couple of reasons: You make a ton of friends, which is nice and very useful! Also it gives you some different things to put on your cv. I don’t believe Google would employ someone if they had pure A*s on their CV and nothing else. They would be much more likely to employ someone who had say, done voluntary work (is the classic one), maybe had a job for a bit, done some other random things that prove qualities about yourself. My CV is online at http://www.matthewrobbins.co.uk/cv if you want to have a look at one of my old ones – and by all means copy the design of it, as I had a lot of help with that CV and it seems to work well :P.

      Also non-university stuff helps too, research Google BOLD Immersion – I did this and it helped dramatically with many applications – employers wanted to talk about it, what was it, what did i gain from it etc… I believe it is running again this year. Have a look for other things like that (I think I got that in an email from a student-job-helping website [Pure potential - just looked it up!]. Make sure you get a LinkedIn profile if you haven’t already too. (like facebook for employers).

      Anyway, I hope this helps you – and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

      Matt Robbins

  2. Hello Matt,

    I just read you article and thought it was very interesting.
    I just finishes my first year at university and due to the fact that I want to do a placement year in year 3 as well, I already started looking for placement offers.
    The programs I’m interested in – Intel, IBM, Microsoft…- are not open for applications yet, but at least I found information about where, when and how to apply.
    But I didn’t find any information whether Google offers placement years? Do you know the website and something about the application process there?
    Do you have any tips for me?

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Sabrina,

      I’m very pleased to hear that you are looking for placements already, that’s really good!! In our year, people started to look around November/December time for industrial year placements, but I started early as I wanted a confirmed, good placement secured as soon as I could, and I was very passionate about applying for Google. Most people start their placements in June/July – and as its only August now, maybe this isn’t why you can’t see many open applications yet. There is no harm in emailing a company early though to express interest! The Google internships will appear around here: http://www.google.com/intl/en/jobs/students/tech/internships/ when they become available (click Europe or whichever area you are in).
      The application process will most likely consist of some interviews – general ones and ones more specific to the job/internship you are applying for, as you would expect. I would suggest reading up on the companies you are applying for, and keeping an eye on BBC news’s technology section to see what they are currently up to.

      As I would tell anyone, make the absolute most of your time at university – study hard but also have a fantastic time there – as it will be over before you know it! So make the most of your time, and get in some extra curricular activities, as you may find these are as important as grades are – as they define you as a person. I chose to take up some activities like First Aid and Motorsport, and these have been great talking points in an interview.

      Best of luck in your applications! Remember to look out for placement exhibitions (NEC, Birmingham – I went to one there) – as these can be a good place to start looking if you are unsure of who and where to apply to.

      Matt

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