Monday, October 6, 2014

My Summer Internship at Google

By Owen Woodlock

Few things occupy the mind of first year MBAs like the pursuit of a summer internship. Trialling a new career, company or international location is a rare opportunity, and a lot of preparation (and anxiety!) takes place throughout the recruitment process.

I was incredibly fortunate to receive an offer to work over the summer in a project-based role at one of the most recognisable companies in the world: Google. It is a word synonymous with so much, and yet few people really understand what Google does or how it makes money. Google is fundamentally an advertising company. This is worth repeating: Google does advertising. It started as a late 1990s search engine providing superior results to Altavista (a name only those of a certain age will remember), but Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins, Google’s venture capital investors, were pushing for greater revenue streams. This led to co-founder Larry Page’s revolutionary PageRank, which organised search results in a completely new and efficient way.

Soon, two online advertising products AdWords and AdSense followed, and eventually a river of cash from online ads allowed the company to do all the things it’s known for today; from Gmail to Google Glass, from Android to driverless cars. It is the world’s largest collector and interpreter of raw data, and its mission as a company is to better organise the world’s data and enhance people’s lives in a positive way. It continues this mission, but it should never be forgotten that advertising revenue is what makes all of Google’s work possible.

So what is Google like?

This became a regular question from classmates, faculty, family and friends: just what is Google actually like?

Read the rest here.

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