How did you end up being a software engineer at Google ?
I originally wanted to be a mechanical engineer. But I was taking some computer science classes just for fun and I had someone ask, “Why are you taking this class?” It seemed obvious to me, and I replied “I just really enjoy it.”
“But you’re not majoring in it?” was the response, because at the time I was complaining about all of my mechanical engineering coursework. And I was just like “Ohhh.” So from there I went into software engineering.
And from there to Google it was pretty smooth!
Tell us about your work.
I’m part of the speech team at Google, which does all of the voice recognition and text to speech for all of the Google products. So whenever you talk to your android phone or when Google maps reads you instructions, we do all of the coding for that.
Google is Olin’s #1 Employer! What is it like there, and why do you think Google is such a good match for Oliners?
In my opinion, Oliners are efficiently self-directed (because we have so much practice with planning our projects!) and Google really rewards that. On any given day, I'm generally given free reign to work on whatever I think is most interesting/urgent. This gives me the ability to pursue my own ideas. And when those ideas inevitably pay off, Google makes sure to recognize achievement. I really enjoy the freedom and think that is one of the reasons Olin grads do well at Google.
You were recently back at an Olin career fair, ‘on the other side of the table,’ as a Google recruiter. How did that feel?
Well, I still feel a little bit like I should be handing people my resume!
I do remember thinking that after four years at Olin, I shouldn't be surprised/amazed by the awesome projects I saw on Olin students' resumes. But I still was!
I understand you’re at Google’s New York City campus – how do you like the city?
We go to a lot of shows. We do ‘Escape the Room’ more than you could possibly imagine, and enjoy the museums as well. There’s so much to do in New York, and we enjoy hanging out with a lot of the employees from Google who are fresh grads just like us.
Any last piece of advice for current Oliners?
The thing I valued the most is when I was at Olin was the amount of time you can choose to do something. Even within each project, you can choose what you want to do. Just appreciate the flexibility of being able to work on so many things – or sometimes nothing at all!