It’s intern season at Google! Interns are located in offices all across the globe, and represent a broad diversity of backgrounds, concentrations and interests. Inspired by Stephen Colbert’s Better Know a District, we’re bringing to you “Better Know an Intern!” The series will introduce you to our interns across the globe, and will get you the scoop on the impactful projects they work on, their interests and passions, and what it’s really like to intern at Google straight from the source.
For our next post, meet Lamar Gary, an intern on the Online Partnerships Group team.
Senior, Class of 2014
University of Southern California – Business Administration
Returning BOLD Intern
Fun fact: After moving into my humble abode in San Francisco near Chinatown, I named it the Castle of Shaolin. I’m fascinated with the intersection of Black and Chinese culture (i.e. blaxploitation and kung fu films, hip hop, and the idolatry of Bruce Lee). The name stems from the film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, which inspired the title and most of the samples on the Wu-Tang Clan’s album Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers. It was almost a no-brainer to don my self-proclaimed castle with the name.
1. Of all the companies to apply for, why did you want to work at Google?
I chose Google because of its amazing company culture and innovative approach to solving problems through technology. Working in a fast-paced environment, where people are constantly thinking of ways to solve big problems differently and efficiently (e.g. bringing Internet access to more people around the world through a network of high-altitude balloons), is inspiring. I wanted to work at a company that wasn’t afraid to tackle big challenges and do the unimaginable.
2. In what way(s) has Google impacted you, and how have you left an impact at Google?
Google has taught me the importance of being able to balance a challenging workload while pursuing causes and activities that help me grow outside of the scope of my job. I believe your personal experiences are contributors to your success, which is why having fun outside of work is important. You learn so much from your experiences, especially since many of them require you to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things.
For instance, I started to adventure through the Bay Area to find small mom-and-pop restaurants that serve up some of the best ethnic cuisine. Somehow I always end up in a conversation with my waiter, who’s typically an immigrant or a first-generation American, about their story, their history, and how they landed in the U.S. and the Bay Area. Those conversations help me better understand the diversity around me and make me a better global citizen. Google values that perspective. It allows you to bring a fresh point of view to the table and makes you more Googley. At Google, I bring my perspective into the conversation and apply my analytical skills to solve big problems and influence business strategy.
In addition to my core work duties, I cleaned up Emma Prusch Park with other Googlers for GoogleServe and I represent BOLD interns at multiple University Programs events, such as BOLD Immersion for Freshmen.
3. What is the most interesting/exciting thing that you have been able to do as a Google intern? Your “Magic Moment”?
Midway into my internship, I demoed one of my deliverables, which was a risk assessment tool, for my manager’s manager. He was in awe with the impact it could have on the entire organization. He told me my work could help grow 10% of the global business. All of a sudden I realized my internship wasn’t just about completing a project. I had an opportunity to drive impact that will continue after I leave.
4. Aside from working for Google, what kinds of organizations/clubs/activities are you involved with in your community / around your school’s campus?
Executive Director of the USC Black Student Assembly, Undergraduate Student Government, USC Honorary Degrees Committee, Google Student Ambassador.
5. What types of lessons/skills have you learned at Google that you will take back to school after this summer ends?
This summer has been all about navigating ambiguity and synthesizing data for actionable decision making. At times it can be daunting with so much uncertainty and loads of information. In the end, you learn a ton. I’m taking my learnings from this summer back to school and beyond.
6. Any advice for students interested in being a Google intern?
Get involved with projects that challenge you to solve problems and take action. The experience will help you achieve success as a Google intern.
7. Favorite micro-kitchen snack?
That’s easy! Blueberries and chocolate. NorCal’s blueberry season begins in June. Micro-kitchens are always stocked with fresh blueberries during the summer. To satisfy my sweet tooth, I grab a bowl of blueberries and a chocolate square.
Posted by Tony Nelli, Tech University Programs