There’s no doubt that Google is easily one of the most recognisable technology brands in the world today. From their search engine to apps, most of us have used at least one of their state-of-the-art products. We’ve also heard about how their offices are swanky, energetic and a hub of creative activity – and it’s all true.
In fact, we experienced it first hand when we recently hosted a live video broadcast at their London office (You can watch the recording here).
We sat down with Maya Tudor, Apprenticeship Specialist at Google, as well as two current apprentices to find out what it’s like to work at Google and discover more about their unique apprenticeship programmes.
Maya started her journey at Google more than 5 years ago, and she has since been involved in up-skilling students and providing development opportunities. She’s previously worked on campus outreach programs and scholarships and now focuses on creating a pathway into Google for apprentices and providing the best experience for them while onsite.
We even got Google to answer some questions that were submitted by students from schools across the UK. In this blog post, we take a look at some of them.
Could you give us an idea of a day in the life of a Google Apprentice?
The days vary quite a lot depending on the ongoing projects. Apprentices can be flexible in the time to come in, they usually spend some time having breakfast and reading emails before starting to work on their projects. There are usually meetings to attend – with the team, updating their host and talking about next steps for the project. There is a break for lunch and most apprentices make use of the office facilities like a coffee lab for a break or the gym.
Are all the Google Apprenticeship programmes based in London? Or is there an option to do it locally?
Yes, all of the apprenticeship programmes offered in the UK are based in London.
Do Google Apprenticeships have an age limit for entry? How diverse is the apprenticeship programme? Will you have to travel as part of the apprenticeship?
The minimum age requirement is 18 but anyone post that can apply for the role. We do our best to promote apprenticeships to as many people as possible and offer resources for development for people who are applying for a role for the first time.
Travel is not required as part of your apprenticeship but there might be opportunities to attend events, on a one-off basis.
What’s the best way to manage work, study and social life as a Google apprentice? What are the work-study blocks like?
For each of the apprenticeship programs, there is a defined amount of 20% off-the-job training that needs to be covered. In some cases, the apprentices cover this by going to the campus of the training provider for a full week, or by studying from the office facilities at their own pace. The apprenticeship includes the work and study time as a full-time opportunity but the schedule is flexible and can be customised to what works for the apprentice.
A work-life balance is encouraged and there are facilities and schemes to help with this – gym available onsite, flexible schedule to take time in lieu, recurrent breaks etc.
What typical qualities or skills do you look for in young people who aspire to join Google as an Apprentice? What’s the interview process like?
Across all of our roles, we look for passion in the area candidates are applying for. We want to see that they have gone above and beyond pursuing that passion, whether this is through school courses and projects, or self-study, volunteering to help other people learn something new about the area, attended competitions, earned online certificates or acted as a leader by bringing a team together around a project.
In terms of the interview process, this is slightly different depending on the apprenticeship role between Digital Marketing, Infrastructure Technician and Software Developer. We usually have an informal phone call to hear more about your hobbies, interests and motivation for that particular apprenticeship, followed by in-depth interviews related to the role (these will take place on site, in a Google office).
What are the ideal academic qualifications (GCSEs/A-levels) and other work experience, that can help get me into an Apprenticeship programme at Google?
The academic qualifications are a minimum requirement for the role to be eligible but we look at an application as a whole and consider all the different elements. Make sure you list in your CV all of the projects you have been doing at school and outside of school; anything you spend your time on is worth mentioning. If some of the activities are related to the role you are applying for, it’s even better. We want to see your passion for the field and this can be shown through what you spend your time on.
What is the best way to stand out from other applicants when applying for an apprenticeship at Google?
Focus on why an apprenticeship is a right path for you and why in this field. Find ways to make your passion come across, whether it’s through a detailed resume or a cover letter explaining your journey to liking this field. We want to get to know you as a person and have an idea of why you’d be a great fit for the role.
Apart from programming languages, what are the best areas of computer science to study so that applications stand out when applying for a Google Apprenticeship? Do you have any suggestions for websites/apps/books that we could use to learn them?
For the apprenticeship in Software Development, we look at subjects relating to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) so any of them would be relevant because they can help practice logical thinking, problem-solving and strategic planning.
You can also consult Google’s Guide for Technical Development for useful resources to practice before your interviews.
Why should I choose a Google apprenticeship over another in the same field?
Google apprentices get exposure to the Google culture and projects and join teams of experts working on up-to-date technologies and interesting projects. This practical experience can help accelerate the learning and development.
What sort of career paths do the current Google apprenticeship programmes open for the future, if we want to continue at Google?
Apprentices have various options: to progress to a higher level apprenticeship (from Level 3 to Level 4), continue their studies or apply for a role at Google. Each path is different and the apprentices will receive support and guidance to make the best-informed decision for their future.
There is a common perception that apprenticeships are a less valued qualification than degrees. To what extent would you agree? Why or why not?
Apprentices will receive a qualification at the end of their apprenticeship and in some cases (like the Level 4 Software Developer apprenticeship), there is an option to earn a Foundation Degree in Computer Science or progress to a third year for a full Bachelors degree. Since the apprenticeship is an alternative, practical path, it’s important that the apprentice makes an informed choice.
There you have it – exclusive and valuable insights into the amazing world of Google Apprenticeships, right from Google themselves. Login to your Springpod account to find out more about Google Apprenticeships. Or register for free, if you don’t have one.
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