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Student Interns with Google as Part of BOLD Program

Posted on: September 24, 2015

Google BOLD internMedia and Information senior Mariah Smith spent this past summer as an advertising services intern with Google in San Francisco, Calif., as part of the company’s Building Opportunities for Leadership & Development (BOLD) intern program.

BOLD was designed to provide exposure into the technology industry for students who are historically under-represented in this field. The program offers 11-week paid internships, with personal and professional development programming, executive speakers, mentoring and community building.

Smith’s role at Google included finding innovative solutions to meet the changing needs of clients, identifying business challenges, collaboratively shaping solutions that drive strategic initiatives, and keeping clients informed of Google products that can enhance their online and offline presence.

“The learning curve was very steep,” she said. “We had four weeks of training and then we had to jump on the phones ready to answer advertisers questions.”

One of her biggest challenges was not knowing what she would be working on from day-to-day.

“For me, school is a very linear experience...You go to class, the teacher tells you what to study, and then you are tested on that same material,” she said, “but the real world is not like that.”

However, Smith said she felt prepared for any challenges she faced.

“ComArtSci classes prepared me for my role at Google by giving me the interpersonal skills to communicate effectively,” she said, “which ended up being one of the most useful skills I could have had in my role.”’

To Smith, who worked with 14 other interns, the best part of the internship was the people she met along the way.

“From the interns to the full-time employees, everyone I came in contact with was so willing to help you in anyway they could,” she said.

From this internship, Smith said she gained 14 new friends, a new perspective on problem solving in a fast-paced environment, and the confidence to apply for jobs she never thought of.

She had first come across the Google internship after an informational meeting last fall about non-technical careers at Google. She sent an email to the speaker asking to get coffee the next time that person was in town and the two had coffee the next day.

“I encourage everyone to be bold and audacious and take that next step that you might be scared of taking,” Smith said. “If I had to credit how I landed my internship to anything, it would be to those two things.”

by Rachel Tang, Public Relations Account Executive/ Journalism Senior

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