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This Gen Z Google intern is spending her third summer at the tech giant. Here are her tips for securing a return offer.

Ana Altchek   

This Gen Z Google intern is spending her third summer at the tech giant. Here are her tips for securing a return offer.
  • 21-year-old Nancy Qi has interned at Google for the last three summers.
  • She said she found it important to get to know other Googlers and stay motivated through the summer.

Nancy Qi is a 21-year-old student at Columbia and she's spent her last three summers interning at Google.

This summer, she's working with Google Photos on the Android development side in New York City. She previously worked for Google's Core and Shopping team in Sunnyvale and Mountain View.

Qi recommends applying for a Google internship sooner rather than later, as she feels there can be an advantage to interviewing early in your college career. You might not get the highest levels of technical questions as a freshman when interviewing, for example.

But when it comes to getting a return offer, it's about everything that comes after you get the job, according to Qi. She's received two return offers so far and while there's no perfect formula, these are the four tips she recommends to current Google interns hoping to come back.

Get to know your host

Google interns are assigned a host or manager, and Qi said she considers them the "number one most important person in your internship."

At the end of each internship, Qi said hosts have to complete a review of how the intern performed. Some of the metrics can include improvement, communication with the team, and code quality.

Qi said she used to meet with her host once every couple of weeks during her first internship. Now, she said meets with her host basically every day, and it's a game changer. She speaks with her host about the progress she's made and any blocks she encountered.

When you need inspiration, visit a new office

Qi said one of the perks of working at Google is having access to all of its offices. Qi said during her first internship, she visited a different office once a week on her hybrid day and it helped give her a change of scenery and kept her inspired throughout the summer.

"I was walking through all the offices and I would be stunned, my jaw on the floor every day," Qi said. "And I felt so grateful to have that experience."

Qi said visiting different offices keeps her motivated in her internships. She said she "never really lost that feeling of 'Wow, I can't believe I landed this internship.'" She still does this tradition every Friday.

Socialize with your team

Google offers various events to its employees, such as team socials and lunches. Qi recommends taking full advantage of these.

Qi said she thinks these events offer your team a chance to see more of your character, and they may be "more inclined to support you along your career and want you to succeed."

Qi said many of the full-time staff have wisdom to share and she was able to get valuable technical and social advice from an employee she became close to last year.

Aside from networking and career development, Qi said the end-of-year reflection has a slot to add references from other Googlers who saw your technical ability or got to know you. She said she thinks being able to list people can be an important factor for conversion.

Spend time on your evaluation form

Google interns complete a self-reflection at the end of their internship, and Qi said she spends a lot of time on this.

At the end of every week, Qi writes down what she was stuck on and what she accomplished. When she filled out the reflection at the end of her last two summers with the company, she included screenshots and links to those weekly summaries.

She said she thinks it could have helped her receive her return offers because it showed how much effort she put into the internship. Even if she took longer on certain tasks, the reviewer was able to see her problem-solving process and how she approached each issue.

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