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UCF alumna and current Googler Lauren Pugliese spoke to UCF students Thursday about undergraduate internship opportunities at Google.

“We are home to thousands of very curious people,” Pugliese said. “People who think against the status quo, people who ask questions and present ways in how things could be better, and that is what we are really looking for in our next generation of Googlers.”

Pugliese is part of the Campus Advocates Program at Google and came to UCF to inform students about what Google is looking for and how students can get involved with the nontechnical departments at the creative company.

Pugliese emphasized the internships offered by Google for juniors and seniors, as well as future career opportunities. These programs, which are further explained at Google.com, include the BOLD Immersion Program for sophomores and rising juniors, BOLD internships for juniors and seniors, and full-time roles.

“You learn about what it’s like to work at Google, about the product teams,” Pugliese said.

The purpose of these programs is for students to get an idea of whether Google is a good fit for them, and for Google to find the best fit for their open positions. They are very competitive to get into because Google offers the best interns an opportunity to come back and work full time after graduation.

“I think there are a lot of opportunities that I like to take part in an internship that will possibly lead to a full-time position,” said UCF senior Edward Paluga.

The applications for all programs can be found online, and, if chosen, students will be contacted for an interview.

“Google gives you the opportunity to be more malleable to everything,” said Kevin Gomez, a sophomore finance and accounting major. “They want to make sure you just don’t work, but give to the community. I like what they are envisioning.”

Students were interactive in the information session and asked Pugliese many questions about what Google wants to see in students and future employees.

“We are very transparent in what we are looking for,” Pugliese said. “There are four main categories that Google hires around: How a candidate thinks and solves problems, leadership skills, role-related knowledge, and 'Googlyness.' Googlyness is really what I’ve been talking about. It’s the cultural fit of the organization. It’s, ‘Are you a team player or do you want to be a lone wolf?'"

Pugliese said Google looks for both team players and lone wolves. There is a variety opportunities available for students with all types of personalities, and Google encourages coworker bonding through activities outside of the workplace, too.

“It is very similar to life at UCF,” Pugliese said. “There are organizations for people with specific hobbies … We want you to come to Google with your own interests, with your own curiosities.”

Pugliese said Google prides itself on happy, long-term employees, and said it begins with your first experience at the company, which is often through internships.

“At Google, we scale through technology, not through people,” Pugliese said.

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Sarah Gangraw is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.

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