A variety of impressive recruiters have been visiting Lehigh to meet with students and talk about employment opportunities. On October 7 and 8, a team of Lehigh alumni who work at Google – Pete Matt ’04, Jimmy Orr ’04, Todd Jeffreys ’01 ’02G, and Clay Rabenda ’04 – came to campus to share their insights about the company with the campus community. The group had previously visited campus in March and hosted a “standing room only” information session on the interview process at the company. Because Google recently began an external effort to inform college students about the company’s recruiting and application processes, the alumni were asked by their employer to return with a more formal presentation this fall.
“To improve outreach, a new program was created to empower full-time engineers to visit their alma maters so that they may help students prepare for technical careers,” Matt said.
According to Rich Freed, director of Employer Outreach and Operations in the Center for Career and Professional Development, Lehigh strives to bring more companies like Google to campus. The multinational technology company – which specializes in Internet-related services and products such as the Google search engine, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps, and many others – is a highly appealing employer to many Lehigh students.
Freed said that the early information session in March left students with two important impressions. The first was that it is very challenging to get a job at Google. The Google application process is very arduous, and it’s not common to be hired on the first try. Secondly, according to the visiting team, if you are hired, Google has amazing opportunities and projects in which their employees can become involved. For example, the company has a policy where an employee can spend up to 20 percent of their work time developing a project of interest to the employee that may one day benefit the company. This concept is a company-supported way to foster employee ideas.
“Our first visit in March laid a great foundation for our relationship with Lehigh,” Matt said. “This fall, we saw a noticeable increase in students’ interest in jobs at Google, which is extremely exciting for our team. Unfortunately, submitting an application is just the tip of the iceberg, so our visit in October was focused on getting students through the gauntlet.”
The October Google visit to Lehigh was scheduled across various locations on campus, and included mock interviews, lunch with faculty members, information sessions, résumé writing workshops, and a dinner with student leaders. Freed wanted the two-day fall visit to provide students with an opportunity to interact with employees to learn about the company before they applied for employment. The visit enabled the Lehigh alums to use their experiences as Google employees to prepare the students for the company’s challenging interview process.
“We conducted dozens of mock technical interviews to give students a taste of what to expect in a real interview,” Matt said. “We met with students to review résumés and provide feedback that would help them get noticed. We gave a career presentation to cover more advice and point out some of the career opportunities for students of all ages. We hope these actions lead to more Lehigh alumni around (Google’s) campuses.”
Evan Klein ’18, a computer engineering major, attended a lunch with the Google employees and said that he learned a lot about the company’s recruitment process, which stresses the importance of proving one’s qualifications and problem-solving abilities in real time during an interview.
“The alumni were talking about how Google can help Lehigh prepare their students to get jobs at a big company like Google that’s at the forefront of technology,” said Klein.
- Photos by Tom Dowd