Jamael Smith '24 - STEP Internship at Google

Jamael Smith

This summer, I was able to work as a STEP Intern in the Google office in New York City. This was my second STEP internship with Google and my first in-person internship with the company, and I chose to return after interning virtually last summer to get a stronger feel for the company culture that I couldn’t really get through a computer screen. I soon found that culture to be particularly informal and encouraged creativity as well as a willingness to seek help, both of which helped make my internship a positive experience. Additionally, this was not only my first full-time in-person internship, but also my first time in New York City! As such, I considered it a cool opportunity to live in and adjust to such an area, which is definitely a stark contrast from the rural area in which I grew up as well as Durham.

As a STEP Intern, I worked on a full-stack (primarily front-end) solution for Google Sheets’ Timeline Views using the Java and JavaScript languages. While doing so, I was able to learn about and participate in the software development process and participate in meetings with the Google Sheets team. My work was special because of how it will hopefully simplify the workflow of Timeline Views for many users of the application. I also found it particularly interesting to gain a “behind-the-scenes” look of Google Workspace applications such as Google Docs, so to speak, and it was rewarding to make my own contributions to the Google codebase.

Throughout my internship, I polished my coding skills through frequent coding reviews and discussed engineering decisions for my project with my managers. This project also involved significant collaboration between and another intern (my “podmate”) with whom I heavily worked.

Learning from my team, mentors, and other engineers this summer at Google was such an awesome experience, and I am grateful to have been able to intern there!