Computer Science student secures top role at Google
Harrison Tse is a soon-to-be Computer Science graduate and recently landed a role at Google as a Customer Engineer.
We caught up with Harrison to find out how he got his dream job and what career advice he has for other students.
So you’re going to be joining Google Cloud as a Customer Engineer from July. Can you tell us what you’ll be working on?
I will partner with executives of large companies who are looking to move their systems and technologies onto Cloud. I’ll evaluate their current systems and business needs by leading technical discussions, develop system architecture and provide technical expertise to transform and modernise their business using Google Cloud.
In five years’ time, what do you hope to have achieved?
I want to become a world-renowned Cloud Engineer (hopefully!).
What was the Google application process like and can you describe how you felt when you found out you had been successful?
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to answer this, but in general it involves lots of interviews and assessments.
When I found out I’d been successful, I was really nearly in tears. It was a long and tough process, and to come out at the end with an offer was unbelievable. I was so happy to achieve one of my life-long dreams. I was very emotional when I heard the news.
Harrison’s CV at a glance
- Google - Google Cloud Intern (Dublin, Ireland) – 2018
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. – Software Engineer (Glasgow, UK) – 2017/2018
- Daimler Mercedes-Benz Lab1886 Design Challenge (Stuttgart, Germany) – Winner - 2019
- Facebook Hackathon (London, UK) - 2018
- UK and Ireland Programming Competition (Liverpool, UK) – 2016
- BCS Challenge IT - Winner of Post-16 Category (UK) – 2014/15
- Young Enterprise (UK) – 2014
You’ve completed two internships – one at JPMorgan and the other at Google. Can you tell us more about each of the internships?
At JPMorgan, I was a Software Engineer working on a Big Data team that focused on Data Warehousing of vital financial data for Corporate Investment Banking. It was an incredible experience, which accelerated learning and development of my technical and interpersonal skills. I had a lot of fun with the other interns and it set me on a great path. To secure the position, I submitted my CV and then took a series of online tests, interviews and assessment centres.
For my Summer Internship in Google I worked within Google Cloud on some Data Science/Business Intelligence projects, which also gave me great exposure to the business-side in a more client-facing technical role. The internship was amazing, and it was great to experience the famous innovative culture of Google and their incredible offices.
You’re clearly great at nailing the application process for big firms. What are your top three application and interview tips?
- Proactively seek out relevant competitions, conferences and events to take part in – this will give you something nice to talk about during interviews and bulk out your CV. It’s never too late to do more of these.
- Apply early and apply to many. Persistence is key. Try to get the bulk of your applications done in September (the year before) for summer internships/grad positions. Uni is stressful with the amount of exams and coursework, but you’ll thank yourself later for having done applications during the year. Don’t be afraid to apply somewhere that you don’t think you’ll get. Just by applying you give yourself a chance.
- During interviews keep it light and relaxed. Try to think of interviews as two-way. They should feel more like a conversation than a Q&A session. Remember that your interview is an opportunity to see if you like the company or not as well. Go into every interview with no pressure. At the end of the day, you can treat them just as practice for the next interview you’ll do. Structure your competency interview answers to demonstrate the key desirable skills you know they are looking for. Choose examples where you made a personal impact to a specific situation that brought about a good outcome.
What is your advice to students studying Computer Science who want to secure a position like your role within Google Cloud?
- People skills are just as essential as your technical skills. Work on your project management, communication and team working skills to make you stand out.
- Take part in Hackathons and competitions – it’s great for networking and an accelerated way to learn technical skills.
- Apply to internships every year! Even in first year some places offer summer roles. Try to gain experience in as many areas as possible to find out what you like and what you don’t like. The experience you’ll have by the time you finish Uni will be life changing.
Harrison’s useful resources
- LinkedIn Jobs (I’ve found this platform to be very good)
- SEO London
If you could tell a Computer Science student one thing, what would it be?
Apply for internships early! Furthermore, make sure you live out a well-rounded Uni experience. Enjoy your time with friends – you build your interpersonal skills and vital teamworking/conflict resolution skills by interacting and working with a lot of different types of people.