If you’re a student in Hong Kong, you may well have spent the past few weeks applying for 2020 internships at Goldman Sachs, UBS and other global banks in your city. But there’s another, even larger, company that’s hiring interns in Hong Kong: Google. Unlike internships at banks, Google’s summer programme is still open for applications.
There are a number of caveats, however. You’ll have to apply to become a ‘business intern 2020’ before 24 November this year, according to Google’s careers site. Moreover, Google’s operations are much smaller in Hong Kong than in Singapore, home to its APAC headquarters. Google also offers two engineering-focused programmes in Singapore alongside its business internships.
In Hong Kong, therefore, getting a Google internship is likely to be even harder than in cities like Singapore where the firm has a larger presence. And the Google is already notoriously difficult to break into at all levels, in all markets (applicant ratios suggest it’s easier to get a place at Harvard). If you want to spend next summer at Google in Hong Kong (the paid, full-time internship lasts for a minimum of 10 weeks, within the months of May to September), you’re likely to face at least the same level of competition as you would applying to a global bank.
Unlike a typical banking summer analyst programme, however, the Google initiative is open to people taking Master’s degrees (as well as penultimate and final-year Bachelor's students), according to Google’s careers site.
You don’t need to be a computer science student to work for Google in 2020 – the internships are open to people from all academic disciplines. The company doesn’t reveal the number of Hong Kong business interns it wants to hire, but its careers site states that “many” of its local 2020 internship roles do not require technical skills. Your tasks at Google could include “managing advertiser or publisher accounts, developing compelling advertising solutions for brand advertisers, improving access to relevant information for millions of internet users, analysing large sets of data, or developing scalable support solutions for rapid-growth consumer products”.
However, technology recruiters still encourage computer science students to apply, despite the internships’ apparent lack of coding work (if you want to program at Google in Asia, apply for an engineering internship in Singapore). An internship of any kind is a critical “foot in the door” to a permanent position at Google, says a Hong Kong-based tech recruiter.
If you land an interview for a Google internship in Hong Kong, you’re likely to be quizzed on your softer skills as well as your academic prowess. The tech giant’s job description repeatedly highlights skills such as client service and interpersonal skills.
Above all, however, securing this Google internship seems to be about proving you can think strategically and analytically to solve “challenging business problems”. If you’ve already been through an investment banking internship hiring process – which often involves problem-solving questions and tests – this experience will stand you in good stead at Google.
Despite the small size of Google’s Hong Kong office, you should expect your internship to be well structured. When you start at Google, you’ll be assigned an intern manager who will help to identify project goals, mentor you, and support your professional development.
Image credit: georgeclerk, Getty
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