Intern with Google glassesGetting an internship at Google isn’t easy. In fact it’s so challenging that Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson starred in a movie about landing an internship at the company. More than 40,000 students applied this year for just 1,500 positions, and UIndy sophomore Paula Romero Bermúdez hit the jackpot and earned one of the coveted spots.

Paula will be in Boston this summer working on Google’s Search Log Quality team. The team takes care of errors that occur during the search process within their search engine.

“Our job, in essence, is to create an algorithm that will help us visualize the data and possibly find the errors and fix them,” Paula says. “I could almost say we will be making all of our lives easier by improving the search engine!”

The selection process for the prestigious internship was rigorous. A month after she applied, she was scheduled for a two-hour interview with two representatives from Google, during which she was asked to write computer programming code.

“After the interview, I didn’t hear back from them until mid-December when they told me I had passed the interview process. They then sent my file to the employment team who decided if I should be selected.”

Googling Google

Paula came to UIndy knowing that she wanted an internship as soon as possible. The Venezuelan native is studying physics and computer science, supplemented by a minor in mathematics. But it was a tip from a physics professor that led her to finding out about the internship with Google.

She learned from the professor about the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment Student Engagement Program, which offers a wide variety of research projects. After a month-long selection process, Paula was chosen to participate in a 10-week research project at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

“I realized then that it would be fulfilling and helpful to find an internship with a private company so I could get a feeling of both academia and corporation,” Paula says. “At the same time, I was looking for a scholarship, and I found that Microsoft was offering one that required applicants to apply for an internship as well.”

Being a forward thinker, Paula thought, “If Microsoft has one, then Google must, too!” She applied to Google, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, and Eli Lilly and Company. She received an immediate response from a Google recruiter and was selected from more than 40,000 applicants.

“I came to the U.S. because I knew I could do great things with all the opportunities this society has to offer. I knew that I wanted an internship as soon as possible”

Golden opportunity

As Paula looks forward to her amazing summer opportunity, she gives credit to faculty and staff at UIndy for playing an important part in her academic success.

“My professors are great. They are experienced and are aware of how we should be treated,” she says. “This is not junior high anymore; we are adults and as such we should be treated. But at the same time most of them go the extra mile.”

Paula says she has learned many practical skills at UIndy that have helped prepare her for this internship: analytic skills, problem solving, and learning how to correlate the material she learns in one class to her other classes and professional experiences. She also says that learning how to find resources and utilize them is very useful. And the key to her success?

“Discipline! That’s definitely essential. Always run the extra mile.”

—Ariana Gainer ’14