Ever wonder what goes on behind the world’s most well-known search engine? Or forget that real people are the power behind it? It’s true! Hardworking people make Google everything that it is, and Columbia College’s own computer science student Ryan Frappier is one of those people.
At age 6, Frappier dreamed of making video games — a dream that would slowly fade early in his high school career. However, after taking Intro to C++ Programming at the Columbia Area Career Center his sophomore year of high school, Frappier’s childhood dream of making video games grew into a passion for computer science, which he is currently pursuing at Columbia College. Frappier decided to put the skills he acquired at Columbia College to the test and applied for an internship with Google.
“A bit of time passed, and I was contacted by a recruiter from Google to schedule interviews,” Frappier says. “I had two phone interviews with each being roughly 45 minutes.”
A short time later, Google extended an internship offer to Frappier, but his placement was still undetermined. To help with this, Google asked him to complete a questionnaire to narrow down his interests and match him to a project. After one last interview, Frappier was placed in an engineering practicum position with the Chrome web browser team and would be on his way to his new home away from home: Mountain View, California.
As an engineering practicum intern, Frappier worked under the supervision of the project host and co-host to create a tool that would help the engineers on the team. At first, if Frappier came across a challenging code, he would try to solve the problem himself instead of asking someone else.
“I soon found that at a big company like Google, you cannot live under a rock. You must communicate with others,” he says. What really made an impression on Frappier was the culture of the company.
“One of the coolest things about the culture is that Googlers are encouraged to form and participate in groups that relate to their interests,” he says. “I practiced in multiple group activities with my mentor and was amazed that activities such as foam sword fighting or bowling were commonplace at Google!”
That’s right — Google encourages their “Googlers” to step away from the stress of work and enjoy the fun environment it cultivates.
“Also, I can’t forget to mention the free food,” Frappier adds. “Google’s main campus in Mountain View offered several different places to eat, and there was quite a variety.”
Not only was the food — free food, that is — noteworthy, but the whole experience gave Frappier a much better feel as to what a software engineer does.
“It has allowed me to confirm to myself that I really want to continue to pursue computer science,” he said. “I gained a lot of good experience and made great connections that will most certainly help advance my career.”