By Kathryn Hennon
When the popular comedy film “The Internship” debuted in 2013, audiences caught a glimpse of what it could be like to work as an intern at Google. University of South Carolina student Lacey Brown did not have to watch the movie for she worked at Google this past summer.
With a major in public relations, Brown had intended to use her future degree and break into the hospitality industry, but her career path quickly shifted when she found herself at the doorstep of the tech industry. One year ago, she got the opportunity to participate in an immersion student program with Google. She found it difficult to turn down an all-expense-paid trip to San Francisco, so she decided to give it a shot.
During the one week program, Brown interacted with students from all across the country, experienced the Google company culture firsthand, and became aware of the different outlets in the tech industry. Although still not sure the industry was for her, Brown applied for Google’s highly competitive summer internship program and was surprised and delighted when she was offered a sales position.
Coming from the suburbs of Atlanta, moving across the country seemed a bit daunting to Brown at first, but the push out of her comfort zone was one of the many components to an internship with Google. “I constantly felt challenged whether it was navigating a new city or a sales project, but overall I think that helped me to enjoy the experience fully,” says Brown who commends Google for constantly keeping her busy and interested in her work. As a sales intern, her primary focus was to sell online advertisement placements. Brown was able to tap into her public relations studies and apply her knowledge to a new field.
The hard work at Google paid off. Sometimes Brown believed staying at work was more enjoyable than going anywhere else. Brown was able to experience the plush treatment Google gives its employees while at work. Google’s campus offers options for employees to satisfy their every craving without ever leaving. Not only did they provide desserts, sushi, sandwiches, and gourmet salads, but they also had a purpose for all of the food placements. “When I went to get a drink on campus, they would place water in the middle of the fridge and soda at the bottom, so my eyes would see the healthier option first and then usually choose it,” Brown says. Additionally, she had access to a health club and gym and even received a complimentary on-site massage on the last day of her internship.
As her December graduation date approaches, Brown switches her focus to a full-time job search, and this time she is keeping her options open. While still applying in hospitality, Brown is also applying in the tech industry.
Hennon is a public relations senior