Q&A with Ji-Sung Kim ’19, Google

Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Ji-Sung Kim ’19, a current intern at Google Research. Before joining the Google Research team, he had the opportunity to visit their office during last spring’s Princeternship. In this Q&A, Ji-Sung shares some valuable advice on how to make the most out of your Princeternship and insight on being rejected from a position.

1. Your title and a brief description of what you will be doing at Google

I’m currently an intern at Google Research. The goal of my internship is to study and develop machine learning algorithms — methods which automatically learn information from data. I collaborate with numerous Google engineers and scientists on bleeding-edge machine learning research. I have two mentors: one is a software engineer and the other is a research scientist.

2Could you tell me a little bit about how you started working for Google? 

I befriended a really considerate and supportive Googler who encouraged me to apply. He offered some helpful advice and was like a mentor to me! During the application process, I completed a coding challenge and a project-interest phone interview. I received an offer a few weeks later.

3. Did Princetership influence your experience in choosing to intern at Google?

My Princeternship did not directly affect my application process, but it definitely helped me get a better sense of the Google culture. I also met some great people who I’ve had the chance to follow up with during my internship.

4. What advice do you have for students participating in Princeternship?

Do not try to network really hard. I think the best part of a Princeternship is creating meaningful (and enjoyable) conversations. Enjoy the Princeternship, and most importantly, enjoy speaking with and learning about the people who work there.

5. Any closing thoughts for students that you want to share?

I was rejected from Google several times before I was accepted for this internship. Most recruiting teams receive thousands of applications and accept only a small fraction of applicants. Rejection and failure are normal — they are an important part of learning and development. During my freshman and sophomore year, I was rejected from around 98% of the internship opportunities I applied to.