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. 

Q&A with Vivian Ludford ’15

Vivian, a research analyst at Research Board, offers her advice for students in advance of the HireTigers Meetup on Feb. 12 atludford Frick Lab.

Q: What advice do you have for students coming to the Meetup?

A: Keep an open mind and think seriously about your short-term and long-term career (and personal!) goals, and what kind of role would best position you to achieve those goals. And study the job! Research the company to see if any alums work there (use the TigerNet alumni directory / LinkedIn as a start) and reach out to them! 99% of us are happy to talk and help.

I studied Comparative Literature/Creative Writing and had this vague idea that I wanted to write after college, so I was initially super turned off by the Research Board as a “technology think tank.” But after speaking with an alum (English ’05) as well as someone who was then currently in the role I was applying for, I realized that the job actually very closely aligned with my long-term goals—even more so than the entry-level publishing/editorial jobs I’d originally targeted. Now I get to talk to smart people, read interesting things, and write about all of it for a living. #blessed.

Q: What are you most looking forward to speaking about with students at the Meetup?

A: I just generally want to know about the students. Like what do you do in your free time? What keeps you up at night? What new foods are they serving in Whitman dining hall? Who is third-floor bickering whom? I want to know everything!