April 7 7:56 AM: Congratulations! You have been selected as a scholar!
What is the Google Generation Scholarship?
The Google Generation Scholarship is available to female students worldwide interested in computer science. The scholarship program is designed to assist students from under-represented groups and those who firmly commit to their field of study and future profession. Students in their first and second college years are eligible for the scholarship.
The scholarship includes a $1000 cash reward and an interview opportunity for a summer internship at Google. The recipients of this scholarship are invited to a retreat with Googlers and other scholarship recipients, either virtual or offline, depending on the circumstances. In addition, they receive Google swag!
I was awarded the Google Generation Scholarship in 2022. Here’s my experience with the application process and some general tips about how to apply for the same.
I initially applied for the scholarship during my first year, but I didn't get through the first time. However, I didn't give up and applied again in my second year of university. Fortunately, I got selected this time and it worked out perfectly because the scholarship amount was raised to $2500 from the $1000 in the previous year!
The application process according to the official website is as follows:
- General background information (e.g. contact information and details about your current and intended universities)
- Resume/CV highlighting technical projects and participation in community engagement
- Academic transcripts from your current institutions (and prior, if applicable)
- Responses to two short answer essay questions
- 15 minute “meet and greet” per shortlist participant
- Google Online Challenge (Invitation to the challenge will be sent 5-7 working days post application deadline)
For the essay round, it is advisable to start researching and writing a draft early so that there is plenty of time to edit it while ensuring that all of the essential aspects are included.
I searched online for scholarship recipients who had made YouTube videos and written medium blogs discussing their journey and made notes. I also spoke with my seniors who had already received the scholarship. They reviewed my resume and provided me with specific guidance for the essay. I didn't ask them to share their essay because I wanted the interviewers to get to know the real me through the essay, not something I found on the internet or dreamed up.
I examined the scholarship website thoroughly and took notes on what they seek in applicants to make my essay scream that I am the perfect fit for them. I decided to give my essay at least ten days.
Here are some online videos/blogs that I found extremely useful during my application process:
- Generation google scholarship essay tips
- Guide to #GenerationGoogleScholarship
- Your roadmap to Generation Google Scholarship
We were given two questions, each with a 400-word essay requirement. They look for women who are inclined towards society. Following my first failed attempt, I made a point of participating in community activities that I enjoy and wrote about them in my essay. My seniors reminded me that no problem is too little and that instead of writing something from the internet, I should share my real experiences. I was asked about the challenges I've had as a woman in technology, and while I haven't started my professional career yet, I highlighted something small but important to me. I didn't hesitate to share my personal details and stories while remaining professional and dignified.
After completing the first draft, I shared my essay with my senior and had it reviewed. I was suggested to keep the essay highly personalized and back up every feasible statement with an example. Let's say I stated, "I help women in STEM," so it should be followed by an example like, "I arranged an event for my college girls to learn java." which proves my point. I also double-checked that there were no grammatical errors and that I stayed under the word limit. I updated my essay roughly 10 - 15 times and had it reviewed 3 - 4 times.
We had to correctly pass all the test cases of one of the two coding questions on the hacker earth platform.
Here's a GeeksForGeeks article about the coding challenge that I found helpful.
After getting selected for the interview round, I consulted my seniors and read medium blogs to get familiar with the interview process. I started with an introduction that I had prepared days before the interview.
My interview was personalized just for me. They asked me about myself, primarily non-technical, and why my interests align with their scholarship program.
Confidence is key - some of the questions I was asked were about gender differences in the tech field, asking for my opinion and asking me how I would tackle this problem [and some slightly technical questions too].
Google values diversity, and it helps if you emphasize that. If you are selected for an interview, prepare by researching the company and the scholarship program and practicing your answers to common interview questions. Look for questions asked to other scholarship aspirants. For example- I was asked, "what would I do if I got 2 billion dollars?"
My interview was primarily non-technical and was handled by an HR representative. I found a way to stand out and steer the interview in my favour. To demonstrate my interest and desire for my subject of study, I showed my interviewer a ppt I had created for a project. The project demonstrated both my technological vision and my inclination toward society, and it worked brilliantly for me since the interviewer was impressed.
Takeaway: Being prepared helps!
Suggested Reading: Interview with a Googler -Generation Google Scholarship’21
After I got selected as the recipient of the scholarship, I was on cloud nine! I eagerly waited for the retreat day, got all dressed up, and sat in front of the camera for my virtual retreat meet.
During the retreat, we played several ice-breaker games. We were joined by googlers who discussed the company and opportunities there. An instructor from google joined us to guide us on how to prepare for an interview, how to study and more. After the retreat, we got access to an exclusive network of fellow scholars who were as driven and talented as me. It opened a gate for numerous opportunities! I received Google swags after the retreat, which included a google bag, bottle, notebook, and hand sanitizer.