By Joe Vitale
You may not recognize Google’s updated logo, but you may soon recognize one of its newest interns: Nicholas Hardiman, GSB ’16.
A native of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Hardiman, a major in business administration with concentrations in marketing and finance and a minor in information sciences, will begin a semester-long internship with the online giant starting this month at Google’s Ann Arbor, Michigan, offices.
There. Hardiman will be working as a business intern, specializing as an account strategist on the Small to Medium Sized Business Global Customer Experience team (SMB GCE).
“What I will be doing is working with different clients all day every day and helping optimize their Adwords campaigns once they are live,” Hardiman, who will be taking off the fall semester to complete the full-time internship, said in an email. “Each client will have different goals, different budgets and be operating in different markets so each day will be a new experience.”
Founded in 1998, Google, which became one of the world’s largest corporations by selling advertisement space next to its search results, is growing its digital marketing and advertising business.
The internship will require Hardiman to track the returns on investment of specific campaigns through various metrics and require strong relationships with clients.
While Hardiman is not the only upperclassman to enter an exciting internship this year, his is one of the few whose perks and experiences has become dramatized on the internet, television and Hollywood.
In 2013, The Internship, starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, depicted the start-up world of Silicon Valley, where Vaughn’s and Wilson’s characters, who were former salesmen, found themselves competing with tech-savvy millennials at a Google internship.
Despite the popular depiction, the company typically has hundreds of openings — 2,500 current ones, according to Forbes — that attract a wide range of applicants. Forbes reports there is an average of 140 applicants for every job, though it does not specify how many applicants for the average internship.
Its competitive environment, paired with its many perks (in some offices, there are free lunches, haircuts, gyms, nap pods, campus bikes, foosball, pool, ping pong, laundry service and more) have helped Google claim the top spot on Forbes’ “100 Best Companies to Work For.”
After coming across a web page for the internship opening, Hardiman submitted a resume, an academic transcript and detailed some of his prior experiences.
“Google tells you on their application they are more focused on experience then anything else,” said Hardiman.
Since his sophomore year, Hardiman has completed several internships at various companies. His first two internships were at a small medical company and a startup co-working space in Boston.
“Both of those gave me experience in two types of atmospheres that were quickly growing and where I was thrown right into it,” he said. “I actually talked quite a bit about my internship with the medical company in my interview with Google because I was working on Adwords campaigns while I was with them something I never did at the bigger companies I worked at.”
Last fall, he completed an internship with BBC America and, in the spring, he interned at NBCUniversal where he was a content distribution and MVPD strategy intern.
“This was great preparation because I was not client facing at all, rather working on six accounts the entire semester that focused on various priorities and goals for new or returning shows that required constant attention and preparation,” he said.
Over the past summer, he worked at YuMe, a digital video advertising technology company.
“Everyone I spoke with told me about where budgets and ultimately the industry was shifting and to gain experience in digital advertising,” he said. “Some of the best advice I’ve ever received has been from former employees that I have stayed in touch with.”
When it comes to advice, Hardiman says that strong internships should be about exploring interesting fields, meeting new people and developing your professional skills.
“For your first internship, you may have to accept something unpaid or even something in an industry you have no knowledge of, but as long as you are gaining skills to put on your resume you are putting yourself in a great position to land an internship in the future that you truly want,” he said.
Even if the internship opens a world of new possibilities, Hardiman is well aware that he will be leaving his friends behind while he is in Michigan.
“All three years everyone looks forward to the Senior nights and to go under the tent at homecoming, so it is bittersweet that I will miss out on that during the fall,” Hardiman added, “but I know it will be worth it in the end.”