Hollywood has spun Google’s feeder system into The Internship, out June 7, a comedy in which two washed-up adult salesmen (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) score Google internships and compete against a bunch of whiz kids for jobs. In real life, the only adult interns are MBA students. Two actual, former Google interns break down the generation gap.
Interned Age 21
Today Google’s head of multicultural marketing
Interned Age 35
Today YouTube’s global head of user operations, policy, and enforcement
Did you enter the internship hoping it would lead to a job?
- MURILLO: "I was really excited about the opportunity. I knew Google was a cool place, and was interested in how it took startup culture and turned it into this big tech giant."
- RENDA: "Not really. The internship for an MBA is an 11-week-long first date. The point is to take Google for a test-drive and see if it was something I wanted to come back to."
Is there a difference between interning as a student or an adult?
- MURILLO: "There’s no difference in terms of access to leadership or experience in terms of work."
- RENDA: "In terms of who to network with and how to strategically think about your career, I probably had an advantage."
What first blew your mind at Google?
- MURILLO: "All the food! I don’t mean to sound too excited about it, but it’s like, how can you say no to all this awesome food?"
- RENDA: "Larry, Sergey, and others have a candid, frank conversation with the whole company on a weekly basis. I came from the military, where you’d never be exposed to that."
Were the interns competitive or did you all bond?
- MURILLO: "It was very supportive—prepping for all presentations, we practiced with each other. A lot of my friends tried going to every Mountain View cafeteria together."
- RENDA: "It wasn’t competitive, but we didn’t socialize much. The MBA interns all just hit the ground to meet people inside the company. I chased down every alumni from my grad school."
[Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises]
A version of this article appeared in the June 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.