Meet Matthew D.
Matthew Journeys From BIG Dreams to Dream Job as a Software Engineer at Google
While setting the goal to work at such companies as Dropbox, Facebook, and Google could be considered lofty, it’s something Matthew says he’s wanted to do for years. Once he set his mind to it, there was no stopping him.
He began with internships, an incredibly valuable way to gain experience and skills. He interned as a software engineer at Google before graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s in Computer Science.
“I think the best thing I did was work on projects outside of class,” Matthew says. “It doesn’t matter what you work on so long as it’s technically challenging for you. From there, when you land an interview, you have a technical project you’re passionate about and a solid foundation to answer questions with.”
It’s a strategy that worked well for Matthew. During his time in college, he not only worked for the University, but also scored a position as a Google Student Ambassador. Then he landed another internship as a software engineer with Dropbox, while continuing to work on extracurricular projects.
Acquiring all those skills and experience paid off. “After graduation,” says Matthew, “I joined the Inbox team as a software engineer at Google! I’m now a full-time Googler in Mountain View.
It’s definitely a new challenge every day, but I’m having a blast. I definitely wound up where I belong.”
Matthew says a key part of his success was his time spent at iD Tech. iD Tech offers summer STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs held at over 150 campuses nationwide, where students ages 7–17 learn programming, solve engineering problems, code apps, build robots, design video games, mod Minecraft, create 3D-printed objects, produce short films, and more.
“iD Tech Camps and the iD Programming Academy gave me the opportunity to learn things that my schools hadn’t taught me,” he says.
He goes on to encourage students to visit places they might want to work someday. “One of the most memorable moments from my iD Tech experience at Stanford was visiting Google. I specifically remember a Disneyland-like feel with all the colors and wonder and swag store and excitement, and I think that’s one of the things that cemented my love of tech early on.”
The bottom line? Dream big, challenge yourself with outside projects, and don’t be afraid to take and create your own opportunities. Like Matthew, your ideal job could be closer than you think.