PS: A lot of people told me to make this article a paid, short e-book. This didn’t feel like something I wanted to do with it. Be patient with me though, a book will eventually come. I (will) have many, many things to say.
TL;DR You will most likely fail many times. When you do, don’t just try again, try again with wisdom.
For a long time, I wished this article was simply…written. I wished the words would dance their way out of my mind unto a server so that it could be read like this by you. Of course, that didn’t happen because I cannot wish anything into reality except, perhaps, procrastination. It took me four months to write this; I hope it’s interesting enough for you to read in one sitting.
My journey is a bit complicated, and like most people, I don’t remember every part of it. The goal of this article though is to talk about parts I remember because I realize the importance of documenting. I will talk about the hard challenges, lessons, and communities that I believe contributed to my getting into Google.
I hope my story inspires you; I hope it spurs you to believe in yourself and to take the right action.
First Big Break
The first time I ever imagined working abroad as a Software Engineer happened in my second year at University. I heard about some Covenant University alumni who had worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) & Goldman Sachs (GS) in a conversation. I remember being fascinated at that moment by the fact that working abroad hadn’t even crossed my mind until that point; I suddenly became more aware of how one’s environment can limit the future that one aspires to.
Anyway, I digress. I heard about other people who had done it, and then I realized it was possible. So, I decided to explore.
I applied to many different places throughout my time at University, but I’ll focus on two companies: BofAML & GS. These two were investment banks with similar pipelines: Spring (2 weeks) → Summer (8–10 weeks) → Full-time. You keep progressing if you perform well and the ultimate goal is the full-time offer. Between 2016 and 2018, I applied to both at least 3 times each. Adding other applications, I submitted something between 50–100 applications.