This article has made major ripples in the hiring waters recently because Google has stated that GPAs and test scores are “worthless” and that the proportion of people without college degrees working at Google has increased over time.
What should you be taking from this as a high school student about to head to the college level?
1. Take Initiative
One of the biggest criticisms of the Millennial generation is that they always need to be told what to do and how to do it. You will absolutely set yourself apart if you specialize in getting things done. This means that you don’t fear doing things incorrectly and that you’re willing to put yourself out there. The head basketball coach at Marquette, Buzz Williams, said in an interview that he sent hundreds of hand-written letters to coaches around the country before being offered his first position. What will you do that your peers are too scared, lazy, or unprepared to do to get what you desire?
2. Be Willing to Learn
Recognize that you don’t know everything. Some of the most innovative products have come from asking seemingly stupid questions. When you think you’ve learned everything you can, then you start placing blame on those around you when things go wrong. Always be ready to take feedback and improve. The article calls this “Intellectual humility.”
3. Gain Experience
As the relevance of test scores and GPAs decreases, it will be increasingly important that you prove yourself in your field. Get internships or jobs that relate to your area of study, volunteer, network, etc. As a Freshman in college, business professionals will be impressed if you try to set up a lunch meeting simply to pick their brain (this goes back to taking initiative). The more experience you have working on teams, learning from different environments, and excelling at various levels, the more willing a company like Google will be to give you a shot.
At the end of the day, I don’t work at Google, and I can’t give you a perfect blueprint for being hired there. I can, however, promise you that doing the three things above will put you in a better position to get a great job or start your own company after college. Good luck!