The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Gunn alumnus Stanley Zhong learns the ropes at Google

Photo+courtesy+of+Stanley+Zhong
Photo courtesy of Stanley Zhong

A morning of writing code and collaborating in meetings, followed by lunch with coworkers and  — on special occasions — a game of ultimate frisbee: This is what a typical morning looks like for 18-year-old Gunn graduate Stanley Zhong, who now works as a full-time software engineer at Google.

Zhong made headlines in October, when he was hired by Google after having been rejected from 16 of the 18 colleges he applied to.  Now, he works on Google’s Cloud Sales team, helping build software for salespeople.

Zhong attributes his success to his strong work ethic. He didn’t expect to get hired, but was ecstatic when he found out.

“I was pretty surprised,” Zhong said. “I didn’t go into the (interview) thinking it would happen. When I started out, I thought it was something (I would) try, and if it goes well, that’s great. If it doesn’t, I got some good interview practice out of it. When I was (accepted), I was really happy, my family was really happy.”

The interviews consisted of an online screening in which  Zhong answered technical software-engineering questions and a behavioral interview. 

“Google has a concept called ‘Googliness,’ the idea being how well you uphold the company’s values,” he said. “It basically comes down to whether you are a jerk or not.” 

Zhong’s multiple rejections soured his views on applications and acceptances. Working at Google boosted his confidence, however, reinforcing his interest in computer science and  jump-starting his career.

“For computer science particularly, you can pick up more working and doing hands-on things at a company like Google or at a startup than you could at college,” Zhong said. 

Thus, he decided to take a gap year before enrolling in the  University of Texas at Austin to focus on his future at Google. Google’s welcoming environment made the transition from high school comfortable. 

“Google doesn’t expect you to know everything right off the bat, and that’s why there is this boarding period where you have that grace (period) to just learn things,” Zhong said. 

Still, Zhong’s lack of work experience has proved a challenge: Most of his co-workers have had industry experience already.

“That is something where I do need to pay a little more attention to, just because I don’t have all of that knowledge yet,” he said.

His age hasn’t had a negative effect on his work life at Google, though. According to Zhong, most of the employees have been friendly

“Nobody is biased or acts differently towards me,” he said. “Everyone is really supportive.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Oracle
$250
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Henry M. Gunn High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
About the Contributor
Claire Jittipun, Reporter
Sophomore Clair Jittipun is a reporter for The Oracle. In her free time, she likes to listen to music.
Donate to The Oracle
$250
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Oracle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *