You should expect no more than 8 hours of work on workdays. Unlike regular SWE interns and full-timers who are salary-based (fixed amount biweekly, regardless of hours of working), EP interns are wage-based (paid by hours at work, which is recommended to be 40 hours per week), although I am not sure if that is still the case for today. Notice that during the 8-hour daily work, you are not expected to code for 8 hours. As an intern, apart from completing your project, the priorities also include learning, career exploration and finding connections. Therefore, your calendar will be filled with tech talks, interview prep groups, intern work offsites, intern lunches etc., and you are encouraged in every possible way to attend them.
All the balance you want and need. They make it a point to make sure that you don't feel compelled to work overtime. There's no glory in busting your butt or coming in while sick or anything like that - they trust you to get the job done to a great standard, while staying sane. Of course, you have the people who want to and like to put in the extra work, but everyone's very conscious about their work-life balance.
Work-life balance is more of a personal choice. It depends a lot on what your goals are, how competitive your are, and how much of a workload you have. Usually, I tend to see younger employees staying at the company much longer than the older employees, who usually have a family of their own. But again, the work-life balance is something within your control. There are people who would spend over 10 or 12 hours at the company; but there are people who would only spend 6. At the end of the day, nobody cares how long you stay at the company; it's your work that matters. As an intern, I think you can expect to work a lot at Google; it's not uncommon to find some fellow interns or full time employees staying to work after dinner until 9 PM, but they could be an anomaly. However, besides work, there are chances for you to slip away or get distracted such as the internal memes page, the rec rooms, TGIFs -- Google's weekly company-wide meeting, the snack bars, or some other company activities such as weekly soccer, basketball, work out events, etc. Personally, I regret not doing more of those weekly activities. It's a perfect opportunity to meet new people and make friends over a common interest. At the end of the day, your project is important, but I think the connections you make and the network you build in and out of the company is just as important.
While Google is known for being super prestigious as an internship, the work-life balance is one of the best around. The MTV campus is beautiful and there's a myriad of things to do. Moreover, interns are *expected* to go to lots of intern events and your mentors will respect this. There's also a lot of really neat talks that happen often, and sometimes they're even interns only. That being said, there should be a healthy balance! Don't forgo work to go bowling with your friends, as tempting as it sounds.
Former Engineering Practicum Intern at Waze / Google
over 1 year ago
It really depends on your host and project difficulty. If you need to talk to your host a lot about what you’re doing, then you might want to be there when they’re there. Most of the engineers don’t come into work until 10 and leave at 4. If you’re an EP intern, you’re hourly so no matter what time you actually come in, you have 40 hours to complete that week. How you choose to split those hours is flexible depending on your host. I’d ask your host what time they want you there just to be safe. Other than that, it’s easy to lose track of time at Google and stay all day. There’s so many amenities to enjoy and some can be done on company time with your co workers and team. Once you’re a SWE intern, you have more flexibility because you’re now salaried. Really, just make sure your project is done and you’re regularly showing your hosts that you’re doing things. Do that, and they won’t care what you do cause you did your job. My past 2 internships with them have been super fun and I was never just working all the time. I got my job done and my hosts didn’t care what I did over at my desk or around the campuses.
Like most companies in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley they will do whatever it takes to get people to stay around. I was personally on a campus for about 13 hours a day. It sounds like a lot but I would get to work early and get a great breakfast, work, hang out with some other interns after, get dinner, and then go to any events that were happening. It is really up to you how much time you spend. They don't allow interns access to do work off campus so it forces you to disconnect and enjoy your time.
Google stresses that interns should not overwork themselves. Breaks were encouraged. Interns don't get access to work-related materials from home without supervisor approval, and the intern team encourages you to spend your free time enjoying yourself rather than working. I found the work-life balance last year to be really nice and the atmosphere was pretty relaxed.
I had a great work-life balance as an intern. I think most managers do not want their interns to work too hard. My podmate and I never worked more than 40 hours a week (and we both received return offers). Some interns find themselves working a bit longer at the end of the internship just because they wanted to finish their projects, but this was not my experience.
Being an intern is LIT! Google has a tech-intern team that organizes paid events and outings for you to get to know other interns. As an EP intern you have to log 8 hours a day, but realistically you're not working all 8 of those hours.