Ex-Google employees, commonly known as ‘Xooglers’, are launching a brand-new virtual gap year programme called the Xoogler School.
Delivered alongside current global Google workers and representatives from industry juggernauts such as YouTube, Facebook and Amazon, the eight-week e-learning programme has been designed to support college-level juniors and seniors who are keen to pursue a career in technology, sales/marketing or engineering/product/design, and even those who aren’t yet sure of what profession they’d like to pursue.
On top of benefitting from invaluable networking opportunities, participants will form long-term mentorship relationships with sector professionals who will guide them through the next steps of their education and introduce them to working life. One of the most desirable USPs of the programme is that it instils a ‘Google mindset’ – a sought-after asset in the real world.
Commencing on 14 September and ending on 30 October, students will spend a minimum of three hours in structured workshops, mentor check-ins and industry discussions running from Monday–Friday. Through these informative sessions, learners will gain a better understanding of the industry from those who have experienced it first-hand, while talks with mentors will help aspiring professionals determine which roles best suit their interests and skills.
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Structured sessions – which include the likes of ‘Planning Your Career Journey’ and ‘What to Expect from your First Software Engineering Job’ – will run from 9am–6pm PT, with some exceptions. Students will be expected to spend a minimum of six hours per week outside of scheduled workshops to work through their own objectives and pursue independent projects. Applicants must be at least 18 years old to be eligible for the programme.
While the course is equivalent to a four-credit course at university level, Xooglers are unable to offer official college credit. Despite this, participation will be worthwhile simply to get a ‘foot in the door’ to some of the world’s most lucrative industries.
Sessions will be delivered in real-time over video, with most being recorded and also being accessible on-demand. While the speaker series and workshops are free of charge, the Xoogler School will also offer additional services which may be worth investing in later down the line.
“Although the additional services come with a fee, the school will offer need-based financial aid to eligible students,” said Christopher Fong, an ex-employee who worked at Google for eight years before founding the Xoogler School programme.
“With over 150 volunteer mentors, the programme can support about 500 students at present,” he explained.
Depending on interest, Fong says the gap year scheme has the potential to scale up by making use of Google’s 9,000-strong alumni network.
The application deadline is 4 September 2020, end of day PDT – click here to apply.