Tech Grad Niyibizi Interns at Google
Innocent Niyibizi, a 2016 Web & Computer Programming graduate of South Tech, recently visited his former classroom to mentor our current students and catch up with his instructor, Sheree Borcherding. He is currently studying Computer Science at Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) and completed an internship with Google in New York City this summer. We caught up with him just before finals and he graciously answered a few questions for us about his time at Tech, the internship, and what’s on his horizon.
Q: How did South Tech prepare you for your college studies?
A: South Tech prepared me for college by providing an environment that closely mimicked the average computer science classes at S&T. This environment consisted of a small lecture on a topic or concept at the beginning of the section and then multiple assignments to solidify our understanding of the material. Each assignment varied in difficulty but the ones that were really beneficial were the ones where you had to dig for the solution or a good starting point. Along with the classwork, my involvement in FBLA and SkillsUSA allowed me to use my knowledge on the material to practical use. Junior year involved making a couple of websites and senior year involved making a full desktop application with a plethora of features. All of this made the intro classes that much easier once I started school. Knowing 90% of the material that is being covered in class makes it pretty easy to excel in. (Editors note: Niyibizi also earned two certifications at Tech: 98-375: MTA: HTML5 Application Development and 98-361: MTA: Software Development Fundamentals.)
Q: How did you apply for and gain acceptance to the internship with Google?
A: I applied for the Google internship on their careers page. I knew about their internships after they came to the fall career fair and I spoke with a Googler who was an alumn from S&T. The internship I applied for was a more entry level one for students in their first and second year of college so it was the perfect fit since I was just starting my second year. The application was easy but the one thing that they value the most are students that are driven to learn and better themselves in the field. I was accepted due to my involvement in college as well as my involvement in activities at South Tech.
Q: Tell us about your experiences at Google!
A: My time at Google can be described in one word, WOW! Google had always been my dream company ever since I started using their services and getting into the ecosystem so getting an internship was life-changing. During my time there, I was matched with a team in their New York office. My team was a subteam of Google Maps. I was paired with one other intern to create the groundwork for a structured logging system that will be used across all of Google Maps. The ability to work alongside friendly and knowledgeable engineers really helped me solidify my passion for the field. I was treated like a full-time engineer and got to experience Google and New York as full as possible.
Q: What are some of your fondest memories at South Tech?
A: There are too many great memories that I created while at South Tech but the one that really sticks out is my time spent at SkillsUSA and FBLA competitions. These conferences were a great way to meet new people, both from South Tech as well as other schools. The people at these conferences were as passionate, if not more passionate, than me in their respective fields and that type of energy is intoxicating and makes you want to work harder.
Q: What are your plans after you graduate from college?
A: I am estimated to graduate by December 2020 and I should be able to start working fulltime by January or May of 2021. The plan is to get a full-time Software Engineering position at Google, Microsoft, or Facebook.