San Francisco Advantage

Students Find Out What It’s Like to Work at Google and NetApp

by Mary McInerney, USF News

Google headquarters is just 40 miles from USF’s campus, and Cyrus Ahanin ’24 wasn’t going to pass up a chance to visit and learn about working there.

“It was really cool to see Google,” Ahanin, a communication studies major, said. “We got a tour of their entire campus and met some USF alumni who are working there. We got to see how they went from being in my shoes to being at this big worldwide company.”

Ahanin was one of 15 undergraduates on a career trek this semester to Silicon Valley to tour Google and NetApp, a San Jose-based company that provides data storage, data services, and cloud operations.

The students toured the offices, sat in on panel discussions, and took part in Q&As. At Google, three alumni — Thomas Oropeza ’18, Alyssa Pohahau ’14, and David Tognotti ’91, JD ’96 — joined the discussion.

“It’s really important to picture yourself there,” Ahanin said. “It’s so helpful to see the environment and to be able to talk with employees.”

Google is the employer most requested by students from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Management as they seek job information, said Alex Hochman, senior director of the Career Services Center.

Jeremiah Brown ’25, a computer science major, is interested in cybersecurity and hopes to work for an infrastructure company like NetApp.

“I love how open NetApp was,” Brown said. “The employees talked about switching careers multiple times. They talked about burnout and gave tips on how to get past the burnout.”

Brown asked NetApp employees lots of questions. “They were genuinely interested in answering any questions we had. They were interested in advancing our age group and wanted to know what we were looking for in a job.”