Google Maps project helps junior find her way.

By Emily Harrison Weir

The work that Sarah Robinson ’17 is doing on Google Maps as a summer intern may soon help thousands of people find their way in the world. The experience is already helping the Mount Holyoke College junior to navigate her way from point A—college—to point B—career.

Robinson had the knowledge and computer science expertise to land a coveted paid software engineering internship at the computing powerhouse. She is working in the company’s Seattle office on the Google Maps native imagery team. Specifically, she is helping to add a feature to the StreetView function so Android phone users can access more panoramas on Google Maps.

"As a computer scientist, working at Google sharpens my programming skills," said Robinson. "More generally, I'm gaining industry experience, improving my ability to work with a team. Furthermore, Google offers returning internships and eases the process of converting from intern to a full-time employee."

At Mount Holyoke, Robinson has focused her studies on computer science and mathematics. During the academic year, she is a student programmer for the College’s website, and is web administrator for Bellatrix, a student organization for fans of anime, science fiction, and fantasy. She also is a mentor for a new program—called Megas and Gigas Educate—that pairs experienced computer science students (Gigas) with newer students (Megas) for social encouragement and networking.

Short-term work, long-term impact.

Although Robinson is only with the Google team for three months, the impact of her work is likely to be long-lasting.

"I've always wanted to work for Google," Robinson said. "As part of my internship, I'm expected to complete a feature that will, if all goes well, be available for everyone who uses Google Maps. So I'm still amazed not just that I'm working for a company that has such a big impact on the world, but that I can have one as well."

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