Hills Students Visit Google


Warren Hills Computer Science students on the 14th floor balcony at Google, overlooking the New York City skyline. (Photo Courtesy of Mr. Daryl Detrick)

Elisha Stenger, Staff Reporter

In mid-March, computer science students had the opportunity to take a tour of the Google facility in New York City, as well as spend time with four special employees.

Those four special employees? All graduates of Warren Hills Regional High School. Software Engineers Brian Coopersmith, Aaron Kuderka, and Levi Schmidt, and Product Manager Adesola Sanusi provided students with a unique and invaluable experience.

Together with computer science teacher Daryl Detrick, the alumni were able to organize this trip.

“I stay in contact with a lot of my alumni, so I just asked them if there was a possibility for a trip,” said Detrick. “They’d actually mentioned it in the past, as a possibility, and this was a kind of first time I’d followed up on that.”

The alumni recognized Detrick, and his AP Computer Science course in particular, as one of the main ways that Warren Hills prepared them to work at Google.

“Mr Detrick definitely taught me how to go learn things on my own, which is super important for work in general, but even more so at Google, since we use so many cutting-edge tools and technologies that there aren’t books or lessons about,” said Kuderka.

Before explaining specific aspects of Google, the alumni led students through an icebreaker activity, in which each gave their personal reason for loving STEM.

Some discussed the broadness and opportunities inherent in the field:

“It’s used absolutely everywhere and I really like that,” said senior Emily Brundage. “Some people are like, ‘computer science is just for science,’ but it’s for art, it’s for business, it’s literally everywhere, so you can use it anywhere.”

And others explained how they love the satisfaction of solving a problem:

“I love figuring out a problem after weeks of not being able to figure it out and then you get it and you’re like, ‘Yess!’” said senior Emma Pinto.

While talking about Google, the alumni highlighted the internships available.

“Internships are great for gaining actual work experience, making your resume look better, as well as earning some money in college,” said Coopersmith. “If you do have a successful internship at Google, it makes the process of getting hired full time a lot simpler.”

They also took some time to answer questions from students. When asked about their favorite parts of working at Google, the alumni mentioned the pay, the fulfilling work, and the food, as items that drew them to Google, and enticed them to stay.

After lunch, the alumni led a tour of the building. The tour, as well as a short trip onto the 14th floor balcony, was a favorite among students.

“I liked walking around the facility and seeing how it functions and how they are incentivized to do things on their own,” said senior Jada Evans.

For the last several minutes with the alumni, students were given another chance to ask any and all questions about life at Google, which uncovered even more unique features.

“I think the most interesting thing was learning the ways that Google tries to foster the creative process,” said senior Jason Teets. “Like how they give people 20% of the time to work on their own projects, do their own thing.”

Students in Honors Advanced Topics in Computer Science also impressed the alumni with descriptions of projects they have created throughout the year.

Everyone was grateful for this amazing trip.

“I’m really thankful for the alumni for being willing to help out like that and give back to [email protected],” said Detrick. “I think we have some phenomenal students at Warren Hills that can do phenomenal things beyond Warren Hills.”