Lenoir student among Google's first official interns

Aug. 01, 2014 @ 05:57 AM

By the time Keith Miller graduated from West Caldwell High School and left Lenoir to begin studying computer science at Appalachian State University, Google's data center had already been operating for a few years, but he didn't think he'd ever have a shot at working there.

But this summer he has worked on a number of projects as an intern at the data center, including one automation project that he said should improve the quality of life for the permanent Google workers, and said he has had a "fantastic" time doing it.

"I never believed I would get even so much as an interview with Google," Miller said. "Google really is as awesome as everyone in the outside world believes it to be."

Miller is one of seven interns at the Lenoir data center this summer. Last summer the company had several Appalachian State students as interns, the first interns any Google data center ever hired, for roughly three months as part of a pilot program. That laid the groundwork for Google to roll out its first official internship program this year at Lenoir and two other facilities, hiring a total of 22 interns from across the country out of several hundred who applied.

The interns in Lenoir come from ASU, N.C. State University, the University of Maryland at College Park, the University of Texas at Austin and Washington University in St. Louis, and they include students from Switzerland, Nigeria and Nepal. They are getting hands-on experience in data center work, mentoring by Google employees and will develop some projects the students identify themselves, said Enoch Moeller, data center manager in Lenoir center.

Google is considering expanding the internship program next year, Moeller said. The program is an effort to scout talent.

“The other opportunity it creates is to seed these students to other areas within Google, after having had hands-on technical experience in our data center environments,” he said.

Miller said he hopes to be among the interns who return to work for Google after graduation.