Google searches for future employees at ECU

Justin Harrison, a technical program manager at Google, greets students during a Google Information Session and Luncheon Wednesday at the Main Campus Student Center at East Carolina University. (Photos by Ken Buday)

East Carolina University students looking for a career simply need to search Google.

The technology company arrived on campus Wednesday for two days of events that began with an information session and luncheon at the Main Campus Student Center.

ECU student organizations such as Women in Computer Science (WiCS), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) helped organize Google’s visit to ECU, its first visit to campus for such an event.

“We want to meet students interested in careers in engineering and interested in careers at Google,” said Justin Harrison, a technical program manager at Google.

Harrison said that Google has jobs and internships available as the company continues to grow its more than 90,000-person workforce. The company has an engineering office in Chapel Hill, other offices in Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte, and a data center in Lenoir. But Google also has offices throughout the world in places such as Tokyo and London, just to name a few.

Keith Parker, a program manager with Google, tosses a prize to a student.

Harrison mentioned that he had applied several times for positions at Google before he was hired, saying he was initially rejected until gaining work experience.

“It’s not a ‘no.’ It’s a ‘not right now,’” he said of his job search with Google.

Harrison, along with fellow Google presenters Keith Parker and Patrick Reynolds, all pointed out their varied work experiences before getting on with Google. That stuck with ECU student Lilah El-Halabi.

“I think the whole process of going from undergrad to going to Google has been a helpful thing for everyone,” El-Halabi said. “They talked about failing. They talked about going back and forth between other careers before settling at Google and really enjoying it. It just shows the path of stopping and then succeeding, to keep on going.”

Justin Harrison, a technical program manager at Google, talks to students.

El-Halabi is the co-president of ECU’s WiCS chapter and said Google’s visit is similar to other larger companies that have come to campus.

“I think everyone is excited because it’s Google,” El-Halabi said. “We have a big interest in bigger companies just to get our foot in the door.”

Beyond the luncheon, Google has scheduled resume building opportunities for students on Thursday as well as a tech challenge event on Thursday night.

Students interested in careers at Google can visit

– By Ken Buday, University Communications