Iván De Ramón, a young student at the University of Manchester, has a braveheart story. The full-time physics student at the University of Manchester and part-time product management intern at Nova, a Spanish startup that is changing the way traditional recruitment works, took the initiative to apply to his dream company—Google.
And in order to do so, he stood outside Google’s office looking for an internship. To explain what he was trying to do, he prepared a tailored resume with Google’s colors and fonts on one side and his favorite quote on the other: “You aren’t tired, you’re uninspired!”
I interviewed Iván for the Planet, and during the interview, he told me about his current job and how he came up with the idea to pitch himself for the internship.
“I have been working in different jobs since an early age, I started doing some acting, selling hoodies, working as a waiter, lifeguard and more,” De Ramón said. “In my current job [as a] part time production management intern at Nova, I have been since November, I had a friend who did something similar. He stood in Liverpool Street for a day trying to get an internship and he got it so I thought I’d try with my dream company.”
Before embarking on this adventure, De Ramón sought advice from some friends and industry insiders, including some Google employees, who all told him he was insane and that Google would simply ignore him.
“That is not how you get an internship with them,” they would say.
However, passion brings out the brave. And if people are truly willing to do something in public that may affect their image in the future, they must truly believe in it. As a result, our next question was obvious.
“Apart from being a referent in terms of innovation and their products that are used by everyone in the world, I like their culture,” De Ramón said. “They take care of their employees and put efforts into making them enjoy their work and have a good career progression. They are cool people!”
De Ramón said his friends are always very supportive.
“When I first told them I was taking a train at 5:00 am to go to London, they told me I was crazy,” De Ramón said. “When I came back from London, I went straight away into my friend’s house and they applauded me and congratulated me on my adventure. I’m very lucky to have such an amazing group of friends.”
As someone intending to augment a career in journalism with a career in Chartered Accountancy, hearing this meant a lot to me because the world doesn’t matter, but if our friends are with us, the strength to fight back increases enormously. I’ve been fortunate to have people around me who are enthusiastic about my passion. They inspire me to believe in myself even when I don’t.
The adventure was truly remarkable. Iván discusses his experience on Linked-In while sharing his story.
“I arrived at their office at 7:50, and at 7:52 the first person approached me and told me I was not allowed to be there, and that I should leave,” De Ramón said. “He was the security manager of the building. I had to move and stand 25 meters away from the office, decreasing my chances of identifying Googlers and talking to them.”
After standing there for a few hours De Ramón decided to ask the security manager if he could pass his details to a recruiter in the building.
“He said no, and he and three other security people in the area took a look at my CV and started laughing at me,” De Ramón said. “They said that Google would put my application straight in the bin and that I looked too childish among other things.”
Fortunately, the situation would change rapidly.
“Something felt odd, so I spoke with the security manager of the area, who told me I was allowed to be in front of their office, apologised for what the other security people told me, and invited me to stay there for as long as I wanted,” De Ramón said. “So I remained there, now motivated by the negative comments and with the biggest smile possible on my face. Many Google workers ended up approaching me and they were all so nice! I received advice on my CV and most importantly, I received an email from one of the recruiters offering me to start the selection process! I was so happy, and everything clicked in my head. It wasn’t a bad strategy at all, I just had to trust my intuition.”
It is difficult to deal with negativity. Some people become demotivated, while others, like Iván, see it as a challenge. We ended our interview by asking him how he would have dealt with this if his surroundings had not been supportive, to which he replied:
“The most important, and most difficult step is the first one. Once you have started the movement, you have no choice but to continue. If the surrounding is not very supportive you will most likely feel frustrated so my advice is to transform that frustration into energy to go forward”
Iván later updated, thanking everyone for their support and stating that the summer internships were now closed and that he would most likely begin interviews for the role the following year.
I’m still surprised at how many people thought he should take the conventional path. However, based on his skills, he is qualified to work in sales or product development. He is able to demonstrate his passion and out-of-the-box thinking from the start with such a creative pitch.
Andrew Crawley, an EMEA Enterprise Sales representative at Google, responded to Iván’s post, saying,
“I was in the office you were standing outside of, and a colleague told me in the lift that he’d met you. I was disappointed that I missed you, as I came outside to see if you were still there and to commend your initiative and bravery but I think you had switched to our King’s Cross site,” De Ramón said.
De Ramón said that it’s important that there is a “fair and equitable process for candidates to go through.”
“But I think it’s incredibly courageous of you to have the desire, ambition and tenacity to put yourself out there in the way that you did, and continue even in the face of being challenged (the security guards asking you to leave). One thing I love about working at Google is that people wanted to come and speak to you, they were talking about you on our internal chat groups and the colleague I met in the lift gave you some guidance and connected with you on Instagram.”
Some people who were now inspired by his brave act responded by saying that if a CV and cover letter with proper documentation and conversation with existing people at the company does not work out, and if the graduates must shoot their shot this way, so be it!
Personally, I find it motivating. Even if we lack experience, we must take the risk and persuade the other person that we are indeed passionate about it. That’s what they’re looking for as well. Because skills can be taught, but passion must come from within. And who wouldn’t want a dedicated employee on their team? Passion propels creativity and visions forward.
“Taking that train at 5:00 am was one of the best decisions I made in a long time. Not only did I achieve my main goal, but also I could speak to some amazing people who gave me priceless advice. Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by and wished me luck, congratulated me, gave me some advice on my CV and helped me get in contact with a recruiter. Yesterday is truly a day I won’t forget. Don’t be afraid to do things differently, trust your intuition, and things will eventually work out,” De Ramón said.