Author Archives: Jessica Berko

Google Top Black Talent programme – my experience


If you don’t know your value, how can we know why we should hire you?”(Google)

 “Let people always reflect back to you who you are and what you have to offer.” (John Amaechi)

This is what stood out to me during the two days in London where I had the privilege to be selected to attend to Google Top Black Talent programme. These two days were not only meant for young students to learn about Google work opportunities and how to secure an interview with them, but they were set for us to channel our inner creativity, to discover our value and what we can offer to this world as upcoming young visionaries.

The highlight of the first day at Google office is John Amaechi, Organisational Psychologist and New York Times Bestselling author. John is a motivational speaker and this was a good start for me, as I thought I didn’t deserve to be among young talented students and entrepreneurs in Google London office. From thousands of applicants, only 57 were selected, of which only 25 undergraduate students. It was a great opportunity for me to learn about the importance of breaking stereotypes that conform black people, I realised the value I was carrying and being proud of my own achievements shouldn’t be seen as arrogance. John shared with us his experience of being a young black man with a very impressive structure: people used not to acknowledge his success and just rest on the fact that he’s tall and black, hence a threat and not schooled.

People will laugh at you when you try hard. Do Not stop. The truth is, your drive and your success show their lack of ambition”. (John Amaechi)

Further to this enlightenment with Mr Amaechi, we all had the chance to participate to a Q&A with one of Google intern’s, a Google Digital Marketing expert and one of last year Top Black Talent participant who is now a full-time googler. They gave me valuable information on how their internships roles work and the opportunity to have a mentor that will assist you during the entire internship.

The second day, which was the last day of my experience in Google office, was the most productive as the organisers made each of us stepped out of our comfort zone and took part in a CV and Interview workshop. Here, I was able to ask questions on how to produce the best version of my CV and have a one to one on: “Why should Google hire you?” The recruiters provided in-depth feedback to each participant and their availability was more than expected; after this session I asked a recruiter to give me more detailed explanations and more feedback on the contents on my CV, which he provided although the session was over and everyone was having a break and networking.

This experience has been the most fruitful and stimulating ever, I’m grateful to all the organisers of Google Top Black Talent for setting up this program to represent youths with underrepresented ethnic backgrounds. Google believes in diversity and that each of us has the ability to be who we want to be: we have to believe in ourselves, discover who we are and grab each opportunity that is given to us.

When Opportunity and Preparation meet, an explosion of dreams come to life and everything begins to have a shape and a name.” Jessica Berko, BSc (Hons) Marketing (with placement year).