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Jamieson Kerns
Internship Leads to Life Online

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Jamieson Kerns

"Everything I work on is seen by 200 million people the day it is released, that is pretty cool."

Jamieson Kerns

A great location, paid time off to volunteer, engineering freedom, outstanding benefits and the opportunity to work on the fore front of the industry all sounds too good to be true but for Jamieson Kerns ’08 (computer science) this is his reality. Kerns, who interned with Google as a student at USD recently returned to campus to encourage students studying computer science and mathematics to seek opportunities with companies such as Google. From his experience, he says that “it is possible to use your degree to launch your career; you just have to make it happen. Jobs are hard to get, especially the good ones so you have to put in that extra effort.” More than half of USD students participate in an internship during their undergraduate education, making it a valuable experience that can lead to a post-college career.

Kerns joined Google’s YouTube division shortly after graduating from USD. More than a year later, he loves calling YouTube home. “Everything I work on is seen by 200 million people the day it is released, that is pretty cool.” It’s not hard to imagine how working at YouTube could be a great job. According to YouTube, hundreds of millions of videos are watched daily with 20 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube’s server every minute, making it the most popular and widely used online video site in the world. With this volume of online hits, work that Kerns completes is instantly viewable by people all over the world, giving him almost immediate feedback on his work.

Kerns works directly on the YouTube home page ads that receive roughly 40 million views per day. It’s a job that requires quick action and short deadlines. Most of the projects have same day deadlines, making for a quick paced work environment. The pace of the workplace keeps the computer engineers engaged and challenged. Additionally, weekly happy hours, volunteer activities and frequent practical jokes among employees and supervisors contribute to Google’s consistent ranking as one of the best companies to work for.

Kerns feels strongly that his internship at Google along with the rigorous courses and strong faculty support that he received throughout his education prepared him to compete successfully in a fast paced world. Lukasz Pruski, Ph.D., advised Kerns as an undergraduate and remembers him as a student that “thrived on difficult, atypical, one-of-a-kind problems. Jamie had a very rare ability of writing correct, efficient, and simple algorithms for solving complex programming problems.” These skills have proved useful during his career at Google and YouTube.

Kerns enjoys returning to campus to discuss potential career and internship opportunities with undergraduates in this growing and ever-changing field. He feels it is an important part of giving back to his alma mater.

-Lyndsey Scully

The student newspaper, The Vista, also reported on Kerns visit to campus. To read the student perspective please follow the full story link. (Full Story)