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Hello everyone, it's Sai Ashish Konchada back after a hiatus for good. The past few months have been a rollercoaster ride, a wave of happy hormones with nervous adventures. It gives me immense pleasure to announce that I've been selected as the first-ever Google Developer Student Clubs Lead at my college. In this post, we will be looking into the journey from the application to the selection.
1. What is Google Developer Student Clubs?
As per the official website, Google Developer Student Clubs are university-based community groups for students interested in Google developer technologies. Students from all undergraduate or graduate programs with an interest in growing as a developer are welcome. By joining a GDSC, students grow their knowledge in a peer-to-peer learning environment and build solutions for local businesses and their community.
Google Developer Student Clubs(GDSC) are like your college/ university clubs, powered by Google Developers. Every year, Google selects leads from across the globe who align with the vision of GDSC and want to empower their community. This year, there are around 352 leads selected across India. There are many first-time leads, as well as leads who continue the legacy initiated by the founder/former lead. It is not necessary if your college has an existing GDSC, then a lead will definitely be selected from your campus for the following year.
Who can become a Google Developer Student Club Lead?
As per the official website, these are the eligibility criteria to become a lead.
- Have a minimum of one year left until graduation
- Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a college or university
- Can commit to the program for one year
- Passionate about creating impact in the community
- Strong technical understanding of computer programming and/or software engineering
- Have experience with event planning or leading a team
- Have some connection to the local developer community
- Host an event ideally once a month, and at least every 3 months
2. What are the roles and responsibilities of a lead?
The 3 basic responsibilities of a lead include:
i. Starting/Growing a club
If you're the first-ever lead of a GDSC, you found and set up the club. For this, you might have to talk to your respective Teacher Incharge of such programs at your college, taking permission from the respective Head of Department and Principal for the same. This varies from college to college, so get in touch with a senior or teacher for the same. Being the Technical Head of my college I already was in touch with my respective HOD and Technical Incharge. I wrote a letter to them, explaining about GDSC, its benefits, the impact it creates, and permission for the same.
Once you get the approval, you have to find a Faculty Incharge and form your Core Team. Find a faculty in charge, who actively takes the initiative for promoting such activities in your college, manages any scheduling conflicts, and provides insights about the events you conduct, suggests improvements.
Forming the core team depends on you. You have the complete freedom to choose the number of members in your team, the hierarchy, and the domains you want to have. It is recommended to have 5 people in your core team as at the end of the year, Google sends 5 members(apart from the lead) the Graduation kit consisting of goodies. However, as mentioned earlier you can have more than 5 people and choose the top 5 people working diligently towards the club activities.
There are 2 widely followed approaches in forming the core team. The first one is the Interview process. You create an announcement, people apply for the respective roles, you shortlist, conduct interviews, and choose members. The other one is that if you already know the people in your college and see people fit for the role, you choose them. My suggestion is to choose people who possess not only strong technical knowledge but also the ability to deliver sessions, connect with people, solve their individual doubts, give creative ideas for the growth of the clubs. You can choose to add a set of Behavioral questions to test this aspect.
If you're the lead of an already existing GDSC, get in touch with your former lead, understand their vision, the events they've conducted, how they organized and dealt with various situations, how they can collaborate with existing GDSCs and other organizations, how to approach speakers and sponsorships for events, etc. Your lead is the best person you can find to elaborate in-depth about the program.
ii. Host Workshops
After forming the core team, you can kickstart your journey with the Orientation session. You'd be provided with a timeline of events conducted by Google. You can choose to conduct those events as well as events of your own. I'll be writing a separate blog on how to create, promote and conduct your GDSC events once you become a lead. This is one of the workshops we conducted, where we introduced students to open source, how to contribute to it, and get started with Github. You can find the recording of the workshop here.
iii. Build projects
In addition to hosting events and conducting hackathons, an integral part is the hands-on experience. GDSCs across the globe are known for creating impact among society. A GDSC should identify problems in their university or local community which could be solved via technology. One example to solving a university problem could be to build an online proctoring software, or automatic attendance system, or automation of daily tasks custom-built according to the needs of the university. Apart from these, GDSCs can host demo days, where they display the projects built by the teams of their club and also participate in the annual solution challenge. Read in-depth about this amazing global challenge here.
3. How can I apply to become a Google Developer Student Club Lead at my campus?
Applications to apply for becoming a lead, opens once every year depending on the region you belong from. You can view the timeline and apply to become a lead here.
4. The Google Developer Student Clubs Lead Application Form 2021
When you apply to become a lead, it redirects you to Advocu where you fill out your application to become a lead. You've to fill out your basic details, share links to your work and account on Facebook, Github, LinkedIn, Medium, Qwiklabs, Stack Overflow, Twitter, Portfolio, and website link(if any). I strongly recommend you to build a strong profile on these platforms and be actively engaging, sharing your knowledge with the community.
Then comes the 3 major questions:
What is your motivation to run a Google Developer Student Club at your College?
What is your experience in leading a project or a team
What technology do you find most interesting and why? What is your experience with this technology?
- Please tailor these questions according to your skills, experience, and expertise
- Don't take model answers or points from other applicants
- Be real
- Be unique
- Always proofread and use a Grammar tool, such as Grammarly
- Have keywords in your answers. If technology is asked, mention all the names of technologies you have working knowledge on
- Be active in leading clubs/communities from the very beginning. Experience proves your leadership, communication, and community building skills rather than plainly stating it
- Mention statistics where necessary. Example: In the Technical Carnival conducted in our college last year, we had a total of 600 active participants.
- As mentioned earlier, have a strong online presence and community contribution
Apart from this, you've to record a 90-second video and show us why you are the right person to be a GDSC Leader at your College
Choose the best points and practice beforehand. You don't need to have a professional mic, camera, or edit videos in order to get selected. Make sure you are perfectly audible and visible. You can also choose to display your points in a presentation but make sure you are visible in the video.
5. Timeline for GDSC Selection 2021 and the Interview Experience
I had applied to become a GDSC Lead on 20th April 2021, the deadline being 11th May, 2021. After applying, you get a mail with the subject, Thank you for applying [Developer Student Clubs Application Process - Sai Ashish Konchada]
If you get shortlisted among the application process, you get an email with the title, Next Steps [DSC Application Process - Sai Ashish Konchada]
I scheduled an interview call for May 18th. The interview lasted for 15 minutes. The interviewer was very friendly and created a friendly atmosphere by mentioning to treat it as a discussion rather than an interview. To the best of my memory, a few of the questions were to talk about myself, the GDSC program, my previous community experiences, my plans for GDSC. If any lead is reading this, I urge them to share their interview experience too.
On July 15, I received an email - [Google Developer Student Clubs] Congratulations!
And I got selected as the Google Developer Student Clubs Lead for my campus! As per the instructions, I acknowledged my confirmation and began laying the foundation of GDSC SLRTCE.
And that's a wrap! I hope this blog post finds an aspiring lead, answers his/her doubts, and gains insights about the Google Developer Student Clubs Program. If you've any queries, drop them down in the comment section below and I'll try to answer it as soon as I can. Until the next one, cheers to learning 🥂
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