Computer Science Alumna on Career at Google and YouTube

Apurva Panse
Photo provided by Apurva Panse

Oct 7, 2020

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

After graduating from UCLA Samueli in 2018 with a degree in computer science, Apurva Panse joined Google as an associate product manager on ChromeOS. Today, she works at YouTube as a product manager on the “Responsibility” team. We caught up with Apurva to see how she’s doing. 

Q: What are you currently working on at YouTube?
A:
I am a product manager working on Responsibility efforts at YouTube. For the last few years, YouTube has been focusing on combating misinformation, and I work on interventions to raise authoritative information. 

Q: Tell us how you got started in your career after UCLA?
A:
I was an APM (associate product manager) intern at Google during the summer between my junior and senior year. After an awesome internship, I decided to go back to Google full-time after graduation.

Q: How are you coping with stay-at-home orders? Are you doing anything new or fun?
A:
I’m trying to keep busy with a bunch of different hobbies, and ways to relax after work. I used to take singing lessons in San Francisco, and I’ve continued those over Zoom. I’ve started reading more; I used to read a lot growing up, but I lost the habit when I came to UCLA. I like reading a mix of fiction, memories and policy-related books.

Q: Any UCLA classes or professors’ advice that helped you in your career?
A:
I actually really liked Engineering Ethics, although I know many students dread taking it. I think it’s really useful to remind students that there can be downfalls to innovation, especially if you’re not thinking about the potential negative ramifications to society, people, environment, etc. Often, I wrestle with similar ethical considerations in my work at YouTube.

Q: You were involved with Girls Who Code. Are you still part of the group? Or are there other activities you’re currently involved in?
A:
I don’t currently teach a Girls Who Code chapter, but I do keep in touch with my students. I love hearing about how they’re continuing their computer science journey, whether that’s through AP Computer Science or personal projects. Before quarantine, I started teaching a cooking class for middle school students. I was really excited to get back in the classroom, and hope I can restart once quarantine ends!

Q: Any advice for Bruin Engineers on how to launch a successful career?
A:
Think about the interdisciplinary nature of your major, and don’t constrain yourself to the box of what a typical engineering career looks like. Identify that interdisciplinary interest (for me it was law and policy) and find courses, or outside opportunities to delve into that space. 

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