Computer Science Alumna on Career at Google and YouTube
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.