When Max Nunes arrived at Google’s District headquarters for his second day on the political advertising team, he put on painting clothes and got to business.
By the end of the day, after painting a giant American flag across their office wall, Nunes and his teammates had sufficiently bonded with one another, ready for the summer ahead.
Nunes, a senior from Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., has spent the summer helping political campaigns use Google to communicate with voters this election season.
“We have people who really care and are really passionate about politics. Not only do you want Google to be used in the most effective way, but you want your client to win. It’s a cool hybrid of business and politics,” Nunes said.
As a political communications major, Nunes said his interest in technology’s role in politics began in the classroom. He knew then that it was a career path he needed to explore.
This summer, as a political advertising intern at Google, Nunes worked on a team that helps political campaigns and agencies best utilize the company’s products in their efforts.
“Our job is to sell Google and to help our clients use Google in the best way possible for them to get out their messages and reach voters in November,” he said. He added that, while Google supports clients across the political spectrum, he primarily works with progressive and Democratic candidates, campaigns and causes.
The most exciting part of his internship, he said, is the group of people he works with. His teammates all arrived at Google from political backgrounds and have a comprehensive knowledge of the unrelenting world of political campaigns. Having worked largely in Democratic politics, Nunes said his coworkers have exposed him to new perspectives.
“We sit in a room with a bunch of really passionate Republicans and really passionate Democrats. Combine that with everybody being really smart – we get into a lot of debates,” Nunes said.
As the election season ramps up, Nunes’ days at Google are growing longer. He will stay on through the fall and hopes to pursue a career in political technology.
“I definitely got the technology bug throughout the summer,” Nunes said.
On an average day, Nunes sits in an open room with his entire team – from the top account executives to his fellow interns – which he says cultivates an open and engaging corporate culture.
“Google is a place where change happens so quickly and things are always evolving and advancing,” Nunses said. “They want us to feel really open to asking questions.”
The stakes are even higher as the Nov. 6 election approaches.
“After Labor Day it will be really ramped up, and we’ll hit the ground running,” he said.
This article appeared in the August 23, 2012 issue of the Hatchet.