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GPA vs. Intangibles: What Really Matters

Is the common thought of needing a 4.0 grade point average to be hired at a top company true? At the WayUp Internship Google+ Hangout, we asked hiring managers from Google and Ashoka how much a GPA matters versus what really matters when applying to an internship.

GPA vs Intangibles: What really matters? Video Transcription


Nathan Parcells, CMO, Looksharp:

A student from UCLA named Jessica was wondering how much does GPA matter in the application process.


Cosmo Fujiyama, Search Team, Ashoka:

That’s interesting. Actually, interesting because I haven’t thought about that. I would rather look at the PSA instead of the GPA, which is the problem solving ability.

My new term for thinking about what’s relevant and what’s translatable because these metrics unfortunately don’t apply in real life, outside of the university system.


Jessica Safir, University Programs Coordinator, Google:

When you’re a student, that’s your full time job, is being a student, so we expect that you take academics seriously and that you’re doing well in your classes and one thing we do, you know, when you apply we ask that you upload your transcripts so we can see your grades so we do take it into consideration but it’s not sort of this end all be all.


Cosmo Fujiyama, Search Team, Ashoka:

Don’t worry about that C+ in Chemistry. Been there.


Jessica Safir, University Programs Coordinator, Google:

Because we don’t stop at your resume where it says education, and then stop looking.


Jeff Moore, Lead Engineering Recruiter, Google:

You know, if your resume is no internships, no external projects or interests, name, school, GPA, it’s going to be taken really seriously ’cause it’s all we’ve got. But if you’ve got this well-rounded background where you’re doing lots of different things and that’s gonna weigh more heavily than the GPA is. And so I think that’s a really important piece to it, as well.


Hayley Darden, Search Team Leader, Ashoka:

I think excellence is really important and if it doesn’t show up somewhere in your experience and on your resume as something that you value, you know, we notice that. We notice overall excellence. We notice caliber. We notice those things for sure. But I would also say that someone who’s been pursuing outside experiences has been involved and has clearly valued excellence and delivered at that kind you know, level consistently, that’s part of their narrative.

I wouldn’t be troubled by a lower GPA.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

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