- Google has withdrawn internship offers to students currently studying in Russia.
- Khaled Mohamed, an Egyptian national, said losing his internship at Google was “heartbreaking.”
- A Google spokesperson told Insider it had made “difficult decisions in unprecedented circumstances.”
Google is withdrawing job offers from successful candidates with Russian addresses, citing security concerns and sanctions.
Like other major corporations, Google has implemented a string of punitive measures against Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine, including halting ads sales and imposing a ban on new Google Cloud customers in the country.
Two students currently studying in Russia went public last week with claims that their internship offers at the company had been rescinded because they are currently studying at a Russian university.
In a Linkedin post shared on Friday, Egyptian national Khaled Mohamed said he had accepted an offer to work as an intern at Google’s office in Zurich, Switzerland, in February, and was due to start later this year.
Syrian native Mahmood Darwish, a fellow computer science student at Russia’s Innopolis University, had also signed a contract to start an internship at Google’s office in Munich, Germany.
Both told Insider that Google had contacted them last week to say their internship offers had been rescinded. They said Google had pointed to their use of Russian dorm addresses on their applications.
Writing on Linkedin, Mohamed said he had provided Google with his university address for onboarding purposes, and because he assumed that was where Google might send any work devices before he arranged a visa to move to Switzerland.
“It’s heartbreaking to say the least,” he wrote. “As someone who always wanted to join Google, being denied the opportunity for no fault of mine leaves me feeling hopeless and extremely disappointing.”
He added: “I never saw this coming, especially not from Google … We did nothing wrong.”
At the time of writing, Mohamed’s Linkedin post had received over 9,000 reactions and hundreds of comments, including from current Googler Anton Polyakov, a Vancouver-based senior engineering manager at the company, who wrote: “This is not okay. Sorry for this to happen. I will try to follow up internally.”
Speaking to Insider, classmate Darwish said: “I understand these sanctions are going to make things hard for Google right now, so I can see why they would stop applications for interns right now.
“But I thought they would at least work with us, or give us some room for workarounds, rather than a blanket rejection.”
A Google spokesperson confirmed the withdrawals to Insider, adding that the firm had been forced to make “very difficult decisions in unprecedented circumstances, based on security considerations and legal sanctions requirements.”
“We hope to provide opportunities to interns where and when these issues are resolved,” they said.
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