Anthony Morris graduated from UNSW in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) and Honours in Pure Mathematics. Having received the university medal in Pure Mathematics, he now holds a highly coveted position as a software engineer with Google.
Psychology student Samantha Tang asked Anthony a few questions about his time at UNSW and his job with the tech giant.
What is your most significant memory from your time at UNSW?
In my second year at UNSW, I went on a month long winter exchange to Singapore and Malaysia. It was an amazing experience with students from UNSW as well as universities from Canada and the UK. We did an intensive language course for the month, in addition to a week-long field trip to a tropical island off the Malaysian coast to study biodiversity.
Why did you choose to study Mathematics and what did you like most about it?
I always loved mathematics in high school and so it was a fairly obvious choice when I started university. I think it’s the abstractness of the subject as well as the beauty of the solutions to many problems.
How did you get your job at Google?
During the first semester of my honours year I applied online for a graduate role at Google. A few weeks later, I was called for a phone interview with an engineer from Mountain View, California, and then a few weeks after that I had an afternoon of on-site interviews at the Google Sydney office in Pyrmont. After that, it took about a month to go through the rest of the hiring process and I was lucky enough to receive an offer to start after I finished my Honours year.
Describe a typical day for you working in the Google office.
I am currently the Technical Lead on the Google Maps Android API. I spend most of my day designing and writing code. Often that involves discussions with the rest of my team and other teams about the overall design of the programs, as well as the details of specific parts. At a higher level, I am also involved in decisions about the medium to long-term plans for the product, as well as other related products.
What to you love most about your job?
I love that I get to solve hard problems and that those solutions affect a product that is used by millions of people. And the free food is pretty good as well!
If you had known then what you know now, you would have…
I wouldn’t have done anything differently because the path I took got me to where I am today.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m not one to plan so far ahead – I prefer to see where life takes me. But, that aside, I’d love to work overseas for a few years and I think I’ll still be with Google for a while – there’s just so much to do at the company and so many fun projects to work on!
What advice would you give to students wishing to pursue a similar career path?
Do what you love. It’s very cliché, but it’s served me well, and if you’re going to be doing it for 40+ hours every week, then you better enjoy it.