Author Archives: Jessie Linn

Why Monica Gómez left her role as a CEO to work at Google

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Monica Gómez, who left a very comfortable job as CEO of one of the world’s leading media agencies to take a risk and pursue a dream of working at Google in a role that directly impacts the development of Colombia and the Central America Region.

How would you describe your role at Google? 

As a Head of Agencies, I work with outside partners and ad agencies in the region to develop business models based on the newest data and technology. I am also an activist in the search for female inclusion and empowerment in the digital industry.

Can you tell us a bit about your early studies and career? 

I grew up in a small city in Colombia, in a huge family. (I have 20 uncles!) In our country, education is a privilege, it is not a right, and that made my parents work hard to give me the opportunity to go to a university. I actually started my studies in optometry, but in the second semester I got pregnant and had to leave the university to take charge of a new life with my daughter. This both rescued me and gave me a new purpose.

I worked during the day, and at night I began my studies in marketing and advertising. My professional career started at the bottom, making phone calls, filling in database fields and doing basically what no one else wanted to do. My passion and determination were the keys to quickly scale up and become CEO of one of the world's leading media agencies.

In parallel, my daughter and I decided to start a new family — so today, my husband, my two daughters and I are indestructible.

What made you decide to apply to Google?

I attended a wedding and there, after dancing all night, a good friend who worked at Google told me about an opportunity that would open up soon at the company that she thought would be perfect for me.

My first reaction was an immediate, "No thanks. This position is not for me, it is for someone younger." It's amazing how your biases from the past come to your mind and sabotage you to the point of taking away great opportunities. At the time, in my 40s and in a comfortable place as an agency CEO, I was scared. I was happy at my job and competing with new talent in the industry to show that I was the best candidate terrified me. 

After three weeks of introspection I realized I wanted to participate in the process, and that I was ready to face my insecurities and go full energy for my dream: work at Google.

Monica smiling in front of a large Android statue.

How would you describe your path to your current role at Google? 

My experience in the advertising ecosystem in Colombia was vital for my participation in the selection process. Knowing the advertising ecosystem and having worked in different roles in agencies and as a client made the difference.

What inspires you to come in (or log on) every day? 

I never thought that I would experience a disruption as big as COVID-19. Overnight the consumption habits of people around the world changed, and the reacting capacities of all of us in the industry were put to the test. The pandemic dramatically challenged our agility, commitment, consistency and leadership to make decisions in a context where there are no instruction manuals.

For that reason, it motivates me to encourage my partners to build strategies that accelerate the business of the brands they represent and contribute to the development of our country.

I also find happiness in helping my team achieve personal fulfillment. I’m a facilitator for I am Remarkable, where I help other women recognize and celebrate their accomplishments. It is a way to return what I have received from Google

What's one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying?

You don't have to worry about explaining the reasons why you want to change jobs, or justifying your work decisions in the past.

“No salgas antes de entrar,” Do not leave before entering — great words from Adri Noreña. 

Lessons from an MBA intern turned full-time Googler

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Nikhil Nerkar, who started at Google as an MBA intern and eventually found a home and passion on the YouTube Creator and Artist Development team in Mumbai.

What’s your role at Google?

YouTube has millions of creators, and it’s a number that will keep on increasing in the coming years. As a strategic partner manager, I work directly with emerging creators to ensure that they achieve success on the platform and have a great experience. We help the creators build their channels, grow their audiences and turbocharge their reach through the platform.

Nikhil wearing a Noogler hat sitting in front of a wall made of legos.

Noogler onboarding in Singapore, April 2019.

What inspires you to come in (or log on) every day?

I get to interact with creators from different walks of life. I connect with people ranging from regional creators to celebrities, making my day creatively fulfilling. I serve as a trusted advisor for the creators, providing them with lessons learned from their data,  ensuring they are positioned for success. 

Also, I can bring my whole self to work because Google encourages an extremely collaborative, humble and positive culture. Google creates opportunities for everyone to grow professionally as well as personally. It is empowering to work for Google because the company puts its people first. 

Can you tell us about your decision to apply to Google?

I was drawn to the focus Google puts on creating a positive and trustworthy user experience. On top of that, there was a lot of buzz on my campus about the roles offered for MBA interns, and that was all the push I needed to enter the process.

Nikhil with a group of interns outdoors.

A Team-building activity for all India interns from four locations was conducted in Hyderabad in May 2018.

How did the recruitment process go for you?

Well, there are three parts to this story.  

I had initially applied to Google as an MBA intern. The interview questions were open-ended, and I remember being on my toes throughout the entirety of the interview. 

I joined as an MBA intern in the Trust and Safety Cloud Ops team at the Hyderabad office. At the end of my internship, I had an opportunity to present my findings to the director of Trust and Safety, and executives from the Cloud operations team. I expressed interest to return as a full-time employee, and my recruiter was able to tell me I had an offer in-person on my university campus. It was a great surprise! 

I was a part of the Trust and Safety team for 18 months, and then there was an opening for a Strategic Partner Manager at YouTube. Google has always encouraged internal mobility and after multiple career development conversations with my manager, I decided to apply for this role. After multiple rounds of interviews, I was offered this position. It has been a fulfilling experience for the past four months. 

Nikhil standing indoors in front of a Google sign.

Visiting fellow interns at Mumbai office in May 2018.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the application process? 

I wish I would have known how friendly and approachable the Google recruiters and the interviewer team would be throughout the process. They don’t expect you to solve everything in your first attempt, as most of the questions are open-ended. 

It's helpful to know that engaging with the interviewer, asking follow up questions, taking some time to gather your thoughts and communicating with a structured problem-solving process will help you reach a better solution. 

What resources did you use to prepare for the interview?

For preparation, I referred to Google's certification courses like Skillshop and Digital Garage. The roles, responsibilities and expectations related to the position are clearly highlighted in the job description. Another good point of reference would be the YouTube playlist called Preparing to Apply or Interview at Google. This playlist gives an overview of the hiring process and offers tips from recruiters.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Embrace your strengths, and don’t be intimidated to apply.

Why Rob Tate moved from print to digital ad sales

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Rob Tate, a senior account manager for digital ad sales based in New York. Rob shares his experience joining Google mid-career and how he was able to translate his “traditional” sales background in print marketing and retail to a role in digital ad sales. Rob now works helping small businesses shift their focus to e-commerce — something that’s become especially prominent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can you talk us through your role at Google?

As an account manager for digital ad sales, I work mainly with web hosting and email marketing companies to manage their digital advertising campaigns across Google Ads platforms. A cool project I’m working on at the moment is brand expansion through Video Ads Sequencing on YouTube. It’s exciting to work with companies who really want to transform their brand story and see YouTube as a valuable piece of the puzzle.

What were you up to before joining Google?

I grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  Even in my younger years, I had an interest in STEM, being a part of a science and technology program in high school where I studied architectural engineering. After graduating from North Carolina A&T State University with a bachelor's degree in business management, I worked in the federal government for a few years, where I completed the USPS Management Foundations program with a focus on product innovation and brand marketing. While I was working there, I was also a graduate student at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), where I earned my MBA. 

Outside of work, what do you like to do?

I am a small business owner and run a graphic design consulting company that helps other small and medium-sized businesses build their brands online. My other passions are photography, traveling,  trying out new restaurants, writing, collecting all types of art from Black artists and spending time with my friends and family.

Can you tell us about your decision to apply to Google? 

I was always interested in Google! I applied to roles for years with no success, and finally got into the recruitment process a few years ago. I was mid-level in my career, having five years of work experience when I started the recruitment process. With a more traditional sales background working with print marketing campaigns and retail sales, I knew that my work experience along with my personal experience as a small business owner would help me in my new role, but I was still nervous.

Rob outdoors on a red, yellow, blue, and green “Google bike” in front of the large Google sign at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.

What inspires you to come in (or log on) every day?

Knowing that the work I’m doing is helping people. It’s not just advertising and marketing: We partner with our clients to build user-centric strategies that help their businesses grow. During the pandemic, so many small businesses have shifted their focus to e-commerce and websites instead of physical locations. We’ve been able to be a big part of those companies shifting their strategies to meet their customers’ needs, even from home.

How did the application and interview process go for you? 

The recruitment process started with me being contacted via LinkedIn by a Google recruiter. I had a bunch of interviews over the course of a few months, and I wasn’t used to that. I felt like Google was a whole new world, but my recruiter did a great job of providing helpful resources to make me feel comfortable during the process. 

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?

I did a bunch of research on the role I was interviewing for — pulling information directly from the job description. I used the How We Hire section on Google’s career site and tips about interviewing with Google to decide what parts of my experience to focus on during interviews. 

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Show your willingness to think outside of the box. It sounds cliché, I know, but the way you think can take you far. That expertise that you may not think applies to the role you want at Google may be exactly what gets you the job! Be confident and show your personality — share how the things you do outside of work may help you in the workplace. The small details make a difference and tell your story.

How Emily Garcia found her dream job in consumer hardware

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Emily Garcia, head of Supply and Demand Management for our Pixel products. Emily shares her experience finding her dream role in Consumer Hardware at Google — a role she didn’t know existed until she applied. 

What’s your role at Google?

I am the head of Supply and Demand Management for our Pixel  products in the Devices and Services Business where I manage an amazing team of global planners. Our job can be super challenging—constantly flexing between dynamic market changes and supply chain obstacles. But there’s nothing more exciting than seeing your product “on shelf.” It’s truly a dream job for me.

What steps did you take that led you to the hardware field?

I grew up in Lima, Peru as the youngest child of three girls. Growing up, I had no clue what I wanted to do, but tech and telecommunications has always been super exciting to me. In college,  I decided to get a degree in Industrial Engineering because I thought it would give me the most options when I started looking for a career.

I moved to the U.S. at 18 to get my Bachelors degree at the University of Michigan — which is where I also experienced what a real winter is like. I was very fortunate to find an amazing support structure in Michigan; I joined student groups such as SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) and SWE (Society of Women Engineers) which gave me access to industry leaders, recruiters, career fairs and student resources. This helped me find internships (six of them!), secure a GEM Fellowship and get my Masters degree entirely funded.

Emily sitting outside with her dog.

Emily and her dog, Milu, working from home.

What inspires you to come in (or log on) every day? 

Working within Devices and Services at Google is an incredible experience. We have tons of opportunities to improve the supply chain, get creative on how to best serve our customers and get to support very innovative products. Coming to work (or logging on) knowing that there will be a new challenge every day is super rewarding. And being surrounded by such ambitious, creative and kind people creates the perfect environment to thrive.

What was the application and interview process like? 

Visiting the Google campus for my onsite interviews was a really enjoyable experience for me—all the interviews felt really comfortable. I gained perspective from every interviewer and I didn’t feel the nervousness or stress that I usually feel at interviews.

By the time offer discussions came in, I was doing a month-long volunteer project in a rather rural part of South Africa. My recruiter and future manager held late night phone calls with me over a spotty phone connection to discuss details and help plan my move.

What's one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying?

I was super grateful that I was warned in advance how lengthy the process could be, so I took everything in stride. I didn’t have any expectations and was just grateful to continue going through the process.

Emily standing next to a large Android statue with a Noogler hat.

Emily at her 'Noogler' orientation.

What resources did you use to prepare for your interview or role?

Before interviewing, I consulted with current and former Google employees to really understand the culture, values and their experience. I read a lot! Mostly online, reading about how the company positions itself and the various things Google is involved in. 

Preparing for my role was an entirely different process—I was stepping into a role I had done before but with a very different set of circumstances. Here, I met with peers and stakeholders, understanding the current challenges, capabilities and opportunities. I even revisited some of my old textbooks to refresh my core knowledge of this work. 

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Your experience, your background and point of view are priceless. Be yourself, ask tons of questions and don’t give up.

From interviewing to starting at Google, all virtually

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Krithika Ramanarayanan, head of business insights for online partners. Krithika’s experience with Google has been completely virtual, as she only joined the company six months ago. She shares what it’s been like to interview and start at Google during a pandemic and how she’s gotten to know her team and Google’s culture, all without stepping foot into an office. 

What’s your role at Google?

I am head of business insights for the Online Partnerships Group (OPG) based in Dublin, Ireland. I lead the core analyst team which supports data-driven business decisions and market trend investigations. We work with sales, product and leadership teams to help online publishers grow their businesses and in turn achieve our vision—fund the world's information by enabling content creators. 

What inspires you to come in (virtually) every day?

It’s been six months since I joined Google. Initially it was unusual not meeting people, and having a 2-year-old at home meant joining a lot of introduction calls with him running around in the background. But the virtual onboarding process for Google was structured in a way that made me feel supported during my journey as a “Noogler.”

The best advice I got from my manager at that time was to get to know the products and the business whenever there were opportunities to do so. That helped me to hit the ground running once I started working with the team on projects. I’m curious by nature and learning something new every day about OPG or in the wider Google community keeps me motivated. 

I am also a data geek. I enjoy the challenge of translating analysis into actions for the business. As we often say in the PI team, the best analysts are masters at bridging the gap from numbers to actions and making it understandable.

Set of four photos of Krithika, her husband, and their toddler posing indoors in front of a Christmas tree. The family wear matching pajamas that read, “Mama bear,” and “Papa Bear.”

Krithika: “Our attempt at getting a family holiday card this year. #ToddlerLife”

How did the application and interview process go for you?

I was very excited about this opportunity as it seemed a natural fit for my talents and career progression. After I applied, a recruiter reached out to me for an informal chat.

The process was quite straightforward and really pleasant. My recruiter and I still catch up for a coffee chat every few weeks, and that's something I really appreciate as they still make the time for me. I had a couple of phone chats with people from the OPG team and then the interviews, which to be honest were nothing like what the internet led me to believe. I really enjoyed the discussion, as that's what the interviews felt like. 

For anyone interested in or going through Google’s interview process, I’d definitely recommend checking out the new interviewing at Google page of the careers site.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process? 

I would have loved to have known more about just how supportive Google is. Whether it relates to physical health, mental health, career progression or relocation, Google will work with you to help you achieve the work-life balance that works for you. The training, talks and virtual meetups within Google have allowed me to pursue new areas of interest and grow in new ways I hadn't considered before.

How have you forged new contacts and relationships while working remotely?

By hosting lots and lots of Google Meet calls, and not hesitating to ask whoever you meet to recommend three more people to talk to next. I try to make those conversations about getting to know Google and getting to know the person I am speaking with.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting at Google right now?

If the role matches your interests, career experience and skill set, don't be put off by the idea of starting remotely at first. Google has made massive efforts to ensure the process is smooth and fun. The teams and people you interact with from day one will ensure that your onboarding process is a rewarding, welcoming experience.

Inside the Cloud Technical Residency with Tony Rodriguez

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Tony Rodriguez, a Technical Solutions Engineer in Austin who started at Google in our Cloud Technical Residency (CTR), a one-year rotational program for recent college graduates. (If you’re interested in applying, the CTR program is now accepting applications for 2021.)

Can you tell us more about your roles at Google?

As of July 2020, I am officially now a Technical Solutions Engineer (TSE) in Google Cloud. Prior to becoming a TSE, I was a part of the Cloud Technical Residency Program, a rotational program aimed to provide students who have recently graduated with both technical and client facing skills. The program is 12 months long, with three months of training and rotations in three separate Google Cloud organizations.

Throughout each rotation I increased my technical knowledge of Google Cloud products. First, as a Technical Account Manager I managed relationships and major projects for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) customers, then, as a Strategic Cloud Engineer I helped architect/build solutions for customers, and finally, as a Technical Solutions Engineer, I supported our products and worked with product teams on improving them.

Coming straight out of college and not being certain of what I wanted to do, this program was incredible. I got to explore three amazing roles and get a taste of what the day to day looked like for each. The fact that I went through it with a cohort of 25 amazing individuals, also helped make it a smooth transition out of college. 

Group of individuals in front of large balloons letters reading "CTR".

Tony and his CTR cohort during their initial training.

Have you always been interested in tech?

I was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico but grew up in the Atlanta area. Growing up, I always had a passion for technology and knew I wanted to pursue something in the tech field. I thank my parents for teaching me that hard work and determination pays off but also for being understanding everytime I broke the computer! I’m the first person in my family to graduate from college; I studied computer science at the University of Georgia. (Go Dawgs!)

You applied to Google twice. Can you tell us about that experience?

The idea of applying to Google was initially scary, because I feared rejection. I got denied the first time when I applied for a software engineering internship my junior year of college, but I received helpful constructive feedback and worked hard that year towards preparing for a second shot if given the opportunity. 

I applied again a year later for a software engineering role and at the beginning of the process, I told my recruiter that the past year had opened my eyes. I learned there are more positions in tech than just software engineering. Because of that conversation, I was informed about a new program that Google had started the past year and how it was a great opportunity for new college graduates to explore other roles available in tech. 

I decided to give it a go and from that point forward I was in the process for applying to become a CTR. The process overall was super smooth and consisted of both technical interviews and interviews focused on non-technical skills like problem solving, project management and leadership.

I’ll never forget the day when my recruiter, Suzie, told me I got the job. I was hesitant about moving to a new city where I didn’t know anyone, but I can say that by far, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made and has helped me grow as a person.

Tony standing in front of the 360 bridge in Austin.

Tony explores the city of Austin.

Anything you wish you’d known before your interviews?

I remember being super nervous the first time and feared asking questions. But every interviewer I talked to told me they do not expect you to give the most optimal solution from the beginning; instead, they want to hear your thought process. They encourage you to ask questions to clear up any misunderstandings, because that helps you move towards a final solution. 

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or the CTR role?

I reviewed the materials my recruiters provided me multiple times (a new helpful resource is the CTR Careers on Air series). I also reached out to my professors to help me refresh my knowledge of web technologies and fundamental computing concepts. If you’re not familiar with the cloud like I was and want to see how enterprise companies are using it today, I recommend checking out the Google Cloud Blog.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Never give up! I never thought I'd be working at Google and I wish I gave myself more credit to begin with. Don't be intimidated to apply and put yourself out there.