My Path to Google: Ashley Shields, Inside Sales Representative

Welcome to the 16th installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting 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 Ashley Shields. Read on!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in San Diego, California, and I’ve called Austin, Texas, my home for the past four years. I attended Northern Arizona University and studied Business with an emphasis in Hotel and Restaurant Management. After graduation (before coming over to Google), I was on the sales team that opened the largest JW Marriott in North America.
I love staying active in my free time. Austin is a great place to be active, as it has endless trails and a bounty of entertainment. I’m an avid tennis player and participate in local fitness competitions in Austin. I’m also a huge fan of stand-up comedy and concerts. Austin has a ton of unique venues for both, which makes it the ideal city to live in.
Fun facts: I love going to the dentist. I once bought Nick Jonas dinner. I have been featured on two billboards.

What’s your role at Google?
I am currently an Inside Sales Representative for the Google Cloud team covering the Central Florida region. I help identify business needs within a company, and work with our team to create custom IT solutions using the Google Cloud Platform—I’m very passionate about helping customers develop ideas that will grow their businesses and save them money to reinvest in their company and spur customer growth.
My team is based in the Austin office, but I work virtually with my Central Florida teammates (based out of Florida and Atlanta). We use our collaboration toolset, G Suite, to ensure a great customer experience as if we are all sitting together in one office!
Being here is great because Google allows their employees to work on a lot of cool projects; one that I’m passionate about is the culture committee for our Cloud Team in Austin. My favorite project was the Google Gives week, where different types of charities are highlighted every day for a week—it’s an awesome way to give back to such an incredible city. We even raised $4,000 in one day to support a local Austin charity!
Another great project I was able to work on was event planning for the Google Cloud team. I loved being able to work cross-functionally with the marketing team to put on local Cloud events, helping educate current and future customers on the power of Google Cloud. It’s an amazing feeling to see my ideas come to life, as I was able to create and execute events to drive new and current customer business.

What inspires you to come in every day?

There are two important aspects of Google that inspire me to come to work everyday: 1) the people, and 2) the passion. As you can imagine, the people at Google are some of the most brilliant I’ve worked with, and partnering with these individuals every day is a dream! The ideas and teamwork produced in the office are incredible.
Because people are happy to be working here, you are able to thrive off of the positive energy of others. Every day brings something different and exciting, whether it’s a morning meeting, a trip to the micro kitchen or a coffee break at the cafe, you really never tire of the environment. I also get to work with people from all around the world, and I think we really come together when we work towards the common goal of “organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful.”
Right now, I am working on a training program for the new Enterprise Customer Development (ECD) role. The Googlers in this role will be focused on growing and expanding the enterprise business of Google Cloud. Field Sales reps, like myself, will partner with ECDs to research business leads, open up new opportunities for the Google Cloud platform, schedule client meetings, and identify prospects for potential Cloud engagement. Having this brand new role on our team is really exciting, and I’m glad I get to be a part of building out the training curriculum.

Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
Google always seemed to be the most incredible place to work — I remember reading articles on Google’s innovative approach to all the different businesses they were looking to enhance. Needless to say I was a bit intimidated when applying because I was so new to the workforce (I only had about a year of experience post graduation).

How did the recruitment process go for you?
The recruitment process was smooth!
My path to Google was a little unique, as I was referred into the company by a former coworker. When I first started with Google, I worked as a contractor for Google Fiber in the early stages as we were beginning to build out the Fiber business. After a year of being a contractor, I was lucky enough to be converted into a full-time position, leading the inside sales team for the Atlanta region.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
My advice to anyone going through the recruitment process is be patient and don’t overthink. Google has come up with a great workflow for hiring the best candidates. The recruiters are working with various teams and candidates, so if they don’t get back to you the second after you send a follow-up email, don’t stress. Once you’ve completed the interview process, just relax and be proud of your accomplishment thus far.
One key thing that I didn’t know at first was that Google is always changing — we have to; that’s what makes us the best at what we do.

Can you tell us about the resources you used to prepare for your interview or role?
Since I was already in previous sales roles, product knowledge and technical preparation was where I focused for my new role on Cloud. Current market research was key—Gartner was a great resource to learn about how the market and our customers viewed Google Cloud, as well as the competition within the Cloud world. For this new Enterprise Customer Development role, technical knowledge of Cloud isn’t required (but is recommended!).
YouTube was also a great resource, from NEXT presentations to quick videos on teams learning “how do I spin up a VM in the cloud.”
My advice for someone new coming to technical sales is to be confident. You’ve most likely been selling your whole life, you just might not be aware of it. The technical aspect of the sales position will come with exposure to different solutions and use cases.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Always bring your best self to the workplace: be present, be engaging, and have fun! If you get a job at Google, they hired you because you displayed great ability to make a difference. This means the possibilities for growth, education, and impact are endless. Be proud of all the accomplishments that brought you to becoming a Googler, and continue to make an impact with all the opportunities that will come your way.

Interested in the Enterprise Customer Development role? Apply now!