Welcome to our blog series “My Path to Google”! We’ll be posting real stories from Googlers 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 Bjion Henry. Read on!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m from Luton, just north of London in the UK. I studied Industrial Economics in the University of Nottingham, which was essentially a mixture between business and economics. I was active with Google while in college, and also interned at Google.
What’s your role at Google?
I’m in a full-time Google Marketing Solutions role (I’m an Associate Account Strategist). Day-to-day, I work with digital marketing agencies advising them on how to grow their client’s businesses through online marketing and how to grow as agencies. It also involves a lot of data crunching and transforming insights into strategies that you then pitch to your clients.
What inspires you to come in every day?
In my role, the clients have to trust you enough to actually go ahead with your ideas! Sometimes I even travel to London to meet clients face to face.
The best thing about the role is that you’re able to impact a lot of businesses and people, which is quite unusual for an entry-level role at a big company. That impact is special, and motivating. For example, although I probably didn’t acknowledge the gravitas of the situation at the time, as an intern I got to represent Google for a Q&A panel, and also for their AdCamp program. It was a bit intimidating at the start but it went really well (I think!).
Can you tell us about your decision to enter the process?
While studying for my undergrad in 2015, I was accepted onto Google’s Top Black Talent program and as part of that, I also took part in the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC).
We were paired with a local business and I volunteered to be the team leader of my group. Over the course of about 2-3 months, we met-up numerous times at the Google London office — I guess that was my first time really experiencing Google.
After that, I applied for an internship with Google.
How did the recruitment process go for you?
During my Google internship, I had conversations with my manager and recruiters regarding a full-time role and the recruitment process started then. I returned to university for my final year, and around January I had my first phone interview.
Once I had passed that, I then moved to face-to-face interviews where Google flew me to Dublin. I remember being stressed because it was at the same time as my exams, and it was difficult balancing the preparation for both. I also remember my first interview going pretty well — most of the questions just felt like small talk with the occasional business-related question. However, my second interview felt extremely hard. I left Dublin feeling as if I had lost the opportunity, but two weeks later I got a phone call confirming a full-time role.
What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
That I could work on a lot of projects. I interned with the Global Customer Experience team here at Google, where part of my time was spent working with advertisers to overcome any issues or challenges they were facing whilst advertising with Google. We would troubleshoot, give them advice, and generally be the face of Google to those customers.
I had a great manager and was encouraged to work on other projects within Google that interested me. I decided to work on Google Adopt, a startup program mentoring startups from around Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) on their digital marketing. First, I rebranded the program, and then redesigned and coded the external website for the upcoming cycle.
I was also interested in working in sales, so when it came time to apply for a full-time role I decided to go for the Google Marketing Solutions job and was successful.
Can you tell us more about the resources you used to prep?
I started with learning as much as I could about AdWords and Google through articles and YouTube videos. Next, I picked out keywords and concepts from the job and interview brief and prepared questions for them. For example, if it said ‘In your role you’ll speak to marketing professionals managing relationships,’ I’d prepare an answer to the question ‘tell me a time when you managed relationships with marketing professionals.’ When preparing the answers, I’d write them out in the STAR format, and that helped a lot in the interview.
To finish, do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?
Learn everything you can about Google — the products, the ethos, everything! Unsurprisingly, the best way to do that is to get involved in as many Google-related things as you can find. That could be a Google networking event, university programs, online events, or internships. You can also sign up for programs like GOMC and get Adwords certified. Once you’re through the door, you can network and you start to learn how the Google culture works.
My last take away would be to apply no matter what! Some people think you have to be an academic, or a tech-head, or a successful entrepreneur. I wasn’t really any of these and so when I applied it felt like I was playing the lottery. I honestly never thought I’d make it onto the Top Black Talent program let alone secure a Business Internship and then make it as a full-timer, so anything can happen!
Want to follow in Bjion’s footsteps?
Visit google.com/students to learn more about life at Google and our opportunities for students. Be sure to check out BOLD Immersion, our program for students from Europe, Middle East and Africa. Deadline: April 23rd, 2017 (23:59 GMT)
You can also see Bjion in a YouTube Live broadcast (and while you’re there, check out our other YouTube live events!): https://youtu.be/cy5Tbg3xOlQ