Tag Archives: Googlers

Onboarding at Google while working remotely

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 Asaf Paz, an Agency Lead on the Google Customer Solutions team, who shares what it was like to join Google while working remotely from a different country than the office he would relocate to.

What’s your role at Google?

I manage a team of very talented agency development managers. They help some of the biggest and most advanced agencies in the UK grow the businesses that they’re working with through Google Ads. 

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

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses needed to completely change their strategy to survive. Knowing that my team and I are helping thousands of businesses make this digital transformation successfully makes me feel very proud.

In addition to that, I always have a sense of anticipation for all the new things I’ll learn today — whether it's from my employees, my colleagues, managers — or the endless data and training that Google offers.  

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

I established a digital marketing agency in 2005, ran it for 11 years and sold it to establish a software-as-a-service-based startup. After four years, although my startup was profitable and growing, I didn’t see it turning into the billion-dollar company I aspired to create — so I  decided to sell it. 

Around the same time, I finished my Executive MBA and started thinking about my next step. I knew I wanted to work with talented people and on projects that would have a large-scale impact.

I called many friends and colleagues to get their thoughts. A former employee of mine who now works at Google told me about a role that matched what I was looking for. The more I learned about the role and the team, the more I fell in love with it and decided to apply.


Asaf wearing a Noogler hat while sitting in front of a computer. Around him are books, sticky notes on a wall, a mug, a plant and a painting.

Asaf at his home workspace.

How did the recruitment process go for you? 

I began the process in January 2020, just before the pandemic affected Europe, and I had the opportunity to fly to the Dublin office in February for an interview. But then I went back to a lockdown when I came back to Tel-Aviv, and continued the rest of the process remotely.

The process was very transparent and structured. But what amazed me most about it is how human it was. Andy, my recruiter, was there with me from the first call until way after the contract was signed. In fact Andy is still in contact with me, sending me personal emails and organizing a monthly call.

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

I was surprised by the depth of the connections I’ve established with my team and other Googlers so far. Maybe it’s the fact that we see each other's houses and families on the first call that makes us open up and talk about personal things pretty quickly. 

Google has brilliant people that are humble and fun to work with. They go above and beyond to help another Googler. What I like most about the people here is that they measure everything, learn quickly and perform better the next time.

Asaf wears a santa hat and holds up a drink to toast with teammates virtually on a computer

Since joining Google, his team has had a pizza workshop with a Michelin-starred chef, a bartender training, a gingerbread house competition and a virtual science camp for kids.

What advice would you give to someone considering the move to Google at the current time?

There are advantages to starting work remotely. I’m an office person, and I’m really looking forward to starting working with my team in the office. That said, since this new job involves relocation, it’s been easier to focus on onboarding without also needing to also figure out things like moving the family to a new country, plus adjusting to a new school and language for the kids.

Additionally, all meetings being virtual helps me learn faster by attending more meetings as a guest and seeing everything in action. 

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

The first one is to apply, I talked to so many people that told me that their dream is to join a company like Google — but when I asked them what roles they applied for, they said they actually didn’t. So it might seem obvious but my first tip is to apply.

Then, my next tip would be to treat the process with respect, prepare for the different stages, and be curious by asking as many questions as you can.


Ikumi Kobayashi on taking inclusion seriously

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 Ikumi Kobayashi, a Search Optimization Specialist based out of Tokyo whose search for an inclusive and accessible workplace ultimately led her to her role at Google and a newfound confidence.


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

I have profound hearing loss in both ears and use hearing aids. I rely on lip-reading during conversations. As a person with a disability (PwD), I struggled during my job hunt in Japan because most of the companies I applied to had limited job postings for PwD, and the benefits for PwD were often unequal compared to people without a disability. 


I decided to apply to Google because I wanted to work in a company that takes diversity and inclusion seriously. I was nervous before applying to Google because teamwork can be difficult for a hard-of-hearing person like me, but I decided to give it a try because I had nothing to lose.


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

I studied communications in undergrad and joined Google right out of grad school, so Google is the first company I’ve worked at. I was an intern my first year at Google, and during that time my team supported me to overcome anxiety and build confidence as a Googler with a hearing disability. 


I started as a Google Ads Account Manager, but I found face-to-face conversations with many clients everyday difficult and I preferred working more with the product and with my teammates. After three months, I moved to my current team. My job title is now Search Optimization Specialist and my responsibility is to support Japanese companies in the entertainment industry as they run and optimize their Google Search Ads. It is very rewarding to see the companies I support grow and I am really thankful for the previous and current team who accommodated flexibly for me.

Ten people gathered around a table inside of a restaurant.

Ikumi and teammates out at dinner in 2019.

What does your typical day look like right now? 

After our Google Tokyo office completely shut down in March 2020, I have been working remotely in my apartment in Tokyo. I really miss meeting my teammates and friends in the office, but I keep myself energized by proactively setting up meetings as much as possible. Conversations with Googlers always help me to maximize my productivity. Outside of work, I'm a fashion enthusiast and go to a fashion design school three times a week after work. I love to watch fashion shows on YouTube during my free time.


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

I am passionate about advocating for diversity, inclusion and accessibility so I joined the Disability Alliance — an employee resource group for Googlers. Right now, I am the only Japanese hard-of-hearing Googler on the Google Ads team and we can do more to diversify the Asia-Pacific Google community. I strive to do my best to make our community even more accessible for Googlers with disabilities.

Ikumi speaking into a microphone in front of a large group. A slide is projected behind her introducing herself.

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

I would love to tell my past self (and anyone else with a disability who is considering applying to Google) that Google will not let you down because of your disability. I was once a very unconfident person because I was always left behind during conversations and felt helpless. Google’s mission statement is to make the world's information universally accessible and useful, and that applies to the workplace as well. 


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

Before applying to Google as a grad student, I had little work experience so I spent lots of time revisiting my past challenges and thinking through how I tried to overcome them. Leadership doesn't only mean leading a group. If you have an experience challenging yourself to achieve a goal, that is also a leadership skill. My advice is to go to the interview fully prepared to share your strengths.


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

Be confident and embrace your uniqueness. Also, don't be afraid to share any accommodation needs during the application process. Bring all of yourself to the interview and tell us how amazing you are! 

Ikumi Kobayashi on taking inclusion seriously

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 Ikumi Kobayashi, a Search Optimization Specialist based out of Tokyo whose search for an inclusive and accessible workplace ultimately led her to her role at Google and a newfound confidence.


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

I have profound hearing loss in both ears and use hearing aids. I rely on lip-reading during conversations. As a person with a disability (PwD), I struggled during my job hunt in Japan because most of the companies I applied to had limited job postings for PwD, and the benefits for PwD were often unequal compared to people without a disability. 


I decided to apply to Google because I wanted to work in a company that takes diversity and inclusion seriously. I was nervous before applying to Google because teamwork can be difficult for a hard-of-hearing person like me, but I decided to give it a try because I had nothing to lose.


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

I studied communications in undergrad and joined Google right out of grad school, so Google is the first company I’ve worked at. I was an intern my first year at Google, and during that time my team supported me to overcome anxiety and build confidence as a Googler with a hearing disability. 


I started as a Google Ads Account Manager, but I found face-to-face conversations with many clients everyday difficult and I preferred working more with the product and with my teammates. After three months, I moved to my current team. My job title is now Search Optimization Specialist and my responsibility is to support Japanese companies in the entertainment industry as they run and optimize their Google Search Ads. It is very rewarding to see the companies I support grow and I am really thankful for the previous and current team who accommodated flexibly for me.

Ten people gathered around a table inside of a restaurant.

Ikumi and teammates out at dinner in 2019.

What does your typical day look like right now? 

After our Google Tokyo office completely shut down in March 2020, I have been working remotely in my apartment in Tokyo. I really miss meeting my teammates and friends in the office, but I keep myself energized by proactively setting up meetings as much as possible. Conversations with Googlers always help me to maximize my productivity. Outside of work, I'm a fashion enthusiast and go to a fashion design school three times a week after work. I love to watch fashion shows on YouTube during my free time.


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

I am passionate about advocating for diversity, inclusion and accessibility so I joined the Disability Alliance — an employee resource group for Googlers. Right now, I am the only Japanese hard-of-hearing Googler on the Google Ads team and we can do more to diversify the Asia-Pacific Google community. I strive to do my best to make our community even more accessible for Googlers with disabilities.

Ikumi speaking into a microphone in front of a large group. A slide is projected behind her introducing herself.

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

I would love to tell my past self (and anyone else with a disability who is considering applying to Google) that Google will not let you down because of your disability. I was once a very unconfident person because I was always left behind during conversations and felt helpless. Google’s mission statement is to make the world's information universally accessible and useful, and that applies to the workplace as well. 


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

Before applying to Google as a grad student, I had little work experience so I spent lots of time revisiting my past challenges and thinking through how I tried to overcome them. Leadership doesn't only mean leading a group. If you have an experience challenging yourself to achieve a goal, that is also a leadership skill. My advice is to go to the interview fully prepared to share your strengths.


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

Be confident and embrace your uniqueness. Also, don't be afraid to share any accommodation needs during the application process. Bring all of yourself to the interview and tell us how amazing you are! 

An autistic Googler and his manager thrive through communication

To mark World Autism Awareness Day, we sat down with Tim Goldstein, who is autistic, and his prior manager, Patricia Li, to hear how they created an inclusive experience and career opportunities for Tim. They explained how they worked together on communication, collaboration and mutual understanding to build a strong and successful working relationship.   

What do you do at Google?

Tim: When I worked on Patricia’s team I provided professional services consulting and education for the Looker product of Google Cloud. Thanks to her help I am now in Cloud Global Training, specializing in Looker.

Patricia: I’m a practice manager in Google Cloud’s Professional Services organization (specializing in Looker). I support my team in tackling client challenges.

What was that first conversation disclosing your workplace needs with Patricia, your manager, like?

Tim:For me it was not anything out of the ordinary. Because of my work as an advocate for autism and neurodiversity, I am very public. To better control my disclosure, I regularly tell people up front.

When I told Patricia I was autistic, I also sent her a manager tip sheet that I designed for Vanderbilt University’s Frist Center for Autism and Innovation, which is specifically focused on disclosing your neurodistinction and ways to self-advocate with your manager. It gives your manager concrete ways to best work with anyone who is neurodistinct.

A question for both of you: How would you describe the first few months of your working relationship?

Tim: As is normal for me, I asked lots of questions, especially about details. Detail-up is the way many of us who are autistic process information, not concept-down. Because Patricia didn’t yet understand the scope of what being autistic can be, my questions often came across as pushback. 

At the same time, I was struggling to understand what exactly was being asked of me because it was being presented from a higher level. Our relationship deteriorated, despite our best efforts. Even though we were being open and communicating in our individual ways, we were ineffective.

Patricia:The first few months were an uphill journey. Even with the best of intentions, there were many misunderstandings, resulting in frustration on both sides. We hit a low point that forced an honest conversation around whether the role was a good fit. That was a turning point, as it helped me understand how to better support Tim. The conversations also demonstrated positive intent from both sides and helped us re-establish trust.

How did you improve communication?

Patricia: We worked out systems of communication that worked for us: keywords that told us to stop and go back to clarify, tags that meant “I’m just venting” versus “I need help,” knowing that sometimes more context is needed over a call rather than a chat ping.  Ultimately it comes back to communicating, assuming positive intent and establishing trust.

It also helped me understand what Tim needed to be successful, and how to lean into his strengths to give him the opportunity to lead and excel.  Tim is fantastic at presenting, and has a real passion for teaching and mentoring, lighting up when he is able to make something click for someone.  When I saw the opening on the Cloud Global Training Team, I knew it would be the perfect fit for him.  

How has this experience enhanced your perspective as a manager?

Patricia: Everything I learned while working with Tim is applicable in my role as a manager to any team member. This experience has enhanced my awareness that we each come from different perspectives, informed by different contexts and experiences.

Tim, do you have any tips you’d like to share with neurodiverse employees and aspiring Googlers on the spectrum?

Tim: The most important step is to be willing to be open about your neurodistinction. This is good for the individual as there is awareness before some issue may come up. This can help managers to recognise the true challenge instead of incorrectly assuming it is an attitude issue.

When you do disclose to your manager, don’t just wing it. Have a plan and ideally resources you can provide to help the manager better understand you and your neurodistinction.

Beyond your manager relationship, how has Google continued to create an inclusive workplace for Googlers with disabilities? 

Tim: Google has been very open and supportive of presentations and training opportunities on neurodiversity and autism. Much of this has been at the grass roots level with interest and support from DEI, HR, individual teams, and managers.

An autistic Googler and his manager thrive through communication

To mark World Autism Awareness Day, we sat down with Tim Goldstein, who is autistic, and his prior manager, Patricia Li, to hear how they created an inclusive experience and career opportunities for Tim. They explained how they worked together on communication, collaboration and mutual understanding to build a strong and successful working relationship.   

What do you do at Google?

Tim: When I worked on Patricia’s team I provided professional services consulting and education for the Looker product of Google Cloud. Thanks to her help I am now in Cloud Global Training, specializing in Looker.

Patricia: I’m a practice manager in Google Cloud’s Professional Services organization (specializing in Looker). I support my team in tackling client challenges.

What was that first conversation disclosing your workplace needs with Patricia, your manager, like?

Tim:For me it was not anything out of the ordinary. Because of my work as an advocate for autism and neurodiversity, I am very public. To better control my disclosure, I regularly tell people up front.

When I told Patricia I was autistic, I also sent her a manager tip sheet that I designed for Vanderbilt University’s Frist Center for Autism and Innovation, which is specifically focused on disclosing your neurodistinction and ways to self-advocate with your manager. It gives your manager concrete ways to best work with anyone who is neurodistinct.

A question for both of you: How would you describe the first few months of your working relationship?

Tim: As is normal for me, I asked lots of questions, especially about details. Detail-up is the way many of us who are autistic process information, not concept-down. Because Patricia didn’t yet understand the scope of what being autistic can be, my questions often came across as pushback. 

At the same time, I was struggling to understand what exactly was being asked of me because it was being presented from a higher level. Our relationship deteriorated, despite our best efforts. Even though we were being open and communicating in our individual ways, we were ineffective.

Patricia:The first few months were an uphill journey. Even with the best of intentions, there were many misunderstandings, resulting in frustration on both sides. We hit a low point that forced an honest conversation around whether the role was a good fit. That was a turning point, as it helped me understand how to better support Tim. The conversations also demonstrated positive intent from both sides and helped us re-establish trust.

How did you improve communication?

Patricia: We worked out systems of communication that worked for us: keywords that told us to stop and go back to clarify, tags that meant “I’m just venting” versus “I need help,” knowing that sometimes more context is needed over a call rather than a chat ping.  Ultimately it comes back to communicating, assuming positive intent and establishing trust.

It also helped me understand what Tim needed to be successful, and how to lean into his strengths to give him the opportunity to lead and excel.  Tim is fantastic at presenting, and has a real passion for teaching and mentoring, lighting up when he is able to make something click for someone.  When I saw the opening on the Cloud Global Training Team, I knew it would be the perfect fit for him.  

How has this experience enhanced your perspective as a manager?

Patricia: Everything I learned while working with Tim is applicable in my role as a manager to any team member. This experience has enhanced my awareness that we each come from different perspectives, informed by different contexts and experiences.

Tim, do you have any tips you’d like to share with neurodiverse employees and aspiring Googlers on the spectrum?

Tim: The most important step is to be willing to be open about your neurodistinction. This is good for the individual as there is awareness before some issue may come up. This can help managers to recognise the true challenge instead of incorrectly assuming it is an attitude issue.

When you do disclose to your manager, don’t just wing it. Have a plan and ideally resources you can provide to help the manager better understand you and your neurodistinction.

Beyond your manager relationship, how has Google continued to create an inclusive workplace for Googlers with disabilities? 

Tim: Google has been very open and supportive of presentations and training opportunities on neurodiversity and autism. Much of this has been at the grass roots level with interest and support from DEI, HR, individual teams, and managers.

Teaching and coding led one Googler to tech writing

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 Garrett Holthaus, a tech writer who taps into his background in both computer science and teaching.

What are you working on right now at Google?

Currently, I am working on two projects in the Google Cloud Programs organization. One is writing a user guide for a new internal software tool that will help streamline cross-team planning and interaction. The other is creating an internal training curriculum for program managers. It’s been amazing to work on these two different types of educational content, written documentation and instructor-led classes, at Google’s scale.

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

The technical writing community at Google is amazingly supportive. There are ongoing discussions about everything from style to formatting to engaging with subject matter experts. If you have a question, you can be assured of a helpful answer. (Sometimes two or three answers!) Within a month of joining, I had found a mentor and was getting advice on how to navigate my role.

How did you first get interested in technology?

From an early age, I have been interested in science and technology. My parents set me on a path to computer science when they bought an early home computer — I typed in game programs from magazines and was amazed at the possibilities for different applications. My dad had a basement workshop where I helped out with different projects and took on some of my own in electronics, woodworking and mechanical restoration.

My passion for electronics and hardware led me to major in electrical engineering, where I became fascinated with computer architecture. I started out in microprocessor validation, writing assembly code and tools to exercise various parts of a CPU. As a validator, I learned to put on my “evil” hat and try to break the hardware in ways the designer hadn’t anticipated. 

And how did you then get interested in teaching?

I volunteered as a tutor in college and participated in various educational outreach opportunities during my career. One program that made a big impression was Science is Elementary, in which I visited a local elementary school with a small group of my coworkers once a month to teach a science lesson. This and other experiences led me to teaching high school physics, before later rejoining the tech industry.

Garrett standing in front of a modified Boeing 747SP airplane  with the words “Sofia Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy” along with an American and German flag.

Garrett during a summer internship as a teacher working for NASA. He’s standing in front of a Boeing 747SP airplane that was modified with a large sliding door on the rear of the fuselage that can open in flight to reveal an infrared telescope.

What made you decide to apply to Google?

I got an opportunity to write a technical article about something old and familiar — hardware! I enjoyed the experience and almost couldn’t believe I got paid for the work, which was a good sign that I was on to something. I spoke to a friend at Google who was in a technical writing role and realized that as a teacher, writing had been a central part of my job — both doing my own writing and evaluating my students’ writing. Because technical writers create content that is designed to help users, the role was a way to combine my two passions of technology and education.

How did the application and interview process go for you?

I had done many interviews before and had some idea of what to expect, but I was impressed that Google provided interview preparation resources geared towards candidates who might have little or no interview experience. Throughout the entire process, the recruiters and interviewers who worked with me were friendly, encouraging and accommodating.

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

One of the most powerful interview techniques I learned was the concept of a PSR: Problem, Solution, Result. This involves thinking of problems you have encountered in your previous jobs, your education or your life. How did you solve the problem? Having my PSRs ready helped my confidence during the interview, and I was surprised at how often the opportunity arose to bring one out.

Garrett wearing a Noogler hat. In the background are other people sitting in chairs and a person standing on a stage holding the microphone.

Garrett at Noogler (new Googler) orientation.

Google women celebrate being the “first…”

Earlier this month, we celebrated women who achieved historical firsts. From the first woman astronaut to the first woman to climb Mount Everest, in the past year, the world searched for “the first woman” more than ever before. These trailblazers continue to inspire new generations, especially young women and girls striving to achieve their own firsts today. 

Our own workplace is filled with inspiring women who have achieved their own personal “firsts,” too. These accomplishments show how women everywhere are breaking down barriers, finding their passions and changing the world. As Women’s History Month comes to an end, we asked 10 amazing women who work at Google offices all over the world to tell us their stories.   

Breaking down barriers

Maria Medrano

Maria Medrano
Director, Diversity & Inclusion
San Francisco, California


“My mom had me when she was only 16 and school was not an option for her. Her biggest dream was for me to graduate high school, and it was important to me to do so. I was the first woman in my family to graduate high school, and I didn’t stop there.Eventually, I went on to graduate with a BS, MA and MBA from San Jose State University. Today, I have three degrees and three kids and I help  oversee Google’s diversity efforts.”

Nisha Nair

Nisha Nair
Industry Manager, Large Customer Sales
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I was thefirst in my family to pursue education and career after getting married. In my family, all the women got married soon after they finished University. I had the support of my husband which really helped. I studied hard, managed to finish my Masters with a Distinction and a Dean's Award. And this set the stage for other women in my family to do the same."

Jayanthi Sampathkumar

Jayanthi Sampathkumar
Engineering Manager
Hyderabad, India

I’m thefirst woman to run a full marathon wearing a sari. It took place in  Airtel Hyderabad in 2017. I ran 26.2 miles in under five hours. I got into the Guinness  World Records book for that. I  also ran two 50Ks, or ultra marathons,  wearing a sari, the best one completing in under six hours. I continue to run all events in a sari in order to inspire the women in the local community to take up an active lifestyle and to feel confident wearing  saris on a regular basis.”

Neeta Tolani

Neeta Tolani
Internal Communications Manager
Southeast Asia, Singapore

I was thefirst woman to start working in my Hindu joint family (or extended family) of 48 members who still largely live together. My mother always encouraged me to think beyond the ‘usual’ courses that a girl is ‘supposed to take’ in school. I joined a computer course in school instead of picking a needlework class, for example. I went on to do a few more programming courses after college. Today, I’ve been at Google for 11 years!”

Karen Yamaguchi Ogawa

Karen Yamaguchi Ogawa 
Benefits Specialist
Sao Paulo, Brazil

"I am the first woman (with a disability) in my family to complete postgraduate studies, work in a multinational company, travel abroad alone and have financial independence."

Finding their passions

Angelica McKinley

Angelica McKinley
Art Director, Doodles 
San Francisco, California

I was thefirst news design internat a national newspaperand it changed the trajectory of my career. It exposed me to a variety of creative roles that brought together my love for art, history, film, fashion and current events. Today, my curiosity and passion for visual storytelling has led me to the Doodle team where I craft uplifting and inclusive stories about interesting subjects with diverse artists from all around the world.”

Catherine Hsiao

Catherine Hsiao
Product Manager, Stadia
Mountain View, California

I was the first female lead on all things VOD (Video on Demand) at my previous company. I was part of the team that built the first VOD upload business and all the features surrounding it, and I was the only product manager. Today, I’m a lead product manager for Stadia, which I’ve worked on since before its launch.

Changing the world

Bushra Amiwala

Bushra Amiwala
Sales Associate, Large Customer Sales
Chicago, Illinois

I was the first Muslim woman to be elected to my office at age 21 — and I still hold the title of youngest Muslim elected official in the United States.I first ran for office at the age of 19, and lost. With the support of the person I ran against, I was encouraged to try again and was elected in April 2019. This taught me how to nurture and cultivate relationships, which I carry with me in my role at Google as a Large Customer Sales Associate.”

Naomi Ventour

Naomi Ventour
Administrative Business Partner
London, United Kingdom

I was the first to help introduce a Black History curriculum into my children’s school. I am also the first woman of color called to join the Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE) board. AFE is a rare but life threatening birth complication that took my sister’s life nearly seven years ago, shortly after the birth of her second child. I recently took part in the documentary ‘The Black Maternity Scandal: Dispatches’ to highlight both AFE and the shocking statistic that Black women are four times more likely to die in childbirth than their white counterparts."

Ana Ramalho

Ana Ramalho
Copyright Counsel
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I was thefirst woman to create a pro bono legal servicefor independent artists in the Netherlands.Today, I try to practice helpfulness by engaging as much as possible in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion issues at Google.”

Learn more about our “First Woman” campaign and apply for roles at Google by visiting https://careers.google.com

Today, we #ShareTheMicInCyber

We know diverse security teams are more innovative, produce better products and enhance an organization's ability to defend against cyber threats. 

This is part of why Googler Camille Stewart cofounded #ShareTheMicInCyber, an initiative that pairs Black security practitioners with prominent allies who lend their social media platforms to the practitioners for a day. The goal is to break down barriers, engage the security community and promote sustained action to eradicate systemic racism.

Today, cybersecurity and privacy practitioners across Google and industry are elevating the voices and expertise of Black women who specialize in cybersecurity and privacy as part of #ShareTheMicInCyber’s Women’s History Month campaign. 

I’m honored to #ShareTheMicinCyber with a few of the Black women security and privacy practitioners I work alongside everyday at Google.

Camille Stewart

Camille Stewart, Head of Security Policy, Google Play + Android

“I work in this space to empower people in and through technology by translating and solving the complex challenges that lie at the intersection of technology, security, society and the law. 

Security is core to everything we do here. As creators of technology, we work to be intentional about how we build and educate users on safety and security. To do this effectively, we must be more intentional about diversity. More often than not, I am the only woman and only person of color in meetings where decisions are being made. To make truly inclusive technology and combat abuse, we need a diverse workforce.

I believe technical and policy mitigations to cybersecurity challenges will never reach their full potential until systemic racism is addressed and diverse voices are reflected among our ranks at all levels. That’s why I co-founded #ShareTheMicInCyber. ”

Brooke Pearson

Brooke Pearson, Program Manager for Chrome Privacy Sandbox 

“I work in security and privacy to protect people and their personal information. It’s that simple.

At Google, we’re tackling some of the world's biggest security and privacy problems, and everyday my work impacts billions of people around the world. Most days, that's pretty daunting, but it's also humbling and inspiring.

If we want to encourage people to engage in more secure behavior, we have to make it easy to understand, easy to act on and inclusive. 

I’m proud to work for a company that promotes active allyship and has stepped forward in such a prominent way to support Black women security and privacy professionals through the #ShareTheMicInCyber campaign.”

Michee Smith

Michee Smith, Product Manager, Privacy, Safety & Security

“Protecting user data is core to our mission. We build privacy into everything we do, which is why I am so passionate about my job. I work on products that make it easier for users to understand and control what happens with their data. My interest in this work was sparked when I learned how nuanced and technical these topics are, and how much they impact people.

For me, relationships and representation in tech really matter. Oftentimes, people of color don’t see people who look like us in these roles and on stages. There’s a sense of gratitude, belonging and relief to see someone who looks like you. I want to show up to help others imagine themselves in similar roles — that’s why I’m a huge fan of #ShareTheMicInCyber. This initiative is lifting people and communities up and creating an echo chamber that can be heard beyond cyber to the technology industry as a whole.”

Esther Ndegwa

Esther Ndegwa, Program Manager Security,  Privacy, Safety & Security

“My passion for security lies in the challenges the industry faces — especially with regard to the evolving expectations and requirements we face to protect data wherever it is. 

The right place to start is to ensure we define our principles through policy.

To get security right requires diverse thinking, drawn from different backgrounds and perspectives. I often encourage minority professionals in technology, who are starting off their career, to explore opportunities in security. 

For me, nothing resonates more than hearing someone tell their story and #ShareTheMicInCyber has created a much needed platform for amplifying those stories. While there is still work to be done to make the security industry more diverse, I believe that having conversations like these makes a big difference.”


I encourage you to follow, share, and retweet #ShareTheMicInCyber on Twitter and LinkedIn, today, March 19. By strengthening our commitment to racial equity and inclusion we can build safer and more secure products for everyone.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about #ShareTheMicInCyber, you can visit the site

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. 

Advice from a Google engineer: Join a coding competition

Google's Coding Competitions are back for 2021 with multiple opportunities for participants to improve their programming skills by solving algorithmic problems designed by Google engineers. Sadia Atique is a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) based in Munich, Germany who works on the Corporate Engineering team and actively contributes to competitions like Code Jam and Kick Start. We recently sat down with Sadia to learn how she got involved in coding competitions and why she thinks you should consider doing the same.

Do you remember your first coding competition? 

When I decided to pursue a degree in Computer Science at my university in Bangladesh, I had very little computing experience. Once I was familiar with coding, I started participating in competitions to build my skills while also having fun. I attended a programming camp which really drew me into the world of algorithmic problem solving and contests. Competitive coding is just like any other sport where you get that rush of adrenaline from trying to solve extremely challenging problems.

Sadia Atique

Googler Sadia Atique

Did you participate in any of Google's Coding Competitions before joining the company?

I participated in both Code Jam and Kick Start during university since I was passionate about eventually landing a role at Google. While I found Code Jam problems to be particularly tough, I was frequently a top scorer in Kick Start, which I hoped would help me get noticed by a recruiter. I was actually too afraid to apply on my own — luckily one day a recruiter reached out and the rest is history! These contests are a great investment of your time — plus they’re free, so why not?

Why did you get involved with Coding Competitions as a Googler?

Since I participated before I was hired, the Kick Start team contacted me to see if I was interested in contributing to critical problem development work. I jumped at the opportunity, first with Kick Start and then with Code Jam. Google's culture encourages engineers to use their skills and apply them toward the greater community, not just individual work. I really value this because the community aspect of coding competitions means a lot to me. It's a place where I feel like I can learn from others and keep growing, but where I also deeply belong. 

How would you compare Code Jam and Kick Start?

The quality of problems, level of commitment to problem preparation and cheating detection mechanism that keeps things fair are uniform between Code Jam and Kick Start. For contestants, the main differences are in problem difficulty and contest structure. 

Code Jam’s structure also makes it highly competitive — only 25 contestants make it to the World Finals — whereas Kick Start is accessible to folks wanting to try a new round almost every month. 

What advice would you share with someone thinking of registering for the 2021 season?

I’m clearly biased, but I think coding competitions are an excellent way to spend your free time. You  build problem-solving skills while learning new techniques and thinking creatively. And my competitive programming mindset has given me an ability to "think outside the box" to better approach unexpected situations. Competitions also help you build stamina, resilience and confidence — it takes a lot of patience and dedication to sit through hours of algorithmic problem solving! 

I also hope failure won't stop you. There were times I had to submit a problem 30 times before it was accepted, but I never stopped trying. I hope down the road you'll find these experiences to be as useful and inspiring as they have been for me.

Code Jam kicks off its season March 26 with the 30-hour Qualification Round (participants only need a few hours to compete). Registration will close at the end of the round, so be sure to register today. Kick Start registration is also now open throughout the year — we encourage coders of all levels to register before the first round on March 21