“I think that the secret sauce is: knowing the right people within; having a great story of personal development; and identifying the touchpoints of how you fit within the company”
Graduation is for everyone synonym of joy, enthusiasm, celebration, a closure of one of the most important and formative paths anyone could undergo. On the other hand, graduation is also the first step to a new world of responsibilities, maturation and challenges: the professional world. This is the time where students give everything in order to make their ambitions and dreams happen; starting their own business, working in a foreign country, working for multinational companies. Despite the differences in their objectives, every student is united under the same battle for seeking experience and independence.
IE University always invested many resources in offering students the possibility to nurture their ambitions throughout an incredible vast choice of internships during university years and jobs for fresh graduated students. This strong implementation of resources in the Career Service is reflected in the reputation of the companies that offer job positions to our students; Deloitte, J. P. Morgan, Nestle, KPMG, LVMH, to name a few.
For the last past years Google has confirmed to be a top recruiter of IEU students. Just this academic year, at least 3 students managed to obtain internship positions and two graduates of the Class of 2017 have been offered full-time jobs, one of them in Europe and the other in the United States.
Sai Agni, soon 5th year BBA/LLB Dual Degree student is just the last example in securing a prestigious opportunity at this prestigious multinational, in this case, summer internship in Google.
We had the privilege to interview him in order to understand what it takes to obtain such an internship, what the admission process is about and what he believes this experience will bring him.
Working for Google is certainly a dream that belongs to many. What are your feelings regarding this new adventure?
Like every adventure, it certainly isn’t clear what the way forward is… neither is it very clear where it will bring me. I tried to honestly answer to myself: why am I at Google and what I want to accomplish? Besides the interview – in which case I had a good pitch – I am not completely sure. I was supposed to work in a PE fund this summer and when I got the offer it was surprise. My boss at that time said that I cannot miss an opportunity like this and I agreed. In brief, I was longing to do something meaningful with amazing people that value their work. I think the next few months will be directed towards figuring out how I can leverage my skills to add value most effectively.
Being accepted from a multinational with Google’s reputation can be a real challenge. Can you explain to us what the Admission Process is about? What were the challenges that you encountered in the process?
Getting into Google was more of a practical joke. I never imagined I would have the chance to work here. Every year for a duration of 4 years I would apply and get rejected. This one time it seemed to work out. I think that the secret sauce is: knowing the right people within; having a great story of personal development; and identifying the touch points of how you fit within the company. Everything else is up to chance and preparation.
What is the position you are currently covering? What are your tasks and objectives for the next months?
I am a business intern working in the new business sales department. The main job of this division is to acquire new customers and grow them into successful businesses – a certain consultative sales focus. In my case I do not really sell to clients and mostly work on strategic aspects of identifying high potential areas and streamlining lead generation. I prefer not to get into the finer details of my tasks (I am not sure if I can). Generally speaking, I am working on new cool ways to identify client segments and their growth. On top of this, and in line with Google’s currently strategy, automation/machine-learning is at the heart of everything…the problem is that someone has to teach the machine how to learn. But before this, someone has to figure out what that someone has to find in the market.
Do you have any expectations regarding this internship? What are you looking forward to learn especially?
Generally speaking, I would like to learn more about the company at large and its internal initiatives. You get a sense of this while you are on the job but this isn’t that valuable. The actions of some of the brilliant people I work with, impact the industry across many verticals. Having the chance to be in their head, face problems of their magnitude, and find solutions alongside them; is the most valuable.
More so, we are often encouraged to step out of our department and see how other areas of business are working. This gives you a good sense of what you may do at later stages in your career development. This also gives you the opportunity to add value by having a fresh perspective. What I love about Google is that: even small ideas matter and they can snowball into large projects. So right now, I am clarifying and iterating the few ideas I have.
Do you have any tips or any piece of advice you can give to other students with the ambition of working for a multinational company such as Google?
Be different…diversity is a cornerstone of Google’s culture. Try to do things differently and apply approaches – that your peers do not have in common – across your career and in life. My focus was finance and start-ups but it evolved into a particular fascination for FinTech and cryptocurrencies. The question there is really what makes you interested in something. If you do not yet know, that is a good thing. This leads me to: be curious to learn. Try out different things and do not be afraid of failing. This really relates to my powerlifting career and start-up failures/successes. Be proactive: reach out to people you know within the company or within the community. This step can teach you more about the company, get you referred, or completely make you change your mind.
*) A note on making choices.
I met quite a few people that say they have aspirations but often times they are more like wishes. I know a lot of people who say “I want to be an investment banker/ consultant/ entrepreneur etc. The reality is that about 10-20% of these people really know about this field or have taken proactive steps in this particular direction. Your development or actions have to have a clear progression – in my mind this is a good and clear story. Work hard to craft this story. There always people interested to listen.
If you have ambition anything can be possible. The secret is to work hard, show dedication and fight to overcome every challenge. Clearly Sai Agni is the proof that every dream or ambition can become tangible, even working for a multinational company. The secret is always follow your dreams and never give up!