As promised, I’ll be updating you on the latest chapter in my journey.
Let me start off by addressing the most frequently asked question: how’d you land a job at Google?
Well, to be completely honest, I started off 2018 setting the goal to get an internship at Google for 2019. In my mind, I saw 2019 as being my “Masters” year, except I wanted it to be in the form of an internship, so I could actively learn (in a far more practical sense). Of course, a place like Google would be the ideal place to learn, right?
As 2018 went by, I met a really amazing lady who works at Google in the South African office. I reached out to her find more information about getting internships there, but I was unfortunately told that the South African office is really small, and does not usually take on interns, particularly in my area of interest.
Ironically, a couple months later, another person from the Google South African office happened to give my class at UCT a guest lecture. Again, I was really inspired by this talk and something in me really told me that I needed to experience the inner-workings of this company. I reached out again and was advised to apply for a range of international roles online.
I learnt quickly that I had to immediately rule out the idea of an internship, as Google requires interns to return to university once the internship concludes. Hence, I found myself applying to full-time jobs that I thought were completely out of my league (many of which required MBA’s and significant prior work experience).
While simultaneously having to deal with the pressures of conforming and applying to many corporates in South Africa, I waited patiently, and in October was offered the opportunity to interview for a role in the Dublin office (Google’s European Headquarters) as an Associate Account Strategist for Sub-Saharan Africa.
I’m not joking when I say that I prepared for the interviews way harder than I did for my final university exams.
Finally, after 5 rounds of (Google Hangout) interviews, I was offered the role in December.
Fast-forward to today:
I have just spent my second month as a Noogler (a new Googler). And while it took some adjusting to get used to what Irish locals call “summer”, I have had the most incredible couple weeks.
Where do I start?
I spent my first 6 weeks in training with other Nooglers from the Middle East, UK, Dutch, German, Polish and other European markets. While the training was intense, it was equally as humbling, as I soon realised that everyone who had joined with me had either really cool previous jobs or had studied post-graduate degrees at world-renowned universities. And while the average age in the Dublin office is 28, I was the youngest in my Noogler group and the youngest in my team.
Fortunately, I joined an awesome and young Sub-Saharan African team, which mostly comprises of South Africans, but has a few Kenyan, Nigerian and Ghanaian nationals. Most of our team’s clients are from Sub-Saharan Africa too! I must add that being surrounded by an African team really makes it feel like home: the support structures are great and they’ve all been incredibly welcoming and patient in helping me “ramp up” into my new role.
And while I was blown away by the collaborative work culture, the free food (and loads of different restaurants), the gym, the pool, medical facilities, sleep pods, game rooms, coffee baristas, staff parties, the chilled dress code, work flexibility and of course, the unbelievable technology (the list really goes on)…
The part that has undoubtedly stuck out for me the most is the people.
As a teammate put it: “walking around our office is like walking around an airport.”
“walking around our office is like walking around an airport”
Every single time you get in a lift, you hear a new language. Each and every person you meet is so uniquely interesting. Everyone is so willing to have a coffee, chat, share experiences and give advice. There are people doing amazing and impactful things, both in their core roles and outside of Google.
It’s honestly a networking dream.
To give some perspective, just in my close circle of friends, there are South African, German, Dutch, Egyptian, British, Nigerian, Libyan and Lebanese nationals.
To think that in the space of a couple of months, so much more of the globe has opened up to me is really mind-blowing!
However, it hasn’t all been completely smooth sailing.
I’ve definitely been challenged and I’ve often felt completely out of depth and overwhelmed.
Just as I think I’ve wrapped my head around something, I learn that there’s way more to it, or the concept has completely changed.
Admittedly, I’ve often felt really uncomfortable.
What’s funny is the fact that this is exactly what I signed up for.
So while it has been challenging and I’m totally out of my comfort zone, one thing is for sure:
I’m learning at an exponential rate.
To be continued…