Sales, Service and Support


Julia, on growing her career at Google

Julia, a program manager on the SMB Incubation Team, shares her experiences across Google and her path from the South of France to the San Francisco Bay Area.

What was your path to Google?
I was living and studying in Marseille, France when a fellow student reached out to me via LinkedIn and asked if I had ever thought about working for Google. I was planning to go into business consulting after finalizing my degree. "We have some great opportunities here, and are currently looking for people with different language skills and a background in marketing,” he said. And it went from there—phone interview, on-site interviews in Dublin, and lots of excitement about getting an answer in between.

What are the roles you’ve held at Google?
I've had two main roles since joining Google. When I started in October 2011, I was working on the SMB Sales team for the DACH market (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). My main role was to consult with small and medium-sized customers on their AdWords strategy and help them optimize their accounts through education. In three years, I changed from directly managing client accounts to maintaining high-level relationships with SEM agencies.

In July 2014, I moved to the Google headquarters in Mountain View to take a project management role on the Incubation team. We are part of a bigger organization that works on strategy for our global SMB sales teams. More specifically, we help improve sales processes by testing betas on a small number of clients and provide feedback and recommendations to our counterparts in sales strategy.

Did you learn different skills in each role?
Yes, definitely! Each role required a unique set of skills. I truly believe that no matter how long you have been in a role, there is always more to learn. It's important to stay hungry and find mentors to help you reach new heights.

During my time as an account manager, the most important skills I learned were time management, organization, comfort with a high-pressure environment, and innovating to improve client relationships. I also learned to be patient.

In my new role, I am working with a number of different teams, from product management, to engineering, to sales representatives. As a result, I’ve learned more about stakeholder management, leadership, and communication with executives.

How did the opportunity to work in a number of different roles allow you to be more successful?
There are always so many exciting things going on at Google. In order to grow, we need to explore new territory that is outside of our comfort zone. Moving into a new role in a new country definitely made me 'uncomfortably excited.' It also helped broaden my horizons of what is possible.

What are the benefits of changing jobs internally?
Well, first and foremost, you don’t need to leave the company in order to grow and learn new skills. I think that’s the biggest benefit of working for Google. From Sales to Marketing to Project Management, you're always exploring new technologies and product areas.

What lessons did you learn along the way?
Never shy away from feedback. We have a great feedback culture at Google and it will help you grow and become better at whatever you do.

Never stop exploring new people! Google is not a hierarchical company, and people are genuinely really happy to connect and help.

Be patient, be open to change, and always listen to other people’s opinions. You don’t need to take someone else’s opinion, but it is always valuable to understand how others approach problems.

Finally, stay true to yourself. There is always a solution—you just need to stay open to find it!

Okay, here’s the fun stuff—tell us what you love about working here.
The people, the culture, the benefits, the flexibility, the trust—it’s hard to choose. Even after 4.5 years, every time I come to work, I have those moments, thinking, this is just such a cool diverse place to work.

What advice do you have for job seekers looking to join Google as part of the Sales team?
Be yourself in interviews. It needs to be a great fit on both sides. Don’t try to be someone else, just because you think you want to be a part of Google.

Be specific. Try to give as many examples of past experiences as possible and back them up with numbers (we love numbers!).

What do you like about your Google office?
The campus is like being at university. It's so big with so many cool places to discover. If I don't have meetings I need to attend in person, I'll sometimes sit outside in the sun or in one of the coffee bars. Changing places helps me stay alert, productive, and creative.