The Lowdown on Getting a Job at Google Sydney
Before Aley Greenblo landed her dream gig as an enterprise account manager at Google in Sydney, she ran a successful fashion blog—and before that, the twentysomething digital media pro practiced as a lawyer. So how does one jump from law to Google in just a few years? We asked Greenblo all about it, and for an insider's look at what it's like to work for the tech giant.
Okay, let's start off with the perks. What are some of the obvious ones?
We have rock climbing walls, meditation rooms, free breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and coffees. There are sleeping pods, games rooms, people riding around on scooters everywhere, music rooms, a wellness centre where you can go for massages. There is even a library where you press a book and a secret room comes out.
Do you spend the day at your desk or do you move around?
I am rarely at my desk. The building has pods everywhere and many meeting rooms. You can work from wherever you like. On my first day I was even offered a treadmill instead of a chair at my desk (no thanks!). You can lie in a hammock or work wherever you want as long as you are productive.
What is the management style?
I am given so much freedom to work on whatever projects I like. My role is what I want it to be and I am so lucky to have a manager like mine. My boss is the most supportive, encouraging, empowering person. He gives me the autonomy and freedom to complete projects the way I want to in my own time.
What kind of professional backgrounds do the other employees have? Is it mostly tech?
Most of my team are techies. We have a sales tech engineer, device specialists and deployment success managers but in general my team are very techy and everyone speaks in acronyms.
How did you transition from being a lawyer to a career at Google?
After working in two law firms I went on to work with two digital companies, so I have that [digital] background. I was also fashion blogging for over six years and it was during that time that my love affair for the digital space began. I was running my site and collaborating with agencies and from there I went to a digital company which represented bloggers and also worked with agencies to come up with sponsored content so I was entering the digital space. When I saw this job pop up from Google I jumped at it.
What skills have you been able to transfer from your past live as a lawyer into your new role?
Law was incredibly helpful. I have a very structured way of thinking which I believe came from studying law and I am meticulous and detail oriented. My role is an enterprise account manager role for Chrome here, so the digital company helped me build those account management skills as well as relationship-building.
Tell us a little about what your job involves now.
I'm an enterprise account manager on the Chrome team, which is revolutionising the internet! Everything is moving to the cloud and the growth of Chrome and cloud computing is huge. I wanted to be a part of a growing market. My role is varied here at Google, I am working with our partners, distributors, marketing and basically ensuring our customers have successfully deployed our Chrome solutions and are happy.
Can you walk me through an average day?
I get in every morning at 8 a.m. and our team all go for free breakfast (think of the best hotel buffet you have ever been to and that is what it is like! Everything you could ever wish for). Then every day is different. Last week I flew to Melbourne for an expo showcasing all our new Google products. Otherwise, when I am in the office my day is packed with Google hangouts with our distributors and partners trying to ensure everyone is happy. I usually leave the office around 6.30 p.m. or 7 p.m.
What are the opportunities for further training and study?
There are so many opportunities to continue learning. Since starting just three weeks ago, I have already done two certifications and an ethics training (Google is very serious about “doing no evil”). There are also regular lunch and learns to find out about what the other teams are working on, so you are constantly expanding your mind.
Any bizarre stories yet?
The guy in the reception has a parrot which he brings to work every day called Basil!
What's the social life and culture like? Do you socialize with coworkers?
Everyone hangs out together. The people are so nice and intelligent that you just don't want to leave the office! Everyone is helpful and encouraging. Google also encourages you to be social by running boot camps, meditation, yoga classes, plus you end up eating every meal together because they have breakfast, lunch and dinner free. There is a culture called being "Googley." It sounds ridiculous but everyone just has it and genuinely gets on. There is no politics within my team, there's no time for that. We just get on with things and try to make change.
If someone wants to work at Google, what should they do?
According to Forbes "It’s almost 10 times harder to get a job at Google than it is to get into Harvard." I am not sure how to get a job here other than just applying! You need to get a face-to-face meeting and knock the socks off the hiring manager; show Googleyness, and be humble.