Current Employer/Organisation Name
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
Since leaving Exeter I spent 2.5 years working at Microsoft in advertising operations and in Sales, before moving to Google in 2011. At Google I’ve held roles in YouTube and on Google Ads, working with creative agencies and customers on creative advertising solutions, and as a Technical Specialist on Shopping Ads. I had the opportunity to spend a few months working in our Hamburg office in 2016, and I loved it so much I permanently relocated there the same year. For the past three years I have been a team manager, leading an international team of Technical Specialists working on Shopping and Retail ad solutions. I also trained as a certified coach in 2019 and coach within Google as part of my role. Earlier this year, I decided to go part time at Google and spend one day a week designing my own coaching business.
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
I really enjoy working with people – that is what led me to want to be both a people manager and a coach. Within my role managing my Google team, a lot of my time is focused on managing their performance, assisting their personal and career development, and coaching them on their work. As an executive coach, I get to focus on the growth journeys of my clients. I also enjoy the business strategy element of both of my roles. There is a lot of opportunity for frequent travel across Europe and to the US, which I love!
Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?
I was in the Russian Society, Exeter University Officer Training Corps, and Exeposé.
What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?
My biggest highlight was my year abroad in Russia. It was a life-defining experience, living in a small Russian town and being forced to get to grips quickly with communicating in a language I wasn’t confident with. I met some of my closest friends there, had a lot of fun and it felt like a real adventure!
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
I enjoyed campus life, the Summer balls, meeting so many different people, the long walk up the hill from Duryard, the variety of seminars and lectures, and the breadth and variety subjects I could choose within my course to tailor it to my interests.
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
When I visited on Open Day, I fell in love with Streatham campus. Standing there that day with my dad, looking down at the beautiful view, left me with no doubt in my mind that Exeter was where I wanted to study.
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
communication and collaborate across cultural boundaries, and throughout my career this has been one of the cornerstones. This is an essential skill to succeed in an international business. A lot of interviewers were also interested in the fact I’d studied in Russia, as this set me apart from other candidates. When I started to work for Google, I had the opportunity to use both Russian and German and to travel to both countries. Later on, when I relocated to Germany, having a background in German was very useful!
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
If you are interested in a career in business, you do not need a business background! At Google, I have had colleagues who were previously teachers or who studied classics. A business degree is no doubt useful and will expose you to many relevant situations, but you can still be successful in business coming in from another discipline. Think about what things you can already do to set you apart in an interview process. How can you show you can lead a team or a project? Can you get any work experience in a relevant area? Networking in crucial. I got my job at Microsoft through a friend of a friend of a friend – who you know matters!
What are your plans for the future?
I’m going to be focusing on building up my coaching business!