MBAs and Google: How to Get an Inside Track


We all know about Google. We use it in our everyday lives to accomplish all sorts of tasks. Finding out what time the NBA Finals are on tonight, discovering a new recipe to cook, or learning more about an interview subject are all made possible thanks to the world’s most powerful and user friendly search engine.

But what about all the time, effort and business-savvy that goes into a company like Google? Plenty of that comes from new MBAs hired by Google each year.According to CNN, almost 29 percent of all MBAs say they want to work for Google. Located in Mountain View, California in the heart of Silicon Valley, Google’s Main Campus is every young, post-business school grad’s dream come true. The company has topped CNN’s Top MBA Employers List for several years now, mainly because at Google, employees are encouraged to pursue big ideas and innovate in every aspect of the business. If you want to help innovate, Google is for you. And over-the-top perks, such as complimentary massages and free food at the cafeteria, don’t hurt either.

What is Google Looking for in MBAs?

The tech giant is always looking to hire stand-out MBA applicants who exhibit the “Googley” factor. What exactly does “Googley” mean? Its careers site explains: “Googlers thrive in small, focused teams and high-energy environments, believe in the ability of technology to change the world, and are as passionate about their lives as they are about their work.”

MBAs who get hired by Google get to work on projects in areas ranging from product management and sales to finance, marketing, operations, and everything in between. According to Google’s Careers page:

We’re changing the way billions of users access information, conduct business and connect with each other – from Search to Google+, YouTube to Chrome. Whether working with Fortune 500 companies in sales, guiding our business development, or putting your technical chops to work as a product manager — and honestly, the title doesn’t mean much — MBAs find homes throughout the company, making sense of our organized chaos and thriving in the sea of ambiguity that we toss Googlers into.

Because we have so many different things that MBAs can do — and because our organizational structure is a bit different than most — we encourage MBAs to choose Google, and worry less about the specific role or responsibilities you’ll have when you arrive. No matter where you land, you’ll have the opportunity to make a big impact on our business and the world.

How can I get an inside track to employment at Google?

An article on QZ states that, according to Google HR head Laszlo Bock, the company receives around 3 million job applications a year and hires 7,000. That means only one in 428 applicants end up with a job, making it far more selective than institutions like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. QZ determines that the average person has a 0.2 percent chance of getting hired by Google.

What can you do increase your odds? Apply for an MBA internship, of course.

Google MBA interns work on projects that tackle some of the most cutting-edge business challenges in the high-tech industry. MBA interns work in the fields of Product Management; Finance; Product & Customer Support; Sales & Account Management; and Marketing & Communications. What’s a summer MBA internship look like at Google? Let’s take a look at an example of one Summer Internship job posting:

Join us for a unique 11-12 week paid internship where you’ll learn more about business careers in the technology industry, enhance your skill set and impact the world around you. In addition to your day-to-day work, you will participate in a high-touch program focused on exposing you to many facets of Google’s business, providing connection opportunities with Googlers and interns alike, and investing in your personal and professional learning and development.

Google has also held MBA events to find the best and the brightest minds that MBA programs have to offer. Last year, Google held the APAC MBA Summit where the company selected 100 MBA students in United States to attend their summit at Google’s Mountain View headquarters. Students were able to participate in professional development seminars, network with Google employees from around the globe, and gain an inside look at Google.

What is Google looking for in a candidate?

Ultimately, Google is looking to hire folks with the right personality fit. In a Youtube video, Google’s HR Head Bock and Sales Director Kyle Keogh explain what Google is looking for when scouting out MBA talent for internships. The company really screens for four core attributes:

  • General cognitive ability: How well people learn, how well they acquire new skills.
  • Leadership ability: Looking for emergent leadership, or someone who recognizes a leadership vacuum and steps in to fill it. Candidates must have “intellectual resilience.”
  • Culture fit: Google wants everyone to have a shared sense of curiosity, humility and a desire to have an impact in the world.
  • Expertise: Obviously, any candidate must have the necessary experience and skill in the area you are interviewing for.

Here’s the complete video of Bock (SVP, People Operations) and Keogh (Director, Sales) discussing the Google MBA internship interview process and ways to prep for you MBA Internship interview.


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About the Author

Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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