OVPEA, OCCS host first ever online Google Exposure Trip

The Office of the Vice President for External Affairs and the Office of Career and Counseling Services, in collaboration with Google Philippines, hosted the first ever online Google Exposure Trip for DLSU students last July 24 on Google Meet. The trip aimed to provide students a glimpse of Google’s workspace through the eyes of DLSU alumni who now work at the multinational company.

Googler purpose and perks

Elora Sam (BS-MGT, ‘12), Senior Lead of Partnership Sales at Google Philippines, explained that their operations “always [begin] with a big question or new idea.”  She showcased the idea of “Moonshot thinking”, where the core purpose of every Google employee—or Googler—is to come up with ways to “solve a huge problem through a radical solution with the use of breakthrough technology.”  

For instance, Google Philippines employees may join the company’s Googlers-to-Googlers (G2G) program, an internal volunteer teaching network of more than 7,000 Google employees with the goal of helping their peers grow outside of their core job responsibilities. “G2G classes help Googlers [learn about] other things in the world,” she said. 

Sam also emphasized that every Googler must “do the right thing for the people”, which in turn, allows the company to grow and develop.

Aside from personal growth, employees can expect to enjoy a number of perks, according to Sam, such as Employee Resource Groups (ERG), extended maternity and paternity leaves, representation and diversity in the workplace, and constant free food at the office.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Love del Rosario (MSFE, ‘11), Senior Program Manager for Scaled Operations at Google Philippines, detailed the highly diverse workforce that Google aims to cultivate, highlighting how their workspaces are designed to “[promote] open communication and collaboration”.  “The workspaces are modeled in such a way that it promotes open communication and collaboration,” said del Rosario. 

“As ERG leads, we represent the minorities and underrepresented [employee groups in our workforce],” Sam affirmed, outlining the company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and conclusion. Grassroots employee communities, like Women@Google, echo the company’s goal of instilling a culture of inclusion.

There are three main aspects of local Google culture, stated Del Rosario. The first is that Googlers are meant to lead with respect—“to respect the user, opportunity, and each other” are core values that all Googlers must enshrine when working with others. Del Rosario described lifting oneself and others as a way to develop employees to be able to “collaborate well with others across Google”. 

Lastly, Del Rosasio highlighted the need to “drive amazing work”, calling on Googlers to pursue initiatives that they can commit to, and with dedication, be able to “thrive in changing global environments”.

Opportunities amid crisis

The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to rapidly adapt. While some took an immense hit, others have already tapped into industries and new markets that have risen up in the current economic situation. In such a “financially volatile” time, Sam advised fresh graduates that it is critically important to look for “thriving” companies like Google. 

“We help companies become more successful online. We build tools to help them grow,” she said.

Capable employees are also key to fuel success. Ziggy Mangahas, a recruiter for the Asia Pacific region, delved into the details of Google’s interview process for hopeful applicants, detailing competencies that interviewers are looking for when it comes to General Cognitive Abilities (GCA). 

Interviewers ask two types of questions—behavioral and hypothetical—to evaluate interviewees’ problem-solving skills. Behavioral questions, she explained, focus on how an applicant solved problems based on past experiences, while hypothetical questions require the applicant to formulate a solution based on a small set of data given by the interviewer.

Mangahas shared several pointers to prepare candidates for GCA questions: take two to three minutes to gather one’s thoughts and mentally draft out a response; clarify questions since asking questions is part of answering; and gather information from the interviewer or make logical assumptions. The purpose of the interview, she emphasized, is to see if a candidate has the capability to “deliver outcomes” amid “changing global environments”. 

In preparing for a job application, taking the time to craft a good curriculum vitae and researching on the positions that match one’s interests should not be undermined. As there is “no curriculum after college”, Google Cloud moderator Jan Jaudian underlined that it is up to the applicants to showcase skills that could fit in with Google’s culture. 

As Sam expressed, “We want every Googler to think like a founder.”

Jemimah Tan

By Jemimah Tan

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