Real Humans of Google: Juan Vasquez, Booth ’19, Android Partner Engineering Strategy and Operations
Most know Google through our computer or phone screens, typing requests next to the magnifying glass or simply saying “Hey Google!” to retrieve instant answers about whatever is on our mind. But, what is it like to work for the tech giant? Google employees, affectionately referred to as “Googlers,” collaborate on large, cross- functional and departmental projects. Employees are encouraged to spend time on big ideas and innovate at every level of the company, outside of their day-to-day tasks.
Most may also know Chicago Booth as a finance powerhouse, but their post-MBA placement in tech (20.7 percent of the Class of 2019) shows they can support extensive results. A recent Chicago Booth MBA graduate, Juan Vasquez, found the perfect mix of tech and business at Google. Read on for his story.
Juan Vasquez, Booth ’19, Android Partner Engineering Strategy and Operations at Google
Hometown: Lima, Peru
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP)
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration: University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Class of 2019, Concentrations in Business Analytics, Marketing Management, Econometrics and Statistics, Analytic Management
Pre-MBA Work Experience: Management Consulting (2 years), IT (1 year), Telecommunications (1 year)
Post-MBA Work Experience: Tech (0.5 years and counting!)
Why did you choose to attend business school?
Throughout my professional life, I’ve dealt with technology (given my engineering undergrad) and business (given my consulting experience), but have never been in the proper intersection. Going to business school was the perfect way for me to solidify my business knowledge (via proper classwork) and pivoting into the tech industry (where my passion lies in).
Why Booth? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I could talk about how Booth is the best quantitative school, or how the flexible curriculum allowed me to better select the classes I was interested in; but the truth of the story is that the biggest decision factor for me was the people. I visited several schools during Admit Weekend(s), and the only one that I could remember after returning home was Booth’s “First Day,” where I felt at home.
Boothies are as incredibly smart as they are humble and friendly, every person cares for each other and makes you feel included and welcomed. I knew that attending any of the top 5 schools was going to help me achieve my dream of becoming a Googler, but I wanted to do so while having the most amazing 2 years of B-school I could have.
What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
It is a known fact that the classes at Booth can have a quantitative focus, and for certain that gave me a huge edge both during my interview process as well as on my performance during my internship; however, the focus Booth has on leadership, coaching and interpersonal skills was fundamental for me.
I’ve discovered more aspects of my own self than I have during my entire work experience, and that has allowed me to improve on some weaknesses, as well as doubling down on my strengths, so as to become a more appealing candidate to any job position.
What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
Ever since I left high school, I’ve dreamed of working at Google. So, when I started B-school, I focused on securing an internship there. I was placed in the strategy and operations function of a team called Android Partner Engineering.
Not only the company is amazing, but the function I was placed in was the perfect mix between business and technology. I had such a great experience that I decided I wanted to return full time to the same position, and luckily Google extended me an offer.
Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
Google is a company with such a footprint in almost every aspect of our daily lives, which creates a lot of opportunity for growth and impact. But, much like my decision of business school, I was fully convinced I wanted Google after having experienced it for 11 weeks and realizing that its most important asset is their people.
Googlers share a lot of the qualities that I love about Boothies, and in addition to that, the company focuses on work-life balance and personal development in a way that I haven’t seen in other companies on my professional experience. Also, it is great to move to the West Coast after 2 years surviving Chicago winter! (#NoRegrets)
Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
Spend a considerable amount of time reflecting on what I want and what I value on a job. Not following the herd mentality, but staying true to myself and really investing time in discovering what job/role/position/company matches and resonates with who I am.
–One thing you would change or do differently?
Leveraging the current students in a deeper way. People coming to B-school come from so many backgrounds and have such diverse experiences, so don’t just stick to the traditional “let me enroll in the Consulting Club since I want to get into consulting.”
It is easy to forget that, although the club president might have excelled during their 3-month internship, probably someone else in your cohort has had 3-years of experience in the same company before B-school!
–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
It was surprising how much Google cares about getting to know the real you before making a decision. This is good and bad: good since such a process allows you to showcase your real strengths and values, bad in the sense that it might take longer than other processes, and you have to be patient. If anything, it was certainly more refreshing than some other processes I’ve seen that can feel way more transactional or like a numbers game.
–What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
I wish someone had taught me that it’s okay to say no. There are so many opportunities in the MBA and it’s simply not possible to do everything. It is important to have your priorities clear in mind so that you can refer to them when prioritizing what to engage in and what to skip.
What’s the best thing about working for your current employer?
The freedom that Google gives you to pursue your own passions. They encourage you to use a portion of your working hours towards projects that might be out of your normal job description, which not only fosters innovation and creativity, but also encourages you to explore avenues that might even help with internal mobility.