Google is a top employer of MBAs, and we’ve already heard from graduates taking on roles in product management and engineering. The tech giant also hires for any and all functions, from marketing to sales and strategy to operations. In this edition of Real Humans: Alumni, Chris Eck, a Duke Fuqua MBA ’14 and senior account executive at Google, highlights what to expect in the recruiting process, what to make the most of in business school and how the curriculum carries over into the real world. Read on for his story.
Chris Eck, Duke Fuqua ’14, Sr. Account Executive at Google
Hometown: Fairfield, CT
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Colgate University | Economics
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration (if applicable): Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business 2014 | Market Analysis and Strategy
Pre-MBA Work Experience: 5 years. Started in management consulting and moved to business development at NBC
Post-MBA Work Experience: 5 years, all at Google in sales
Why did you choose to attend business school?
I initially had no intention of going to business school, as no one in my family or anyone I was close with had done so. I then started my career at NBC, where everyone I worked with had gone to business school. The track it put them on, the connections they made and the friends they left with — all factored in to eventually making the jump.
Why Duke Fuqua? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Duke fit everything I was looking for in a business school, from top to bottom. What stood out most was the emphasis on teams, that the school was very intentional about having a diverse set of students and it was a mix of lecture and cases.
What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
The broad understanding of how different businesses make money was the most crucial part. I often draw on some of the lessons learned in core finance, strategy and operations classes I took.
What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
I had my heart set on interning and working at Google from day one. While I recruited at multiple firms, I ended up interning here and returning to Google after I finished up.
Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
After working in management consulting, and doing lots of strategy work at NBC — I wanted to try my hand at sales. I wanted to do this at a company where sales felt more consultative than others, and Google fit the bill. Not only that, but Google also offers so many benefits to its employees, great people to work with and is shaping the future of how we live our daily lives.
Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
Focus!! You don’t have to be like myself, and have a single company you’re looking at — but do your best to cross industries/companies off your list. The more focused you can be, and the less you follow the herd, the happier you’ll be in the long run.
–One thing you would change or do differently?
Traveled more!! I had some unique circumstances that made it difficult to travel, but the best parts of business school are the people you’ll meet and the places you’ll go with them.
–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
The main difference with Google and some other companies, is that it’s not the most transparent process. It’s a resume drop, wait (sometimes wait some more) and then interviews start happening. Coffee chats, sip circles, etc. are less important for us than some industries, but I think it works.
–What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
Spend more time with the people you’re getting to know. Make strong bonds with them, as they are some of the brightest, most diverse and interesting people you’ll ever meet. Not that I didn’t do this, just wish I did it even more!
What’s the best thing about working for your current employer?
That like at Fuqua, I get to engage with some of the smartest and interesting people I know, on a daily basis. Nothing like tackling challenging problems with some of the brightest people I’ve met.