We’ve heard from MBA graduates in such diverse positions at Google in our Real Humans: Alumni series. Google.com is the most visited site in the world, but the company also offers hundreds of services. Rakshit Dhalla, Michigan Ross MBA ’19 and strategy operations manager, deals with supporting related offerings for small and medium businesses. Read on for what stands out about the work culture at Google, which MBA courses helped him the most, and how he landed a job at his dream company.
Rakshit Dhalla, Michigan Ross MBA ’19, Strategy and Operations Manager at Google
Hometown: Bikaner, India
Undergraduate Institution and Major: National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, India
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration: University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, Class of 2019
Pre-MBA Work Experience: 5 years, Analytics/Consulting
Post-MBA Work Experience: 7 months, Technology
Why did you choose to attend business school?
My primary long-term goal had always been to move into a strategy role in big-tech. While working in analytics in a management consulting firm, I realized the importance of having an MBA and how it can provide me with the network and stature to find a strategy role and also the skill set to excel in that role.
Why Michigan Ross? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
After having my first introduction call with a current student, I was sure that Michigan was the place for me. The community-based culture was a great fit for my personality. It provides a curriculum that has a great balance of academics and real-world learning. It has a great reputation all over the world, being featured in the top MBA rankings consistently. Ann Arbor is a beautiful college town with plenty of restaurants and bars, yet you are bound to run into a classmate (or two) even on a short walk.
What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
Taking a vague problem and breaking it down into different parts, creating a structured solution. I know it sounds broad and general, but this is one of the most important skills I learned as an MBA. Another one I learned, which I am grateful for, is teamwork and leadership. My role puts me in meetings where I have to influence people to work on ideas without any authority and I keep going back to the management in organizations lectures that I attended in school.
What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
My internship was with Google’s business strategy team focusing on small and medium businesses. I came back to work in the same team full time after graduation.
Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
Google is one of the (if not the) best employers in the world. The moment I got the email for an internship interview, I started dreaming. The few factors that made it a dream company for me were the impact it has on the world through its products, its open and collaborative culture, and how it supports and encourages hiring people from all backgrounds and nationalities. I knew that I would thrive in an environment like this, and luckily, it has been worth it till now.
Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
Have plans A, B, and C. It’s easy to get into the flow of recruiting and forget about parallel processing. An MBA2 told this to me very early on, that one should always have contingencies in place for when first priorities don’t work out. When I got rejections from two target firms on the same day, I was bummed out, but had already made progress on plan B so I did not have to start from scratch.
–One thing you would change or do differently?
Network more with both years of students. My networking plan (especially with MBA2s) was very limited and specific. I should have been broader and reached out to more people at Ross. I will rarely have the opportunity to talk to so many smart people under the same roof again. It’s important to leverage the Ross culture and resources to expand the horizons of our knowledge.
–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
My internship recruiting with Google was off-campus, and pretty smooth. They turned the whole process around in a week (from the day I got the email to the day I got an offer). It was the post-internship offer process that surprised me. It was very slow! I knew I wanted to come back to Google since I had an amazing summer, but had to re-recruit since I did not know about my offer decision.
–What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
If someone would have told me that the most important courses post-MBA would be MO (management in organization, leadership) I would have taken many more courses in that subject.
What’s the best thing about working for your current employer?
I get to work on projects that impact millions of small and medium business around the world who rely on Google’s products to reach more customers. The customer stories I read and listen to make me feel overwhelmed and happy about the decision of choosing to work in this company.
The free food isn’t bad either.