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Real Humans of Google: George Muchira, Rochester Simon MBA ’23, Financial Analyst

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In this installment of our Real Humans: Alumni series, recent MBA graduate George Muchira shares his journey from the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School to becoming a financial analyst at Google. Rochester Simon’s culture of diversity and community drew George to the business school, and the critical thinking-based curriculum prepared him for an industry change from finance to tech. Read on for his story.

George Muchira, Rochester Simon MBA ’23, Financial Analyst at Google

Age: 33
Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Jomo Kenyatta University: Major in Civil Engineering
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration (if applicable): Simon Business School, 2023
Pre-MBA Work Experience (title, company, years, industry): Several finance-related roles spanning 5 years in Private Equity, Investor Relations, and Corporate Finance 
Post-MBA Work Experience (title, company, years, industry): Financial Analyst, Google, <1 year, Tech Industry

Why did you choose to attend business school?
I decided to pursue an MBA because I wanted to accelerate my transition into the tech industry. Business school provided an opportunity to broaden my network and learn from peers, while acquiring skills in marketing, operations and leadership. 

Why Rochester Simon? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I chose the Simon Business School primarily for the values and culture it upholds – diversity of thought, people, and experience, coupled with a strong sense of community. These values resonated strongly with my own and gave me a sense of ‘home away from home’. Additionally, Simon’s ranking and reputation as a rigorous and highly analytical program gave me confidence in the program’s quality. Let’s not forget that the University of Rochester was the first school to have its entire MBA program designated as STEM.

What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
My MBA experience at Simon prepared me for my current career in several ways. Firstly, the coursework provided me with a solid foundation in essential business concepts and frameworks, particularly in classes such as Financial Statements Analysis, taught by Professor Wasley, and Game Theory, taught by the Late Heikki Rantakari. Secondly, the program encouraged the development of critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills through activities such as case studies and group projects, which are crucial in my current role as I engage with multiple business partners. Lastly, the strong alumni network and career services department facilitated valuable connections with industry professionals, ultimately assisting me in securing my current position.

What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
During my MBA, I completed an internship at Google in the Ads Finance team. This experience provided me with firsthand exposure to the industry and helped me solidify my career path in tech. I was warmly welcomed into the team, where I had the opportunity to engage with both finance and non-finance professionals who later became mentors, guiding me on my day-to-day journey. Additionally, from the outset of my internship, I was given autonomy to own and shape my intern project, which had a significant impact on the team as it was a top priority. My host manager and other employees offered amazing mentorship through the internship program, providing insights into numerous career paths while also demonstrating the power of community. This experience solidified my decision regarding the tech industry and ultimately influenced my choice to return to Google post-MBA

Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
I chose to work at Google because of the company’s culture and its emphasis on promoting a healthy work-life balance, both of which are important to me. These factors were strongly influenced by my internship experience. From the freedom to chart your own path to the opportunities to tackle problems at scale, I found the company’s culture to be a perfect fit. Additionally, as someone passionate about startups, I sought the chance to immerse myself in Google for Startups, which aims to help startups grow and scale. This provided me with an opportunity to satisfy my interest in startups while still executing my role.

Advice to Current MBA Students:
One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
I was very intentional about where I wanted to work. My recruitment and networking activities were informed by my conversations with alumni and industry professionals early on and throughout the process. These connections provided valuable insights into the companies I was interested in, leading to the removal of a few from my list while adding others. These conversations allowed me to understand the company culture and the people who would potentially be my colleagues. Throughout these interactions, I always ensured that I had a compelling ‘why’ behind my choices, because if I couldn’t convince myself, how could I expect to convince a recruiter or hiring manager?

One thing you would change or do differently as part of the job search?
I might consider expanding my target list of backup companies.

Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
No, I wasn’t surprised. Google is quite clear about what to expect in the interview process, so there were no surprises for me during the recruiting process.

What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
Don’t shy away from stepping outside your comfort zone and exploring different opportunities. The MBA experience provides a chance to try new things, meet new people, and learn from those around you. By building your networks, you can glean insights from others’ successes and failures, accelerating your learning process, discovering your passions, and finding your next opportunity in life.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.