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Real Humans of Google: Patricio Parodi, UCLA Anderson MBA ’22, Strategic Finance Analyst

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The combination of cultural fit and career support drew Patricio Parodi to UCLA Anderson for his MBA, preparing him for success at Google. In this edition of our Real Humans: Alumni series, Parodi shares how Anderson offered the right tech, finance, and entrepreneurship curriculum as well as what made Google a great place to land post-MBA. 

Patricio Parodi, UCLA Anderson MBA ’22, Strategic Finance Analyst, Technical Infrastructure – Machine Learning at Google

Age: 32
Hometown: Santiago de Chile
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Universidad Catolica de Chile, Commercial Engineering 
Pre-MBA Work Experience: Deputy Manager of Equities, Picton, 5 years, Investment Management
Post-MBA Work Experience: Strategic Financial Analyst Machine Learning – Technical Infrastructure, Google, 2 years, Tech

Why did you choose to attend business school?
I chose to attend business school to develop my leadership skills, gain a global business perspective, and learn from talented classmates and professors. It was also important to me to have time for self-reflection and refine my personal and professional goals.

Why UCLA Anderson? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
UCLA offered me the perfect combination of a cultural fit that I share, and the tools to achieve my professional goals after graduation. 

On the cultural side, you can really witness the ‘share success’ value in every activity or class. I value an environment of collaboration and healthy ambition, growing alongside your peers. Living in LA with its outdoor lifestyle, weather, and beaches is a major bonus!

On the academic side, UCLA’s strong programs in my areas of interest—tech, finance, and entrepreneurship—were key. The Career Center’s support was crucial in helping me adapt to the unique recruiting practices of the US, coming from a country with a different approach.

What about your UCLA Anderson MBA experience prepared you for your current career at Google?
I can think of many experiences during my MBA that prepared me for success in my current role. Some of them are:

(1) Working in diverse environments: participating in leadership positions during the MBA helped me a lot to learn how to lead and collaborate with diverse groups of people. At Google (as at UCLA) leveraging diversity as a strength in everything the company does is critical, and coming from a place with the same values definitely helped me.

(2) Communication skills: during my MBA, whether I was making a presentation in front of my class or having a mock interview with my coach, I was able to train and enhance my communication skills. Those experiences have been extremely helpful at my current role when making presentations to senior leaders and my peers. 

(3.) Critical thinking: The case methodology that we used in all our classes during the MBA allowed me to develop broader perspectives when facing real life challenges. Being able to ask and identify the ‘so what’ of certain situations has been really helpful in my current role and has definitely helped me to add value to my organization. 

What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
I did my internship as a product manager in a fintech startup in LA. The startup name was Crediverso, and its mission was to help the underserved Latino population in terms of financial products and services. It was a great learning experience, since it helped me understand how a VC-backed startup worked on the inside, the PM role and dealing with ambiguity. It definitely shaped my post-MBA career choice by helping me realize that the tech industry was the one I wanted to explore next and also to realize that I wanted to work in a large company as my next step to have mentors and people to learn from.

Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
There are many reasons why I decided to work at Google after my MBA, but I would like to highlight the most important ones.

In the first place, the people. I like working with people that I can learn from, people that will push me to be a better professional and person. I knew that if I had the chance to work at Google, I would be able to find a place in which I would be working with very smart colleagues and that was very motivating for me.

Secondly, I highly value working in a place with a good culture. After speaking with many people from Google while looking for a post-MBA job, I came to realize something most of them had in common: they were happy at their job. Working at a place with a good culture, in which wellbeing is a core value is very important for me.

The last piece I want to mention is the business and the impact of what Google does. I think it’s amazing to work in a company that is shaping the future of AI, impacting billions of people around the globe and enabling them to grow in so many ways. Being able to contribute to something this big was something that excited me when choosing to work at Google, and keeps exiting me on my everyday job

Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
Persevere. The job search could become a frustrating journey, and it’s not easy to keep the confidence and energy when things are not working out. Be patient.

–One thing you would change or do differently as part of the job search?
Networking is something that didn’t come naturally to me. Leveraging the MBA network could really make a difference in your career path and that is something I would do differently: I would reach out to less people, but build stronger relationships.

–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
When Google invites you to an interview, they have great material to prepare you on what to expect in the interviews, which in my case was basically to be prepared for everything: cases, behavioral questions, experiences, etc. That is what happened in my interviews. I also liked to have a recruiter helping and supporting me throughout the process a lot, that was a positive surprise.

–What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
I would have liked to receive the advice of building more relationships with faculty members. UCLA has many great professors, with many experiences and willingness to share them and support students, but as a student you have to be proactive to make the most out of them: attend events, reach out, show interest in classes.  

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.