Ulyana Danyliv graduated from the Master in Management programme in 2020. She also took part in CEMS and received an offer from Google during her studies. She currently works there as an Associate Account Strategist. In her interview, Ulyana explains: why she chose a master’s degree programme at the Graduate School of Management (GSOM); which of the skills she learnt at the business school have been useful in her work; and what it is like to work for Google.
What was your major during your studies for your bachelor's degree; and why did you decide to apply for a master’s degree at GSOM?
I graduated from St Petersburg University with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. During my bachelor studies I realised that I was more interested in a business career than in diplomacy. The master’s degree programme at GSOM was an ideal option for me to acquire the missing skills. I was also very impressed by the idea of studying in English, as well as by the opportunity to have a semester abroad as an exchange student.
Did you have any doubts or did you choose between different fields/universities?
To be honest, I had no doubts about GSOM, but I did have backup options. I knew that it wasn't easy to get accepted to GSOM on a state-funded basis, so I opted for several other universities (for example, the Higher School of Economics in Moscow). However, GSOM was my first priority, so all my efforts were focused on preparing for the entrance exams, in particular for GMAT and the entrance interview.
What do you remember about your studies? Were there any memorable projects, courses or events?
I would say that all my studies for the master’s degree were one bright experience. There was everything: interesting courses, exciting projects and lots of events. Perhaps, the most important experience for me was the conference 'Management of the Future-2018'. It has already become a regular event traditionally organised by the students of GSOM. I was the head of its organising committee in 2018, and I can say that it was my most memorable experience of all the years of my student life in general. With my terrific team and the GSOM administration, we were able to hold a really big and exciting event. Of course, this project helped me to grow both professionally and personally.
How did you start your career after graduating from St Petersburg University? Can you tell more about your current job at Google? Is it really possible to get such a job immediately after graduation?
Indeed, I am currently working for Google. I received an offer from the company during my last semester at GSOM. So, it is possible to get a job with Google after GSOM.
What is necessary for a successful interview with such a large and well-known company? Will you share some of your life hacks, please?
In my opinion, the most significant thing is preparation. I was carefully preparing for each stage of the selection: I thought over possible answers to questions; prepared relevant stories for the fit interview to discuss my resume; and read a lot about the company and its products. As a result, I got a very clear understanding of why I want to work for this company and why I am suitable for Google.
Why did you choose a job with Google? Were you afraid of moving to a different country? How did you make this decision?
I have heard a lot about Google, both as a company and as an employer. I was most attracted by the values that the company conveys: respect for each other, focus on the individual, and accessibility for everyone. All this really appeals to me. The phrase 'Don't be evil' is perhaps the best resume for the company.
I already had experience living in another country during an exchange semester in Hong Kong, so moving to Ireland was not so stressful. On the whole, it was my first choice, just as when I entered GSOM. I was so happy that all the further difficulties were easier to overcome.
What company activities are you currently involved in?
I work in the Global Customer Solutions team with Russian clients. In short, we help businesses make the most of our products and develop together with Google.
What inspires you in your work and what would you like to do in the future?
I am very much inspired by the success stories of our clients and my colleagues. Google has brought together a lot of talented and bright people who always have something to teach you. The culture within the company is built in such a way that everyone is very open and you can always communicate with people you want, no matter what team they work in or how long they have been with the company. As for further plans, I certainly want to develop in the field of Sales and Marketing. I guess I can't answer in more detail now, but one thing I know for sure: I want to do something that will inspire and motivate me.
How is it going in the Google office in Dublin? It is said to have a cool space with lots of recreation areas. Is it really so?
Yes, the office is indeed very cool. Of course we are working from home at the moment due to COVID-19, but our Dublin office is very comfortable. When I first arrived, I was most impressed by the coffee stations, where a barista brews fresh coffee, and the presence of dogs in the office. I was also surprised by the fact that the food in the office is free.
Going back to the question of learning at school, which of the skills do you find to be most useful in your work now? What would you advise to focus on during studies?
The school gives you universal soft skills: teamwork, time management, skills to present your ideas and communicate in English. All these skills will be useful at any job. However, the most important thing is that GSOM changes your mindset: you learn to take a wider view, work hard and take risks. In my opinion, it is not right to mention only one thing: some people want to participate in case studies more; some concentrate on developing their skills in organising various events. GSOM gives a lot of opportunities, and the most important thing is not to be afraid to grasp them. You have to participate, try them out, and communicate with others!
My last question: can you give some advice to graduates who intend to move and work in a new country?
You should listen to yourself very carefully: moving to a new country is always difficult, so it is important to be able to support yourself. You should do what you like more often: travel around the new country, take walks, and call your relatives.