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What is it like to work at Google?

By November 7, 2014April 20th, 2024No Comments
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Recently, the committee had the privilege of visiting Google headquarters for the EMEA region and we interviewed Kenny Jagers, Associative Account Strategist and Tilburg University alumnus, about Google and working at Google.

Brief introduction

“I am Kenny Jagers and a graduate of Tilburg University. I completed my bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration and my master’s degree in Marketing Management here. I have been an active member within Asset | International Business & Management (this was formerly Asset | FIRST International) and served on the board full-time for one year as treasurer. Today, I work at Google in Dublin where the headquarters of the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Asia) is located, as an Account Strategist in the Services Department.”

How did you end up at Google?

At the time, Kenny drew up for himself a list of interesting companies where he would like to do a part-time internship and also work later.

“Especially because I am internationally minded, I wanted to focus on companies that also have this ideology. This included Google and through Make A Move at Tilburg University, I got in touch with Google itself.”

Kenny then applied and was invited for an interview. Thus, he was eventually hired and then did a walk-in internship at Google and is to this day very happy with this choice. Today, he is working within Google as an Account Strategist.

“Here I work within the service branch of AdWords and Analytics in the Dutch department. The Dutch SMEs can contact me and my colleagues in the department the moment they have certain questions regarding AdWords and Analytics. I can then help them with that.”

A few tips Kenny would like to pass along to end up with Google or another company:

“Above all, you have to show your passion you have for something and be willing to do extra things besides your studies. In a resume/interview, state what your driving force is, including the impact of (small) things you’ve done. Your grade list also plays a role, of course, but how you stand out and where your interests lie are much more important.”

The workplace

The workplace, of course, is one of the many things Google is really known for. Thus, Kenny had a perception that things would be a bit more informal at Google.

“You can actually even compare it to a student atmosphere that hangs throughout the company.”

The company’s extravagance is also evident at Google Dublin. Indeed, there are a mini golf course, a swimming pool, swings, game consoles, soccer tables and many more facilities scattered throughout the four large buildings in Dublin’s port area. You can use all these facilities for free as a Googler. So during your break you can go for a swim or do some fitness. As an “account strategist,” you are bound by your shifts. This is logical, of course, because the phones have to be manned. However, you are free to swap these shifts with your colleagues. In this way you can decide when you can use the facilities. Other freedoms manifest themselves in the famous 20% rule, which means that you can use 20% of your working time to develop yourself by using one of the free courses offered by Google or by starting a project. Such a project can grow into a new Google product like Google Glass and the self-driving car, but also, for example, a new way of working. Anyone who has a good idea within Google, and has also researched and proven it, may implement it.

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Kenny is attached to the Dutch department in his day-to-day work, but there are times when he has to absorb work from another department, for example, the department that includes the United Kingdom and Ireland.

“At that time, I get customers transferred from another market. With this flexibility, you learn a lot of new things and also meet a lot of other people.”

Being able to work so flexibly within the company, Google dares to implement ideas quickly, and there are many opportunities to grow within the company.

“Google is a company that is very diverse and large, which means you can go in many directions. In addition, there are many training courses available and in your spare time you can continue studying, this way you can for example grow into another department. Given the fact that many people at Google have ambitions, it is important that you constantly show that you have the passion and desire to grow.

Outside of the usual shifts

There is somewhat less flexibility for employees to work abroad.

“I get to go to another country three days a quarter (this varies by department) and there I have the opportunity to work in the office and answer emails from customers. This way you get to know other Googlers in other cities and countries. However, you have to work within your time zone and also just make your necessary hours. So for example, you could go to Budapest, work there for three days and explore the city outside those hours.”

At the end of the day, you can quietly fill your own time.

“With me, the laptop goes off and I just do my own thing. Work and home are separated and that’s nice.” Google does organize various activities outside of work. “A good example of that is the Summer Party, where there was a big event such as a carousel on which all Googlers felt like a child again.”


All in all, Google seems to be living up to the image it has outlined. Playful workplaces with a similar atmosphere everywhere, a fun work culture that almost verges on the student-like and a “work hard, play hard mentality. People who work at Google are all immensely motivated. Because there are so many people looking for jobs at Google, they can pick and choose who they want. As a result, they have managed to assemble a large group of tremendously “Googley” people which in turn is reflected in the work atmosphere.

All of this contributes to their core business: organizing all the world’s information and making it universally accessible and usable. This core business is sometimes less evident in some of Google’s products, but as Kenny puts it:

“We have the knowledge and they are by-products that fit the core business, so why not?”. And with (side) products like Android, self-driving cars, Google Now, Robots, Google Glass and more, you don’t hear us complaining.

This interview was able to come about thanks to Tobias Marmann and Kenny Jagers. On behalf of the committee, we would like to thank them tremendously for this great experience.

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