The IMBA Program provides access to many valuable opportunities beyond the classroom. Recently, Gabrielle Rajkumar, graduate of the IMBA January 2017 intake, and Suzette Meade, current student in the IMBA September 2017 intake, identified a career learning and networking opportunity with Google through the IE Talent & Careers Achieve portal. Google hosted the “2017 Top Black Talent Forum” at its London office. This event was part of the tech leader’s core mission to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Gabrielle and Suzette were invited among 55 students from top European institutions selected through a competitive process of more than 1000 student applicants.
For two days, students enrolled in bachelors, masters and MBA degree programs participated in customized activities further to build their knowledge of the company, network with employees across a range of disciplines and learn helpful skills from the HR and recruitment team to enhance future job and internship applications. Also, attendees had the option to participate in variety of “soft” and “hard” skills” workshops, such as digital marketing (Ad Words), leadership development and building one’s personal brand. In addition, to the corporate context, the Forum included a lively Q&A session with successful external content creators from the YouTube network, which demonstrated how Google partners with and provides a platform for the broader community to monetize social media engagement. To cap off the experience, the group took a tour of the unique office space to get an inside look at the environment, new technology on display and day in the life of a Googler.
A message that came through loud and clear from the EMEA University Programs Team and company leaders, who took time out of their busy schedules to present at plenary and breakout sessions, is how much Google values highly qualified MBA graduates as part of its future talent pipeline around the world. The combination of education and work experience that MBA candidates offer is viewed as an asset to the company as it continues to grow and expand its business offerings and talent pool. An example of this is the fact that the Forum added an ad-hoc Q&A session with a Senior Director exclusively for the dozen MBAs in attendance. This session was not on the original agenda, but was inserted midstream to provide a small group experience for MBAs, and was yet another example of how being nimble and adaptive are part of the organization’s DNA.
Whilst the Top Black Talent Forum was aimed specifically at recruitment and networking for students of ethnicity from the global African diaspora, like Gabrielle and Suzette who have cultural roots in the Caribbean, it is just one manifestation of Google’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace. During the Forum, students learned about other Googler Networks such as those dedicated to the LGBTQ community, differently abled individuals and other underrepresented ethnicities. Ultimately, Google as a business is sustainable insofar as it remains a relevant utility for its users. By employing people who contribute diversity of culture, thought, ability, experience, etc. to the workplace, Google helps to ensure that its products and services reflect the expansiveness of its users worldwide.
Overall, Gabrielle and Suzette had a fun, informative and memorable experience at Google UK, and were thankful to IE for raising awareness of this opportunity, which has helped them as they pursue their post-IMBA career paths.
Gabrielle Rajkumar: Gabrielle Rajkumar is a graduate of the IMBA 2017, January intake. She is a native of Trinidad and Tobago and prior to moving to Madrid, lived in New York City where she worked in the Office of the President of the General Assembly at the United Nations. During her MBA, she was the treasurer of the IE Family Business Club and a member of the Net Impact and Soccer Clubs.
Suzette Meade: Suzette Meade is a first-generation Caribbean-American, born and raised in New York, USA. At IE she serves as a Careers Representative and is engaged in leisure and industry clubs. Prior to starting the IMBA program in September 2017, Suzette spent more than 10 years as a corporate communications and public relations professional at global hospitality corporations and consulting agencies. She has visited nearly 50 countries and is “mom” to her dog, Sassy.