“Work hard, play harder”

Three alumni working for Google in Dublin

Kathrin Buschmann, Jean-Christophe Mignon and Wim Wauters are three Masters alumni who have been recruited by Google. How did they get the job in the first place? What’s it like to work and live in Dublin, where Google recently moved its brand-new offices? And looking ahead, what are their hopes and aspirations for the future?

As you might expect, this video interview was organised using Google Hangout rather than Skype. It’s easy to use, which makes for an easy conversation with our three alumni.

Similar to Vlerick

They start off by pointing out how working at Google is very similar to studying at Vlerick. As Jean-Christophe says: “There’s lots going on and plenty of working in groups. Of course, everyone is bright and busy, but most of the development work is done in teams. And just as you’d hear from almost any Vlerick graduate, a lot of what you learn comes from your teammates. In fact, the work itself is interesting and doesn’t feel like work!”

Each of them is working on and for their home market: Kathrin helps ad agencies in Germany do a better job of delivering high-quality online campaigns through Google, while Jean-Christophe and Wim are business acquisition managers in Belgium, also helping companies with their online strategy. Dublin is where some of the account management staff are based, and this just confirms another aspect of life that is similar to Vlerick: the vast range of nationalities and the number of languages spoken in the office on a regular basis – 46 different ones at the last count.

Getting that Google job

The interview process at Google – just like the people they’re aiming to hire – is pretty unique, and prospective colleagues’ opinions seem to count for as much as anyone’s. “It’s very multicultural, and everyone – just like at Vlerick – works hard and plays harder.”

It was Kathrin who was first in at Google: “I was fortunate to be selected for a follow-up interview, as I simply submitted my CV via the website. However, before I was finally accepted, I went through a fair number of telephone and on-site interviews.” For Jean-Christophe and Wim, the only difference was that their CV was referred by a fellow Googler, but they too went through the same lengthy interview process. Wim confirms this: “It’s more of a conversation about the ‘whole me’ and not just about academic excellence. Both work and non-work experience count, as well as how we perform in a group. They were particularly interested in what we’d done in terms of hobbies and extracurricular activities.”

The future’s bright

Travel and working abroad is the common future denominator for each of our Googlers. While currently they’re very happy with their lot, any opportunity to move to another country or another continent would be welcome. Each of them has their own plan, but as with any personal plan, it can change. They’re trained to be flexible – so whatever happens, they’ll take it in their stride.

Wim: “I’d like to work for Google elsewhere and, before settling down, work for another big company somewhere else.” “I’m particularly inspired by Asia,” Jean-Christophe reveals. “It’s my favourite travel destination – it’s not expensive, you eat well and it’s lovely and warm.” Kathrin nods: “You can see how the economy is booming there. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to work abroad and I probably won’t go back to Germany any time soon. I love my home country, its economy is doing well and it’s probably a nice place to grow old, but I’m not ready for that right now.”

Google office Dublin

Wim (standing), Jean-Christophe and Kathrin, in front of a big-screen Google street view of their former campus (Ghent): “Similar to Vlerick is the vast range of nationalities and the number of languages spoken in the office on a regular basis – 46 different ones at the last count.”

Masters@Vlerick

Action learning, or practice-oriented learning, has always been part of our DNA. But bridging the gap between university and the real world also means getting to know yourself, taking time to reflect on what kind of job you want, or what type of company you’d like to work for, taking into account your personality and ambitions. We offer Masters in General Management, Marketing Management and Financial Management.

Brief CVs

Kathrin Buschmann, German

Education

  • Bachelors degree in Business and Tourism (Cologne)
  • Masters in Marketing (M3) at Vlerick, graduated in 2011

Work experience

  • Henkel (internship – Brussels)
  • HRS Hotel Reservation Service (Cologne)
  • BASF Nutrition (New York)
  • Google (Dublin, since August 2011)

Jean-Christophe Mignon, Belgian

Education

  • Masters in Commercial Science (EHSAL)
  • Masters in Marketing (M3) at Vlerick, graduated in 2011

Work experience

  • Kraft (trainee – Brussels)
  • Google (Dublin, since January 2012)

Wim Wauters, Belgian

Education

  • Masters in Applied Economics (KU Leuven)
  • Masters in Marketing (M3) at Vlerick, graduated in 2012

Work experience

  • Google (Dublin, since September 2012)

Accreditations
& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times