Monday I interviewed with Google for their Product Manager position. It sounds really cool–basically an internal entrepreneur/general manager with all the capital and smart people you could want to help make great ideas a reality. The people I know who are or have been Google PMs are really smart so I’m honored even to be considered.
My performance in the interview was OK. I suggested some product innovations Google might consider and was quickly shown that Google had already invented or acquired many of them. Oops–someone needs to do his homework better next time. I thought the open-ended question, though, in which I was asked to design a product, went well. In fact, if Google doesn’t hire me, I may consider starting up a company to develop that product!
By the end of the interview I felt energized and excited, which is a great sign for me; I felt the same way after the IMD interview and I think it is indicative of a good fit. I don’t know if my interviewer was as energized by my ideas as I was but he was at least satisfied enough to move me on to the next round, which will be another, similar interview with another Google PM. This was just a first interview in a process renowned for many interviews (up to 16!) but it still felt great to receive the thumbs-up today from the recruiter.
It’s not the only good news I received this week, either. Yesterday I was asked to come to Florence for a second interview with GE Oil & Gas, which is making great strides at reducing the carbon footprint of oil & gas production. Furthermore, GE’s renewable energy companies are taking off so they might be an option further down the road.
Monday I talked with a delightful alum from eSolar (Again, many thanks are due the most sophsticated woman at IMD for forging the connection.) and another with Planet Capital. Tuesday, I spoke with a good friend of one of my ICP teammates who has launched CleanTechies.com, where I will soon begin blogging about the use of ICT in sustainable energy. Wednesday I chatted with the Oerlikon Solar and E.ON Renewables. Today I met with another alum, the founder/CEO of Poken, a hardware/software service which will revolutionize the world of social networking. Finally my career search feels like it’s really in gear!
Several of my classmates have either accepted job offers or received offers that they will accept. These mostly come from companies that did on-campus recruiting, in which I didn’t participate much. Still, it’s hard not to feel at least a little time pressure when others are starting to make plans for their living arrangements already! This is what I planned, though, to take my time through the recruiting process, to make sure I explore my options, and to make sure I make the best decision for me and my future employer–not one based on early deadlines or unexplored alternatives.
The distractions of the career search have an impact on our ICPs as well. It is becoming more and more rare to find all four of our group members in the room at the same time because each of us frequently steps out for career-related calls. In the meantime, our project has taken a major turn. It has evolved from a supply chain project to a change management project. The subject matter is still supply chain, but the obstacle between our client and the $100m+ they can add to their bottom line with supply chain improvements isn’t analysis; it is implementation. That is now our focus: how can they conduct sweeping change in a way that works for all the varied (and often opposed) stakeholders involved? We are all very excited about it because it affords us the opportunity to learn and practice skills that transcend industry, function, and geography. But it isn’t easy–real world, real learning!