Head of Programmatic Account Strategy at Google, Class of '08
What do you do for a living and what’s it like?
I currently lead the Programmatic Account Strategy team within Google’s Media Platforms division, based in New York, supporting the largest US consumer packaged goods brands to achieve their digital marketing objectives. With 10 years of digital media experience at Microsoft (2008-2010) and Google (2010-present), I spent time in sales, program management and analytics before moving into people management. Outside of Google, I dedicate time to supporting Upwardly Global, a non-profit organization that helps eliminate employment barriers for skilled immigrants and refugees and integrate this population into the professional U.S. workforce.
How have you used your English degree in your career?
My background as an English major, particularly in terms of analytical writing, has been a differentiator for me during my time in the business/tech world. It has enabled me to articulate the value of complex technical products to clients, communicate the value/impact of my team's work to company leaders, and evaluate client strategy proposals. I’ve also become the de-facto editor for executive briefings and team newsletters and created team-wide trainings on writing self and peer assessments.
Who were some of your favorite professors/classes and why?
Professor Joshua Miller. I took his 20th Century American Lit course, and was mesmerized by writers like Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos and Ernest Hemingway, and the ways in which they experimented with narrative structure and dialog. My interest in Hemingway, in particular, led me to work with Prof Miller as my undergrad thesis advisor, which was the most rewarding and intellectually inspiring experience of my college years.
Do you have any advice for incoming English majors at Michigan?
I would encourage all English majors to supplement their English coursework with complementary courses in other departments in which they are passionate. For me, this was Art History, Psychology and American Culture, which helped me gain a more well rounded perspective of the cultural and socio-political forces at work during the time various authors were writing. Additionally, I encourage all English majors to take at least one seminar focused on a single writer (i.e. Shakespeare, Joyce, Faulkner, etc.) to have the opportunity to go super deep in condensed period of time with other students and a professor who is particularly passionate and knowledgeable about the author.
What’s your favorite memory from your years at Michigan?
It's a tie between the final (all)nighter in the fishbowl finishing my undergraduate honors thesis alongside one of my close friends from my cohort and being on the field in the Horseshoe for the epic #1 vs. #2 football game between Michigan and Ohio State representing UofM as a Blood Battle Chair.