SUMMER 2017 | BY EKIM BUYUK AND MARIELLE RODGERS
Orian Almog is a Strategic Partner Development Manager at Google. She began her career in New York City as a media buyer at a digital agency before transitioning to the opposite role of the seller, bringing early stage advertising technology to marketers. After five years in the New York media world, Orian moved to the midwest to pursue her MBA and then made her way to California to focus on consumer technology and scaling products. Today at Google, Orian supports partnerships efforts for both Search and Maps, and works closely with product teams to identify partnering opportunities that will improve the local search and discovery experiences for users. She holds a BA in Political Science from Duke ('09) and MBA from Kellogg School of Management ('16).
Thinking back, what led you to join BOW?
BOW was just getting off the ground and it was an opportunity to shape the direction of a new organization as one of the first VPs. It was an exciting time at Duke and I was especially interested in elevating awareness around some of the industries and professions that I felt were underserved by the University's career resources at the time.
What's the most exciting part about doing Product Partnerships for Google?
I get to establish partnerships with amazing companies (some big, household names and some small startups) that are critical to Google's developing billion user products. That scale of impact is really hard to find at a smaller company, even if things do not move as quickly as they would at a startup.
What led you to pursue your MBA?
I had been selling advertising technology to marketers for years and while successful, was no longer sure if that was the right long term path for me. The startup I was working at was not going the direction I had hoped it would, and it felt like the timing was right to take time away from work to invest in my development and refocus my priorities.
What’s your #1 interview tip?
Remember it is a two-way street. Your future isn't just in the interviewers' hands. You are interviewing them too, and it should ultimately be a mutual fit.
Is there a book or article that has recently inspired you?
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari has been an interesting recent read because it makes you realize how tiny of a blip modern society is compared to what has existed for tens of thousands of years before us.
Were you always interested in working in the tech industry?
Yes. My father is a venture capitalist and growing up he used to let me weigh in on prospective investments that were tailored towards kids. I think my passion for tech and entrepreneurship started back then and I was lucky to grow up in a family that encouraged us to take risks and try new things. When graduating from Duke this helped me to resist the temptations of jumping into a more stable, established job and go into the startup world.
What advice do you have for current BOW members trying to navigate their job search?
Same as the interview advice - you have a say in what is the right opportunity for you! But also, invest in your network and cultivate real relationships in your personal and professional life. I've gotten every job I've had through friends or ex-colleagues.