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Inside View: Google Advertising

Get good grades advises Russ Cohn, Industry Leader at Google UK

Russ Cohn is responsible for expanding and developing all business, industrial, classifieds and local markets for Google in the UK.
He describes himself as a "Googler, Digital old timer, Poker, Golf, gadgeteer."

Where did you grow up?
A lovely leafy middle class suburb in Cape Town, South Africa.

Can you remember when you first used a computer?

There was my Atari which I loved because I could play Pong and Space Invaders for hours.

But my first experience of a computer was my Dad's twin floppy IBM where I learned to do spreadsheets on Lotus 123.

Where did you work before Google?

I have been in search since I moved to London in 1999 and worked at Overture, who was bought by Yahoo in 2004. They invented paid search in 1997. Before that, I was at the first UK paid search engine, called Espotting.com

What is your role at Google?
I am responsible for the education and growth of UK & Irish advertisers who want to do more online advertising, as well as improve their use of digital tools. I cover the following sectors: Jobs; Property; Dating; Education; Energy; Restaurants and Publishing.

What are the biggest challenges you face at work?
The pace of change. We develop so many innovative products and make such quick decisions that it can be difficult to keep tabs on everything.

What's been the highlight of your career so far?

Definitely being part of Google's growth from a start-up of less than 25 people in 2003 in London to the successful company it is today.

How do you think the internet will be different in 2020, compared to now?
Everyone will be able to access everything, at high speed, on any device, anywhere and any time. Services will be integrated and instant and everyone will be connected and only receive advertising they choose to see.

Do you have any advice for graduates hoping to land a job in a technology giant?
Get good grades.

Have you ever considered doing an MBA? Do you think an MBA is helpful for a corporate career?
Yes I have. What has held me back is finding the spare time with two young daughters and a very busy and demanding job. I think an MBA with an area of focus is more useful than a generic MBA and it will definitely help anyone's career, but is not necessarily a guarantee for success.

Any New Year's resolutions?

Buy as many new gadgets as possible in the New year as it's going to be an amazing year for new tech. And of course do more exercise.


Interested in tech jobs? Read our interview with the folks at Rocket Internet, Europe's biggest tech incubator


Wednesday 29th December 2010, 13.55 (UTC)


I don't think I agree with his thought that MBA students should focus on good grades. Throughout life there is a constant pressure to perform, get good grades, compete. The time during an MBA is a very special period of your life where you can think about what you wish to do next, interact with people from a number of different countries and professions and build a strong network. Good grades are not indicative of anything specially during an MBA where there is no one right answer to most questions. Obviously, it doesn't hurt to get grades but don't make that your focus.

Wednesday 29th December 2010, 20.39 (UTC)


wtf happened to overture and e-spotting?

Wednesday 29th December 2010, 21.06 (UTC)


haha luv ur old skool hardware

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