By the time Somesh Dwivedi dons his graduation cap, he’ll be a senior manager in London for Amazon, the online retail colossus.
A 12-month MBA program pathed his route. Somesh joined Cambridge Judge Business School in 2015, enticed by its connections to the “Silicon Fen” cluster of high-tech businesses.
Previously, he worked as a manager with Google Analytics, Google’s web data business, in Chicago. Somesh first joined the search firm as an associate strategist in 2011.
During the MBA, Somesh and his team drove a consultancy project for Bentley Motors, the luxury British carmaker. Somesh explored the automotive trend of the future — self-driving vehicles.
When and why did you decide to begin an MBA?
The majority of my business experience has been [gained] in specialist roles at Google, including strategy, sales and marketing, and big data analytics. The missing pieces were general management skills — profit and loss responsibilities, and finance and accounting skills. I felt the need to equip myself with these key competencies before taking on leadership roles.
This was the primary motivation for pursuing an MBA. I put a plan in place in the summer of 2014.
Why Cambridge Judge Business School?
I was fortunate to have received offers from a few good schools in the US and Europe. One reason I chose The Cambridge MBA, is its proximity to the “Silicon Fen”, a large cluster of high-tech businesses focusing on software, electronics and biotechnology. Many of these businesses have connections with the University of Cambridge, and the area is now one of the most important technology centers in Europe.
Another reason is that The Cambridge MBA is one of the most practical programs around, evidenced by the fact that there are several consulting projects which are part of the curriculum, giving students ample opportunity to apply classroom learning to real-life business scenarios.
Tell us about your global consulting project with Bentley Motors.
We worked on a full-time consulting project spanning four weeks with Bentley Motors in Crewe, UK. The project required us to analyze how future luxury and technology trends will inform Bentley’s manufacturing capabilities.
I was heavily involved in identifying automobile technology trends of the future. I defined a tentative timeline for mass adoption of electric cars, connected cars, and self-driving cars.
We worked closely with Bentley’s board member for manufacturing and his technical assistant. We also interviewed luxury, technology and automobile experts (fashion retail CEOs, auto bloggers, and tech CEOs) and also conducted market research to study the opinions of 76 millennials.
Our final recommendations to Bentley included suggestions for future car launches, new sources of inspiration for luxury, and ways in which Bentley can marry its manufacturing competencies with ever-changing mobility technologies.
On a lighter note, one of my fondest memories from the project is being chauffeur driven in a Bentley in the beautiful English countryside.
What are your top tips for getting hired by Google?
I worked at Google for over four years and I believe there is no one kind of “Googler”. Google is always looking for people who can bring new perspectives and life experiences to teams. That being said, all Google employees tend to exhibit a few common traits. It’s imperative that job seekers display these qualities all along the recruitment process:
• General cognitive ability — not just raw intelligence but the ability to absorb information.
• Emergent leadership — when you see a problem, you try to step in and address it. Google places a premium on the ability to take initiative.
• Cultural fit or “Googleyness” — a mix of qualities like conscientiousness, comfort with ambiguity, and intellectual humility.
• Analytical skills.
• A passion for technology — Google likes to see a penchant for technology and innovation.
What are your career plans post-graduation?
I will be joining Amazon in London as a senior manager, as part of Amazon’s Leadership Development Program for MBAs. Amazon is an organization that is set to define consumption patterns in the wake of the technology revolution, and I’m excited to be a part of that journey.
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