|24 Nov 2021|
|Written by Vera Coetsee|
|Alumni Spotlight Series|
Name: Jeff Su
Graduating Year: 2010
Years at GSIS: 3
University College & Degree: Emory University, BBA
Current city of residence: Shanghai, China
Could you introduce yourself a bit (background & profession)?
• I currently work as a Product Marketing Manager at Google, which is a bit weird considering how my major in college was around Finance and Management Consulting. It really goes to show I probably should have taken a more diverse set of classes at Emory since I might have discovered my passion for Product Marketing much earlier on in life!
• Specifically, I work in B2B Product Marketing focusing on the App campaign product under Google Ads. In a nutshell, I try my best to help App developers in the Greater China region develop great apps and get those apps into the hands of users like you and me all around the world!
What do you like most about working for Google?
• The fact that I feel psychological safe and I can express my honest (but still professional) thoughts at work, and not be afraid to be judged for them
• To be very transparent I have to say I’m extremely lucky to be part of a team (and have a manager) that has such a psychologically safe atmosphere. It’s not something that’s easy to create and it usually takes years of trust-building and teamwork
• Without bringing up all the research and reports on why a psychologically safe environment is a great place to work, a very “real-life” benefit is that my teammates and I are not afraid to admit we have “failed” on a particular project or campaign. We know everyone (including our manager) is supportive as long as we recap and share the learnings as to why we failed and have an action plan for the next iteration
We see you have your own YouTube channel. Can you tell us more about this?
• During my junior and senior years in college (2013-2014) I had a rough time with job search, since there weren’t that many easily-accessible and relevant resources back then
• Furthermore, when I first joined the workforce, I made all kinds of “new hire” mistakes, most of which were pretty embarrassing
• I thought it would be pretty cool to share my learnings and takeaways on career and workplace productivity with “younger Jeffs” so they wouldn’t make the same mistakes and go through the same painful experiences I went through
What are your plans for the future?
• Since my manager might come across this…obviously stay in the same team and work super hard :)
• Okay but like honestly I think I’ll stay in Product Marketing and explore new areas I haven’t touched upon yet. For example, I currently work on the App campaigns product and my target audience is mainly app developers; in the future it would be nice to work on different products and workstreams. For example Google, like most companies, uses WeChat as a communication platform within China. It would be great to be able to work on the marketing team that is responsible for our WeChat presence and develop scalable solutions to reach a much larger audience
You participated in the Careers Day earlier this year. What made you interested in joining this event?
• To pay GSIS back and also pay it forward!
• Although I haven’t been in GSIS for as long as many of my peers, GSIS played an instrumental role in how I turned out and I’m pretty happy with how I turned out :)
• In addition, throughout my life, I have been fortunate to encounter selfless mentors who would take time out of their busy schedules and share their learnings and wisdom with me, contributing to the person I am today. If what I share is helpful to just 1 current GSIS student, I feel like that would be a “success” already
What was your most memorable GSIS moment?
• Playing Monster Hunter Freedom on my PSP with my good buddies Ivan Ho and Adrian Kong during break. Not going to lie: I was pretty much addicted to that game for a few months that year (I racked up 300+ hours of gameplay total) and even got caught playing in class.
• While this experience may not put me in the best light, it was by far my most memorable GSIS moment and the game got me through some tough times (homework, exams, applying to boarding schools etc.)
Which friends or teachers that you met at GSIS have you stayed in touch with?
• While I haven’t kept in contact with the teachers, I definitely still remember many of them (especially the ones I got into trouble with…)
• Friends-wise we have a GSIS Facebook Messenger Group that people check in once in a while, and we get together sometimes and reminisce about the “good old days”
What was your favourite subject at GSIS and was it related to anything you actually ended up doing?
• Math, because I was good at it and enjoyed (I still enjoy) solving problems
• It would be a stretch to say it’s related to my current job but I feel having a strong foundation in math helps with (1) Business sense and (2) Presentations.
• In a data-driven company like Google you often need to quantify business impact and defend your decisions with actual numbers. While calculations aren’t that difficult you would need to find the right numbers first (i.e. should I use Profit here instead of Revenue?) and find relevant benchmarks (historical QoQ, YoY, or industry)
• During presentations sometimes you need to make on-the-fly calculations when challenged by senior stakeholders so having a decent grasp of math definitely helps you come off as confident and prepared
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