A few months ago I listened into a Digital Marketing webinar featuring Anne, who gave fantastic insight into the industry. She also discussed her creative background, passion for sustainability and how she landed a job with Google. I’m delighted to be able share her wisdom with The Notable, and very grateful to her for taking the time to answer our questions. Enjoy!
Firstly, please could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your job?
I am a Digital Growth and Marketing Expert from Germany with a Master´s in International Management, and I am currently working in Google´s Accelerated Growth Team. My role is in the very core area of our business, namely in marketing. I work with startups and traditional companies which have the potential to grow their business through Google Ads and I am based in our European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.
I am really passionate about sustainability and protecting the environment. During my time at university I was an active member of Sneep, an organisation that focuses on business ethics as well as on environmental protection and the development of sustainable business practises. We regularly
organised and oversaw events and fundraisers for climate action, the reduction of plastic waste etc.
After finishing my Master´s I briefly worked in the renewable energies sector before I joined Google in January 2019.
How did you come about your career path, and when did you decide this was the route for you?
I have always really enjoyed being creative, particularly when it comes to creative writing, which I think is a skill that is quite useful in marketing. Back when I was in school I would often write poems, short stories and other creative pieces. Although I was originally really interested in pursuing a career in acting, my love for travelling and discovering new cultures led me onto a different path and after spending a year in New Zealand working as a nanny I decided to do a Bachelor’s degree in languages and business studies instead.
During my time at university I had part time jobs in marketing, sales, & customer service. For example, I was working in the travel industry, helping travel agencies to develop their marketing strategies and creating content for marketing brochures and travel catalogues. I quickly found that I really enjoy working closely with clients and finding ways to help them advance their business to the next level. In my opinion, marketing is a big part of this, which is why I decided to pursue a career in this area.
What do you enjoy the most about working for Google?
I was really thrilled to learn how deeply Google cares about the environment and that they are investing heavily in sustainable technologies. I am not sure if you know this but Google is actually the first major company to make a commitment to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy in all our data centers and campuses worldwide by 2030. That means that every email you send through Gmail, every question you ask Google Search and every YouTube video you watch is already carbon neutral. I think that is just amazing!
Also, I love our diverse culture and energy. I think that it is a real privilege to be working amongst so many amazing and talented people from all over the world – our campus is home to a diverse community of Googlers from over 60 different nationalities!
What advice would you give to someone aiming to live in a more sustainable way?
I feel that when it comes to sustainability, there is often an “all or nothing” approach, an attitude of “Either I am sustainable and give up meat and flying for good, or I do not make any changes at all because it won’t have a big enough impact”. Do not be too hard on yourself, and most importantly, do
not give up! You do not need to change your entire lifestyle in order to make a difference. Sometimes it is the small things that can really have a big impact.
In my opinion, one of the most important things when it comes to living a more sustainable lifestyle is education. Knowledge is power. Yes, flying does have a big impact on the environment due to the greenhouse gases it produces but nobody expects you to give up travelling completely (Covid set aside). There are many other things you can do that won’t even take that big of an effort. Find one or two little things you can easily do each day and you are off to a great start. Try to understand the root causes of environmental problems first as this is really important when it comes to considering potential solutions.
There are many interesting books, blogs and Ted Talks out there that look at exactly these topics. In one of my favourite TED Talks “Paper beats plastic? How to rethink environmental folklore” Dr. Leyla Acaroglu, a sustainability strategist, highlights the importance of design led system change (design dictating the way in which the system becomes more sustainable). An example of this would be the overfilling of tea kettles and the energy that is lost when we boil too much water. An action item derived from this would be boiling only as much water as you need. This is something that can be done easily without spending any money at all on new equipment!
What did you want to be when you were younger, and what one piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
In hindsight there are so many situations where we think we should have acted differently, or where we might have made a mistake which we regret for years to come. But ultimately, it is by making mistakes that we grow. This is why I try not to dwell too much on “what could have been” but instead to move on from mistakes with a lesson learned.
If I could go back in time and give my younger self a piece of advice, I would probably tell her not to be too hard on herself and to stop comparing herself to other people. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself for not having achieved something extraordinary like starting my own business while still at school, sailing the world on a solo trip at 15 or starting a PhD at the age of 24. There will always be people who can do something you cannot and that is ok. You should not let this get to you and undermine your self esteem. Instead, look at what you have already achieved and think of the exciting opportunities that await you in the future.