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Google employees discuss experiences

Julia Harris | Monday, September 19, 2011

Two Saint Mary’s College alumnae, Jennifer Bradburn and Mary Elizabeth Ulliman, visited Saint Mary’s College on Friday to speak with students about how they started their careers as Google executives in digital advertising.

Bradburn said Saint Mary’s prepared her well for her job with Google after graduation.

“You have to be scrappy and creative,” Bradburn said. “You have to be data-driven and confident. Confidence comes from within. I think these traits apply to many Saint Mary’s women.”

Bradburn, a 2001 alumna, was one of the first employees at Google. She is now an advertising executive in the company’s Chicago office.

“Nobody was hiring,” Bradburn said. “I would send 25 resumes everyday, determined to land a job in public relations, but the only jobs I could find were in sales.”

Google hired Bradburn in 2002 as the first entry-level member of its advertising office. Bradburn said the company began with five people and a futon couch.

“I was faced with two offers, so I had a big decision to make,” Bradburn said. “One was Google, the other was Arthur Anderson. I didn’t want another failed start-up on my resume.”

Arthur Anderson gave up its license to practice as a public accounting firm following its connection to the Enron scandal of 2001. After 10 years of experience at Google, Bradburn said she “made a wise decision.”

Mary Elizabeth Ulliman, a former business major and 2010 graduate, began her career at Google just last year. She works as an account manager in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“When I came back to school senior year, I thought, ‘I have to find a job,'” Ulliman said. “Google was the only place I applied to that I heard back from.”

As a Google executive, Ulliman said the best part of her job is the client interaction.

“It’s really a fascinating company,” Ulliman said. “We’re allowed to bring dogs to work. We get to meet really cool new people with different stories and experiences.”

Both graduates offered advice for students preparing for jobs after college.

Ulliman stressed that students should not be afraid of challenges early in the job search process.

“You’re going to find a job eventually,” she said. “For me it was a scenario of luck meets preparation.”

Despite the stress of finding a job, Bradburn said students should value their years at Saint Mary’s.

“Don’t waste a precious moment of your time at SMC worrying about your future,” she said. “Enjoy your present time.”