“With my job at Google a dream came true”

Ciara Mac Gowan has achieved what many people dream of: she got a job at Google in Dublin and has been working here as an Account Strategist since the beginning of February. What are her biggest challenges at work? And what advice can she give new students to get closer to their dream job? In a personal interview, Mac Gowan talks about her experiences during her studies and her career start.

Ciara Mac Gowan achieved her first major career goal at the age of 25 and works at Google's European headquarters in Dublin.

Ciara Mac Gowan achieved her first major career goal at the age of 25 and works at Google's European headquarters in Dublin.

What comes to mind when you think about your studies at Media University?

The many excellent lecturers, great fellow students and the student’s magazine obacht_, which we founded.

You acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Corporate Communications at Media University Berlin. What is your current job position?

I have been working as an Account Strategist at Google in Dublin for two weeks. Google has its European headquarters here. My job is assigned to sales, I work for the German market and support clients and media agencies. My work is mainly focused on strategy. We want to offer the best marketing solutions to our clients and ensure that clients and their companies are constantly growing.

Did you get any further work experiences prior to your current position that you would like to share with us?

In Berlin I worked for 4 years at Axel Springer in the digital unit Bonial.com, two years of that time as a working student. In the sales team, I worked as a key account manager in vertical food retailing. I mainly was supporting clients.

When did you figure out your preferred career path? How much was your choice influenced by the compulsory internship?

As a working student I was already able to gain a lot of practical experience. I would also recommend every student to gain work experience in companies as early as possible. That way you get a perfect overview of possible jobs and departments. For example, through my work in the HR department during my time as a working student I discovered my enthusiasm for sales.

Why did you decide to study “Journalism and Corporate Communications”? And what made you choose Media University Berlin?

I really liked the combination of the both subjects journalism and corporate communications. I wanted to study journalism, but I would have liked to have an additional subject, because areas like marketing always appealed to me. Five years ago, a course of study like the B.A. Journalism and Corporate Communications wasn't very common, so I decided to study at Media University.

Which contents of your studies are part of your current job? How do your studies help you in your work routine?

Immediately, Ms Blacher-Schwake's course comes to mind. It was very practice-oriented and part of the module Online Strategies. The course helped me a lot and I still like to think back to everything useful I learned in this class.


What are your plans for the future?

Working at Google has long been one of my dreams. I have worked hard to get here. So I hope that I will work here for the next few years. I want to learn as much as possible and develop myself. I have never had a precise idea of my career path. I think you will be successful anyway if you do something you enjoy. Personal and professional development always comes first, the company or professional title is secondary.

What do you like most about your current job position? What is your biggest challenge?

I especially appreciate working with people. It's really great to see how you can help small and large companies to be successful and increase their sales. I really enjoy this strategic cooperation.

The biggest challenge in my job is above all that the market is developing rapidly. The online industry develops in a very dynamic way. Therefore, it is very challenging to keep an eye to innovations, to track down trends and to keep up to date. Every day is different and every day there are new things we can learn. Just when you think you have understood something, it has already changed again. This is of course very exciting and thrilling, but certainly also a very big challenge in my job.

Could you tell us more about the application phase after your graduation?

I just took my courage in both hands and applied to Google. The application process at Google is very extensive. All the more I am happy that it worked out with the job.

What would you tell fellow students that study at Media University?

I definitely would advise any student to apply for a working student job as early as possible. If you gain experience during your studies you simply have an enormous advantage. The best thing is to apply in departments of a company where you have the opportunity to develop yourself constantly. Certainly, your studies and grades are enormously important. However, in my opinion it is even more important to gain practical experiences. These experiences help you a lot when looking for a job and starting your career after your graduation.

For example, I wrote parts of my bachelor's thesis on a plane to Chicago because I was on a business trip during that time. This seems to be an extreme example but it illustrates that it is possible to combine studying and working with each other. Media University has often encouraged me and many other students to gain work experience as early as possible.

Which characteristics should students have that want to study „B.A. Journalism and Corporate Communications“?

Definitely curiosity. It is important to question everything and to keep on asking questions. If you don't go forwards you go backwards. That is particularly true in the fields of journalism and marketing. In order to make progress, you should always remain curious and not be afraid of asking questions.

Ms. Mac Gowan, thank you very much for the interesting interview and the exciting insights into your professional career. We wish you all the best for the future.