Welcome to the latest installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.
In today’s post, meet Zain Kamal Masri from our Dubai office and learn about some of the many paths to joining the Google marketing team. You’ll also find out why she once carried a Street View trekker through the ancient city of Petra.
What first sparked your interest in working at Google?
When I was a university student, I participated in the Google Ad Grants Online Marketing Challenge, where students get real-world experience creating online marketing campaigns for nonprofits. I created my first-ever Google Ads campaign and experienced how the web can help any nonprofit, business or individual reach a global audience.
I wanted to learn more about Google products, which led me to take part in Google AdCamp. I competed in a team-based advertising challenge: we went through a market and consumer analysis, developed a creative strategy and presented a final proposal to sales product experts.
This motivated me to apply for an internship with Google’s marketing team while I completed my master’s degree. One of my internship highlights was helping capture the ancient city of Petra, Jordan for Street View—you can catch a glimpse of me carrying the Street View trekker (a device with a built-in 360-degree camera, hard drive and batteries to capture Street View imagery) in the launch film which was narrated by Queen Rania!
Zain with the Street View trekker in Petra, Jordan
Tell us about becoming a full-time Googler.
After completing my internship, a full-time role became available and I applied right away. While I was super nervous, I was (and continue to be) passionate about working at Google. I tried my best to reframe my nervousness as excitement and hoped that my passion and dedication would shine through. When I received the job offer email, I had to read it several times to fully register what I was reading. I felt so proud and immediately called my parents to share the good news. They were over the moon!
What do you wish you’d known when you started the process?
Google has a wealth of programs for students and fresh graduates to gain experience and knowledge. I wish I knew more about the Associate Product Marketing Manager (APMM) program back when I was a student. As an APMM, you become part of a diverse community of the next generation of marketers and can access unique opportunities like rotations, bootcamps and mentorship.
What resources did you use to prepare for your interview or role?
Reading through the Google Arabia blog was extremely helpful as it gave me a deeper perspective on Google’s role in the Arab world and the top priorities and products in the region. It also helped to browse through the global Keyword blog and social channels.
What’s your role at Google now?
I am currently the Head of Brand and Reputation at Google in the Middle East and North Africa. My role focuses on programs like Maharat min Google, which is a digital skills education program that helps youth, especially women, gain the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly digital economy. As part of the program, we created a series of short films that follow the journeys of six Arab women who have become entrepreneurs, women’s rights advocates and groundbreaking YouTube creators. We’ve trained more than 800,000 individuals, of which 50 percent are women, and 54 percent have found a job or grown in their business or career as a result of the program.
What inspires you to log in every day?
As part of my role, I manage Google Doodles for the Arab world. My main focus has been increasing female representation. Some of my personal favorite Doodles include Doria Shafik (one of the leading activists who helped women in Egypt win the right to vote) and Zaha Hadid (first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize).
Zain and her fellow Googlers at the Dubai office