Rachel: My journey to becoming a project manager

Rachel: My journey to becoming a project manager
  • Background:
    • Rachel was hired by Google out of a bar in the East Village, New York, about 12 years ago.
    • She worked as a bartender and gave advice to regulars, some of whom were Google employees in NY Ops and SRE.
  • Transition to Google:
    • In 2008, Rachel applied for an admin role at Google and was hired as an Administrator for Site Reliability and Engineering Ops.
    • After two years, she transitioned into Program Management.
  • Skills Transfer:
    • Skills polished while bartending, such as giving advice, understanding customer needs, and building relationships, translated into her work at Google.
    • Her role as a program manager involves helping people navigate meetings and decision-making processes, similar to how she helped bar patrons have a better night.
  • Relationship Building:
    • Building a community with engineers was key to her role, which was facilitated by her background in bartending.
    • Talking to and understanding the needs of various team members, including engineers and product managers, is essential.
  • Key Takeaways:
    • Program management is not just about processes but also about relating to people.
    • Skills from different life experiences, such as working in a bar or art school, can be valuable in program management.
    • Understanding and addressing the unique needs of team members is crucial for success.