Throwing it back: Google leaders share their first summer jobs

September 2, 2018 @ 5:34 AM By Elisabeth Leoni

As the old saying goes, “get a summer job and you’ll stick with it forever.” Just kidding, no one says that. If they did, many of Google’s leaders—who earned their first paychecks serving burgers, planting trees and hawking hair accessories—would be doing something pretty different right now.

If you looked at the resumes of the people leading teams, initiatives and products at Google today, you’d see a wide range of first jobs that, in many cases, taught lessons that still ring true. So as people around the country are wrapping up their seasonal gigs, we asked a few Google leaders about the summer jobs they once had.

Let’s get some fresh air first. Never ones to spend their summers behind a desk, these Googlers got their hard-earned paychecks in the great outdoors. Up in Canada, Partnerships President Don Harrison fought his way through mosquitoes, ticks and bears to plant trees. Further south in Michigan, there were fewer ticks but more kids at Diversity VP Danielle Brown’s lifeguarding gig. And Communications VP Corey DuBrowa clocked 18-hour days on a farm in Oregon, where the wheat and grass seed wasn’t going to harvest itself—no, that was Corey’s job.

Long before Google.org or GOOG, Google.org President Jacquelline Fuller and VP of Investor Relations Ellen West each donned a “polyester rust uniform” and set up shop at the drive-thru under the iconic double arches. For the rest of these Googlers, a summer job meant getting your hands soapy, taking food orders, and getting a crash course in mixology.

 

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