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GCP your career: how your Global Consulting Project (GCP) can springboard you into that dream job

13 June 2016

The article at a glance

It’s a consulting project within your MBA year, but the GCP can also open interesting new opportunities for future employment. When Cambridge …

It’s a consulting project within your MBA year, but the GCP can also open interesting new opportunities for future employment.

People working on a gloabl blackboard for a project.

When Cambridge MBA alumnus Hemant Mohapatra joined Google at their San Francisco HQ he found himself immediately put to work on two iconic projects – the Google self-drive car and Google Glass. A dream come true for the former engineer.

So how did it happen? Hemant (MBA 2013) puts it down to two factors – a non-compromising attitude to what he wanted to do and the Global Consulting Project.

“Google was the only company I wanted to work for and I went after a job there from my first days on the MBA. I made contacts in the company and networked as much as I could, and then I realised the GCP could help too.”

From his conversations with Googlers, Hemant got a handle on some of the challenges the company was tackling. From this it was a short step to designing a GCP that would grab their attention.

“From talking with them I knew that one of the things they were exploring was how to penetrate the eastern European market – which country to target first and how to make the internet affordable in developing countries. I drew up a proposal for a GCP that I felt would help with this and they commissioned it.”

Along with three MBA classmates, Hemant spent a month touring five eastern European countries, meeting with educators, tech companies, politicians and many others. In their final report to Google in London, the cohort made three recommendations, one of which was adopted by the company.

It all helped hugely when it came to putting in his job application:

“Having done the GCP with Google helped a lot. I was able to put it on my application and they checked it out.”

Not surprisingly, Hemant has firm views about how to target your dream company using the GCP:

“Do your homework and make sure you know some of the problems they are currently trying to solve. You can do some of this through research, but networking and making contacts within the company is vital as it means your proposal, when it comes, will fall on already prepared ground.

“Then the important thing is to come up with a GCP proposal that will address one of the challenges you have identified. Try to find the best overlap with your own interests and what would be interesting to the company. That’s what will get their attention.”

Now focused on Google Cloud, Hemant is reaping the benefit of his approach to wooing Google:

“The GCP was a great experience. Learning how to develop a hypothesis and test it, how to collect data, how to work with others who have a different working style. How to think clearly about a very ambiguous problem and how to present effectively to high level people in the company – it was interesting and challenging and I learnt a lot.”

Sean Heisler (MBA 2015) can also draw a direct line between his GCP and his new job. The Canadian former housing project management engineer was offered a job with Node in San Francisco after he and his GCP team mates worked with them on a host of activities in preparation for their Series A fundraising round – benchmarking IPOs, refining the company narrative, financial modelling, connecting with investors and customers.

But it was his ability to ask awkward questions that really got Sean noticed:
‘Somewhere around day two on the project I asked some questions they weren’t expecting! When they had picked themselves up they said – ‘we need to talk’! This led to a series of conversations and then to the offer of what was a new role for the company – Business Operations Lead.”

Would it have happened without the GCP? “Possibly, but it would have taken a lot longer. The GCP gives you the chance to show people what you can do and what you’re made of – that can lead to amazing opportunities.”