Jeff Hoffman is a second-year student interested in entrepreneurship and technology. He is passionate about the intersection of data science and application, focusing specifically on how data sets and insights can be leveraged to create, refine and market new products and services.
This past summer Jeff interned at Google and will return to the technology firm after graduation. He recently participated in a Career Management Center webinar about career opportunities and his experiences working with Kellogg’s career coaches. Watch the entire webinar, or continue reading to see what Jeff had to say about recruiting, his experience at Google and why he thinks Kellogg graduates are perfectly equipped to succeed in the technology industry.
On why an MBA
I thought an MBA was a great opportunity to build leadership traits as well as broaden my experiences with the types of people I’m able to work with. In my career prior to Kellogg, I had a lot of experience executing, but not a lot of experience leading and managing teams. I knew that pursuing an MBA would give me the leadership experience necessary to jump back into the working world and provide an impact right away.
On why Kellogg
I was very fortunate to work with graduates of a lot of different MBA programs, and I was really drawn to the leaders who came from Kellogg. The Kellogg MBAs were the most personable and best-connected leaders that I had worked with, and I hoped to develop a similar leadership style.
Kellogg was particularly interesting to me because I could refine my interest and knowledge of analytics, digital marketing, and tech strategy to develop an analytical mindset within the team-oriented structure of Kellogg’s curriculum and the analytics pathway.
Additionally, leading the Big Data + Analytics club has given me a great opportunity to interact more closely with important thought leaders in the industry like Florian Zettelmeyer and gain exposure to even more perspectives on analytical leadership and trends outside of the classroom.
The type of work I have focused on through my time at Kellogg set me up to secure my internship with Google and to be able to contribute from day one once I am back at the firm full time. I am looking forward to leveraging my analytical, team-oriented mindset while working alongside and leading other employees from sales, marketing and product-oriented teams.
On pursuing a job in the tech industry
Since starting at Kellogg, I’ve had access to any career I would have wanted. I knew I didn’t want to start my own company, but I was hoping to work in a data-driven, entrepreneurial setting. Not surprisingly, I was drawn to a career in the technology industry. It was great to see that all of the big tech firms — Apple, Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, Uber — come here to recruit for diverse positions.
Tech companies are more entrepreneurial and team-driven, and the Kellogg curriculum is really designed around that team environment and entrepreneurial thinking. We’re really set up to jump right into a tech company, and without a lot of training integrate ourselves right into the team and get right on to whatever project we’re working on.
On off-campus recruiting
I primarily focused on off-campus recruiting. I figured I would mostly be on my own, but was really happy to find the CMC was able to support me through this less defined path.
Conducting an off-campus job search can be a little more difficult because it is very self guided, but I’ve been very encouraged by the career search strategy the CMC helped me build, from figuring out companies I wanted to target, to Kellogg alumni to reach out to, to how to approach interviews, and keeping me honest and on track.
On the alumni network
I have been stunned by how great the alumni of Kellogg have been. I was doing mostly off-campus recruiting, so there was a lot of cold emailing (people). I probably reached out to 75 or 100 Kellogg alumni, and every single one of them has gotten back to me.
On interning at Google over the summer
I was fortunate enough to get an offer from Google, as well as a couple of startups here in Chicago. I thought for my summer it would be a great opportunity to learn what it’s like to work at Google and learn from the best.
I was in an analytical consulting role on the sales team that supports Procter & Gamble, Google’s largest client. I was responsible for mining for insights on how Procter & Gamble customers use mobile devices and helping the team consult with P&G about how to reach these types of customers. It was great. I was able to be an entrepreneurial leader working on an impactful project with exposure to P&G’s CEO and was able to have my hands on all kinds of fun Google data.
On getting a job offer
I had a great experience over the summer and was fortunate enough to receive an offer from Google as an Analytical Lead. Based on the feedback I received at the end of my internship and through the final offer conversion process, the leadership and teamwork skills and traits that I developed in my first year at Kellogg were integral to Google extending an offer. I have accepted the offer and am excited to get to work!
On data analytics courses
The analytics classes I’ve taken helped me at Google, and they’re going to help me in my future career, specifically in understanding analytical techniques, but also being able to ask that “So what” question. I think that’s really important to understand the “So what” of an insight you may find. That’s something Kellogg’s analytics curriculum really hammers home and can really mean the difference in any sort of data-driven business decision.
I don’t think I’d be in the position I am without the support of Kellogg and the things I’ve learned in my classes.