How does an “ordinary guy” from Zagreb, Croatia get a chance to work in a company like Google? Well, I’m sure many of you wonder. That is why we decided to interview one of those guys, Nikola Stolnik, who told us more about his previous work and the process that led him to the current job at Google.
Nikola describes himself as a typical guy from Zagreb who loves what he does, which coincidentally led to a great professional opportunity.
I graduated economics from the Economics faculty at the Zagreb University and topped it up with an MBA degree in the same Uni. Straight after college I went to work in audit, which I must admit wasn’t too great. It was a ‘straight out of college’ option but never really got under my skin. Fortunately, I always dabbled with the web, creating web pages, spending hours upon hours researching new technology and following the online trends. Basically this led to me spending my free time planning and constructing my first serious web project, Vidiovo.hr. This eventually led to my dream job, Social Media Manager at Kolektiva. I would like to thank Jeffrey Treichel and Martina Tomić for giving me their trust, and practically opening the doors to my future professional development.
Nikola points out that he learned at Kolektiva most of the stuff he now knows about social, SEO, SEM, e-commerce, e-mail marketing, affiliate and other online tidbits, as well as project and event management. Kolektiva was sort of a gateway drug which led to all of the things to come. After Kolektiva he received an offer from BBDO Proximity for a position of Project Manager, where he organized digital marketing projects, which mostly included planning, scheduling and direct management. As he says, it was an exciting experience, and he was mentored by the best people in the business.
But, in the same time, Nikola was hoping for a big break.
Previously, I was interviewed once for Google and once for Facebook. On my third try I was mostly going at it as a joke, not expecting anything to happen. But surprise-surprise, looks like someone made a mistake and I got hired.
But how did that happen? We wanted to know more about the application process and what was Nikola going through during that time. Well, believe it or not, he applied for the job through general Google jobs page, google.com/jobs.
It was just a matter of uploading my resume and stating some information about me. The process was so seamless that I had the feeling I was having coffee with friends and not really going through a rigid process. To be honest, skills are important, but as we all learned, Google is looking for a specific mindset. This means that basic skills can be learned, but the inner motivation, openness and the desire to give your best is something you inherit, which is greatly sought after.
Nikola says that there was a massive amount of preparation going on on his part, and that was probably why he was so relaxed. And the process as a whole could be described as a friendly chat, and the further he got into the process the more surprised he was with his progress.
Of course, the offer was the pinnacle. Celebrations were had. I still think someone made a mistake and they were actually trying to hire some guy named Nikolay Stolnik, but the spell check wasn’t working.
Nikola’s current position is an Account Strategist in Dublin, and as such he is in charge of providing strategic consultancy for the Adriatic’s Region growing markets.
We deal directly with advertisers and agencies and we help with optimizing their investments. Also, we help them get most out of their AdWords and other Google products and services. Apart from that, we are in charge of growing and developing our markets.
Word of advice
If working for Google is your dream job too, Nikola has an advice for you:
Everyone has their own path. Explore, learn, grow. Try to develop yourself daily and surround yourself with like minded people who are smarter than you. You can’t go wrong.
In the same time we wanted to know more about Nikola’s future plans, but his answer was quite diplomatic:
A Russian friend once told me a great saying – If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans. Professionally, I will give my best to learn, develop and grow as much as possible while I have the chance. I mean, until they discover their spelling error.
We are sure that there was no spelling error, Nikola – it was just the case of “he who dares, wins”.
And what about you? Would you dare?