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JoAnne Williams, Retail Marketing Finance Sr. Analyst at Google

The Basics:

Name: JoAnne Williams
Age: 32
City: San Francisco Bay Area
Company: Google
Role: Retail Marketing Finance Sr. Analyst
Industry: Technology
Education: University of GA, Columbia Business School
College Major: Finance

What drew you to the field that you work in?

I wanted to be in an industry where old problems were being solved in new and exciting ways. Naturally, I decided on Big Tech. 

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you were entering the workforce? 

That your first few years out of undergrad are the best time to get broad, yet meaningful experience. I wish that I knew to focus on the hard skills as you have less time to develop those as you advance in your career and become more specialized.

What skills are most important in your field? What do you look for in employees?

Communication, business partnership and collaboration, and problem-solving are the most important skills. I think that all ties into good leadership and influencing without authority. 

What do you love most about your job?

I love that no two days are the same. I support Google’s Hardware business so things are quite fluid and dynamic. Constant change keeps me from getting too comfortable or complacent. 

What was the best piece of career advice you ever received?

Be open. Have a general sense of where you want to be in 5 years, but do not close yourself off to opportunities that do not look exactly like what you had in mind. Seek opportunities that build out the skill sets you will need to be successful in your dream job.  

What did you wear to your interview with Google?

My interviews were over video conference. I wore a red blazer and black ruffled top with jeans. 

What do you wear on a daily basis to the office? 

I wear a lot of dressy tops and jeans with booties, oxfords, or ballet flats. Every now and then I will wear a Google t-shirt to the office. 

What’s your go-to power outfit? (i.e., what do you wear when you want to feel confident and powerful at work?)

Typically a blazer of some sort. I also have these beautiful, silver oxfords. Usually when I put those on, I’m kicking butt that day.

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