Working for Google

While many might pine for the acceptance letter from one of the eight Ivy League colleges, few are actually aware of where many of the top graduates from the elite eight actually end up working. 

Consider this mystery solved. Reddit published in its ‘Applying to College’ section research on where Ivy League alumni work after graduation.

This information was obtained from LinkedIn, and can be found at 

The study reviewed alumni from the eight Ivy League colleges to discover where they work, what they do, and where they live. To encapsulate the findings, we’ll focus on the information gleaned on Yale. 

Within the field of work, the top two professions are business development (which for all intents and purposes is sales) and education, followed by entrepreneurship, research and healthcare services. 

The leading employer of the Yale alumni is Google, followed by McKinsey & Company (the eminent consulting firm that appears to only recruit undergraduates from Harvard, Princeton, and Yale), Goldman Sachs, Harvard University (yes Harvard is the number four employer of Yale graduates), and Morgan Stanley (an investment bank). 

This, naturally, leads to the next question, what is it Google looks for when it hires employees? 

If you have a familiarity with Google you know that its founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, are top flight computer scientists with a distinct love of technology and mathematics. Initially Google prided itself on hiring the best performing computer science students from the most elite schools of science and engineering. 

Then, in 2013, Google conducted research, called Project Oxygen, over its human relations data to determine who were its top employees and what eight key qualities did they possess. Surprisingly, the quality that was found least important was technical expertise in STEM. What was determined most valuable were the skills that are hard to quantify: coaching, communicating and listening, working with a variety of points of view, having empathy, being a good critical thinker and problem solver, and making connections among a range of complicated ideas. 

Soon thereafter, Google began hiring a whole new set of employees from the humanities, anthropologists, sociologists, even the dreaded MBAs. 

This, in turn, encouraged, during the spring of 2017, yet another study by Google, labeled Project Aristotle, which analyzed data about the most productive and inventive teams composed of expert scientists at the company who month after month produced highly inventive solutions and ideas, such as standalone virtual reality headsets, Google Assistant, and Android OS. 

What did Google discover? The best teams that Google fielded contained a range of soft skills, consisting of emotional intelligence, empathy, solid listening and communication skills. Yet, what stood out is all the members exhibited a willingness to offer opinions, make mistakes without the fear of judgment or reprisals.   

This is slightly reminiscent of MIT’s Building 20, built originally to house the Radiation Laboratory, soon became the ‘magical incubator’ housing the outcast departments of MIT: linguistics and philosophy, anthropology, and even the Tech Model Railroad Club. It was a place where the wacky and weird met and talked informally about everything conceivable. From its structure emanated Bose speakers, videogames, and Chomsky’s theory of modern linguistics, to name just a portion. 

 There is little doubt that knowing technology well and having the mathematical prowess to devise world class algorithms is invaluable, but there is much more to being a successful employee at Google or any other technology company.  It’s essential to know how people think, behave and generate ideas. This is far more philosophy than formula. How one structures one’s prose can be every bit as important as how one might diagram a circuit.     

Google needs many types of people, majoring in a range of subjects, who know how to work with others, take creative risks and make things happen. Graduating from an Ivy League is optional.