Greg Marra '10 on Life @ Google

Greg Marra, class of '10 answers some questions about his life after Olin:

What are you working on at Google?

I work as a Product Manager on the Google+ Stream. I sit with User Experience Designers and Engineers to design and build most of the features you see on the main page of Google+. I also work with marketing, legal, PR, customer support, and other folks to make sure the entire product is as smooth as possible.

What do you see yourself working on next at Google?

Since I've been younger, I've been captivated by how technology and especially the Internet changes how people interact with each other. Mobile phones mean you're always just a few seconds away from catching up with friends or looking up where to go to dinner. Google+ has given me lots of opportunities to explore the future of people doing things together, so I think I'm going to stick with this project for a while!

How has what you learned at Olin helped you?

Design experience is Olin's secret weapon. Your experience doing user studies, extrapolating problems, finding underlying needs, sketching product ideas, and building things people will use gives you the entire end to end perspective. As a Product Manager, all that UOCD and HFID ends up being one of the most valuable things you did at Olin.

In particular, courses like Mobile Phone App Development are microcosms of what industry is like. Taking your idea from user research to launch in an app store in a semester is basically what we do over and over at Google. It's hard to get better real life experience as a student.

Do you have any advice for current Olin students?

Take as many broad courses as you can. Some of my favorite courses were Statistical Machine Learning at Brandeis and Negotiations at Babson. You've got a great opportunity to learn new things while you're at Olin, so make sure to take advantage of it!

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