After moving from India to follow her dream of playing professional tennis, Ankita built a solid business development background starting with her time at Eastern Michigan studying Sports Management. Leveraging her passion for sport, Ankita landed a four-month internship with the Detroit Pistons as a Business Development & Corporate Sponsorship Intern. Upon completion of her next successful semester, she started working with Google as a New Business Associate and was even recognized as the Q1 New Business Associate Award during her time with the company's Detroit office. She soon received a unique opportunity to move to Google's head office in California to work full-time with their Marketing Solutions team, which is where she has been working for the last year.
The Sponsorship Space had the chance to sit down with Ankita to chat about her role on the Google Marketing Solutions team, what drives her to keep pushing her career forward and her love for tennis.
1) Describe your current role with Google.
I am responsible for outreaching to prospective clients while providing a full digital marketing consultation and develop a partnership with clients and Google. I conduct research about customers and connect with Google’s Small and Medium-Sized Business (SMB) Marketing Team. For this specific role, I need to know my customers by conducting business and customer analytics to support marketing strategy. This means managing and strengthening executive level agency relations and working with a cross functional digital strategy team.
2) Tell us about your career path. Did you always want to work in partnerships and client-servicing roles?
I started my major in college with Sports Management since my background was in tennis. I always wanted to stay surrounded with sports, but sooner rather than later, I realized that sports is a business at the end of the day and I decided to pursue a dual major with business and sports management. My very first job was interning with the Detroit Pistons on their Corporate Partnerships team and that is where I decided to stay in partnerships as I started to value the importance of relationships with clients. I take great pride in building strong relationships with businesses, organizations, and individuals around the globe.
3) Since your arrival from India, you have truly made great strides here in the United States. What do you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success?
During my internship, I learned an important lesson from my first supervisor and my most important mentor. He told me that "Nothing happens within an organization until a sale is made; accounting has nothing to invoice or collect, marketing has nothing to continue branding, operations doesn’t happen because nothing is sold and I.T. is not needed as nothing is happening. Therefore, the better everyone knows and understands the sales process, the better the entire organization can become!" His words have really stuck out to me and I always remember them in every phase of life.
4) What has been the most memorable moment in your career thus far?
Realizing your passion is one of the most important milestones for achieving self-actualization. Sometimes, like a light bulb, it is realized when we least expect it. I think my most memorable moment has to be when I won the New Business Associate Award for Q1 2016. It was one of the toughest quarters for me as I had moved my way from Michigan to California and started my journey here with new people, a new ambiance and was met with new challenges. After winning that award, I realized how passionate I was about what I was doing, which ultimately resulted success.
5) Do you find there are any lessons you have learned from playing tennis professionally that can be applied to your work with Google/CDI?
There are many lessons that I learned from playing tennis for 12 years that have helped me in my professional life. In tennis, I found that often times it is human nature to focus on fixing your weaknesses. What I also learned was that success lies in leveraging your strengths while finding a way to intelligently managing those weaknesses. This is very crucial when a business is thinking about corporate strategy. Many companies understand what they are good at and what their strengths are and use them appropriately in their favor. I found out that I have been greatly using this strategy on and off the court to develop my day-to-day work life.
6) Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
I’m really passionate about the work I do and would love if there were opportunities for me down the line to also be able to mentor other employees or new recruits to be successful within this position, perhaps as a manager or supervisor.
7) If there are any young professionals reading this article, what is your advice to them as they start their careers?
I would tell them to eat all the candy in the world! But on a serious note, I learned from playing tennis that success comes with repetition. In life, we move on to things that are not mastered to perfection and we find something new to tackle on. This not only develops patience but also gives you confidence to get through the next hurdle. The lesson here is become great at things before you try to move on to something new.
Business Development Associate
Google Marketing Solutions
Education: Eastern Michigan University
Age: 23 years old