Carlos Arango: «I left Google Colombia to continue growing»

Written by


SEM · 13 / 10 / 2016

It seems strange that some people leave Google to go to other companies or create our own projects. But this isn’t as rare as it seems. Carlos Arango is one of those people who changed one of the best companies in the world for another project that excited him more at that time and allowed him to continue growing as a professional and person.

Carlos studied at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and his first contract, after an internship in Microsoft advertising, was in the giant Google.

-How did you get into Google?

I applied to a process through what is called internally “referral”. Google is looking for people who are related to people who are already working internally to continue building the team with profiles similar to those already in existence.

-How did you see the hiring process? Was it complex?

It’s not really a complex process. It is a process in which after validating your resume, Google is looking for you to be a good candidate to work as a team and have highly developed analytical capabilities (talking about hiring processes for sales). Many questions are asked how what marketing magazine do you like the best, a case study with Google AdWords. Also other questions you ask them to see how is your mental process of analysis, without having to give the correct answer, as for example how many ping-pong balls fit in a bus, which size has the target segment of a particular business, etc…

Google Colombia Luminous Entry

Google Colombia Luminous Entry

-What kind of person is looking beyond someone with analytical capacity?

In Google as in any company are looking for people who fit the culture of Google. There they call it “googliness”, which comes to mean that you are a person with the values of the company. This can be confusing, since it is the people who do the interviews that determine whether a person is “googlie” or not, and may become discriminatory. The recruitment process is delegated to employees who do not have to have this type of experience and who are given little training to carry out the hirings. What’s more, I now googliness would value it in a different way; I would look more than a person with whom I can get along, someone who is flexible, who can work as a team, that the person is simple and someone I can trust. Lack of human resources management and a slightly more centralized process.

-What do you like the most personal level of Google?

The atmosphere of Google is great. The people you work with influence your life and you really make friends that last. I had a lot of fun and I had a great time. Also, the perks (benefits for Google employees) are impressive; Free food, subsidized education, ability to work in different offices around the world and learn from people who know more than you. Really the possibility of working in several places is something exceptional. I remember with a smile in my mouth, that I once went to the Chicago office to work side by side with the team of Google Airlines and the weekend I attended the festival Lollapalooza Without having to ask for a single day of vacation. On another occasion I did the same thing from the New York office (you can see my soul team at Madison Square Garden, the Lakers of Kobe Bryant), something really amazing and that you do not give other companies (I worked later in LAN and despite being an airline did not allow this ). Actually there are many Good things about working on Google.

Photo Office Google Chicago

Google Chicago Front Desk

-And on a professional level?

At the professional level, they give you many tools to be able to do your work in an excellent way.  Obviously, all these tools are something you get to sue to get the most out of your job. Also something that I loved, was that the horizontality of the company makes you work with your boss sitting next door and really in team. This in Colombia is something exceptional. In Google Colombia there was only one office and it was the manager of the country.

There were also constantly trainings and things to learn continually; Sometimes we did training in offices of other countries with the people of your role as when we went to Silicon Valley all the people with the same role in all America.

Google Colombia

Having fun with our bikes.

On the other hand, the projection that you have worked on Google is something of great value. Google’s Prestige is recognized worldwide and allows access to other high-level companies as well. Also I find something very useful the orientation to the user and client 100% that Google has.

-Why did you leave Google after 2 and a half years? Many people wonder why people leave Google?

I do not know if it happened to you, but it was the question that made me and continue to do. There are several reasons why I made the decision to leave Google:

  • The horizontality of Google makes it difficult to ascend and the changes of roles in Colombia were not so interesting. My role had a very high learning curve during the first few years, but then it was reduced and the projection I could aspire to was limited and I was not really excited.
Carlos Arango Working in Google offices

Carlos Arango Working in Google offices

  • I was also introduced to work on LAN Airlines as a spectacular opportunity to keep progressing. In LAN I was able to do more things beyond being within a medium. In Google it was difficult to learn from other channels or media (SEO, Criteo, mail marketing, UX, how to create an electronic site, etc…). LAN’s experience was richer from the point of view of disciplines and channels to deal with more successful marketing strategies and digital business.  I also had the opportunity to manage a team and learned aspects of soft skills that were difficult to develop on Google.

-You were very clear that you wanted to continue studying and get to know new cultures. That’s why you decide to leave LAN, a comfortable position with a good salary and put you back on the step of the students. You decided to leave the warm Colombia to go to the cold Sweden to study in a very innovative school. What kind of school is Hyperisland And why did you select it?

I fell in love with the Hyperisland program, that was the main reason, and I didn’t mind going cold to Sweden. I wanted to do something digital but I felt that most Digital Masters have a very specific Digital Marketing profile. Normally they look for a profile that goes from 0 to 2 years of experience and the programs of these masters were very similar to what I had already lived within Google and LAN and then it was much like what I was going to do and I was not thrilled at all. Also my profile fit to do an MBA, but it was not what I was most excited about.

Hyperisland Stockholm

Learning in Hyperisland Stockholm

Hyperisland is a school that encompasses digital space from a business standpoint, not from digital marketing. Most schools, except for some such as the ISDI in Spain they are oriented to digital marketing. Also something very important of Hyperisland is that it focuses on developing teams, where you work in teams, learn by doing, learning by doing, giving feedback,… The methodology is completely innovative in that sense and it is something that sympathize highly, since I have an image that education has to be completely renewed. Hyperisland is not technically a university and it does not have a name recognized massively outside of countries like Sweden, or something that gives it a support from the curricular point of view, but I was moved and I believed the program.

-In the world we almost always talk about the curricular sense of things but you seem to be moved by the illusion of continuing to learn and do things for fun. Reducing your income, being a student again. All that makes you want to live new experiences, Right?

That’s it completely. I am a person who moves a lot for emotions ????

-What do you expect after this master in digital business in Sweden? Where do you think this master is going to put you?

Many options occurs, for example, to return to Colombia. In Colombia there is much talk of digital marketing and little talk about digital business. I also have the baggage of digital marketing, but I also want to develop the knowledge of digital business, digital transformation, how to adapt a company to the digital environment, how to work with tools connected with each other, what things have to change in a company,… Many times companies go behind the street when it comes to using tools or services. To get used to the companies to work in a more agile, more digital way, get used to working digitally, or digitalmenta :).

Another thing I would love to try would be to work in a company like Spotify; It’s one of my dreams. The good thing I see him working at Headquarters is learning from the business from the beginning. In companies like Spotify, in countries like Colombia you always have room to work in sales but in a few other things; It is what same as Google Colombia vs Google Silicon Valley. Learning to work on their own methodologies inherent in a digital business at 100% would seem spectacular.

-Thanks Carlos and to finish, looking to improve Google, one of the best companies in the world what would your pulla towards the company? What should be improved or done differently? Something that discourages people?

For example, in Google Colombia we left 6 people in a space of 2 months approximately after living a very nice stage to raise the office and make it grow. It seems that people get tired of doing the same thing and with guidelines at a very rigid sales level. Also Google is too Google Centric, youdo not know the competition, you do not know the value of the competition and their predominant position can become arrogant; Criteo For example gives Google a thousand turns in AD automation issues of Remarketing, and you don’t even want to look if Criteo does things like that or asá; that also discourages.

Another thing that happens in Google is that it is very paternalistic in some aspect and this spoils people; “Dad Google gives me everything”, but perhaps for lack of love, which makes people instead of feeling like this I earn it, was initially and was misbred. You can become an ungrateful person in certain respects.

-Would you go Back to Google?

I Would surely Return, not to large customer sales or to the same role, but it will definitely always be a possibility. Obviously if they want to receive me back ????


SEM · 18 / 06 / 2020

SEM Game: Revolutionize your Google Ads accounts

In Digital Menta we don’t like to stop. Our greatest enemy is called routine and so we are continually innovating and looking for new ways and methods to do our job better. The last idea we’ve had is called SEM game and we promise you that after reading this post you’re going to want to […]

Miriam Bayona

SEM - SEO · 04 / 06 / 2020

Voice Searches

Voice search is one of the trends that is currently experiencing the greatest growth. In fact, more than one billion voice searches are already performed each month and it is expected that by 2020 50% of searches will be performed by voice. Therefore, given its high utilization, companies cannot ignore voice searches. They must be […]


SEM · 28 / 05 / 2020

10 Problems in a digital client-agency relationship. How to solve a crisis with your digital agency?

During the relationship between a customer and a digital service agency, there may be ups and downs due to multiple situations. It’s normal for a customer to have doubts about the quality of the services provided. Here are ten questions a customer can ask about your digital service provider.

Send this to a friend