Jessica Larsson Agranovich
Describe your role and what it is that you do overall and on a day-to-day basis.
While studying Marketing and Media Management at SSE, I had the opportunity to join Google shortly after they opened offices in the Nordics. In my 10+ years at Google, I’ve specialized in branding, experiential marketing, and communications. During that time, I’ve led the launches of numerous new products, produced large-scale events, and worked in several regions, including the Nordics, the US and globally. Most recently, I’ve transitioned from full-time to freelance at Google to work on new projects, start a business, and rethink the balance between work and play. The move to freelance has allowed me to incorporate more of my other interests into my day-to-day (particularly outdoor sports like skiing, climbing and mountain biking), while also expressing myself creatively in my work.
What interested you about the field/company/role you are currently in?
I was drawn to the tech industry because of its ambitious, innovative, and fast-paced environment. Google in particular is a place that welcomes creativity, unique perspectives, and new ideas. With the open-minded culture of the company, you get the opportunity to meet, learn from, and work with some incredibly smart and passionate people, which has been one of my favorite parts of working at the company and in this field.
Leaving the full time role to freelance was a tough decision, but one that I'm excited about. Before the transition, I spent the majority of my career, from university through a decade of working, seeking “traditional success” in corporate settings, only to realize that I hadn't stopped to reflect on what “success” means to me. I moved to freelance to find what I enjoy doing and how I can best apply my knowledge, skills and interests to help in areas that align with my values, but also allow a lifestyle I enjoy. What interests me most about this direction is the possibility to explore a more unconventional implementation of work and success.
What is most exciting about your work at the moment? Where do you think your role/field is going in the next 5-10 years?
I’m incredibly excited about the increased interest in reshaping traditional work and how we can find better balance in work, life and with nature. With the move to more remote and digital work across industries there is a great opportunity to modernize. I believe the wave of increased reflection and awareness will lead to a redefinition of work and success. For experience and event marketing specifically, this move has created a wave of innovation in how we connect with each other and with brands. The coming 5-10 years will likely see many new models for both experiences, events and work.
What has it been like to work at such a large (and popular) company such as Google? What was it like working in Silicon Valley?
Working at Google is an absolutely amazing experience. The people are some of the most wonderful and passionate people I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with and the general ambition at Google is inspiring. The open, collaborative and creative environment is incredible and having the opportunity to work across multiple regions has been a great learning experience. Silicon Valley, especially, is such a melting pot of innovation, ideas and opportunities and has been a very inspirational place to work.
As a woman working in tech, what would you say to young girls to encourage them to pursue a career in technology? What would more women in the field bring to the tech sector?
Tech is an amazing field that, like many others, most certainly needs more representation from women, especially in roles like engineering and product management. Women bring unique perspectives, diverse networks, and approaches to problem-solving to the table that often differ from the status quo and more traditional strategies. That said, since I started my career in tech, there has been a great shift in the number of women in the workforce. Lately, I’ve found myself working on teams that are mostly female-dominated (all the way up to the VP and CMO), which is very cool. It’s worth mentioning that roles like marketing, sales, events, and design generally do have solid representation from women in tech as well.
As for encouraging young girls to pursue a career in technology, I would encourage them to find what they enjoy doing first, and then select an industry based on what they’re interested in and what mission aligns most with their values and ambitions. Because it’s when we enjoy what we do that we have the highest output (and the most fun).
How did your time/education at SSE help guide you to the career journey you have embarked on?
In the Marketing & Media Management Master Program, we had guest lecturers come in regularly to share about their industries and work. One of those talks was from a team at Google. It was such an interesting lecture, that at the end of it, I connected with one of the speakers and inquired if they had internships. One thing led to another and I joined Google Marketing in April the first year of my Master program.
SSE offers wonderful exposure to different career paths to inspire your journey; from guest lecturers to work fairs, industry collaborations and teachers. Holding a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from SSE has also been a strong foundation for my resume. Mostly though, I’d say that SSE teaches you a way to think and approach challenges, which sets you up for creativity and innovation in your career that is invaluable, whichever path you choose. I would encourage anyone looking for an amazing foundation to consider SSE and for students to think broader about what a degree from SSE can enable in their journey.
Following your time studying, do you have any words of wisdom or advice you would like to share with our current/prospective students?
Don’t seek someone else’s definition of work or success. Seek what makes your soul happy and create your own definitions.
What are three words that sum up your time at SSE?
Fun, community, opportunity.