Beyond the job description: Mihika Kashyap (MBET '15) pursues an entrepreneurial path at Google

Mihika Kashyap

Photo by  Ian M. Stewart for the Waterloo Region Record. 

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Undergraduate: BASc, Systems Design Engineering, UWaterloo

Pre-MBET position: Strategy and Technology Consultant, Konrad Group

Post-MBET position: Brand Specialist, Google

Favourite event of MBET: Speaker event with Bruce Croxon, founder of Lavalife and former Dragon's Den dragon 

Favourite quotation to keep you inspired: "The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle." (Steve Jobs)

How do you spend a free hour? In the busy season, catching up on sleep! The rest of the year, reading, dancing, and cooking. 

You've heard the rumours about what it's like to work at Google: amazing amenities, the famous 20% time for personal projects, and the uniquely transparent management structure. All true, according to Mihika Kashyap, who was hired in Google's Toronto office shortly after completing the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program in 2015. 

"It's a phenomenal place to work," Mihika says, “And not only for the perks. I'm proud to work for a company that embraces diversity and inclusion, where women and people of different cultural backgrounds are represented in management." 

Google also espouses an entrepreneurial spirit which fits well with Mihika's passion for making new things happen. Team members are empowered with autonomy to make changes and pursue projects outside their job description. Mihika has capitalized on this opportunity by taking on a side project in addition to her day-to-day job—and she's finding ways to apply her MBET education in both roles. 

Channeling the startup mindset

As a Brand Specialist, Mihika works with clients in the Canadian auto and financial industries to launch ads on YouTube. (Have you seen a car ad on YouTube lately? Mihika probably put it there!) The role involves managing the technical requirements of the ads' implementation and also collaborating with clients and sales teams to book and target the ads.

The big-picture perspective of the MBET program has helped her to understand how sales, marketing, and technology fit together in the digital advertising space.

She balances this role with a side project: the Canadian launch of a new Google offering within the advertising industry. This requires her to tap into the scrappy startup approach which she experienced firsthand in the BET 604 New Venture Creation class. As she represents her team globally and collaborates with groups across different disciplines within Google, she also draws on lessons learned from the negotiation simulations and worskshops in Professor Mark Weber's BET 600 Leadership class.

The MBET testing ground

Going beyond the expected was a trait that Mihika demonstrated during her time in the MBET program as well. For her BET 604 venture, she worked with a team of other students to develop Spectiva, a smart mirror display that allowed users to view their email, social media feeds, and preferred apps in the mirror while getting ready for the day. The product caught the eye of Dragon’s Den, and they pitched for investment on the Next Gen Den webseries.

Alongside the busy MBET workload of classes and assignments Mihika also took on the challenge of launching a local branch of BrainStation, a digital skills training company that offers hands-on courses in web development, user experience, product management, and more. From establishing partnerships to hosting events, Mihika and two MBET colleagues took on all aspects of starting up the company’s local office at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener. These hands-on experiences served as a testing ground for the lessons she was learning in MBET, and conversely, she brought her challenges back to the classroom for discussion and problem solving.  

The emphasis on classroom learning that counts in the real world is what makes MBET a gamechanger, according to Mihika. It’s what keeps her coming back to her class notes and calling up her former classmates on a regular basis as she grows her entrepreneurial career at Google.

MBET class of 2015

The MBET class of 2015 at their year-end celebration.

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