The Googley affair

Written by Purva Chopra, SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business

It began at the start of the millennium, and continued to be a long-lasting love affair. One that has lasted till today, having been based on the strong foundations of trust and companionship—a companionship that has seen us through each of our daunting assignments and projects, girded by the trust that we will find our answers… the right ones!

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To you and I, Google is more than an integral part of our lives; it is a way of life. One of our fellow students, Astha Kalbag, was able to get intimate with the tech giant, having earned a coveted spot in Ad Camp by Google, a fun initiative for tertiary students in Singapore.

I caught up with Astha to get her thoughts on the experience:


What motivated you to be a part of this Ad Camp?

As a marketing and psychology major at SMU, I am very passionate about marketing. In fact, I spend a lot of my free time reading and blogging about it as well (

The Ad Camp by Google is essentially a three-day, fun-filled interactive seminar about Google Ad Words and other Google Products. After my intensive internship in digital marketing, I became very interested in Ad Words, social media analytics and other spheres of digital marketing. The Ad Camp was a wonderful opportunity to gain more insights into how Google’s contextual targeting products work.

As students, we have all heard of Google’s fun culture. However, to witness it first-hand was another experience altogether. This was the biggest driver to attend the camp. The ‘Google Experience’ definitely stayed true to its name.

Could you share your key learning points with other marketing students?

Senior Googlers gave insights about different areas of Google Products and services. Apart from learning the basics of how to run a digital Ad Words Campaign, we learnt how to give an effective sales pitch. The ‘Google Sales Pitch’ approach places heavy emphasis on understanding the client and spending a lot of time in analysing their problems and giving them a relevant, customised solution rather than adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Google’s culture and value system are things that one can only understand by experiencing the workplace. The dynamic work culture breeds collaboration and innovation. Through my interactions with Googlers, I learnt that the most important thing is to truly do what you love. Nothing else.

1016872_10151697132835186_560569082_nHow did you get to know about the programme? And how can other SMU students apply for it?

There was an email sent out to all students in SMU about the programme. I simply applied for it. I believe that students can also look out for updates on Google’s student blog and Google Plus.

Were there other students from our university in the programme as well?

Each year, 30 tertiary students are selected for the Ad Camp.  Out of this 30, there were a few other students from Singapore Management University.

What was the most memorable incident of the three days that you spent there?

It just so happened that my birthday fell right in the middle of the camp. It was surely one of the most memorable birthdays I’ve had. We cut a cake and everyone sang and danced to Hawaiian music (Hawaiian was the theme of the Ad Camp).

Every day, we were assigned to a different group so we could meet and interact with other university students. One of my favourite parts of the camp was when we had to do a sales pitch for a product. We all came up with fun ideas and performed a short skit that was extremely funny. It was really the small memories and the little things that made the whole experience worthwhile.

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