Campus Life on the Googleplex
Walk across a college campus and you never know who you might bump into—a professor, a friend, or maybe even the president or a dean. It’s that connectivity that really lends itself to collaboration and collegiality. Now, think of that on a much larger scale. For Becca Kamm Miller ’12, working at Google isn’t too far removed from strolling from Corson to the Kaleidoscope. The tech giant is a breeding ground for ideas and creativity.
Google’s sprawling Mountain View, Calif., headquarters have become somewhat of a benchmark for modern workplaces, complete with tennis courts, swimming pools, and coffee shops. In fact, strolling the “Googleplex” in Silicon Valley has a familiar feel to Becca Kamm Miller ’12.
“It’s like a college campus. Picture Ursinus, but with Google offices,” Miller quipped.
OK, so maybe Olin Plaza isn’t quite Google, but the camaraderie and sense of connectivity is certainly comparable. Miller is senior category manager for research and marketing services for the tech giant, a position perfectly suited to skills honed here in Collegeville, where she majored in both business and economics and media and communications studies. Now, she works in procurement for Google and supports marketing, sales, and UX teams who are working with outside vendors to develop research studies.
“Ursinus is always prepping you for what comes next,” Miller said, recalling the mentorship she received from professors like Heather O’Neill, Jennifer VanGilder, Stephen Bowers, and the late Joe Melrose. “My classes always translated to real-world experiences. It’s exactly what I do every single day. I look at data and trends and analysis. And as a student, you don’t always realize how prudent it is until you live it in the real world. And you think, ‘I know how to do this.’”
At Ursinus, Miller landed an internship at Disney in Orlando, Fla., and then moved to California to work for the Walt Disney Company. While at Disney, she worked in procurement for marketing services and then the design and construction theme parks team, where she focused on projects for both Hong Kong and Shanghai Disneyland.
“Working for Disney was my dream job,” she said. “I was working for my dream company. I was focused on working really hard, educating myself, and learning, growing, and developing.”
Now at Google, Miller is particularly proud of the work she’s done coming up with strategies, pricing models, and deliverables for research services at Google. Her “office space” is a breeding ground for big ideas.
“The campuses are designed so that you will have no choice but to run into someone—and that reminds me of Ursinus,” she said. “They want you to be collaborating while, say, sitting at a picnic table. And the next thing you know, you’re having this great conversation and coming up with new ideas. That’s just like a college campus and it brings out this beautiful culture.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic forced some remote work that didn’t allow for that kind of in-person collaboration, Miller is eager to get back to work on the Googleplex.
“I love knowing people and getting to know people,” she added. “It helps not only to get to know someone personally and professionally, but to collaborate and problem solve. I think that was something I learned back in Bomberger [on the Ursinus campus], and it’s really helped me to grow.”