A natural problem solver, Taylor Jarl 16BBA recognizes an important fact that continues to shape both his personal and professional life. “Mentors have made such a massive difference in my life. You can say something that will change the direction of someone’s life.” As an alumni mentor, Jarl is always open to building new relationships to help people grow. “I’m just hoping to pay it forward.”
Reflecting on his Goizueta experience, Jarl recalls the highly influential Multinational Firms & Strategy course taught by L. G. Thomas, professor of Organization & Management. Class projects prepped him well for his career, and Thomas’ insightful feedback fueled the development of Taylor’s analytical mindset. In evaluating multinational firms for the course, “We had to find our own data, crunch the numbers, and analyze that data to solve real-world problems,” Jarl says. “The experience was very reflective of real life, and Professor Thomas taught us the skill sets that we really need.”
Justify the Numbers for Billions of Users and Counting
Though the significance of the global reach may be unfathomable to some, Google products impact lives. After transitioning from a management consulting role at Booz Allen into Google to work in the tech sector, Jarl drew a meaningful conclusion about the role he now plays. “When you’re talking about products with over one billion users, you know that it’s impactful and changing the world,” he says. “I saw that with Google.”
As a Product Manager whose responsibilities include defining product strategy and user experiences, building product roadmaps, and measuring impact, he often harkens back to lessons learned in Thomas’s class.
You have to make sure that the impact is number-driven and accountable. You have to manage the product and move the needle. You have to show you’re making an impact, which has to be measurably—not arbitrarily—defined, and then justify the numbers. You’re pulling in everyone—engineers, users, designers, legal, privacy experts, marketing, policy. All need to be represented to launch products at a fast-enough rate to meet user demand.
On-the-job pressure can come with the territory, he says, but Goizueta’s core Business Communications class gave him invaluable insight into how others perceive him. During the class, he and his fellow students had to record themselves giving presentations. Jarl recalls the awkward feeling of seeing himself on video but admits how much it taught him about effective communication. “A great idea that is poorly communicated can often get pushed aside by a lesser idea communicated well. I still value that important class and build on its lessons today.”