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Raikes Alumnus Brings Business Sense to Google

Helping students land high-tech jobs at premiere companies is a priority at the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Justin Hicks, a 2011 Raikes graduate received a business minor while majoring in computer science and math, and found his dream job with Google at their Boulder, Colo. location.

“I knew I wanted to work at Google,” Hicks said. “Every year I would send them my resume. It’s just something I did as part of my career planning that helped me get the job.”

Although Google receives thousands of resumes, Hicks believes his work at Raikes gave him the preparation necessary to get noticed.

“Something made them grab my resume. I believe it was a combination of learning how to present myself to a company and the hands-on work we did at Raikes in design studio learning how to interact in teams. I worked with IBM my junior year and Jacob North my senior year. Those experiences help set you apart when you’re competing for jobs.”

The Raikes School partners with the College of Business Administration to ensure all students graduate with either a business major or minor. Getting the business minor helped Hicks understand what business managers need even though most of his job involves software development.

Justin Hicks
“The biggest thing the business classes taught me was how to communicate in a team setting,” he said. “We have to make sure priorities are understood by management, the developers and the clients. That’s an important tool in any business because you have to think through how everything is going to get done.”

Hicks, who is from Spearfish S.D., works on the Google Drive project team and was recently promoted to a higher level software engineer position. Google Drive provides cloud file storage environments and an interface for managers to interact with their files on mobile apps.

“I have more independence in my new position and don’t require as much direction,” he said. “The project I’m working on provides statistical information to managers to help them make business decisions. I’m one of the go-to people on that.”

He stresses to current students to be persistent when job hunting.

“After all the resumes I sent to Google, I finally got a phone interview over spring break my senior year and an in-person interview before graduation. I heard back that I had the job in early June.”

Hicks enjoys life in Boulder and is enthusiastic about his future at Google.

“Google takes care of their employees, and it’s an environment where I can always push myself and try something new to challenge myself. I plan on staying at Google for quite a while.”
Published: January 23, 2014