Google’s Chris Fong ’03 Talks Professional Development, Technology Power, and Student Entrepreneurship
On November 5th, ten Cornell students had the fortunate opportunity to meet Chris Fong ‘03, who not only leads Google’s channel sales partnerships team but also passionately advocates student entrepreneurship. Chris attended Cornell 2002-03 and took classes in the Johnson School, namely Professor BenDaniel’s course–NBA 3000 Entrepreneurship and Private Equities–which truly allowed him to manifest his entrepreneurial spirit through creating a lucrative business proposal.
The intimate dinner event at Taverna Banfi brought together various students with majors ranging from English to Computer Science and encouraged insightful, interactive conversation with Fong concerning entrepreneurship, mentorship, resourcefulness, career paths, and the importance of personal motivation.
1) Identify your passions
- What makes you tick? What inspires you? Only when you are self aware of your passions can you really narrow down “the right career for me.” When Fong evaluated business plans and mentored entrepreneurs in Tanzania for Google.org, he was so impressed with the entrepreneurs and realized the profound value of education and passion. Moreover, at his guest lecture in AEM 1210 Entrepreneurship Speaker Series with Professor Perez, Fong challenged students to think critically about the pros and cons of microfinance strategies, such as Google Reach’s consulting in India.
2) Know your audience
- Avoid the “spray” technique of just mass, blind marketing. Whether it is a new business idea or an interview, take the time to know your audience well and utilize key information to identify the best practices to reach them best. Sometimes, this means actually getting right in the field and spending time with your audience if possible. As an entrepreneur this may cost valuable time and money, but it can truly be an invaluable asset to the overall longterm success of your business.
3) Get technological
- Fong emphasized the importance of harnessing the power of technology to aid our pursuits in learning, connecting and efficiency. At the beginning of his AEM 1210 presentation, Fong incorporated Twitter as a platform for students to ask questions throughout the presentation. As another example, Fong highlighted Medium, a new site launched by the founders of Twitter, which provides a cyber idea-sharing medium for all writers, photographers, and creatives.
4) Don’t be the smartest person in the room
- Surround yourself with people smarter than you and those with expertise in a particular area to continue creating opportunities to learn and expand your reach network. Though this may be uncomfortable, the results will surprise you.
5) Strive to be useful to others
- Entrepreneurs should never be satisfied with something just useful to themselves and expect everyone to feel the same. Instead, the perspective should be to create innovative solutions that will become useful to others and perhaps evolve into successful professional, personal relationships. With the right passion, team, and innovative solution to help others, the possibilities are infinite.
Be sure to check out Chris’s video on Prendismo about his Professional Involvement In Google!
: Cornell University students can access Prendismo for free by using their Cornell NetID and password.
To learn more about our distinguished alumni events, check out our interview with Barbara Novick, Founder and Vice Chairman of BlackRock
Chris leads Google’s channel sales partnerships team that works with automotive, travel and legal partners. His team helps partners to build long term, profitable businesses around Google products. Prior to this role he started Google’s direct sales advertising division’s focused efforts with education organizations in 2006. His experience at Google also includes working for Google.org in Tanzania evaluating business plans and mentoring entrepreneurs and Google Reach in India consulting for a microfinance organization trying to grow from 90,000 to 1 million clients and teaching computer literacy skills to 12-14 year olds from New Delhi’s slums.
While at university he founded an education startup in Australia which helped students trade textbooks which evolved into a classifieds portal and worked at Expedia in the United States and Canada. Christopher holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney and spent one year at Cornell as part of an exchange studies program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and holds a dual MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
Jennifer Park is a senior majoring in Policy Analysis and Management. She is also working towards Business and Law and Society minors, as she has enthusiastic interests in strategic business development, information science, and public-private partnerships. On campus she is involved in H.E.L.P. for Children as Co-President, Stone Computing Center as Student Computing Supervisor, Society for Women in Business as a mentor, and and active member of Cornell University Sustainable Design.