Alum of the Month - October 2018

Urs Steurer

'The LSE experience has equipped me with the right knowledge and mindset to enjoy working in today's interconnected world'.
Urs Steurer


  • Programme studied: MSc International Management (IMEX)
  • Year of Graduation: 2010
  • LinkedIn profile

Alum of the Month for October is Urs. After graduating from LSE in 2010, Urs joined Google and eight years on he's progressed through the company to his current role as Strategic Account Lead.

What’s your current job?

I’m working as a Strategic Account Lead at Google, helping Google’s largest clients to become better marketers. In essence, it’s about understanding what motivates current and prospective clients, and positioning your product or service offering at the right time to the right people. In today’s world, where almost everyone is online almost all of the time, this has become quite a complex challenge - so my job is to leverage Google’s algorithms, data integration and measurement solutions to solve it.

What’s the best thing about working for Google?

I’m sure most of you have heard of the free food Google is offering, fun activities, Google’s gyms, and massages in the office. While these are all things I thoroughly enjoy, there’s one particular aspect of working at Google which I would rate highest: the people.

When I joined Google after my graduation from LSE in 2010, I didn’t really know what to expect. Today, more than eight years later, I think I’m still with Google because I’m working with people from which I can learn a lot – while having fun. Google provides an environment in which diversity is valued highly, so you end up in teams where people have different backgrounds and strengths. I very much appreciate working in such settings!

How has the programme you studied helped your career since graduation?

Looking back, I think that my time at LSE was one of the root causes for my interest in diversity. My peers on the programme came from all over the world. I’ve learned to look at things from completely different angles, and find common denominators in complex problem sets. Many fellow alumni from my programme have become good friends of mine. As everyone has taken a different career path, you continue to learn from each other, and the alumni network keeps you informed of what’s going on outside of ‘your’ world.

What motivates you?

In the end, it comes down to having a positive impact.

Obviously, what’s defined as ‘positive’ is highly subjective. At your workplace, it can be around coming up with innovative solutions for business challenges, eventually bringing progress to humanity. In the case of Google, this ‘big picture’ is all around organising the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful – a mission that truly motivates me.

But there is more that motivates me. The more I have seen from the world, and the more I have learned, the more I feel a responsibility to tackle the world’s biggest problems – poverty and environmental issues. These are the problems most humans (and living beings in general) are affected by. I am convinced that technology has the power to solve these problems, so I’m starting to explore this space. Something I would definitely recommend others to do as well, as it can be highly motivating!

What one piece of advice would you give to a current student or recent graduate?

It might sound a bit dull, but there is a lot of wisdom in the saying, ‘The joy is in the journey’.

My advice would be to listen closely to yourself when it comes to finding out what motivates you. Try out new things, break established routines and develop new ones which better fit your preferences. You’ll realise that there is a lot of rewards hidden in daily routines (if you choose the right ones). Happiness research has shown that the happiest people are the ones which derive happiness from the progress towards reaching a goal – not necessarily reaching all of them. And if you ‘fail’ at reaching a goal, it’s the best chance you have for setting a new, improved goal – enjoy the journey!