BTU #41 – Steven Muller: Submarines to Finance to Google, setting your path

“Prior to the financial collapse and my first day at Deutsche, I was thinking: I’m in finance, I’m on this ladder and trajectory, I’m going to make Director or Managing Director some day, it’s just a matter of time. But then after the financial collapse everything got mixed up, and it was very difficult to make life decisions when you have that cloud over your head. So, over time I started to really question whether that was the right thing for me. And I did a Google search of “which companies have the best culture” and Google came up. I applied through the online portal (“the black hole”) and was fortunate to get a call back and things worked out.”
 – Steven Muller

Steven Muller works at Google as a Global Strategic Business Development for Google Play. He started out at the Naval Academy,after which he served in the Navy for four years with the Submarine Force as part of the USS West Virginia. After transitioning out of the Navy he worked for 5 years in the Finance Industry: first at Barclays Capital as their Associate Director – Head of Derivative Client Valuations, North America; then at Deutsche Bank as a Vice President. He then transitioned to Google, where was a Finance Manger for 4 years before his current role. Steven holds an MBA from the Duke Fuqua School of Business and a Master’s Degree of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • What day-to-day life is like at Google
  • How Steven made the switch from the world of finance to high tech at Google
  • What life was like in the Finance industry during the 2008 meltdown
  • And much, much more…

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Show Notes

  • 2:05 – Steven’s background
  • 3:07 – What Steven does at Google
  • 4:25 – What Steven’s day-to-day life looks like
  • 6:15 – The lifestyle component of working at Google
  • 9:30 – Steven’s decision to leave the military
  • 14:15 – the day-to-day life in derivatives at Barclays Capital
  • 16:02 – How Steven transitioned to Deutsche Bank
  • 17:40 – An MBA and whether or not it’s essential for the world of finance
  • 19:45 – How Steven decided to move on from the Financial Services industry
  • 22:45 – Day-to-day life when Steven first joined Google
  • 26:50 – Advice to those looking to work at Google (or in the world of high tech)
  • 29:45 – The switch from financial services to Finance Manager at Google
  • 35:07 – How leadership differs outside of the military vs. inside the military
  • 37:10 – Habits Steven had to break when he left the military
  • 39:10 – Common veteran entry points at Google
  • 42:40 – Final words of wisdom