’People, passion and learning’. Use these to optimise your life. Use them to frame your career and navigate where you are heading next. And it might be something completely different than you expect.
Felix Koehler is a business development manager for Google in London. He’s also worked in the company’s Dublin and Hamburg offices. His international outlook started early when he left home in northern Germany aged 17 for a one-year exchange at a high school in Australia, followed by a combined degree in Australia and France.
The 32-year old says he honed his worldly perspective at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) when he met and collaborated with students from many different countries.
“I’m lucky now that I work for global companies, that I already developed a global mindset at UTS. With a lot of international students, it meant we were all new, so meeting people and making friends was easy,” he says, adding that he made friends with students of many nationalities.
Felix studied an unusual Bachelor of International Management, a double degree that combined two years of study at UTS with two years at NEOMA Business School at Reims in France. He graduated with both an Australian degree and a European degree.
All the projects at UTS were done in groups and while the interaction between group members was sometimes tricky, it prepared students for the real world of work and collaboration, he says.
“Where you have different cultures and different characters in a group everyone has a different approach to a project. That can end up being the biggest barrier to making it through a project and actually delivering it.”
He also completed compulsory internships with industry in Australia and Europe, working at CBS Interactive, the online information, entertainment and news site, multinational cosmetic company L’Oréal and Airbnb. Almost immediately after graduating, Felix landed a job at Google in Hamburg as an account manager.
His three words of advice for young people aspiring to achieve career success are “people, passion and learning”. He encourages them to tick these three boxes every time they take up a new role to pursue their dreams. “Tick these boxes to optimise your life. Use them to frame your career and navigate where you are heading next,” Felix says. “And it might be something completely different than you expect.”
Happiness is the ultimate goal, he adds. “Go for it. It’s a long game of trial and error and either way, it will give you some progress. And progress is somewhat a key driver of happiness. And in the end, that’s what it’s really about, be happy – alright! Successful yes, but you want to be happy!”