Natasha Mascarenhas Wright



University of California, Los Angeles - Bachelor of Arts, Sociology and Urban Planning

Natasha Mascarenhas Wright works at a company that touches all of our lives on a regular basis every day — Google. As one of the company’s career development program managers, Natasha works to create a developmental program for new employees in the sales and operations group, with a focus on things like career development, project management, how to succeed at Google and other skill-building tools. She manages Google’s North America program. Natasha has worked for more than four years at the company, and has worked in her current role for just under a year. Aside from her job, she loves movies with unexpected endings, organizing anything she can (from closets and drawers to projects and events) and desserts.

Build a strong network of ‘you’ champions by establishing a reputation.

How did you discover your current job?

I had just spent more than seven years in the nonprofit affordable housing industry and was finishing up a six-month travel break, when I embarked on a new job search using Google. My dad (half-jokingly) suggested that I apply at Google; I laughed and shrugged off the suggestion claiming that I wasn’t techy enough to work at Google, but I applied anyway. Google called me in for interviews a month later, and I accepted a position shortly thereafter. I spent more than four years coordinating large-scale internal events, and recently, I accepted a position managing a career development program for new folks that join Google in North America.

Was there any one situation that helped you along your way?

In 2008, our senior events manager left Google suddenly. Her departure offered me an opportunity to assume the reigns on one of our largest internal events. The learning curve was steep, stakes were high, and I was nervous, but I pulled off a seamless event, which has turned out to be my greatest accomplishment to date.

What is your typical day like? Does it ever change?

My typical day varies greatly. As the North America program manager on a global program, there are many stakeholders around the world, so my morning might start with a call to Dublin, Ireland, and end with a video-conference with Hyderabad, India.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Being challenged to higher standards.

What is the most challenging part?

Balancing multiple stakeholders’ priorities.

What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?

Working some nights and weekends (keeping me from spending time with my family).

What is one lesson you’ve learned in your job that sticks with you?

Build a strong network of “you champions” by establishing a reputation of reliability, approachability, candor and thoughtfulness.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?

Finding the delicate balance between work and life, particularly disconnecting from all the devices that keep us tied to work: computer, phone, tablet, etc.

Who are your role models?

My mother: a young immigrant mom who values integrity, honor, determination and humility, and teaches me to see the humor in everything, including myself (discouraging me from taking myself too seriously)

My nonprofit ex-manager: a tough-on-the-outside hard-core Bostonian, who teaches me to be wholeheartedly generous and to embrace healthy skepticism

My Google ex-managers: solid and grounded women who fiercely hold themselves to high standards, and teach me that powerful and successful women are goofy and real

My husband: the best man I know, who inspires me to be a better version of myself everyday

Is there a quote or mantra that you live by?

Make it happen.

What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?

Use your network to find someone who has a contact at the company that interests you, and request an informational interview. Everyone has 30 minutes to talk to you about what they do, how they got there and answer your burning questions. Informational interviews are your opportunity to make a good impression with someone on the “inside,” build your network of “you champions” and ask the tough questions (that you may not want to raise during an official interview).