Four Questions with...

Sunbir Alam (BSc Business Management with Year in Industry, 2018), Platform and Ecosystems - Android at Google shares his tips and advice for life as a graduate and what he has learnt since leaving University.

Sunbir Alam at Google

Briefly describe your current role:  I currently work in Google’s Platform and Ecosystems division in the Android team. At Google I am responsible for the Android One program, contributing to driving the adoption of Android One smartphones around the world and empowering billions of people through our technology. 


What is the biggest mistake you have made since graduating and what have you learnt from it?

The biggest realisation for me after graduating is appreciating that ultimately it is not about the destination and where you are trying to get to, but it’s rather about the journey. Regardless of the field or the career you are pursuing, this applies to every one of us. Try to enjoy each and every moment of your life journey, and to paraphrase Steve Jobs, trust that 'all the dots will connect one day' when you look back. 

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

The best piece of advice I have been given was regarding time at university. This was about treating your time at university as an 'exploration' phase in your life. Ultimately we have to pass exams, write dissertations and finish projects and assignments in our chosen field in order to get a degree, but your time at university should be about much more than that. Your time at university is about learning as much as you can about fields you are interested in. You have access to some of the smartest and most accomplished academics from literally across every single branch and field of human knowledge.  The years you spend at university should be used to leverage that and gain knowledge across different domains, as this is when true innovation happens: when you are able to apply that knowledge and make connections across different fields.


What do you know now that you wish you’d known as soon as you graduated? 

At Google we always push the boundaries of what is truly possible to help us create technology which impacts billions of people around the world. This requires a mindset in which you are willing to dream big and not be afraid of failure. One thing I wish I had known much earlier is that what you can achieve and accomplish is truly limitless. There are no barriers and limits to what each one of us can achieve in life except for the ones we ourselves choose to create in our own minds.   

Can you recommend us something?

One book I strongly encourage everyone to read is “Goals: How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible” by Brian Tracy. I also recommend watching this video by Jack Ma the founder of Alibaba about how to succeed in life.