Going Global with Google
This article is part of our Women in Partnerships series, highlighting female professionals in the partnerships space. To learn more about the series and the Women in Partnerships group, check out the series intro.
Ambika Sharma grew up in south India within a family passionate about engineering, and medicine. Growing up, she was always fascinated by electronics and circuit boards, which fostered Engineering and Business degrees from prestigious institutes in the USA, India, and Australia.
Ambika is a Technology & Business Advisor with over fifteen years of experience working with government, automotive, retail, telecommunications, and energy sectors in India, Australia, Canada, and the USA. She is passionate about helping businesses digitally transform while running efficient & sustainable businesses. Today, Ambika joins us to discuss the career journey that brought her to four different countries and her most cherished experiences.
Through Ambika Sharma’s career, she’s had a surplus of opportunities to give back, which she notes as her proudest accomplishment. Ambika highlighted, “A few things have been very exciting. When working for Google in India, I got to support the Chromebooks to Classrooms initiatives, helping to provide free Chromebooks to first-generation children going to school. It was really empowering and motivating to see the impact of technology. This initiative really grounded me and made me feel wonderful about how technology can create so many opportunities.”
Ambika worked on a variety of initiatives during her time at Google, bringing her all over the world. “In Australia, I got the chance to work with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. This initiative involved a lot of time underwater, helping do my part in preserving the coral reef to combat bleaching, ocean acidification, and other threats facing these colorful ecosystems.”
Finally, Ambika worked on an initiative to teach children English and math in Columbia. She shared, “It was fantastic getting to teach children — they helped me work on my Spanish skills. I really enjoyed going to Columbia and would not do anything any different if I could. These three initiatives and the opportunity to work with organizations to encourage individuals to volunteer their time grounds me.”
Striving for More
Ambika has had to adapt to changing landscapes throughout her career. “Moving from the engineering world to sales and relocating to different countries, I’ve had to constantly embrace different opportunities and adapt to different cultures. I’ve learned how to be open-minded and embrace the cultures for what they are.”
“Every day, I strive to do more than what the role would entail, for example saying yes to an interview like this,” Ambika continued. “I’m always trying to read one page extra so I can wrap my head around the constant evolution in cloud computing and to ensure I can advise my business partners and customers. Doing a little bit extra beyond the core requirements of my role has been uncomfortably exciting.”
Advice for Other Women in the Industry
Ambika shared a few pieces of advice for all women in partnerships and engineering. “First, it’s very important to find one strength and focus area. Spend some time reflecting on what motivates you, what discourages you, and where you find strength and happiness. Investing an hour each week compounds over time.”
While Ambika has had to learn how to interact with a variety of cultures, she highlighted the value of embracing your uniqueness. “Being your authentic self is absolutely key. Being okay with having fantastic, wonderful ideas, and sometimes not understanding what’s going on is part of that. Some days you’re cranking away, other days you need to pause and be kind to yourself. Being kind and respectful to yourself is important.”
Along the same lines, Ambika pointed out that hardships and suffering are part of life. “Challenges, difficult situations, and difficult people are all part of the professional experience. Being mindful and marching ahead in spite of everything is a sign of strength and awareness as well. Always be curious and conscious about your learning journey. Take advantage of opportunities to learn from your experiences and reflect on what works and what doesn’t.”
Finally, in closing Ambika shared her wish for the future. “I’d love to see more of the next generation’s women supporting each other. Always remember that everyone is completing their own journey on their own time. You have to have fun in this experience too.”
It’s inspiring to see Ambika’s journey from electronics and telecommunication engineering at Siemens to advertising at JWT, to ads at Google and now partnerships at Google Cloud. We can’t wait to see what Ambika does next!
Get advice from and connect with hundreds of powerful women in partnerships, like Ambika, when you join Partnership Leaders’ Women in Partnerships group. Hundreds of industry professionals turn to Partnership Leaders for support with their latest projects, answers to burning questions, and general camaraderie.
Dig deeper into the career journeys of impactful ladies in the industry when you download Powerful Women in Partnerships. You can also be inspired by more powerful women in the industry in all of our Women in Partnerships spotlights.