Debra LoCastro ’05
Debra LoCastro ’05, Google representative, returned to campus in early October, jumping from résumé reviews to networking sessions to meetings with student leaders.
In her eight years with Google, LoCastro has risen from sales associate to university programs lead. She manages the student outreach team, helping students learn about career opportunities at Google. Here, she shares her ideas on how the tech world and companies like Google value graduates from schools like Colgate.
Why is Google interested in students with liberal arts degrees?
I majored in psychology, but I also took classes in math and statistics. Liberal arts schools encourage students to bring those types of studies together so that you’re not just learning about them alone, but rather in cross-study, which mimic real-world applications.
How does your Colgate degree fit into the tech and business world?
Having exposure across fields is an indicator of success in the business world. For example, at Google I started out in advertising sales. Having an understanding of psychological behavior and being able to build relationships, while also having experience in math and being able to crunch numbers quickly, was very important.
How are liberal arts degrees viewed in the application process?
I work with liberal arts students to help them understand the opportunities we offer at Google in addition to engineering (such as advertising sales and people operations). For nonengineering roles, we evaluate liberal arts degrees just as we would an undergraduate business degree. We’re trying to find holistic thinkers and people who are good at a lot of different things.
What are some of the things you were involved with on campus, and how did they help you in your career today?
I worked with the Breast Cancer Awareness Coalition, and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. I also volunteered with the elderly at Madison Lane Apartments and did research in a psychology lab. While none of the specific things I did on campus foreshadowed me working in people operations on our student outreach team, I was consistently passionate about helping people, building relationships, and promoting good causes.
— Kellyann Hayes ’16