Joël Kalmanowicz got his start with Google through the Associate Product Manager program, which provides opportunities to top university graduates who, with extra support and training, become skilled Product Managers.
As product manager for Google’s Maps APIs, Joël works on integrating Google Maps and streetview into other apps. The Uber app, for example, uses Google Maps to help riders and drivers connect.
When he wasn’t on the beach in his sunny hometowns of Pukalani, Hawaii and later Mullumbimby, NSW, Joël sparked an interest in computers by modding his family’s PC games.
He dreamed of becoming a videogame designer, but quickly realised that “building one game doesn’t really change anyone’s life.”
“As a kid I didn’t really know what was most important to me, so I just wanted to find a way to learn as much as I could about as much as I could,” says Joël.
“Now I’ve had enough experience and confidence to have my own opinions on what the world needs and isn’t getting enough of.”
At Google, Joël has been able to use his computer science skills on projects that “actually matter”.
Lending his talents to American non-profit HIAS, for example, Joël redesigned the technical infrastructure used for processing refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Greece, which didn’t have the capacity to manage them.
“I find it really inspiring to make a direct impact,” says Joël. He now regards volunteer work and outreach as ‘second nature’ – something that his workplace wholeheartedly supports.
With Google behind him, Joël can take time out for charitable work and even secure a donation for the charity from Google. It’s a win win!
– Eliza Brockwell
> > Founder, Live IT (small web consulting startup) and GreaterBlue (small online commerce startup)
> > Bachelor of Science (Computer Science)/Bachelor of Commerce (Web Technologies), University of Western Australia
> > Product Manager, Google
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Author: Eliza Brockwell
Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.