updated 27 Aug 2014, 01:32
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Young manager shares her experience working at Google
by Carmencita S. Sioson, Stef Cabal

Meet Kat Ramnani, 30, Globe Telecom manager for content and strategic partnerships, mobile data services division. She left Manila for college when she was 18, and earned a BA degree in Marketing and Communications at Santa Clara University, a private Jesuit university in Silicon Valley, California.

Silicon Valley is the base of the multibillion-dollar tech industry and the coolest jobs on earth. Ramnani attempted to make her mark, applied in a few companies right before graduation.

Lo and behold, she landed a job at Google, as an online community manager.

"I flew back to Manila to spend some time with my family," she recalls. "I got an e-mail one night from Google asking me to come in for an interview ASAP. I begged my mom to help me get on a plane to make it to the interview. Mom works miracles, and within 48 hours I was on my way to California. I ended up getting the job!"

She was also part of the team for Orkut, the social networking website owned and operated by Google, named after Google employee Orkut Büyükkökten. "I gained 20 lbs on my first year working because of all the free food!" she says of her experience. "Yes there are slides, game rooms, ball pits, dog walkers, nap pods and Segways to get around," she says. "All that stuff is there, it exists!"

But work perks aside, what became more appealing for Ramnani was the creative working environment. "It was the collaboration of brilliance that existed within these companies, and a passion for the products we were creating," she says.

"Seeing people congregate from different departments to build technology only imagined in dreams was astounding, fascinating and beautiful to watch. I was lucky enough to have a front-row seat to all these."

She didn't stop at Google, and impressively found her way to working for tech giants Apple and Facebook (she was the 109th hired employee). But she would soon decide to drop everything to go back home, since a family member became ill.

"This put mortality and a lot of other things in perspective for me," she explains. "Sickness has a way of making things that seemed so important at one point, suddenly trivial. I wanted to make sure I spent the most time possible with this person to ensure a full recovery."

Now she's been with Globe for more than a year, and things have been pretty exciting. "No day is the same, which is what I love about my job," she says. Her duties allow her to develop products for subscribers; most recently Globe brought in Spotify, a digital music service, to the Philippines, giving it free with GoSURF.

In the future, Ramnani would like to develop a system to connect the entire world via the web. "I'll borrow a line from 'Nobody should have to choose between access to the Internet or food or medicine,'" she explains.

"The Internet should be accessible to everyone, especially in underserviced communities and remote locations."

Break her style

Signature style: I really enjoy dressing up. I love being able to channel what I'm feeling through my outfits. Some days I'll want to look very polished, and other days more grunge. But one thing is constant: my colour palette is always leaning toward neutrals.

Work uniform: On Mondays to Fridays it's usually pencil skirts and skinny jeans. On weekends, it's very laid-back- shorts, lots of cream, lace.

Style philosophy: Never wear Crocs.

I love fashion for… its ability to let me be a chameleon, whoever I want to be. It allows me a bit of creativity in my very tech-centric life. I relish it.

I collect… anything leather, unique flats and lipstick.

Go-to pieces for work: Gold cutout flats, pink midi-pleated skirt, distressed brown leather tote, eyelet top, white cotton boyfriend shirt.

Trend I'm loving now: Boyfriend jeans. It's a nice liberation from the skinny jeans, and you can fit so much in the pockets. I recently picked up an amazing pair from Madewell. I wear them with flats, mules and even my Chuck Taylors.

Celine "Audrey" sunglasses

Power piece: Chanel suit from my mom. I consider it a power piece because it's from the best woman I know, my mom, and because it's Chanel.

Favorite designers: Elie Saab-his romantic elegance as well as the movement of his clothes are mesmerizing. Sarah Burton, for McQueen-she captures the drama and agony that McQueen had in his original designs. I find the clothes so devastatingly beautiful.

Workwear essentials: A great dressy pair of comfortable flats that you can wear all day, a well-tailored pair of carrot pants, a chic bag big enough to fit your laptop, notebook, accoutrements-by accoutrements I totally mean doughnuts!

Style tricks:

1. Mixing your cracked eye shadow with Vaseline allows you to create either a lip balm, cheek tint or even creamy eyeshadow base.

2. Windex restores the glossy sheen on patent leather without doing any damage.

3. Use shaving cream and a washcloth to remove liquid makeup from shirt collars.

4. Always wear leopard print as an accent. Leopard on leopard on leopard is not cute-you will look like a hunting trophy.

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