Reaching Personal Summits

PROVO, Utah – Sep 01, 2020 – As someone who has both stood at the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and sits at a desk inside Google headquarters in California, BYU Marriott School of Business marketing alum Orrin Hancock knows a thing or two about setting goals and following through to reach physical and personal summits.

While a student at BYU Marriott, Hancock always knew he wanted to work at Google. As he completed his classwork and an internship at eBay, he worked toward acquiring the skills he would need as a Google employee. “I frequently looked at Google’s entry-level job requirements and preferences,” Hancock says. “A lot of jobs had requirements that had to do with sales, AdWords, and Google’s analytics platform, so I got my AdWords certification and made sure I understood Google Analytics. I updated my résumé right after I finished my internship with eBay, and I got a call from a Google recruiter the day after I submitted my application.” After graduating from BYU Marriott in 2012, Hancock started working for Google as an account strategist.

Since starting his work with Google, Hancock has also worked as a community operations manager for the Google Pixel and Nexus phone product lines. In his current position as an Android partner manager, Hancock works closely with phone carrier partners such as AT&T and Verizon to create training programs that help these partners better understand, use, and sell Google’s Android products.

As he collaborates with Android partners and fellow Google employees, Hancock applies the lessons on teamwork and collaboration that he learned during his time at BYU Marriott. “If I did everything by myself, I couldn’t accomplish anything,” he says. “The skills I learned at BYU Marriott to work together as a group and pull in different specialties and different strengths are skills that I use every single day in my job.”

Beyond working together to complete work-related tasks, Hancock’s collaboration with other employees at Google has also inspired him to chase goals outside of work. “As I got to know the people around me at Google, I realized that everyone had interesting stories and hobbies outside of their day-to-day responsibilities,” he says. “One of my coworkers was working on publishing her first children's novel. Another had a business on the side making candles and perfumes. I was inspired not only by their dedication to their work at Google but how they pursued their personal passions.”

As Hancock learned about the interesting pursuits his coworkers had outside of work, he started to examine his personal goals and took steps to reach them. “Six months into my job at Google, I thought about my personal goals, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa,” he says. “As I interacted with my coworkers and saw what they were doing, I realized that there was no reason for me to not go after that dream. After a lot of preparation and hard work, I eventually got a group of family members and friends together, and I reached my lifelong dream to stand at the summit of Kilimanjaro.”

Hancock’s seven-day journey to the top of Africa’s tallest summit at 19,341 feet was both challenging and rewarding. “On the day when my group hiked to the summit, we got to sleep at about 7 p.m., and woke up at 11:30 p.m. so we could be on the trail by midnight,” he says. “We weren’t far from the summit, but the journey seemed to take forever because we traveled so slowly.

“We experienced temperatures of 25° F and wind gusts of over fifty miles per hour,” he continues. “There were times when we had to take four or five steps and then stop for thirty seconds to try to catch our breath. After seven hours of hiking, we reached the summit just in time for sunrise. I’ll never forget how incredible it felt to watch the sunrise from the top of Africa.”

Not content with achieving his goal of climbing one of the tallest mountains in the world, Hancock also felt inspired to develop his talents outside of work by selling his landscape photography. “My wife is a wedding photographer, and I started grabbing her camera when I went on backpacking trips,” he says. “When I first started, I watched hours and hours of YouTube videos and LinkedIn learning courses. After I learned as much as I could, I turned photography into a side business where I’ve had photos featured by Columbia Sportswear and Canon.”

Hancock doesn’t plan to ever stop reaching new goals or learning new skills. As he looks to the future, he wants to continue to improve in his professional capacities. “I’m trying to learn hard skills such as SQL and programming languages,” he says. “I’m also learning soft skills in my negotiations with the partners. I’ve gotten to the point where I feel comfortable talking with top executives of Android partners, and I want to continue honing those skills.” Throughout his career, Hancock plans to continue refining his skills and reaching personal and professional summits.

Orrin Hancock speaks at a Google Event
BYU Marriott marketing alum Orrin Hancock speaks at a Google event. Photo courtesy of Orrin Hancock.
Hancock and his group hiking to the summit of Kilimanjaro
Hancock and his group hiking to the summit of Kilimanjaro as the sun rises. Photo courtesy of Orrin Hancock.
Orrin Hancock at the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro
Hancock at the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Photo courtesy of Orrin Hancock.
Hancock and his wife, Carson, hiking in Arizona
Hancock and his wife, Carson, hiking in Arizona. Photo courtesy of Orrin Hancock.
A photo of a waterfall taken in Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
Hancock took this picture on a trip to Seljalandsfoss, Iceland. Photo courtesy of Orrin Hancock.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce