Jacky Schiestel MAM ’04

Entrepreneur. Dynamo. Leader.

Arts Management alum Jacky Schiestel uses her creativity and innovative spirit as a human resources business partner at Google.

Jacky Schiestel, a human resources business partner at Google, is a perfect example of why the company’s most important factor is the human factor. At Google, your job depends on how you interact with people, not just computers.

Think Outside the Searchbox

Google not only encourages innovative and collaborative thinking, it demands it. “A lot of what we do in the Google culture is to think outside the box,” Schiestel says. “Everyone brings different ideas and has different points of view.” Schiestel started at Google in sales, then shifted to human resources—something that larger companies don’t always champion. Schiestel found only support as she took on new professional goals.

Human resources provides a foundation for sales to succeed, so Schiestel was able to use her sales background to easily transition into an HR role. “That was Google being really smart about their resources,” Schiestel says.

A Creative Melting Pot

Columbia College Chicago is a mecca of creativity, media and dedicated artists—an atmosphere echoed at Google. “You can work in teams at any college,” says Schiestel. “At Columbia, you get different personalities, and you get different points of view, and I think that’s what’s so cool about Columbia.”

At Columbia, Schiestel co-founded the startup Split Pillow, a film program that provides a one-day, inception-to-production film project for underprivileged youth. “That was my aha moment, because had I gone to any other school, I probably would never have gotten involved with something so creative,” says Schiestel. She credits Mary Filice, associate chair of the Business & Entrepreneurship Department, for encouraging her: “She was involved in Split Pillow; she was my thesis adviser. She’s just so smart. She really believed in her students, and she’s one of those people who pushes you forward.”

Today, Schiestel’s startup experience translates into an innovative, creative approach at Google. Schiestel hopes that in following Google’s lead, she will become a better leader herself. “Our leaders set an amazing tone, for doing the right thing for our people,” Schiestel says. “From what I’ve witnessed, that’s what constantly impresses me about the day to day at Google.”