Session: Charting a Path to Leadership as a Program Manager
A career in program management is often unknown or forgotten for women early in their career. Many professionals focus on specific industries such as Finance or Marketing without truly understanding that lucrative and varied opportunities lie in the field of Program Management. This talk will share the twists and turns of my journey, including the "what", "why's" and "how's" of becoming a thought leader in Program Management.
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Bio: Aji Oliyide
Aji Oliyide is a PMO Lead at Google, writer, and podcaster based in Northern California. An experienced operations leader, Aji’s work is focused on building systems and relationships that cultivate understanding and support ‘big picture’ initiatives.
With over a decade of operations and management consulting experience, Aji has solidified her expertise in operations in both educational and professional settings. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business with an MBA, and Eaton Corporation’s General Management Development Program for engineers, Aji spent several years as a Management Consultant.
During her four years with Accenture and three years with Deloitte in management positions, she travelled the country optimizing operating models and consulting for Fortune 500 companies. In 2015, Aji moved to California to join the Google team as an M&A Finance Integration Manager, overseeing finance integrations and divestitures. In 2021 she was promoted into the role of PMO Lead within the Geo organization.
Today, Aji leads large-scale operational projects for Google Geo, a range of mapping and geographic products that include Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google My Business. Her interest in operations management is inspired by her love for innovation and innate problem-solving capabilities; it’s these traits that ignite her creative, analytical mindset.
One of Aji’s passions is travel, with her time in Argentina during business school being an outstanding experience. In 2011, she travelled to Nepal, participating in a charity trek to the Mount Everest Base Camp, personally raising over $5,000 for a local Nepalese non-profit. After flying into Lukla Airport (known to be the world’s most dangerous airport) and spending a few days acclimatizing to the environment, Aji spent a week and a half navigating the paths and trails to Everest’s base camp. It’s safe to say that opportunities for out-of-the-ordinary adventures are where Aji thrives.
An active volunteer and community member, Aji is a part of the board of directors for San Francisco CASA, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting youth in the foster care system.
Her writing is featured in Swaay Magazine and on the blog, Pivot Points, a virtual publication founded and led by Aji, where she shares insights on decisions and events that shape our direction and the way we interact with the world.
Her podcast, Eat.Plank.Live features interviews with powerful health experts, culinary celebrities, and business executives who explore the intersection of fitness and professional success. Some notable guests include Fortune 500 Board Member Shellye Archambeau and James Beard award winner Andrew Zimmern.
A changemaker and multi-passionate professional, Aji is an impactful speaker for events centered around helping professional women make career shifts, address challenges in the workplace, and move up the ladder. She was a featured panelist at Swaay Magazine’s 2020 Women in the Workforce virtual panel and continues to seek out compelling speaking opportunities.