Leaving it all on the field took on a new meaning with Mekka Okereke’s career at Google. Although a career in football would’ve been exciting, Mekka sidelined that aspiration and cultivated his passion for computer science. He fell in love with the impact it could have on people. Currently Mekka is an Engineering Director for Growth on Google Play with over 10 years in the tech industry, and he finds his passion in developing diverse teams.
“I find people are motivated more by intrinsic motivation than extrinsic motivation,” he says. As the executive sponsor of several inclusion initiatives, including Project Lifesaver, Tech Exchange and Computer Science Summer Institute, Mekka is dedicated to using his passion for computer science to bring diversity into the tech industry.
Building teams and fostering community in the industry is crucial to its success. “You can’t do it alone. You can’t write all the code yourself,” said Mekka. If you want to excel in tech, collaboration is a must. Mekka stresses the importance of a team playing well together and understanding the mission and goal. There is power in investing in others. Having a strong, inclusive team has become one of Mekka’s biggest flexes at Google.
As a part of Mekka’s team-building expertise, he also discusses some ways entrepreneurs can change the game and be successful in their pursuits. Black entrepreneurs sometimes have a different field to navigate to have access to resources and funding. “Go with people that can see your talent and recognize it,” said Mekka. Being a point of contact for Black people has been vital to his career, and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.
Get to know more about Mekka journey at Google by watching his story here.
This editorial is brought to you in partnership with Google.