Google's Search Returns OC Grad Silvestri Honored as Distinguished New Alum
In just seven years since graduating from OC, Andrew Silvestri (07) has earned a master’s degree from Harvard University, worked for Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and been hired by tech giant Google.
That’s quite a career for someone who is not yet 30 years old.
According to Andrew’s former advisor at OC, Associate Professor of Political Science Raymon Huston, the young alum’s success is not surprising.
“Andrew always had a great way of not allowing outside influences change his opinions of how things should be and could be,” Huston said. “He maintained a strong self-confidence and an ability to see all sides of an issue.”
Andrew says his success can be attributed to how well OC prepared him for both graduate school and his career.
“OC provided me with opportunities that allowed me to flourish and thrive,” he said. “I really was called to a higher standard. Some of my classmates at Harvard felt in over their heads. I never did.”
After graduating with his master’s degree in public policy with an emphasis in political and economic development, Andrew decided against applying to Harvard’s prestigious doctoral program. His decision to pursue a professional career was made easier by his leadership experience at OC.
“As OC’s SGA president, I learned to manage tens of thousands of dollars,” he said. “That really did prepare me for managing millions of dollars later in my career.”
After Harvard, Andrew returned to Oklahoma City to work for Chesapeake Energy, and a year later joined Mary Fallin’s gubernatorial campaign, after working on a few congressional and presidential campaigns. After Fallin became the state’s first female governor, Andrew was named her deputy policy director.
“Working with Gov. Fallin provided some of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Andrew said. “It was exciting to have a hand in creating policy and legislation that positively affected millions of people.”
Andrew noted that he was proud to have worked under Gov. Fallin’s leadership to increase the state’s rainy day fund from $2 (yes, $2!) to $500 million while also making government more efficient through spending cuts.
In 2013, Andrew had an opportunity he couldn’t turn down. Google is routinely rated as one of the best companies to work for, which means many people apply, but few are hired. Andrew was among the even fewer the company recruited.
“I loved how many people I was able to help while working in the governor’s office, and Google provided me with a similar opportunity,” Andrew said. “The company is literally changing the world every day.”
Andrew is able to use many of his earlier experiences and skills in his current job as public policy and government relations manager for multiple states in the Midwest.
“Previously, I had built relationships across the nation with governors, legislators, CEOs and federal offices,” Andrew said. “I get to continue developing those relationships as I work with state legislatures, local officials, and business leaders on behalf of Google. Plus, I feel like I’m getting a whole new education. The company has a hand in so many industries, and the work is incredibly fast-paced and exhilarating.”
Andrew will undoubtedly have more success in his future, and he continues to credit the foundation OC gave him.
“I can’t say enough about how valuable my time at OC was,” he said. “Having teachers and administrators who genuinely cared and positively influenced me was key. OC really was a second family for me.”
View more stories from the Fall 2014 issue of Vision magazine.