Within 3 days of this month I have had some of the most invigorating experiences I've ever possibly had, in my hometown of Sydney. My eyes have been left open in a state of awe, jaw gaping with the extent opportunities that exist, all of which have coincidentally morphed together in a timing that I can't really attribute to outside of fate. Basically, things are coming together for me and I feel that I'm actually starting to make progress with the tools I am left with.
Training happens over a period of 3 nights and 2 days. 40 or so selected students chosen from a pool over 500 were all flown into the Sydney, where the headquarters of Google were stationed in Pyrmont, overlooking darling harbour. Most of us, (save the employees who had their contracts renewed from the year before) didn't have much of an idea of the coming storm of excitement, but we used our imaginations regardless. It can be said that the sleep the night before the summit, (accomodation paid for and provided by Google) was restless in anticipation.
Awaking at 9am and promptly headed straight for the Google Offices. The spread fit for king in the form of a buffet breakfast greeted as as we form fitted our uniform shirts and mingled in a semi-dazed state from the night before, with our counterparts from across the country, or even the seas (New Zealand is part of our fold within Oceania). Then we were called to our seats. Herein lies the well known power that marketers have known for years, FREE STUFF. Not to go through the exhaustive list of Google 'swag' that we were bestowed with, I'll summarise it this the way that I wear my Gmail messenger bag with immeasurably pride, and use my Nexus and its associated products almost on a religious basis.
But even more insightful were the speakers they arranged for us. People from the New York office came to speak to us about the Google culture, presentation techniques, how to sell the brand. Even more insightful were the panels of newly minted current employees and how they managed to attain the position that they currently hold. From struggles in their chosen field, to steadfast trailblazer, even to the uncomfortable reality in the power of connections all of these lessons were taught to us an in easily digestible, and friendly manner.
Then came the office tour. Trust me when I say that this workplace is unlike any other workplace I have ever stepped into, whether that be at my home University, Sydney University, working for the NSW dept of Trade, interning at Justice Action Group or any other paid or volunteer position I have ever touched,
Ping pong tables in the middle of the room, beneath a huge neon display proudly displaying 'Google'. Hidden staircases, moving bookshelves, lights hanging from the ceiling. Awkwardly named conference rooms like 'Ceiling cat' embossed on bronze lettering, with some scrappy printout pasted next to it in amusing contrast. Posters everywhere asking employees to ask each other what a 'Burramundi' is on their Voice application, and best of all, 3 perpetually open cafeterias (each with a different them) for all employees to enjoy at any time during the day, all paid for of course. Museum pieces such as the very first Google streetbike displayed to re-affirm the pride of its workers (if you can even define what they do up there as 'work') Many more details I could give from (the quiet room, games room and project room come to mind) but it might just leave this blog post even longer than it currently stands.
All of this was capped off with a cruise on a Longship, as well all climbed up onto the masts, played lazer clay shooting and experienced what can only be described as the weirdest not weird pirate themed costume party ever. (Google employees were sprinkled around the place, fitting in with the younger crowd surprisingly well!)
I tube, do Youtube?
Then comes that fateful meeting with the Education policy director of my home university. Details I probably am not able to share at this point in time, but basically a new project in assisting International students in both a meaningful and humorous way is definitely in the works. I also aim to increase my involvement with Asian Boss, a Youtube channel started up by a great friend, solid speaker and all round awesome guy SP in the foreseeable future.
Acting on interests and passions
Finally, I finished my first official meeting in the Management Committee of SMASH (otherwise known as the Sydney Manga and Anime SHow). I'm not entirely sure what to think of it yet outside of the very apparent enthusiasm everyone shares in the animated form of wide eyed girls in futuristic and wonderful situations. Perhaps it will take a bit of time for me to warm up to this but I am certainly keen on this project to come to fruition over the next 6 months.
Ultimately, I will make sure that this will be an amazing year.