Below is another reflection piece by Ms. Lindsey Skerker ’14 covering CWiB’s Senior Immersion Trip to NYC during September 25-29th.
I was fortunate enough to be part of CWIB’s Senior Immersion trip to New York City a few weekends ago, and one of the highlights was getting to visit Google. We met up with Deb LoCastro ’05 who is the University Programs Manager at the company. Her job is to promote Google on college campuses to encourage students to explore career opportunities within the company. She told us all about Google’s company culture, which includes free food, nap pods, and scooters around the office. Additionally, the company offers incredible family and healthy benefits.
Deb also told us about the company’s new initiatives. Google has connected over two billion people to the internet, but that is still only a quarter of the world’s population. They are working on balloon-like wi-fi devices that would float in the atmosphere so that more of the world can have internet access. Google is also working on a self-driving car and Google Glass, which are eyeglasses that have computer technology.
One of my favorite parts of Deb’s talk was the “True Colors” exercise she had us do. At Google, during staff orientation, everyone takes a “True Colors” test to learn what kind of worker he or she is. This is such a vital part of the company as it teaches employees about not only their own strengths and weaknesses, but others as well and how best to compromise and adapt when working on a team with all types of people. Going around the room, it was so interesting to learn what everyone’s colors were and how very accurate we all thought the exercise was.
I learned that I was a “blue” and that a blue is stereotypically a people person. We want to be liked and thus value keeping harmony within a group. Additionally, we like interpersonal interactions unlike some of the other colors who might prefer working alone. This activity seems so important in not only the workplace, but in college as well. By knowing about others work styles and preferences, it can help to bypass certain issues and result in more people being pleased with the outcome of a group meeting or project.
Deb also gave a few other tidbits of advice (especially some interesting psych-based advice, as that was her focus in college):
- Mimicking behaviors in interviews establishes a better relationship
- Emails matter as do strong writing skills
- Know how to frame your story and how to market yourself and your past experiences
- Be flexible and willing to adapt (i.e. don’t be tied to a specific city or job)
- Build your resume and work experiences around what your future dream job may be (LinkedIn can be helpful for this)
- Be persistent and find ways in, such as utilizing school vacations to network a propose an internship opportunity
- Advocate for yourself and don’t be afraid of letting people know when you are proud of a job well done
- Pay it forward to get it back
– Lindsey Skerker ’14