Zariah, Grade 11
Zariah, Daisy, Troi and Tasmine during the Leadership Academy
Google has become a great part of our daily lives. If you have a question, need an idea or you’re having trouble with a math problem for class you just “Google It”. When I received the email communication from PowerPlay telling me about the opportunity to be paired with a college mentor from Google I was automatically intrigued. Before the email I didn’t know that Google had an office in New York. I heard rumors about how fun and interesting it is to work at Google, but I didn’t expect any of it to be true. As the days went by I became more and more excited to attend the workshop. Not only did the idea of Google excite me but the idea of getting my own college mentor excited me as well. Getting into college isn’t easy, they’re certain grades you need, and certain steps you need to take in order to get into college successfully. I think it’s great to be able to have a mentor guiding you and giving you tips throughout this long journey. Having a college mentor can also expose you to other opportunities that can benefit your future.
When arriving at Google’s headquarters in Chelsea, I was welcomed by a huge Google sign like the one on the website. The guy at the front desk welcomed me and let me look for my name tag. The wait was about an hour long since I had to get there earlier than everyone else. While waiting for the event to start I was extremely nervous. Not only was I nervous to meet my new mentor I was nervous because I knew I had to speak in front of all the mentors about my previous experience at PowerPlay, my dreams and expectations for the future. I wasn’t nervous because I didn’t know what to say, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I was nervous because public speaking isn’t something I am used to, I would have been more comfortable expressing myself through writing. I tried to distract myself with music, but in the back of my mind I knew that in a few minutes I would be publicly speaking about myself to a crowd of people and out of all those people one of them was my mentor. When it was time for me to go in front of the crowd I grew even more scared. Out of the three people that had to speak out loud I was the last person to speak. Hearing the other girls answers and seeing how nice the crowd was made me feel less nervous. As time went on, I wasn’t nervous at all. When we were done speaking I was proud of myself for being able to speak as well as I did.One of the mentors even told me that I did a great job speaking, which put a smile on my face and made me realize I could do it and that I was stressing myself out for no reason.
After playing a couple of ice breaker games it was time to finally be paired up with my mentor. My mentor gave me positive vibes. If she was nervous like I was, I wasn’t able to tell. She was confident when telling me about her college experience and aspirations, she asked me questions as well. She told me she knew I was her mentee as soon as she heard me say I was starting to have an interest in psychology. My mentor studied psychology at the University of Michigan. After talking with my mentor I found out that we have a lot of things in common, like why we find psychology interesting and what type of college environment we are into. I also found it cool how math comes easy for my mentor but writing is easier for me. This difference between us can help us learn from each other in our future meetings.
The fact that I was able to publicly speak in front of a crowd makes me feel the event was very successful and I was happy with my mentor. I treated myself to some of the donuts that were provided to us and waited for everyone to get together for the Google tour. The Google tour was fun and interesting. At the end of the tour I wanted to ask the tour guide for a job application because the building was just that cool. Google encourages innovative thinking and creativity, it shows all over the building. The Google building was filled with bright colors and interesting statues and models that make you never want to leave the building. During the tour I learned that Google is bigger than the Empire State Building. It’s so big that workers use scooters to travel around the building faster. Also, they have different recreational rooms, like the Lego room and other game rooms where workers can take their minds off things and help them concentrate. Google workers are also provided with free food so they don’t have to worry about spending money on food outside.
In conclusion, the Google event was a great experience for me. I am glad to be part of a program like PowerPlay, because it allows me to be apart of different opportunities that can benefit my future. I was able to experience a snapshot of what a day as a Google worker is like and I also got my own college mentor, which will help me stay on track towards the path of success.