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Learning all about Google…at Google!

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If you told me that you have never heard about how cool Google’s offices are, I wouldn’t believe you. We’ve all heard stories of slides, Legos and people bringing their dogs to work. On Tuesday, October 12, students in the Social Media class got to experience the Google office, in all of its glory, firsthand. (And yes, it was as incredible as they say.)

We met Jared Craft and Miako Smith at Google’s 10th Avenue office space and made our way across the two avenues of Google’s fun, unique and quirky offices. We were blown away by the creativity and thought that went into each building’s design. For example, each floor has a different theme. On the Manhattan-themed floor, conference rooms are named after significant landmarks, including the 88th Street Starbucks where the first Manhattan Googler was hired. The offices also come fully equipped with game rooms, Razor scooters and a Lego station.

Not only does Google care about the mental well-being of its employees, but they also care about their physical health. With micro-kitchens on every floor and cafeterias scattered throughout the buildings, Google made it a priority to keep healthy food easily accessible to its workers. Water, seltzer, fruit, and other healthy snacks are kept in clear containers, in top drawers, and in the top half of the refrigerator behind clear doors. Less healthy options, on the other hand, are kept in opaque containers, in the bottom drawers, and in the bottom half of the refrigerator, hidden behind foggy glass.

But Google isn’t all fun and games. After our amazing tour, we sat down with Jared and Miako and talked about what Google is up to these days. The question on everyone’s mind: does a legacy company like Google feel the same pressure as smaller companies to stay cutting edge? The answer: absolutely.

Miako explained how Google was founded in a garage, just as many other startups begin. At the time, there was no way of knowing the company would take off and become such an integral part of our daily lives. The fact that many companies come from small beginnings serves as a constant reminder for Googlers that no competition is too small.

How does Google stay cutting edge? The company has a long history of expanding and experimenting with different assets. Jared explained this is how Alphabet comes into play. The umbrella company effectively gives Google the freedom to explore new projects, without risking their assets.

With all the growth and innovation happening within the walls of Google, Jared and Miako reminded us that, at the end of the day, every decision and every idea put into action has one goal: to improve user experience.

Thanks for an awesome night, Jared and Miako!

Leah Fagen, Newhouse NYC student and junior PR major

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