Tools, toys and a chocolate fountain

As expected, the first week flew by, with lots of small projects coming my way as well as meetings scheduled about some bigger ones. I also finally got to meet the rest of my team, who had been in Zurich at the Anita Borg Scholarship Retreat.

Google Calendar has become a tool impossible to live without. Whilst I'd never previously used it with any seriousness, after two days at Google I can't imagine ever planning my time without it again.

Similarly the Tasks feature in Gmail has become invaluble, and I've started to use it to remind myself about menial things to do in my personal life as well. The trick is to write down something you have to do the minute you're asked or emailed to do it. The list quickly became bottomless, but you can move things up and down by dragging - so it's easy to prioritise, and of course there's the satisfaction of a big tick and a strike-through when a task is done.

It also surprises me how quickly having meetings with people in other countries has become normal. Video conferencing is seamlessly integrated into the normal workflow, so you can either make a call from your desk for a quick chat, or book a room (for the person you're calling, as well as yourself) for a longer meeting. I've met the members of my team in Zurich and Vienna in this way. (Still hoping I get to head out to visit them in person some time though!)

Other particularly memorable highlights of the week included hiding under a desk, behind a giant red ball, waving toys in the air like puppets in the background of a short video... For like, seven takes. Not in my job description, but definitely fun. Plus the chocolate fountain the canteen. Everyone seemed amazed at this, so I guess it doesn't happen often. There were mini jam doughnuts to dip. I do love working here.

But not just because of the food (although that is quite a contributing factor. Seriously, the vegetarian chilli - twice - was awesome). I also love how well interns are treated, and how I feel that the projects I'll be getting started with next week actually have some sort of impact. I've made friends with a group of other interns (mostly engineering ones) and I'm pretty sure they all feel the same. We don't just get menial tasks to keep us out of trouble, but hefty pieces of work that keep us interested and thinking.

🏷 google internship google work

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