Googlers Inspire Fellows [Part 1 of 3]

Posted on

Braven’s fall semester culminated in a Capstone Challenge at both San José State University and Rutgers University – Newark. Cohorts worked together to present solutions to the challenge question: “How might companies better attract and retain millennial talent?” In this three-part series, we’ll hear reflections from Fellows on their experience winning the Capstone Challenge and earning a visit to Google.

By Callyn Iwuala, Braven Rutgers – Newark Fellow, Student at Rutgers University – Newark


Callyn IwualaIt’s the final round. I take a deep breath. “Millennials, can you tell your boss how you really feel? Senior staff, can you receive criticism from your employees? Can you all be the change you wish to see at your workplace?”

Two days prior, Braven Fellows huddled in their cohorts after an hour of interviewing millennials and senior staff concerning the millennial retention rate in the workforce–the focus of the Capstone Challenge. After eight long hours, my cohort and I presented our solution to the problem: the “Be the Change” quarterly conference, which focuses primarily on relationship-building tasks and professional skills. After the final round of presentations, at hearing “And the winner is Julie’s Cohort!” in unison, my cohort and I jumped out of our chairs, thrusting our hands in the air in excitement and awe. Utilizing all of the key professional skills that were drilled into us during our semester with Braven, including networking, teamwork, and design thinking, we were able to win the ultimate prize: a trip to Google!

As I walked with my cohort, my coach Julie, and Braven staff member Eva Avramov, in the middle of Manhattan on a frigid Thursday morning, I thought about how the Googlers might look, with their hands glued to their laptops and a cup of coffee nearby or with their glasses tucked into their shirt pockets oozing techy appeal. The visuals were overwhelming once we stepped into Google: the ceiling covered in sparkly paper snowflakes, a screen showcasing the top Google searches. Shortly after, we met our hosts for the afternoon who took us on a tour around the Google offices, through micro-kitchens that were 150 feet from each other to a Lego-themed room that boasted bright colors and creativity.

RU-N Fellows visit GoogleWe landed in the game room where my cohort and I formally introduced ourselves, highlighting how Google could be applicable to our pursued fields. As a biological science major and creative writing minor, it was refreshing to hear one Googler speak about the collaboration between Google and the likes of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and VoxHealth–websites that release medical information. I am not mandated to work in the confines of a hospital as a medical physician, I can be as creative as I would like to be in order to, in the words of NYC Googler Alana Brown, “Make change through the distribution of quality information.”

During lunch, we chatted, networked, and enjoyed unique cuisines. I looked all around me, taking note of the enthusiasm, the air of elated collaboration–a different kind of workplace. Googlers are the change they wish to see at their workplace. Now I ask you, “Can you be the change at your workplace?”