Posted Mon, 19 Mar: Kicked the morning off with yet another couple (4) bowls of fruit salad, great hydration for the day👍🏻. Also had our very first serious meeting in the morning with the crew, just giving each other a brief on the companies in which we were travelling to (mine being Khan Academy). So firstly we were to visit Khan Academy, and in the short meeting of the morning I read out brief points about Khan Academy to give the other boys a broader perspective of the company, which was also followed by Maihi's briefing of Google, as well as Luke's on Inflection.
First, we got to discover Khan Academy's project (accidentally😂) in which is a Khan Academy school (preschool I think?). Later on in our meeting we were told that this was part of the (what I would pose as) the 'psychological' side of the education system, so for example, experimenting on the different learning abilities and or usage of the kids within this school, in order to improve their company for everyone to use at their own pace and abilities. We then made our way to the actual office, where we were then greeted by a very lovely girl Mhia/Mia, and then taken for a quick spin around the office. Going into this, I wasn't as enthusiastic as I was with the other company visits, but experiencing the culture and character of khan academies workplace really switch my perspective and mood. I was also made to feel included rather than a spectator when coming into this environment. Even though I am not fully aware of my career choice, I know that I want to be working in a nice environment, and Khan Academy ticked every box to this👌🏽👏
We were then taken into one of the meeting rooms where we were given insight to the company in which other more major sort of people will never get the chance to see. I'd never been a business sort of person, so to see (in a very fun and colourful way) just how creative and distributed Khan Academy had become was very eye-opening for me. From this we asked questions in which we received great answers from- things like growth in consumers of Khan Academy (Per-school, High Schoolers etc), what steps to take next (in their business) and so forth...The hunger for knowledge throughout the table was very vibrant, each and every one of us very indulged in the information because it was all so inspiring and motivational.
As a practical we began to, what they call, "brainstorm" and this meant laying all of your thoughts and ideas out onto sticky notes and grouping them onto boards. Each individual had to present to the room their ideas on "What would motivate High School students to use Khan Academy for more than 30 minutes?" and there were some very educational sort of ideas, bizarre and impossible ideas, creative ideas, as well as sensible ideas- such as receiving prizes for a certain amount of time or score you get while using Khan Academy. For my ideas I decided to tap into the creative side of things because I feel that something fun and energetic would get teenagers more motivated these days, one of them being to have a 'Virtual Reality' version of Khan Academy. In this the player uses an Oculus (those things you place over your eyes as goggles) and be able to experience education in a completely virtual version, so for example the player can go fetch numbers or equations from around wherever and build this upon something (eg like a building-block house) in order to solve an equation and then be able to move onto the next level from here. (Like Spy Kids 3 lol💀).
From this we were then also able to reflect more on the ideas and explain further some of the points with Mia, as well as some people of her team, who were very keen on hearing of our ideas and were also driven by this feedback considering we are of a whole different population coming from New Zealand, so it was nice to see that we weren't the only ones feeling like we were getting something out of this, that there were people here learning something from us (even though WE are here to accept and receive kind of thing). By the end of our session with Khan Academy I was left veeeeery anxious to this company. I can really see myself working here, the vibe and culture as well as the motivation and intent to not only work because of work, but to work because they love it, and this is exactly how I want to spend my career life.
I think it may have been the intensity to learn so much before-hand in Khan Academy in which made my personal experience of the Google trip a bit narrow, or maybe it was the fast-pace of the learning environment of Google (or the walk😂😭💀) but I felt that I wasn't completely fulfilled with my experience there, although I did become much more wiser about my choices, decisions and motivation. Donald (the person who toured us around the Google campus) introduced me to the idea of "Don't take anyone's advice" (even though he was giving as advice in the first place, Liam (another participant) reckons😂). Hearing this aloud made me rethink my own choices and decisions made in my schooling life. As a teenager, following other people is one of the biggest influences (negatively) and I think that I've taken everybody's advice way too much, whether it be something like I wouldn't place this trip, or I wouldn't make a certain sports team etc. I was left thinking that I need to be more self-concerned (of my own development (not in a selfish way)) and not be too selfless, as well as focus on building my own future.
Before visiting inflection, I did not know exactly what this company does-even from reading of it in our booklets, thinking that I was in for some sort of really professional environment, but as soon as we meet Jacob it became a whole other perspective. I found that the workplace of Inflection was infectious and the atmosphere wasn't intense, rather relaxing. We first met Russel (an australian😶) who was very inspirational. From him, I learnt to seek people who want to better me rather than being me down. We were then given background to by a previous kiwi who (at a young age) has landed many opportunities in his life. We them spoke with the founder of Inflection. I found that he was a very casual CEO, seemed very interesting in everything I/we had to say which was very comforting.
Finished the day off with a big feed at the famous Bucks restaurant😌