Day 6 of SVExperience, Day 4 of Inspiration😍😍😍😍(Final😔)
Written by Carym Wharerau
Posted Mon, 19 Mar: Good kick-off to the day, beautiful weather and a smooth drive by the best coach driver, 'Awesome'❤️
Ps. That's his nickname☝🏽️


It was a matter of mental rehearsal at Stanford University, in the way that I had to think beside the fact that I was surrounded by pure American culture- Frat & Sorority houses, massive buildings etc, so considering the kind of person I am, IT WAS LIKE BEING IN A MOVIE😍😍😭❤️✨💀
I know that the trip here benefit most of the boys around me, but to be fair on myself, I wasn't feeling it😕 Don't get me wrong, the buildings were veeery beautiful, but I somehow felt like I was in the wrong place? Like this wasn't me? I guess it's because the university's biggest image was things besides the Design industry (I'm guessing😶), or maybe it was the coming to an end of the trip part 😞(May have been the cause, because i could not rid the thought of leaving these amazing people and this amazing country from my brain😞🙁). All in all, I enjoyed Stanford I'm a spectator sort of way, but it wasn't my thing😊Doesn't mean that it's an amazing college, just not my amazing college❤️


No. Words. To. Explain.
Before I throw at you my heart and emotions for this company, I want to address what surprised me. We arrived at the studio/HQ and to my was little. I was expecting a much larger office for this company (being that they designed products for some of the most iconic brands such as Apple) so to see it as only a 2 level building was unexpecting.
Now for the good part😁😃
(Grab some popcorn whanau😂)
I'm working there. Not in the way that I've landed a position, but in the "They will see me very soon" way; in the confident way that this is where I'm working when I finish. I knew this the second my right foot set itself into the building. It was like I was finally home, like all this time that I've been saying "yeah I wanna work there" or "it'd be cool to work here" toward the other companies visited this week, as well as in my past years of visits to other places, meant nothing compared to how I felt when I entered IDEO. If this doesn't say enough about how much love I have for this company, maybe the fact that I literally had no questions to ask would say more. I really had no questions for the place, why? Because everything I ever asked for, everything I thought I knew but didn't know how to say or make moves toward...was all there. Everything I love, everything I'm good at, EVERYTHING I WANT TO BE, was all there. All in one building, and I was completely taken back. Speechless throughout the tour (maybe, I don't know anymore, because I seemed to be the most vocal of the group and almost always on the frontline following and listening😂). I felt that the environment and culture of the workplace was also a massive tick of the box.
The cherry on the top of it all was meeting Tom Kelley. (I think the fact that I can remember his name right off the top of my head (of which, that I couldn't with any other person i'd met previously) says a lot about how impacting this particular experience was).
After the tour we were lucky (and by lucky I mean God-literally-threw us-into-the-Garden-of-Eden lucky) to have a meeting with Tom.
(Currently rifling through my notes form this meeting lol).
Tom became my "45 minute man". This is like a metaphor of a person who has inspired or motivated me, and from this meeting I feel like Tom had removed the blindfold I'd been wearing for the last 17 years of my life. He was so fluent in knowledge and in himself, everything he spoke came with genuine, and I could feel everything he was saying. The one thing that stood out most for me, was his story of people caring too much. He told a story about himself and his brother who both wanted to do something great from a small place, but it was the "caring" side from their surroundings which held them back from the world and themselves. He taught us that caring can be good in its own way, but bad to me. I began to understand the people who prevent me from going big (eg whanau/friends telling me not to do a certain thing because I feel that I might get hurt) are only doing this in their favour (to keep me safe) which is totally understandable and of human nature, but you cannot be a strong person without a few mistakes in life. Mistakes will become the building blocks to my life, and hey if it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but it works toward something. Making myself stronger.
The most effective idea I took from this visit was "Don't be ordinary, be extraordinary". This hit home for me especially, because it made me step outside of myself a go "Ok Carym, stop trying to please everyone else" and no one had ever made me do this. No one. I think I need more time to reflect on this, but I definitely feel like I've found what I need from this experience, and am surely going to push myself toward this!


To some of the others, Apple wasn't the best, but for me I was quite entertained. We met with a very important person on this trip, and it seemed that their confidence and ambition was taken another way. I for one enjoyed how rough they were to our responses, and how driven they were to stand tall for their company, which is probably the reason why the company has made a name for itself. I think that from listening to the same sweet-hearted people previously, listening to a very hard kind of person made it different and exciting.
The one thing I learnt from this trip was to not be afraid to make mistakes. They mentioned that in Silicon Valley, no one takes your mistakes or failures as a "ee I don't want to be around them anymore, they're failures" but rather as a "ok you fell down, now get back up. What's next?" kind of thing, as this made me even more confident to work in Silicon Valley as I feel like I can come here and do things and know that I won't be downed for it, whether it is good or bad.