Diversity Specialist, Google
New York City
6:00am: I wake up. Iâ€™m an early bird, and I love the serenity of the mornings. I have a bad habit of checking social media right when I wake up, and I always find something hilarious. This morning I found the Starrkeisha Choirâ€˜s version of Beyonceâ€™s â€œFormationâ€ and almost fell out of my bed laughing. No work e-mail this early; I have all day to worry about changing the face of diversity in tech.
7:00am: Time to commute. I moved to NYC nine months ago from Northern California, where I had a 1.5-hour journey to work, so the 35 minutes it takes to get from Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn to Chelsea in Manhattan is a piece of cake. Books usually pass the time. Right now, Iâ€™m reading Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue. So interesting!
7:45am: I make it to work. My office is on top of Chelsea Market, so itâ€™s a daily struggle passing up all the breakfast goodies on my way upstairs. Even though Google has great free coffee, my guilty pleasure is a $2.50 cup from Ninth Street Espresso. It’s almost like when you have a meal plan but go to Chipotle instead! Today I head up to the 11th floor of our new building on Tenth Avenue. The views are gorgeous. I grab a breakfast sandwich from Mary, who mans our sandwich station.
8:00am: Once Iâ€™m settled at my desk, itâ€™s time to write my to-do list. Iâ€™m a Post-it guy, so within moments, my computer is covered with them. I take the first few hours of the day to answer emails and send follow-up notes from meetings yesterday. Then I make a quick slideshow to update my manager on a big project due by the end of the quarter.
11:00am: I am working on a SQL-based dashboard for my team to measure the impact of our internal diversity initiatives. SQL is short for â€œstructured query language,â€ and I write code (or “scripts”) to help me pull specific metrics for my team. My project will require me to learn some additional technical skills, so I meet with an engineer whoâ€™s in town from London and has expertise with Google App Script. After the meeting, I even think Iâ€™ve convinced him to build an exciting addition to my dashboard! This will allow us to collect information from an even broader number of Googlers.
12:00pm: I have a solid break from meetings, so I spend some time crafting a presentation for tomorrow. Iâ€™ve been asked to speak at the closing ceremony for a Google mentoring program I was apart of. I was paired with a manager-level Googler, Lauren, and for six months, she and I have had coaching sessions. I want to discuss three big lessons that came out of my coaching sessions: 1) Think about what you want to be known for, 2) Use each experience as an opportunity, and 3) Discover what makes you unique.
2:00pm: I shoot my presentation to the mentoring program manager and head to a late lunch. I grab my usual: baked chicken, veggies, and pasta from a cafe in our Ninth Avenue building across the street. I run into a friend and colleague, Ariel, in the cafe, and we reminisce about our intern days and how weâ€™re progressing through our rotational program. There are only a few months left, so weâ€™re soon going to have to make a decision about a team to land on! Since weâ€™ve been rotating for 27 months, we talk out our commitment-phobia and reassure each other itâ€™ll all work out.
3:00pm: I have a one-on-one with my manager. We always start by catching up on life, so Iâ€™m telling her all about my new studio apartment in Central Harlem. Sheâ€™s excited for me and recommends I look at Apartment Therapy for inspiration. We begin to talk about the dashboard Iâ€™m building. I usually have an agenda for her, and I catch her up on my progress on the four sub-deliverables for the project. I show her a prototype of the dash. Sheâ€™s excited, and we agree on a final deadline.
4:00pm: Itâ€™s time for a cup of tea in a â€œmicrokitchenâ€ a.k.a. one of Googleâ€™s snack kitchens. There are more than 30 types of tea! My favorite is Organic African Nectar, so I grab a cup. As it steeps, I check my social media. Iâ€™m a complete article junkie, and I find a few good ones today: â€œAn Inside Look at Whatâ€™s Keeping Black Men Out of the C-Suiteâ€ in Fortune and â€œWhite Guilt Is Actually White Narcissismâ€ from Medium. I pass along the former to my 60-person team, since inclusion remains our top focus. I post the other to my Facebook page. Cannot wait for the comments!
4:30pm: Iâ€™ve been fairly busy today juggling multiple projects, so 20 new emails have piled up in my inbox. I respond to 12, and the rest are FYIs from my manager or posts from the internal employee resource groups, like the Black Googler Network. Iâ€™ll come back to those tomorrow.
5:30pm: I head to my orthodontist appointment in Harlem. My orthodontist happens to be an older Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brother of mine, so after my check-up he shows me an old Penn Relays poster with him featured from the â€˜70s â€” so cool. We grab dinner at Lido, a favorite spot of mine.
7:30pm: I head home to Bed-Stuy and do one last e-mail check before bed. It looks like my presentation slides for tomorrow have been approved. I practice and decide to add a few fun pictures to the slides to keep everyone engaged. Iâ€™m excited for tomorrow.
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