Diversity Specialist, Google
New York City
6:00am: I wake up. I’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 Choir‘s version of Beyonce’s “Formation” 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, I’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 it’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 I’m settled at my desk, it’s time to write my to-do list. I’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 “structured query language,” 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 who’s in town from London and has expertise with Google App Script. After the meeting, I even think I’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. I’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 we’re progressing through our rotational program. There are only a few months left, so we’re soon going to have to make a decision about a team to land on! Since we’ve been rotating for 27 months, we talk out our commitment-phobia and reassure each other it’ll all work out.
3:00pm: I have a one-on-one with my manager. We always start by catching up on life, so I’m telling her all about my new studio apartment in Central Harlem. She’s excited for me and recommends I look at Apartment Therapy for inspiration. We begin to talk about the dashboard I’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. She’s excited, and we agree on a final deadline.
4:00pm: It’s time for a cup of tea in a “microkitchen” a.k.a. one of Google’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. I’m a complete article junkie, and I find a few good ones today: “An Inside Look at What’s Keeping Black Men Out of the C-Suite” in Fortune and “White Guilt Is Actually White Narcissism” 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: I’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. I’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 ‘70s — 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. I’m excited for tomorrow.
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