Alex Adams describes his experiences at the Google Campus, Shoreditch.
I’m a second year BSc (Hons) Management student at City University London in Cass Business School. I chose to come here as I wanted to stay in London and after attending a couple of open days at City, I realised that this was a great place to study and consequently made it my firm choice. I’m especially interested in the financial world and aspire to work in a financial role within a bank upon graduation. I am however also interested in consultancy and might also look into a career there.
In late 2014, I spent two weeks volunteering as an intern in the Google Campus location in Old street. I had got in contact with the founder of a start-up company called YourInterest and secured the internship. Arriving for the first time at the Google Campus, it opened my eyes up to a world I didn’t know much about before. Entrepreneurialism.
The building had a lot of floors, each with their own office space and cool social hang out areas. On every floor there were budding entrepreneurs, eyes focused on their laptops, working towards the start of something original and successful. There were little private rooms available for those who needed to have a more private meeting or make some phone calls. There were also sofa areas available for those who wanted to get away from the office areas and relax. It was very much an open plan layout. Other levels of the building similarly had a relaxed and open setting with pool tables and even a social room available for party events.
The first thing that struck me was the cool, laid back, yet focused atmosphere of the place. On my floor there were maybe 30 or so people working on their laptops with their free Wi-Fi access. Yet, there wasn’t anything formal about it. People were dressed extremely casually and social openness was valued. Conversation would ensue over coffee. Whilst working there my manager organised for us to go to a coffee networking event where we met fellow entrepreneurs and networked with them in the hope that it would add value to the business.
There was also a strong sense of colour and creativity within the building. Lots of interesting designs and objects were scattered all over the place with bright and wonderful colours. The place was thought-provoking and full of ideas. Those values were shared amongst the members who worked there from morning till night and their start-ups were centred on these values. Despite the relaxed nature of the place and people, start-ups needed running and consequently, people were serious about growing their start-ups. I met a number of people who ran varying types of start-up companies, from social media channels to more IT and technological companies. I also met some fellow university students who were striving to supplement their studies with extra income. For many people though, this was their everyday full time job and so their lives centred on this. I would say that working in such an environment was advantageous in this situation, where the informal surrounding would bring out great imagination and productivity in people.
It’s certainly a great place to visit and meet fellow entrepreneurs with similar interests. You’ll meet lots of interesting people from all walks of life. It’s also a great place to socialise and chill out and the feel good factor of the place contributes to a really positive energy in and around the place.