First Day at Google
New hire orientation experience was everything I imagined and more.
You can also watch my First Day at Google on YouTube.
I have been wanting to write about my first-day at Google experience for a while but honestly, it has been surreal that I wanted to take my time to take it all in. My Google interview was in October 2019 — I signed the offer letter in November 2019 — and started at Google in Dec 2019.
Before the first-day
After accepting the offer, I began receiving communication from several parts at Google. These communications made me feel welcomed and even more excited to join.
After signing the offer letter, I immediately began receiving communication from Google new-hire (Noogler) onboarding team. I was given options to choose my username, laptop, and make travel arrangements for the new-hire orientation at the New York City Google office. This made me feel welcomed to Google.
I also received numerous congratulations and welcome emails from my Google interviewers, managers and colleagues. It also gave me access to several people at Google who I could reach out to and ask questions. This made me feel welcomed to the team and Google.
The Night Before
The day before my orientation, I arrived in New York City and checked into the Dream Hotel. It was not my first-time in New York City but this time it felt different — I was about to start a new chapter and it felt like a dream. I prepared my outfit for the orientation, set the alarm for 6am and went to bed early to get a good night sleep.
My first-day at Google
The morning of my first-day, I woke up bright & early and excited to go. I got ready, grabbed something to eat and walked to the Google building, a block down from my hotel.
I arrived to the orientation 30 minutes early. When I got there, there was already a long line at the check-in table, so I was not the only one excited for their first-day at Google. Many other Nooglers showed up early too. I got in the line and couldn’t help but notice the diversity of new-hires. I was a little nervous and couldn’t find the courage to make small talk and connect with other people in the line, so I just stood in the line quietly making observations.
After 30 minutes in the line, it was finally my turn to check-in at the registration desk where I picked up my temporary badge and security tokens. After registration, the line steered into a small room where I setup my username and password. Next stop was the orientation room.
The orientation room also had a line. Before taking a seat, all Nooglers got their badge photos taken. The room had at least 50 chairs lined up in front of a podium and two projector screens on each side of the room. I found the chair with my name and laptop, MacBook Pro 16-inch. While rest of the Nooglers were flowing into the room, I used the time to log into my laptop and grab refreshments.
Finally the orientation began and we were introduced to the Google culture followed by employee benefits and any upcoming important dates.
12:30pm — lunch
All Nooglers were split into small groups, assigned a group leader (one of the existing employees) who did quick poll on nearby cafeteria option and directed us.
I was blown away by the food options. Everything tasted fresh and delicious with different cuisine options, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. During the lunch, I got to chat with the fellow Nooglers and learned about their experience. It turned out that I wasn’t the only one feeling anxious and overly excited.
My “aha” Moment
While eating half-way through my lunch plate, I had this moment where I thought it was time for me to be “escorted” out of the building because ‘the event is over.’ Let me explain…
In the past, I had attended many Google events as an external guest and during most of those events the day goes something like this: check-in, listen to the talk, eat refreshments, and get walked out of the building.
But not this time. I had my aha moment which made me realize that I am not going to be walked out because I work here now. I belong here. It all felt like a dream until this moment made it a reality.
After finishing lunch, our group leader gave us a tour of the two nearby Google buildings (scroll all the way to the end to see more pictures). Each floor of every building had its own theme and personality. There was so much more to see that we couldn’t cover all so I decided then that I will tour the buildings on my own after orientation.
From 2pm onward, we were back in the orientation room. The presenter covered many topics related to culture and new-hire onboarding. The day ended at around 4pm.
The Rest of the Orientation Week
The Nooglers orientation spanned over a few days. The days looked very similar to the first-day but covered different topics. This also gave me an opportunity to spend more time with the new-hire cohort. We exchanged contacts and shared experiences over lunch and group discussions. I made friends whom I would be staying in touch with after the orientation is over.
Graduation aka the Hat Ceremony
The end of the orientation week included a graduation ceremony also known as the Noogler Hat Ceremony. It marked the end of the orientation week. We took graduation pictures and walked as a group to a happy hour to continue the celebration.
I Made Memories
The orientation week was a great, one of a kind experience. I made many memories and learned a lot during my first week. In addition to attending the orientation, I explored other Google buildings, cafeterias, snack rooms, tea rooms, cafes, game rooms, rooftops with breathtaking 360 city views and much more. Sharing some of those memories from orientation week below.
Watch My First Day at Google on YouTube
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