Academy Reflections

I realized today that I returned home one week ago from the NYC Google Innovator Academy. I've never experienced a professional development like it and honestly may never again.

What sets it apart?

1. Front loading
Right away we were, purposely, given ways to connect -- Google Hangout, Google Photos, Welcome Guide (to share arrival and departure information), Google Group, and more.
Additionally, we had assignments to prepare us for the work ahead at the Academy.


2. Partnerships
We were also front loaded with partnerships. We were matched with an affinity buddy -- one person with a similar project/idea. And most importantly, we were placed on a team with a coach. In addition, we will be assigned a mentor.

3. Stretching the Comfort Zone
Through Sparks and Sprints! Sparks are short bursts of inspiration from Googlers or Coaches. Sprints are fast workshops to move through the product cycle. Often both would stretch us in some way!


4. Fail Bell
Risk taking and celebrating failure. Each table/team had a fail bell on it. If anyone in the room rang it, the person was celebrated for their failure by clapping/cheering. Fail forward!

5. Follow up
Often when you leave a conference or professional development day, there isn't much follow up. However, upon our return home, we were met with assignments, reflections, mentor match ups, and strong connections with team and others. Even a social committee developed! I'm so thankful for the continuation! I need it and love it.
*This is a one year experience. 

Truly everything was on purpose and provided the excellence. I'm beyond honored to be among these 42 people that are #NYC19. It is the perfect group for me and has left a lasting change.

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