April 1, 2009

Googley Advice to Students

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mark Glowacz @ 8:00 AM

In July of 2008, a senior VP at Google posted some advice to students about life long learning and the impact that has on your ability to get a job, namely at Google.

This is one of the best, concise explanations I’ve read about life long learning.

Traditional education is focused on routine problem-solving skills but it is increasingly more important to dive into the type of thought that requires creativity and a pinch of persistence.

Three points stick out for me:

(a) Analytical reasoning is critical to Google but it is or should be critical to any organization including education. Data provides the tool set to work with what you know, not what you think you know.

(b) Teamwork is the engine that drives most projects at Google. I can tell you from experience that Google is not the only company working that way. Thankfully, today’s students increasingly exhibit teamwork through the use of social networking tools whether teachers promote it or not. I think educators can do more to foster the idea of teamwork and utilize technology to do it. Just ask your students, they’ll have plenty of ideas.

(c) Keep challenging yourself to learn more and different topics. What you know today might be a useful skill; tomorrow it could be a feather in your hat that is nothing more than proof you knew something once. The skill doesn’t have to be academic, job specific or income producing. Sometimes picking up a new hobby is enough to challenge yourself and meet people you never would have otherwise.

Part of the reason I love my chosen profession is that technology is always changing. Be it new versions of software, networking improvements or security considerations I never find myself bored. If anything, I feel overwhelmed by what I can and want to learn next.

To quote the senior VP, Jonathan Rosenberg, “Learning, it turns out, is a lifelong major.” I couldn’t agree more.


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