Robert Gordon’s pupils learn from tech experts at Google in New York City

01/05/2024

PUPILS from Robert Gordon’s College Senior School were invited to spend a day at Google in New York, all thanks to former pupil, Niall Mackenzie, Class of ‘06, who is Senior Team Lead in Google’s Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals division.

This exciting occasion marked not just a visit, but a journey into the heart of one of the world’s most innovative companies, and an opportunity for the pupils to take a glimpse into potential future pathways in tech, sales, marketing and the many other career opportunities that global tech companies such as Google offer young talent.

Taking on the role of facilitator and host for the day, Niall orchestrated an experience that would leave a lasting impact on both the pupils and the staff of Robert Gordon’s College. The day commenced with a guided tour of the Google offices, where the pupils were introduced to the vibrant and dynamic workspace that embodies the company’s ethos of creativity and collaboration. From quirky themed meeting rooms to state-of-the-art recreational areas and even a games room, the Google offices provided a glimpse into the company’s unique culture and working environment.

The excitement among the pupils was palpable as they explored the various areas and interacted with employees who shared their experiences and insights of their career journey. For many, it was a firsthand encounter with the inner workings of a tech giant, igniting sparks of curiosity and inspiration.

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the careers panel organised by Niall, bringing together Scottish Googlers who shared their personal journeys, highlighting the diverse range of roles and opportunities within the company. From software engineering to product management, the panel provided invaluable firsthand guidance and advice on the skills and qualities sought after by companies like Google.

Throughout the day, the enthusiasm and interest from both the pupils and staff of Robert Gordon’s were infectious. Conversations were fast flowing as aspirations were ignited and possibilities explored. For many of the pupils, the visit to Google served as a catalyst for their ambitions, opening their eyes to the boundless opportunities that lay ahead in the world of technology. 

The final experience of the day was a visit to their hidden games room where pupils could enjoy the array of activities on offer to Google employees which includes darts, pool, table tennis, a toss game, foosball and much more. 

Reflecting on the significance of this visit, Niall Mackenzie shared: “Having spent 13 years at Robert Gordon’s College; hosting pupils, staff and alumni from RGC at Google’s HQ here in New York has been a real privilege.

“Being able to bring together a Scottish-born and educated panel of New York based Googlers to discuss our career paths with Robert Gordon’s pupils has been especially rewarding. Hearing the truly diverse career paths that led each of the panelists from Aberdeen, Hawick, Greenock and Fife to land their respective “dream roles” in New York has been inspiring for us all.”

Mrs Smith, Head of Senior School, added: “We were overwhelmed by the fantastic welcome we received at Google. We want our pupils to dream big and know the world is at their feet. They have heard first hand that hard work, an entrepreneurial mindset and presenting the best version of yourself can take you anywhere in the world and these are the core values that Niall and his colleagues at Google emphasised to our pupils. We are very grateful to Niall for making this visit possible and for inspiring the next generation of Gordonians.”

The visit to Google New York has been a transformative experience for the pupils and leaves lasting memories, a sense of purpose and possibility with heightened ambition for innovation and discovery.

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