The St. Joseph's Computer Club — a.k.a., SJC2 — just had its fourth event since their launch in the Fall of 2015.
Their first three events were incoming speakers, each visiting our Brooklyn campus, each specializing in various fields of technology.
But in a small departure from last year's exemplar of incoming Enterprise-class speakers, SJC2's first event of this new year was not an on-campus event. Rather, it was the long awaited and highly anticipated field trip to Google's New York City's offices!
The trip was broken down into 3 parts:
○ An very enlightening and inspirational tour, led by Google employees Ed Marczak and Ed Eigerman.
○ The students next converged into one of Google's several high-end conference rooms for a spirited Q & A session, with five (5!) Google engineers and employees, representing the departments of H.R. and Internships, iOS Development, Technical Writing, a Software Engineer specializing in Machine Learning, and Site Reliability and Systems Engineers. Door prizes of "Google” thermal containers were given to the club members at the end of the Q & A.
○ Capping things off, Google didn't just provide the students with a terrific, on-the-house lunch.... they reserved 2 tables for us in one of their exquisite cafeterias that boasted both a culturally and ethnically diverse cuisine, with an incredible view of Manhattan. The view of Manhattan was eclipsed perhaps only by the quality of the various cuisines and courses we were served.
This year's SJC2 President, Michael Galke, reports, "I am already well acquainted with the current talent and future potential of our students / club members. But something I won't soon forget was the privilege of getting to see, up-close and personal, the robust array of questions that were being asked by my fellow club members, and—Google team's reactions to the informed nature of their questions." Mike added, "It's quite clear that SJC2 club members have both so much to offer, and—whether they realize it or not just yet.... quite a bright future ahead of them! I felt proud to be counted among them."
In addition to our 22 student club members present for the event, St. Joseph's was also represented by Mathematics and Computer Science Professor Salim Arfaoui, who cited, “We had the opportunity of a lifetime. Getting a tour of Google headquarters in NYC with a group of my students (25) and club members proved to be a memorable experience. We hope that our trip to Google would provide our students with a window to the real world that they don't get in the classroom, and can help them get practical exposure to a real-world work environment.”
The Director of St. Joseph's Marketing / Promotions Dept., Michael Banach, was also present. Our only regret is that Dr. Eugene Callahan could not be there with us due to a conflict in schedules... next time Dr. Callahan... you were missed!
Though the idea for the trip was initially conceived by Mike Galke through a close friend and colleague within his network of peers that he has been privileged to work with throughout his 20 year career in I.T., Mike reports, "Honestly, it is more by circumstance than by any virtue of my own, that this idea became incarnate. My role in this was more akin to 'one who gets to stand on the shoulders of giants'", while adding, "It was really a joint effort between my colleague Ed Marczak, Professor Salim Arfaoui, and special kudos to all of my fellow SJC2 Computer Club members for their support, contagious optimism and enthusiasm. We really have a great thing going here in SJC2 Computer Club. At this juncture there exists a palpable energy here, and it really feels like, 'The sky's the limit!"
Finally, a truly heartfelt "Thank you!" to everyone at Google who helped make this day a reality; our Google tour guides (Ed Marczak and Ed Eigerman), Google Engineers and Q & A moderators. At the risk of sounding perhaps a bit too dramatic… not only was this trip unforgettable, but it might very well prove to be a game-changer for many of our club members.