To work for a place like Google, you need to be innovative, creative and a problem solver at the same time. Places like Google look for attributes that may not be on a traditional transcript from a traditional school since those assessments do not take creativity, innovation or problem solving into account. In fact, Google would be an entirely different company if they accepted employees based upon traditional transcript. I have a friend who used to work for Google until Ask.com offered him a more competitive employment opportunity. According to our high school, my friend was never going to succeed at anything. He spent his high school years, hacking instead of participating in school. His GPA was minimal and in fact I am not sure if he received his high school diploma. But by the time he was 16 he had developed several websites which had a profit and eventually he sold to pay for college. After high school he realized the potential of his abilities, went to community college to build a GPA to attend UC Davis. After graduating UC Davis, he worked for Google until now where he is the Chief Systems Engineer and Chief Security at Ask.com. When I think of innovators and what they look like, I think of my friend. A person who never fit into the traditional model of school, a person who on paper shouldn’t of amounted to anything but was able to pursue his passions and find a niche in this world. I believe traditional schools need to account for students like my friend and have avenues to support students like him. If school has supported him, he wouldn’t of needed to attend community college and could have explored more in college. If the high school had a computer programing class perhaps my friend would of been found more at school than at home. I find it amazing that most schools still don’t offer computer programming as an elective. Today it is rare to go more than a day without using something that has been programed. There is still a large need for computer programmers and specially programmers who are women and of color. If programing was offered as a class, perhaps we can get more students interested in school, involved in learning and prepared to enter the tech industry.
To be innovative, one must allow for creativity. Here are creative spaces at Google. Notice how they are non-traditional spaces that foster creativity and innovation.