Today the motto was “expand your mind”. the whole delegation went to Zurich and Berne to visit Google and the U.S. Embassy.
Dr. Javier Bargas welcomed us at the Google campus in Zurich. He holds a PhD in Cognitive Psychology. Since 2012 he leads the Video Ads UX research team at Google in Zurich and San Francisco. Before joining Google, he was the manager of the HCI lab at the University of Basel (Switzerland). He published over 25 peer reviewed papers in HCI journals and conferences, covering topics such as user satisfaction, mental models in website perception, website aesthetics, webform usability and internationalization of products.
Firstly, we got a tour through the office. We saw a lot of interesting way to design a special workspace. Fun fact, every employee in Zurich needs to be within 100 feet walking distance to the nearest coffee and snack bar. To enable and encourage the work-life-balance, Google provides hairdressers, massages, fitness centers and playing rooms for their employees.
After the coffee break in one of Google’s many coffee bars, Dr. Javier Bargas talked about what makes a product great and how important a user centered design is. The product needs to be accessible, usable and understandable for a lot of customers, thus, the design of a product is essential. Lastly, he presented us the process of how a real case project at Google is started and how the corporate culture is lived.
We thank Google and especially Dr. Javier Bargas for their time and effort to show us their work environment and giving us a glimps of how it is to work for the tech giant.
In the afternoon, the delegation visited the official United States Embassy in Berne. We were welcomed by Stephanie Morimura, Alexander Sigrist and Kim Hunziker. During an introduction, we learned what the main tasks of an Embassy are. These are the followings:
- Official representation of the U.S. government
- Diplomatic relations between two countries
- Protect and help U.S. citizens
- Represent interests of the United States regarding education, development, political and financial affairs
- Explain U.S. policies
It was very interesting to hear how the diplomatic system in the U.S. works. For example, there are two different diplomats in the State Department: Career Diplomats and political appointed Ambassadors. After 3 years in one country, a career diplomat must change the country and task. So, you should love changes!
Thank you very much for having us at the U.S. Embassy and answering all our questions.
Tomorrow we will have an interesting day with talks from Autexis, Swissmem and Credit Suisse.