Through the collaborative efforts of YouTube’s Tom Denton, Ph.D. and Wu Yu, Ph.D., and Dean Tammy Robinson, 75 students from the Middle College along with staff toured the YouTube corporate headquarters in San Bruno.

The first-hand opportunity to visit a film production studio, observe the collaborative work environment, and participate in a panel discussion with current YouTube employees to learn about possible non-tech careers at technology companies was a real-life eye opening experience for our first-generation students (80%), especially the young women (70%) and racial-ethnic minorities (90%). Students were then divided into groups to participate in a YouTube “User Experience” interactive research project that critique YouTube consumer products, i.e., YouTube TV.

Acknowledging the difficulty in recruiting high school age participants to try out new YouTube features, the Director of User Experience Research extended an invitation for students to register and be paid for their participation in future User Experience research projects. The half-day tour concluded with YouTube’s employees representing nearly every major and degree sharing a delicious lunch with students in small intimate conversation groups that let students ask questions about the YouTube’s culture, work environment and employment opportunities.

“I was amazed that there are so many different non-tech career opportunities,” Erik, a Middle College student said. “I thought you had to be into sciences and math.”

Article by R.W. Jones | Photo by M. Center

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