Central Sixth Former’s Visit @Facebook Head Office
On the 4th July 2019 five Business Studies students at Central Sixth Form had the privilege of attending the ‘Women of the Future’ event, hosted by Maria Purcell at Facebook Head Office. Girls from a range of secondary schools across London gained first-hand insights into working life at Facebook and careers advice from Facebook employees on how to build a tech career.
Maria Purcell, Head of Commercial Partnerships in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) at Workplace, gave a welcoming address that gave a candid and funny potted history of her teenage and university years. This gave the students an understanding of what it was like growing up in a tech different era and how Maria came to find herself in tech and eventually Facebook where she heads up the Workspace team. They are responsible for building and branding Facebook pages for businesses and schools. She also shared how the Facebook is developing its products and services.
Maria also talked about how her own and Facebook’s core values act as a guide for career as well as business development. She stressed the importance of being open, feedback as a gift, having a safe space where you can vent your emotions, committing to continuous improvement and learning (this journey is 1% finished) and being your authentic self.
Maria opened up the floor to her EMEA team. They also shared their career journeys in a panel Q&A on developing a tech career. Their common themes of advice were:
- Follow your interests
- Do internships and work placements for social and well as job role learning
- Get work experience in a tech start-up to get all round experience in different roles
- Build your networks for career advice and future job opportunities
The students also got the opportunity to ask the panel questions. Students asked about work-life balance, making A level choices and what were their top tips for success in which the team answered:
- Be an expert in your field
- Be resilient
- Be a yes person (i.e. be curious, explore, learn)
- Don’t over think it. Focus on doing (take action)
- Come from the position of ‘How can I help’
Our very own Central Sixth Form student, Mila asked if there were disabled people at Facebook and what were the team’s relationship with them. Maria informed her that there are different ‘Employee Resource Groups’ at Facebook e.g. Disability Group or Black in Tech (which she is part of) and as stakeholders they get involved in the development of aspects of the business where relevant.
Students also got a tour of the building and got a taste of life as a Facebook employee. With its games rooms, relaxation, music and creative break out areas and concierge services. The highlight of the tour was the free sweets that everyone was treated to.
Overall, our students found it to be a fun and informative day which not only gave them a working understanding of Facebook, but also how to develop a tech career. As they said:
‘My experience at Facebook has been insightful, beneficial and enjoyable.’Mila
‘The way the company has innovated into using multiple business platforms to market their company has shown that a company can grow globally and successfully by going into different markets.’Naima
‘The company is very diverse and very open to every background.Srity
‘The company is at a good level with their diversity but they are looking to improve themselves every day.Amina