Silicon Valley Trip 2018 – Apple, Google, and David Yeh NA’16

    The 2019 EDI Fellows traveled to Silicon Valley to speak with experts about engineering, design, and innovation.  Here is Kevin Smedley to describe our fifth day. 

    Today the fellows gathered at 8 AM to debrief the activities of the previous day over breakfast. We discussed our summer reading book, The Ten Faces of Innovation, by Tom Kelley. During a period of both personal and group reflection, we connected what we read with what we have seen in California so far.


    We then traveled to Apple’s old campus, the Infinite Loop, and met with Griff Derryberry who gave us a tour. Following a short visit through the campus featuring modern-architecture, we sat down to eat at Apple’s cafe and were joined by Tom, Griff’s coworker. Together we had a meaningful talk about life, careers, and what the EDI fellows have been working on this past year.

    At Tom’s recommendation, our group traveled with Griff over to Apple Park, their newest campus. The visitor center provided shopping, an augmented reality display of the park next door, and a sight of the enormous ring-shaped facility.


    With little time left until our tour at Google, Griff brought us to one last Apple building, the surfboard, a short distance from the Park. Inside we got to see the evolution of Mac computers and watch engineers take some apart to show us how the hardware has changed over time. With just enough time to make it to Google through the bay area’s traffic, we left the facility and dropped Griff back off at Infinite Loop where he works.


    After Patrick successfully navigated us to our building at Google, the team was greeted by Arille Jeriza Virrey who gave us another great tour. We did not get to see GooglePlex, their main building, but we were shown multiple buildings on site and got the “Googlely” feel of the campus. In one of the buildings, the group was split up into two conference rooms and video chatted to get a similar feel to a lot of Google’s meetings.


    In the conference rooms we were joined by Kendall, a user experience researcher, and Rosy, an interactive designer, to discuss their experiences at Google. After our discussion, we visited the merchandise shop and took pictures in the “graveyard” of old platform themed androids.

    For our last stop, the team talked with David Yeh, Norfolk Academy 2016 alum, about his internship at Natron Energy over an italian dinner. It was an interesting experience chatting with an NA alum and to learn of his experiences in the Silicon Valley. Afterwards, the group concluded the night’s activities at Cold Stone with ice cream. At David’s departure, we traveled back to the hotel and prepared for the next day’s return home.

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