Thanks to GISSV parent Martin Barthel the students of our Entrepreneur Club got the chance to visit the Facebook headquarter.
by Nina H., Anna W. and Jannis A. (grade 11)
At the end of the school year, the Entrepreneur Club had the opportunity to go on a field trip to Facebook. We all met at 7:30 in the morning in front of GISSV (Mountain View) and then Mr Lentzen drove us to the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, where we were welcomed by Mr. Barthel and Mr. Luckett. Everyone had to sign up to be able to enter the building. Unlike at other companies, our group was able to visit all floors of the building, there were no private spaces and we were allowed to take pictures.
First, we ate a delicious breakfast, such as waffles with whipped cream and strawberries, and then we started our tour. We walked through the office spaces and admired the many inspiring posters and art drawings on the walls. The Startup culture, which values creative problem solving, open communication and the individuals, was almost tangible.
Our group went into one of the many meeting rooms. Mr Barthel talked about the business model of Facebook, the most important products, the working culture and future projects. The hiring policy was especially interesting. We learned that an interesting CV is often more important than going to an ivy league school. After this interesting conversation, we proceeded to walk through building 20 & 21, where the group not only saw Facebooks' solar-powered drone experiment but also Mark Zuckerberg's conference room, which was transparent from all sides. This was the only area in the headquarters, where no pictures were allowed to take.
Next, we strolled through the heart of campus, which looks like a combination of Main Street Disneyland and downtown Palo Alto. It consists of Hacker Square with the Hacker Company, many shops such as a bike shop and a barber shop, a bank and many cafes and restaurants. Mr. Barthel showed us the art & crafts store in which the employees can take some time off of work and make the inspiring posters. As our trip came to an end, everyone ate Frozen Yoghurt on campus, which was perfect for this hot summer day.
Lastly, we visited the souvenir shop and then walked to the Facebook sign where our group took some nice pictures. We all realized throughout the tour that the headquarters epitomize Facebook: it is an open and transparent space with little privacy.
Everyone had a great time and we all appreciate that Mr. Barthel took his time to give us this amazing tour.
Photo Credit: Martin Lentzen