Tag Archives: zurich

What a Summer… A Summary

What a Summer…

This last summer of 2014 has been an incredible summer – on a similar level to that of last year. It differed from last year in that instead of one really big awesome thing, I did loads and loads of smaller things – all of which gave me shed loads more experience, and some of which were life changing. So, without further ado, let’s get started:

Above: Summer of Opportunity – Movie of the best moments of my summer.

The combination of hacking and sailing really works well...

The combination of hacking and sailing works well…

Summer started at the start of June when I headed back to Cornwall to relax and unwind from a hard term of exams and coursework. The first weekend, I took the RYA Powerboat Level 2 Qualification, enabling me to drive our speedboat – which has been fantastic – every weekend I returned since I’ve been speeding around the South Coast of Cornwall in blissful weather.

I then shot off to London for the start of my Internship at Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, working in Technology. The experience was so enlightening, and I could not be more glad that I did it. I worked in a small team which managed a significant enterprise product, and got the opportunity to work with some really great, intelligent people. Living in London was an experience I never thought I’d have, and although I went into it with a negative attitude (expecting to not like it, been a ‘open space and countryside lover’), it outdid every single one of my expectations. I even had chance to participate in a fund-raising event for the Princes Trust (cycling across London).  Having all of England’s history, museums and beautiful gardens within 20 minutes was incredible, and I loved the opportunity to try experiences that only exist in a capital city (for example Dans le Noir, the restaurant where you eat in the pitch-darkness, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships, and drinks in The Shard).

Drinks in GŎNG on the 52nd Floor, The Shard

Drinks in GŎNG on the 52nd Floor, The Shard

During my Internship I was pointed towards applying for Yacht Hack, a week long hackathon on a Yacht, pootling around Croatia. Never missing an opportunity, I applied. And, with the Yacht leaving Croatia on Saturday 30th August, I received an email on the preceding Monday 25th saying something along the lines of “Congratulations, see you in Croatia in 5 days”. What a rush! But of course, come Saturday morning I found myself in Split, Croatia, about to meet 10 of the most amazing people. The Yacht was absolutely beautiful, a fairly new Lagoon catamaran, and only slightly cosy. Within hours, the ideas were flowing, and so were the concepts and products. Our team came up with Shy – a service aggregating and curating answers to all the questions you are too shy to ask.  I’ll be writing a full post on Yacht Hack, including how it significantly changed the next few years of my life, at the end of next week.

Most of us on the Yacht Hack yacht roof

Most of us on the Yacht Hack yacht roof

Once I got back from Yacht Hack and had spent another few days in Cornwall (yep – speedboating was included!), I kicked off back to London to present shy to a group of investors.

Because I hadn’t travelled enough in the preceding few weeks, the next day I took off to Zürich to see old friends from last year and enjoy the city, culture and mountains for two weeks. Meeting up with friends and then cycling through the city and eating chocolate and cheese was just fantastic. I tried a very fun Swiss activity as well – taking a chairlift up a mountain and then riding a scooter all the way back down. Not to mention the incredible 2 day hike to Mount Tamaro (with overnight stay in the hut) around Lugano and Locarno, which ended with a swim in the spectacular Lake Maggiore.

Lugano Hike - the final push to Tamaro Hut

Lugano Hike – the final push to Tamaro Hut

So, summer’s over now and I’m now back at University for my final year.  I’m looking forward to challenges ahead and my final-year dissertation (a post on which will be following soon).  Bring on the next 12 months!

Google Internship – Preperations

Google UK Logo

Google UK Logo

So, next week on July 1st I start my internship at Google’s Zurich Office.  I was also selected as a Finalist for a Google Scholarship, so am attending the retreat from this coming Sunday to the following Wednesday in-between work.  I’m going to be blogging at the end of every week, and sometimes in-between, partly to try and write (yet another) useful resource for someone else thinking about doing an Internship (maybe at Google) and partly as a kind of log for me to read when the internship is over.  So, without further ado, I’ll get started:

After getting back from WWDC, I had a little over a day to pack everything up at University to leave for Cornwall.  I had a week in Cornwall, so after the usual routine: unpack, washing, put stuff away,  I had a spare day before I needed to start packing again.  Luckily the weather was just perfect, so I took the kayaks out down to Malpas with a friend.  And then it was time to start packing again.

An early morning – 4:30 – but that’s the price for living so far from Heathrow.  I’m a little concerned that I seem to have fitted everything I need for 3 months into two suitcases (bearing in mind that University requires a full car and roofbox) but haven’t noticed anything missing yet, so fingers crossed.

I’m staying with a really nice family who had a really nice room available on Airbnb.  I had spent a long time looking elsewhere to start with, which ended up leading nowhere, but from when I found this room to getting it booked was only a few days, which was great bearing in mind I desperately needed to revise at the time.

Tomorrow I’m heading into Zurich to try and buy a bike, figure out the cycle route into work and see if I can find a cheaper way of getting data on my phone whilst here.  I’ll hopefully get some time to just wander the area as well which will be great.  Sunday night is when everything starts, with the Scholarship Retreat.