When I came home in June, the most often question I heard was, ”so, what are you going to do now?” More often than not, the answer has been, ”I am not sure”. Being a ‘career breaker’ for 10 years has taken a toll on my confidence and the past few months have been spent asking myself, ”What am I going to do with myself on a professional level?” To be honest, I have yet to find my calling but I do know that I am willing to try almost anything in order to find my passion and path.
And that was how I became a part of Marketing in Asia (MIA), a community-driven digital marketing magazine that is slowly taking over the marketing world by storm. My work predominantly involves me sitting behind my laptop, which is great for an introvert and busy mum like me. However, when Azleen, the Editor-in-Chief of MIA, opened the floor for a Journalist of the Day (JOTD) to cover a media session on behalf of MIA at Google Malaysia recently, I jumped at the opportunity despite having no experience whatsoever in this field. This, I thought, would be another fantastic opportunity for me in my road of self-discovery. Having an understanding boss who isn’t going to frown at my childish excitement helps too!
As many of my friends will vouch, directions are not my forte and for that reason, I took the train to KL Sentral, where Google’s office was located, nearly 3 hours ahead. Just so that even I couldn’t screw it up. I met up with Natasha, another fellow MIA JOTD, and excitedly headed up to Google. We were met by the team from Emerald Communications, which handles all the public relations on behalf of Google. Having signed in and securing a copy of the press release, we were ushered to Gerai Gugel for some refreshments while waiting for everyone else to arrive.
That was when Natasha and I unabashedly made the most of our waiting time and started to snap some photos, especially at the iconic Google sign which is likely the most Instagrammable spot in the office. I mean, we needed proof that we were actually there, right?! I am fairly new to Instagram and all things social media but I was pleasantly surprised by how pretty and unconventional the whole place was. In fact, the first thought that came into my mind was Instagram ready – you can choose any spot and it is filled with such vibrant colours that your photos will look amazing without needing too much effort. Perfect for me!
There were many other journalists from various media there but what struck me was the festive atmosphere which really suited the setting of the event. It didn’t feel like we were there to work, even the room where the presentation was held was in an arena-style sitting area filled with colourful bean bags and cushions. It was very cosy. When Su Ann, the Industry Head for Tech and Telco, presented the findings of Google’s latest research on “How Malaysian Consumers Decide on Their Next Smartphone Purchase”, the mood was relaxed and fun, especially when special edition Google socks were given out as souvenirs to those who answered questions related to the survey correctly. Natasha even bagged one for herself, how cool was that? For a first-timer, I felt that the event was well-organised and welcoming. Rene from Emerald Communications and the rest of his team did a fantastic job of checking on everyone often and ensuring our needs were met. Not once did Natasha and I feel like we were the odd ones there.
When the presentation was over, all the journalists had the opportunity to ask further questions or to network. Natasha and I took the opportunity to celebrate our first assignment with ice cream on the house and yes, document it through more photos! I am sure many there noticed us in our fits of giggles but did not call us out. For that, I am thankful. Natasha and I left with wide smiles that day for having the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary and to experience something that was the envy of many. It was an afternoon of giggles at Google and oh, what we would give just to do it all over again!
Photos by Natasha Eger