Updated: Jul 13
Innovation through Collaboration.
Giving Back to your Community.
In November 2019, PayPal hosted RCG Upload, a 3-day summit in Santa Clara, CA for the Recent College Graduates who have just joined PayPal during the year of 2019. This summit was an opportunity to network, come together and develop innovative ideas, as well as learn more about ourselves as individuals in the workforce. Each day, we were put into different groups based on the day-specific activity.
I got to visit the PayPal Headquarters in San Jose and meet some of my teammates! The current project that my team is working on consists of a larger team that spans across Scottsdale, San Jose, and Timonium. To be able to finally meet the San Jose team face to face, have coffee/lunch, and learn some dance moves from them was a moment that I'm forever grateful for!
Picture a conference room with 15 tables and eager RCGs all looking to stage that was located at the front. We had an agenda on each table but we didn't know what to expect. Melissa, from the University Relations program team, greets us and introduces our training coaches for the day:
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Eagle's Flight!
The mission of Eagle's Flight is to release employee potential. How they do that is through a series of fun exercises that we all got to do as teams. The first exercise that we each completed was the DiSC assessment.
DiSC® is a personal assessment tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork, leadership, sales, and communication. DiSC measures your personality and behavioral style. It does not measure intelligence, aptitude, mental health or values.
We filled out a questionnaire, did a few calculations, and received a score that gave us our best-fit personality trait from the choices of Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C) as well as our second best-fit personality trait form the same choices.
In application, I discovered that my best-fit personality trait was Influence (I) and my second was Conscientiousness (C). People who have the Influence trait tend to place an emphasis on shaping the environment by influencing or persuading others. (DiSC). I felt that this personality trait along with Conscientiousness being the second is pretty accurate.
Afterwards, we broke into different groups based on the four personality traits. We were given a series of questions regarding what we find as strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. I found that my group discussed a lot before forming our answers and that each person was able to voice their opinion. We then got to go around and look at the other personality trait groups and read their responses to the same questions. It was quite eye-opening to see how each group responded which I feel makes for a more collaborative work environment.
At the end of the day, we got to play a fun game called the Council of the Marble Star. This game involved each table being split up into two teams. Each team was given a bag of gems, money, and geometric felt pieces. There were four quarters of the game. At the start of the game, each team had with three pieces of information about either another team, what the collateral was worth, and what collateral was valued at the end of each quarter. Throughout the game, we had to barter and trade information and gems with the end goal of earning over a certain amount of money while still maintaining the SHUMAS during our interactions with the other teams:
You have won the absolute TRUST of others.
Others felt VALUED and ESTEEMED by you.
Others felt you held their INTEREST in HIGH REGARD.
Others felt you dealt HONESTLY and ETHICALLY.
Others had confidence in your ABILITY.
By the end of the game, I felt that this was a great way to simulate how we interact in the workforce. It is important that when we communicate with our coworkers that we uphold these principles. By establishing a sense of trust while also valuing what our coworkers have to say, we develop a better relationship that is incredibly crucial in accomplishing our work.
Picture a basketball arena where the Suns are playing in the Talking Stick Resort Arena and the fans are cheering. Half-time hits and a lot of people get hungry. They get up to walk to their favorite pizza stand only to find that there is a long queue waiting ahead of them. Because of this experience, the fan(s) are not as interested in buying a ticket for the next game because of the waits thus a ticket sale is lost.
This is where there's a call to action:
How can PayPal increase TPV (Total Payment Volume) in a way that enhances the customer's experience?
We split into groups and were given a couple of hours to come up with an idea that addresses the call to action and then present it via video. My team consisted of a product manager and software engineers. The PM helped each one of our our ideas get heard as well as keep us on task. To keep the ideas confidential, I felt that this period of collaboration was an awesome way to hear about different people's personal pain points as well as their unique concert and game experiences.
After a long day of brainstorming and creative ideation, the RCGs got to enjoy San Francisco for a fun night event!
We started off the day with a financial advice conversation with Shannaan Dawda and Mike Todasco (Director of Innovation at PayPal). Being fresh out of college, there are more financial details that are being addressed such as student loans, rent, insurance, 401(k), and much more. We were able to hear about Dawda's advice on investment as well as the financial goals that he made and achieved. We also got to ask him questions that we had which ranged from how much to save from each paycheck, what to invest in i.e. stocks, REIT, bonds, etc., and how much would be useful to put in our 401(k). After the Q&A session, we all got a signed copy of From Paychecks to Power: 7 Power Moves to Unlock Wealth Building from Dawda himself!
After lunch, we came back into the room to see the front of the room set up with tables of bike helmets, bike pumps, and boxes of unbuilt bikes. As part of the PayPal Gives Back community, we got the opportunity to build bikes for the local YMCA! I, myself, didn't know how to build a kid bike until this moment and so I was very excited to learn how with my teammates. Together, my team built three bikes with each having a note of encouragement from us! As a whole, the RCGs built around 40+ bikes and we all had huge smiles on our faces. It was so rewarding to be able to make an impact on the community and truly give forward.
As a wrap-up, my self-awareness has increased as I learned a lot more about myself. Specifically, in the workforce environment, my actions tend to echo the personality trait of an Influence (I) in the DiSC assessment versus the other three personality traits. Through collaboration, we were able to come up with solutions to increase TPV via PayPal for the Suns + Talking Stick Resort Arena. To be able to give forward while also learn a new skill like building a bike is a win-win!