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Michigan State University
Spartan Sagas

Edward Bailey
Alumnus, 2001
Mountain View, California

I think Google is a pretty normal place, and it is an embodiment of the people. So the environment is—I would describe it as—very collegial. I would describe it as there is a lot of activity. I would describe it as an environment where people can meet other great people, share stories, and work towards a great set of common goals. It is absolutely very exciting. I think it is something great to aspire to.

I think the challenge is people don't understand in general how much hard work it takes to get an opportunity to work anywhere. If you look at any of the top companies or any of the top sport teams, any of the top—our company—any of the top anything for that matter, the amount of work you have to put in, as well as the amount of doors that have to open for you to get the opportunity. It is hard.

I have tried to build a career that focuses on passion. One of my passions is really helping people to find opportunities that are appropriate for them and opening doors. Another passion of mine is education and making sure, particularly, children have the opportunity to learn and to grow and to have the equal will to be able to follow their dreams. One place where Google and the education system come hand in hand is they both open lots of doors for people to have access to information and to follow their dreams.

A lot of my thought processes around diversity really came from Michigan State. It is not just about color or gender or background; it is really about diversity of thought. It’s people coming from all over the country and all over the world who have had different life experiences and bringing those things to the table.

If you think about the mission to make the world's information useful and accessible for all, in order to accomplish that mission successfully, you have to have diversity of thought because you have to be able to connect to users from all different types of backgrounds and to be able to drive effectively products that will change their lives. And there is no way to do that without having tons of people who really think about the world from different points of view and can work together collaboratively to solve a problem. I have always felt that regardless of what my ability set is, having other people around always makes that better.

And I think one of the things that I particularly learned at Michigan State working in a lot of group activities—you know, the Residence Hall Association, the Black Caucus, things like that—is that one person can only do so much. And your ability to lift the spirits and also the output of the people around you are the things that are going to make the difference in terms of whether you drive something at one level or your team drives something at a second level or a third level.

So from those experiences, what I have tried to do is really first be self-aware and understand what my capabilities are and understand what my capabilities aren't and then just surround myself with great people who bring other things to the table, who bring new ideas, who bring different kinds of energy, who can push me, and I feel comfortable pushing as well.

As a parent, as a member of the community in Mountain View, as a member of the state of California, U.S., et cetera, I think it is really important that I give back in ways that I have—in areas where I have knowledge, where I have skills, I have abilities, and I have experiences in.

I think public education is important, one, because most people go through that process, and two, in a real sense, it is the most scalable opportunity we have to define what being American is, what being human is, and how to contribute to society as a whole.

The local school system is called the Mountain View Whisman School District. And actually it used to be two districts, Mountain View and Whisman that were part of the city of Mountain View, California. And over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to serve as president of the board. And I really have the great opportunity to really see students grow, to really see teaches grow in their craft and give them opportunity to impact students, and really to give principals and the administrative staff the resources they need to be successful.

I think success to me is a commitment to consistently delivering against my core values and to making the lives of the people who matter most to me better. Hopefully, the people that I work with at Google feel like I am a valued team member, that I am a hard worker, and that any time I am part of a conversation that I am adding value.

I hope my family feels like that I am supportive, that I am loving, that I am creating opportunities for them to be able to live their dreams. I hope the people of the school district really understand that I care about education. I believe that every one of our students is talented and has gifts that could change the world, and I want to do everything that I can from my vantage point to be able to drive that home.

I hope you know that my legacy is really that the people who are here after me understand what they can do, understand that they can dream big and define their dreams their way, live up to them, and pass that to the next person or the next set of people.