Day 5: Searching for Venice

In what has most certainly been a whirlwind trip to the US, we have alas already reached our final day here

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before heading home.

Last night at Paramount Pictures was a superb spectacle, as New Zealand and foreign stars alike turned out for a film evening following a tour of the impressive New York street and studios.

The morning’s programme consisted of the NZ doing business in USA seminar, as Kiwi success stories offered advice for those considering the US for their businesses. Many of the delegation opted to take in a little shopping and culture instead, picking up last minute gifts for those back home (or not as the case may be).

For the afternoon, split off from the main group who were visiting the Port of Los Angeles and headed for Santa Monica and Venice Beach – first stop: Google.

It’s pretty hard to miss the gianormous binoculars that signify Google’s Los Angeles headquarters. We were lucky enough to be offered a full tour and briefing of the facilities and workplace.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the place is absolutely incredible. Google is renowned for its culture and being an innovator as an employer and it’s not hard to see why. Everything about the place is geared towards ensuring the continued wellbeing of their workforce and creating an environment in which staff actually want to be at work.

Staff members are offered a high degree of autonomy in setting their work conditions and are continuously challenged to grow personally. If Google is looking to attract the best and the brightest of the next generation, it certainly appeared as though they were succeeding as staff above 40 seemed to be a rare species in these parts.

My personal favourite was the ongoing bring your dog to work initiative, with feeding stations set up throughout Google’s offices and doggy daycare outside in the sun.

Following Google, we spent the balance of our time taking a leisurely trip through Venice, visiting the canals and the famous Venice Beach which will no doubt be extremely familiar to anybody who’s ever watched Californication.

It’s been a short and sharp trip here, but what a fantastic experience we’ve all had. Personally – I’ve learned a ton, networked in with some incredible people both young and old, visited places people can only dream of and even discussed the intricacies of TPP with a pair of former Prime Ministers.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage from our trip – make sure to keep an eye out for more exclusives to be filed over the coming few days after the jet lag’s worn off, we’re all in need of a damn good sleep I think.

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