Our intern, Andrea Chaves first assignment at Friends of Puerto Rico
As I was getting ready to move to Washington, D.C. for three months for my internship with Friends of Puerto Rico, I got a call from my soon to be new boss Angelique saying “Hi, this is Angelique, this might be unexpected, but I just wanted to know if you had received an email about a summit?” (mind you, we had never talked before). It never crossed my mind that my first assignment would be going to California with my new boss for the Facebook Communities Summit. A week after starting my internship we were in California where these amazing experiences took place. At Facebook HQ, we got to meet some amazing people that work very hard every day to help their communities as best as they can (in very different ways). Let me tell you a little bit about our experience.
The day we got there: Facebook had three hotels separated for the event (you can imagine the magnitude of it) and had some beautiful gifts waiting for us in our rooms. With five hours to spare before the first event of the summit at Facebook’s Headquarters (HQ), I took a short excursion to the Golden Gate Bridge which I had never been to before. It was amazing! Such a great way to start this fantastic experience. When the summit finally kicked off, we arrived at the Headquarters for a lovely evening that included all participants, that enabled us to meet the other attendees we were about to spend two days with. We indulged in a ton of finger food, enjoyed some drinks and music, and had some fun in the amazing photo booth and getting our fortunes read by a fortune teller.
Day 1: We had a really informative day at the Facebook HQ. There we listened to employees and admins talk about how Facebook Communities have helped so many. Sheryl Sandberg opened the activity and shared so much of how these pages had helped her after the loss of her husband. We also got to learn about new products and features that will come to market or that were recently launched and how they are going to help the admins have better use of their platforms. Remember when I told you there was a lot of food? Well, the first day did not disappoint, and the coffee (literally in every corner) — was amazing, by the way. We got to meet an amazing group of Puerto Ricans that were also attending the conference — Miguel and Fredeswin from Abogados de Puerto Rico, Sergio from Soy Super Papa, Mariangie, and Laura.
Mark Zuckerberg also came to say hi to everyone and once again emphasized that all of us were there for a reason, because of the help and care we brought to our different communities. To finalize the day at HQ, Antonio Lucio, the Global Chief Marketing Officer, a Puerto Rican, also spoke to us and even gave a new Portal to each person!!
The day concluded at the Hiller Aviation Museum, where the team had a wonderful dinner planned for us. Before dinner, we were entertained by flying drones and watching videos with virtual reality and taking pictures in another photo booth. Dinner was also amazing and three Facebook employees sat with us so we got to network with them and hear more about Facebook and their experiences with the company. After that, we went to the hotel, really excited about what the next day was going to bring.
Day 2: The final day started with breakfast at HQ (more food!) During this day we heard other inspiring speakers, this time they were also attendees at the summit. Angelique was part of a panel and she talked about how Facebook helped Friends of Puerto Rico raise over a million dollars and positively impact over 40,000 people after the strike of Hurricane Maria on the island! This day’s topics were more related and focused on each community. After half a day of soaking in more information and meeting amazing people, the summit was over.
Francisco, a Friend of Puerto Rico, who is Puerto Rican and works at Facebook generously took us to lunch and gave us a tour of one of the buildings (they have over 20). We had some delicious Indian food, this time. We were able to see the workplace for so many people and Mark’s office. By the way, they have over 30 restaurants in the whole complex with coffee and snack stand in every corner! After meeting Francisco, we headed up to the airport, really excited about all that we learned, and the amazing people we got to meet.