From Summer Computer Camp to a Career at Google

iD Tech in action

Hello iD Nation!

I roam the office a lot here at iD.  One of my employees mentioned in passing that one of her friends (a recent college grad) now works at Google.  She went on to explain that her friend also attended iD Tech Camps when he was a bit younger.  Her friend's name is Jasper.  Should iD Tech Camps take credit for 100% of Jasper's success?  Of course!  Not.  But, as you'll read below, iD Tech Camps obviously helped him along his path, and this is something we are all proud of in the company.  Please read the below interview I had with Jasper.  There are some intriguing responses.  This blog entry might be especially interesting for our older iD students who are looking to pursue a career in a hi-tech company.  Hint:  Start by going to a hi-tech camp.

Jasper Seldin

Jasper Seldin

Q: Where do you work now, and what do you do?

I work at Google as an AdWords Associate. I help our advertisers understand Google's systems and get the most out of their advertising dollars by analyzing search trends and determining what the most relevant terms are based on their webpage or service.

Q: Where did you go to college?  How did you decide on that college?  What did you major in?

I went to Santa Clara University, and to be honest, a scholarship I received played a large role in my decision to attend. I also was attracted to the location in California, which isn't a bad place to live :)  I majored in Political Science.

Q: You say you got a cool technology start at iD Tech Camps.  Where did you attend camp at iD Tech Camps—which location?  What courses did you take?

I attended iD Tech Camps in Colorado Springs, CO at Colorado State University - Colorado Springs. I took the Digital Video Production course.

Q: When did you go to camp?  What was your most memorable experience?

I went to camp in 2000. My most memorable experience was showing our finished product to a room full of campers and parents. Everyone was amazed at how much we could accomplish in only a few days. I also really enjoyed interacting with the counselors -- they were really cool and flexible with our schedule. They didn't just tell us what to do -- they were involved in every aspect of our video production, and even starred in our movie.

Q: Did you go to Day Camp or Overnight Camp?  What was cool about it?

I went to overnight camp. I really liked the interactions that occurred after camp hours and would strongly recommend it. There was a nice mix of games and physical activities that made it a lot like a traditional camp experience. It was also really cool to hang out with the counselors.

Q: Have you applied any of the skills you gained at iD Tech computer camps to your professional or personal life?

Definitely. A large part of my role at Google requires me to work as a part of a team, and I was able to develop project management skills through iD Tech Camps. The environment is similar to the work environment at major technology companies.

Q: Who are your favorite role models?

I really admire Bill Clinton. I think he was a great leader and I really admire his devotion to charity work after leaving the White House. I also admire Thomas Friedman for his innovative analysis of the changing world.

Q: What is a typical day like for you at Google?

I spend portions of my day learning about new Google products, helping advertisers with their accounts, and analyzing advertising campaigns to identify areas for improvement. It's really exciting to be a part of such an innovative company because there's always something new to master.

Q: What are your favorite video games?

My favorite video game of all time is Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. I also like Donkey Kong Country and Final Fantasy Series. I'm a die-hard nintendo fan.

Q: What do you do when you aren't at Google?  For fun?

I really like to travel and have been all over Europe, The Middle East, and Australia. I also like watching Baseball, Football, and Basketball. (Note From Pete, it also looks like you like feeding animals at the zoo.  Be careful, Jasper.  Yes, working at Google is dangerous, but not nearly as dangerous as being a bird feeder.)

Jasper Seldin feeding a bird

Q: What are some of your favorite new technologies coming out on the market?

I'm really excited about the potential of the Nintendo Wii. I think we'll see some really cool games in the years to come that make good use of the Wii technology. I also can't wait to get my hands on an iPhone.

Q: Can you attach a couple of pictures so I can get you up on the blog?

Pictures attached :)

- Jasper

OK, Nation!  I hope you enjoyed this entry.  Jasper, we wish you all the luck in the world at Google.  Tell Larry and Sergey I said hi.


A photo of Pete

Pete has been at the helm of iD since 2000. He resides in Silicon Valley. Pete has a love of design and is passionate about creating memorable experiences for kids. By day he is CEO, by night he is a youth soccer coach and chef of the house. Pete studied at UW in Seattle and worked abroad in Spain. He is fluent in Spanish, but his kids think otherwise. The best part of the job? Seeing the kids advance from tech novices to studying at top Universities and landing big-time jobs.

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