For the past year or so, I’ve been working as a Student Ambassador for Sony. I started late, so I missed the annual “Sony Retreat” training in San Diego, California last year. This year, I was invited to continue my ambassadorship, and as a result, was finally able to attend!
Sony sure knows how to treat its employees right. We were flown in and Escaladed (Is that a verb? Probably not) to Sony Pictures in LA for some fun before getting down to business. It was a great way to start getting to know the other ambassadors and check out some of the sets where Sony Pictures movies are filmed. We had dinner and were welcomed by the founder of Volt and some Sony executives. Afterwards, we headed to the Century City mall to check out a Sony store in action and see good product demoing in action. By the end, everyone was tired and most collapsed in our hotel rooms when we arrived in San Diego.
The next morning was our first glimpse at the Sony Electronics corporate headquarters. The morning session was filled with informative lectures about Sony as a whole by executives that know it well. After lunch, the secrets surrounding what products we would be given were revealed – PS Vita, VAIO S Laptop, V20 iPod Sound Dock, Digital Voice Recorder, TX20 Digital Camera, and Walkman W Headphones. Obviously, we needed some time to play with our new toys, then had product knowledge training for the rest of the work day. We wrapped up the day by going to an Italian restaurant for dinner (all 100+ of us), and saw the new Spiderman complete with snacks in 3D afterwards.
Day three was about event planning, networking, and social media – my specialty. I was given the opportunity to represent the student ambassadors on a social media panel with Sony’s social media experts. From thereon out I was known as “that social media girl” and I’m still getting questions! After work was done for the day, we were bussed over to a place called the Wavehouse where you could ride a fake wave. We also had fun on the beach playing volleyball while some other ambassadors were testing out their nifty new cameras. Smores topped off a great night on the beach.
The last day was bittersweet, because we knew we soon would be heading home. However, everyone was filled with adrenaline because there was an ambassador-wide competition to win. Each team (about 10 people) was given an hour to put together a demo to give in front of judges composed of people who had been giving lectures or product knowledge training. Our group decided it would be smart to demo more than one item and try to tie them together in some way. It wasn’t hard getting people to agree on the products or the vague situation, but it was hard getting people to agree on the details. Eventually, we threw together a video of two situations involving the Walkman W Headphones and V20 iPod Dock. We didn’t know what to expect from everyone else, but we put our best feet forward. While half the team was editing, the other part was doing mock demos for Sony employees who stopped by for a fair of sorts. It was fun practice and crucial for the newcomers. The day went by slowly after that going through more administrative stuff – we were anxious to see who won. The day ended with mocktails and a gourmet dinner on the 11th floor. Third place was called – winners got an Xperia Ion phone and smartwatch. Second place was called, with an Ultrabook as a prize. FIrst place – my team! We won NEX-7 cameras which are just about the coolest most BA cameras, ever. We were so excited. After all that, we were ushered downstairs for a private concert from X-factor’s Chris Rene. Like I said – Sony knows how to treat their employees right.
My favorite part of the week has to be meeting all the other ambassadors and putting faces to the names of some of the returning ambassadors. I also gained a new confidence in my job after comparing experiences with others and being able to share my failures and successes with the newcomers. One girl even told me that she stumbled upon a blog I had written and reading it helped her decide to take the job! There’s no greater compliment than that.
Unfortunately, this will be my last year (semester even) as a student ambassador, but I’m hoping that Sony isn’t done with my quite yet
Team Yellow’s winning video