Symone Gamble

Distant, but not disconnected

In a world that’s gone full digital, Symone Gamble, NYUAD Class of 2014, is finding X-citing ways to bring people together.

NYUAD: You were recently promoted to head of internal communications at X - The Moonshot Factory in Mountain View, California. Congrats!

Symone Gamble: Thank you so much!

NYUAD: What’s the first thing you want to do in your new role?

It’s my job is to make sure we still walk the talk of our culture, to be who we say we are, and to maintain a collaborative culture within this new work from home model. I want to find ways to foster moments of creative connection between people by creating impromptu or unexpected opportunities for people to learn from one another.

X is a new kid on the block in the tech space. Remind you of anything?

My work at X reminds me so much of NYU Abu Dhabi. When we came in as the first class in 2010, we were building everything from scratch. X was in the same position of needing to build a separate model from the mothership of Google. At X and at NYUAD, we have to experiment to figure out what’s best for us as a community.

How do you feel, personally and professionally, about where things are headed in the US right now in terms of deepening divides and racial tensions?

It’s difficult to see how polarized we are. In an industry like tech — considered to be one of the most forward-thinking spaces you can be in — there’s still a lot of frustration and emotion. Even in a place so full of innovation, we haven’t been looking at social and racial justice as problems we can try to solve. It’s been really eye-opening.

How do you think NYUAD changed the way you live your life?

NYU Abu Dhabi forced me to question everything I held to be true, to shift my perspective, and to know that it’s not a weakness to change my mind when I get new information. I keep applying that to my life and it has opened up so many doors and opportunities I would have never expected.