Christian Gap Year for Entrepreneurs


Seth Barnes: [00:00:00] . Well, Elizabeth, so you went on the World Race and now you work for Google. So we are on Facebook and some folks will be joining us, plus we have the Global U students, so there's about 24 there. Apparently you and I were just talking and I met you once before and I talked to you and Alaina and your maybe six other people from your group and at project Searchlight.

Elisabeth Chauncey:: [00:00:27] Yeah.

Seth Barnes: [00:00:28] As a racer, you guys formed a really tight community and that was impressive to me. I love the way that you pressed into one another, and in that hour that we talked it was just in my heart that you guys would continue on in relationship. And so it's fun for me to see that you and Alaina are such good friends.

Could you maybe talk about how you got on the Race to begin with and then that process of forming community?

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:00:55] Yeah. So originally, I was in college and I had no plans of going on the Race, doing anything in the missions world. I thought I was going to be a lawyer and that was my plan. I had a few events happen in college.

I was in an accident that was pretty serious and had to go through a rehabilitation process with that. And it just, really made me question, you know, what does the Lord have for me? Outside of my plans? What are his plans for me? And I felt a really clear call to go on the World Race, so I ended up applying and going.

And yeah, it was an awesome experience.

Yeah, so that team, we definitely were very different people going into being on a team together. And you know, I was used to generally being around people that had similar interests to me, similar background, etc.

And all of a sudden was thrown into a group of people who were really different from me. So it was really hard, honestly, at first, you know, we had a lot of challenges that we had to walk through. And we really had to get to a point where we could trust each other's motives, have clear communication in everything that we did.

And I think that team taught me that with clear communication, you can really develop strong relationships with anybody, even if at first it's really challenging. We were able to just talk through, you know, well, why did you do this and what was your heart behind this? And through that, we were able to really trust each other and develop some really strong friendships.

I'm still not necessarily, you know, always easy relationships, but definitely it was worth it and very thankful to have all of them in my life and to obviously have Laney, because she, Alaina, as everyone knows her, I was the maid of honor in her wedding and everything. So, then you're really a blessing.

Seth Barnes: [00:02:41] So, you know, community is one of the things that it's focused on in the World Race, but a lot of people, maybe they just don't get to that level that you guys did. So to me, there must've been some grit. There must've been some people pushing for that. That's not good enough, let's go deeper. We're, where are those people in your group?

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:03:00] Yeah, definitely. I think Sarah Kate was someone who really pushed us to go deeper and she was a great leader in our group. I think everybody in their own way pushed us in different ways and everybody at times, you know, wanted to give up and we just kept pushing.

And, really pursuing each other in friendship. And it was, like I said, it was challenging. I think it's challenging at any point to live and work with people 24/7, that you just met are really different from you, but it teaches you how to adapt to different relationships and different situations and how to communicate clearly.

And I've taken that lesson, into my job and into relationships past the World Wace.

Seth Barnes: [00:03:39] Well, I'll just press you one more time, Elizabeth. Maybe you can take us to a scene, a story where it was tough and where you felt like maybe you were wanting to quit and you felt like, ah, this is not worth it. And then what allowed you guys to go deeper.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:03:55] Okay. Yeah, let's see. I know when we were in Nepal, which was our second month, it was a really interesting month. We were staying at yak ranch in the Himalayas. And so we were definitely really isolated at that time and it was a challenging month for us because we went from being in a period of being with the entire squad in India to all of a sudden being more isolated as a team.

And, during that time, I actually had been injured. And a lot of us were getting sick and things were going wrong all over the place. We also were kind of pressing into community and living with each other, and it was really, really challenging. And going into the next month and to Vietnam, I think we had taken a lot of hurts from that and brought that into Vietnam. And at one point, one of the members of my team really wanted to get baptized, and it was in the middle of winter in Denang.

We were staying right on the beach and she really wanted to get baptized in the water. And I remember, you know, there was a lot of hurt and pain that had come from some words that were spoken. And during that time, we all sat down as a group and really talked through for a long time.

You know, what we were feeling in a lot of those emotions and hurt, and, you know, past hurts that had led to us feeling certain ways about each other, triggers, things like that, to really be able to understand each other's perspectives. And then actually Laney with someone who pushed me in this, you know, they were all going out to the water to do this baptism.

And I just wasn't feeling it at the time. I was still walking through some of that anger at some, some members of the team and she, you know, said, you need to be all in with this team. If you, you want to have that relationship. And so we all, as an act of solidarity, got into this freezing cold water and one of the members of my team got baptized. And then, I think we ended up getting yelled at to get out of the water because it was, I'm not in time when you're supposed to be in it. But

it was, you know, experience where we all had to choose to participate in, choose to do something that was uncomfortable.

She used to sit through uncomfortable conversations and they ended up building a strong memory, and a really strong connection between our team.

Seth Barnes: [00:06:24] Well, that's a great story. And do you have any exhortation or words of encouragement to Facebook? People that are watching right now is that, you know, maybe the price of intimacy and, what would you say to people who are feeling isolated and want to connect.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:06:39] Yeah. So, you know, living in Austin, I went from being in community all the time, on the World Race, being community with my family when I was living here in Tampa, and having that friendship circle that I had here, and then growing up and having all the community that I had. So I moved to Austin about two years ago and really did struggle with isolation and feeling very alone, going somewhere brand new and I think that from my own personal experience it can

be super scary and just really, really, a depressing time to be in isolation. But, I had to learn in that time that the Lord is always with me and that he is my rock and my foundation.

And to just press into him and trust in him that he's going to bring those right people into your life and the price of intimacy. It can be hard sometimes to be in relationship with people, and sometimes it seems like it's not worth all the work. But in the end, it definitely is worth all the work to be able to build those friendships that last a lifetime.

And, I think, you know, to be able to especially share in Christian faith with people and to be able to build each other up. That's the way that the Lord really designed the kingdom, and it's a beautiful thing.

Seth Barnes: [00:07:52] Is it possible to get that in Austin? I think about Austin as a difficult place to walk out faith, and it's a what is it? What's the, it's something about, it's good to be weird in Austin.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:08:07] Keep Austin weird, yeah. Austin is a unique city and something that was different for me, but there's a lot of young people and a lot of, if you search, you're able to find people who have the same heart and the same desires as you anywhere, and the Lord's able to bring that to you wherever you are.

I think Austin is also a really transient city, so people are really frequently moving in and out, so that can be challenging as well. But just, yeah, I've had to learn how to depend on the Lord for that level of intimacy with him and with others.

Seth Barnes: [00:08:43] So tell us, you know, what a huge transition you made, you came off the race and all of this experience, all this heart experience, and then you go to like the what you're head of project management for AI at Google now?

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:08:59] So I work as a program manager, I'm on one of our AI research teams at Google.

Seth Barnes: [00:09:08] I mean, that's, that's like really heady stuff, Elisabeth. So, you were like, you had a, if I got this right, the Facebook account for Google, so you were interfacing, interfacing with some pretty high up people at Facebook at one point.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:09:27] So I was working in a sales function previously. So, I worked with the cloud teams and yeah, I got to work with some really awesome people throughout the entire enterprise, large tech industry in the Bay area. Which was a really good experience, a great learning experience, being able to work with people who have so much experience and learn from them.

Seth Barnes: [00:09:52] So I'm just trying to wrap my head around how you kind of moved from the World Race to Google. So how did, how did that happen and what are the, I mean, it must be all kind of herky jerky in your soul. Tell us about it.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:10:04] Yeah. So I, when I first got off the World Race, I took two months and just rested my soul and spent time with my family.

So that was a really good time. I ended up getting a job after that working with the Outback bowl for a little while, which is a college football bowl game here in Tampa. And had a lot of fun with that and then after that I was, you know, just searching for different roles. I ended up actually just applying online to a lot of different jobs and got the job at Google, which was really awesome.

The Lord opened that door for me. It wasn't something that I intended. I never, you know, was one to really desire to work at Google, but he opened that door, which was really incredible. And through that, you know, I moved to Austin and I had all of these new experiences. And I think the World Race really prepared me to be able to adapt to, you know, this new living environment, to be able to be really adaptable in my work as well, because that's something that is really emphasized in the

line of work that I do.

Seth Barnes: [00:11:03] See you went and you've been on kind of a fast track, as I understand, I don't know if this is your friends just talking or reality is that they, so they moved you from one position to another and you've had more and more responsibility. Now you're not just in the culture, but you're responsible for a piece of the culture, right?

As a leader, you're responsible. So how has that been, you know, as you, as a follower of Christ, you've got one perspective, but you're in this heady academic and go into kind of an environment. How do yo u, how do you manage that?

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:11:42] I think the Lord's really impressed upon my heart that it's his purposes that are going to be fulfilled in my life and not necessarily the ones that I have panned out for me.

And originally when joining Google, I felt like the Lord put something on my heart in regards to artificial intelligence and that was something I really desired to be involved in. And there was a lot of confusion around that because I was in sales at the time and not necessarily involved in artificial intelligence.

So I kind of created a plan for myself of how I would get there and was striving and working really hard to do that. Meeting with certain people, you know, trying to get certain certifications, things like that and in that I ended up going through some hard times with personal situations, my grandfather passing away, things like that, and really fell off of that and felt like a lot of disappointment in myself that I wasn't on the track that I felt like the Lord had me on.

And this actually at the beginning of this year, I, you know, the team that I was on in the sales org ended up being reorged. I had three months to find a new role at Google. So it actually wasn't the most ideal situation that all of this came together and it was something that was really scary and made me question my identity and where my identity lied. Was it in, you know, my work or was it in Christ? Was it in, you know, my finances and I'm in my company and my title or was it in God?

And, so that was something I really had to work through at the beginning of this year. And was fairly challenging. And then, you know, the Lord led me to this role, which is honestly one that was more ideal than I could ever ask or imagine.

Just such an incredible role that he took me there in a way where I didn't qualify myself and I wasn't able to get there on my own. And there's a averse, you know, some 57 to he will fulfill his purposes for me. And I've had to learn that it's his purposes and not mine, and that helped fulfill them.

Obviously we have to work hard and have an open heart and prepared, but he's going to fulfill those in our lives. So that's something that I really had to learn through this whole process. And then my time transferring from role to role, I've definitely had to learn to be adaptable and how to, yeah, just get along with others and you know, even when they're some challenging relationships. And I took a lot from the World Race and that it's, you know, my team is really great. And I've been

blessed to have people who are really kind.

Seth Barnes: [00:14:11] I'll ask you maybe another question and we'll open it up to the class for, you know, questions that they may have. Yeah, I guess, where have you drawn encouragement? So do you get any encouragement in kind of being yourself, being, you know, a spiritual person, somebody who's fallen in Christ?

Do you get any encouragement there in the workplace or do you have to get it from outside or do you just get it from the Lord? How do you stay encouraged?

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:14:37] Yeah, it's definitely a mixture. I root it in my relationship with the Lord individually, and it's something that, especially working at, you know, a company that, isn't, you know, isn't a Christian based org.

It's something that I really have to walk in with every day, just the joy of the Lord and wanting to, you know, take that into everything that I do. But in addition to that, Google does have some, you know, organizations within that, make connecting with other Christians really easy in the workplace, which has been a really big blessing.

And so, being able to connect with people there and then also just leaning on my friends and my family to be lifting me up in prayer along the way and, you know, people from the World Race, people from my past that the Lord's place in my life as longterm friends. I've definitely had to push into that community.

And then locally push into community in Austin. So I've been able to find some really strong people and Christians and friends. They're in some church community as well.

Seth Barnes: [00:15:41] That's great. Well, thank you Elizabeth, and let's open it up now to the class. So we're all here in Gainesville, we have been according to quarantine and nobody's really having an easy time of it right now, but we do have community so let me open it up to the class for any questions that they may have.

Jacob Colter: [00:16:07] Yeah. We're going to bring in our students here and then anyone that's watching on Facebook live. You can put questions in the comments and we will get to those too.

Lexi Grisanti: [00:16:17] I was wondering, I know you've worked at home a good bit with Google, but what's this transition been like since the Coronavirus? Has it been a big one or are you kind of used to it.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:16:28] Yeah, so I will say one thing about Google is that we have a really work from home friendly culture in the first place.And we have, you know, the whole productivity suite G suite which makes it really easy to make that transition from a technical standpoint. We already did a lot of meetings online, and over GVC, over Google Hangouts meet and things like that. So that made it a lot easier, I would say, to make that actual transition.

But going from being in a community with everyone every day at work, to being alone, especially while transitioning into a new role. Cause I, I've actually been spending the past couple of months onboarding, has been something that has been challenging from a, you know, doing remotely, and also saying, you know, fully motivated while being home all the time has been something that everyone struggles with but can be challenging.

So yeah, I mean, in regards to Google as a whole, I think they handled it really well. They've, you know, worked really hard to put our safety first and worked really hard to make sure that we are all able to get everything we need to get done. They've been really good with parents and people like that who have different challenges going on.

And yeah, I'm really blessed to work for a company that's been so helpful in all of it but it's definitely been something where I've had to pace myself and get myself to wake up at a certain time every morning and get on certain meetings and block out my own time. So I've learned a lot in time management through it.

Lexi Grisanti: [00:17:58] That's good. Thank you.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:18:00] No problem.

Kelson Mudd: [00:18:02] Hi, so you had mentioned that everybody in your group had their own, they all had their own gifting or know it all, as leaders in their own way. So maybe an example or just, in your opinion, what, how do you call individual leadership out in people who you've, especially when you think that there's more there? How do you find out what people's area of gifting is and how do you call that out?

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:18:25] Yeah, that's a great question. I would say in calling people out, it's important or calling people out for their leadership.

It's so important to you really ask the Lord to give you insight and discernment into you. What talents each person has. I think a lot of times we can look over certain things or we can, you know, be so focused on ourselves that we don't necessarily, or the organization as a whole, that we don't necessarily see the giftings of each individual person.

So I think that that's something that's really valuable, just being in prayer with the Lord and he will give you discernment in that. But, I also think using some different tools ike a Myers Briggs personality test store. I know that you guys have done enneagrams or even like love language test, things like that.

Obviously physical touch isn't something you should bring into the workplace, but other than that, being able to recognize whether or not someone, reacts to being verbally affirmed for something or getting some sort of prize for being a friend. Being able to really understand how each individual person responds well and making sure that you're tailoring your messaging to them and your motivation to them in that way.

It has been something that I have been able to learn and really dive into and has been really beneficial.

Seth Barnes: [00:19:49] Let's take one more question and then Elizabeth will give you a some time to talk at the end. And by the way, when you do talk to us, Elizabeth, if you could tell us about kind of what is the future of AI as a preface to that.

So one more question.

Nathan Bird: [00:20:10] Okay. The biggest lesson you've learned from the World Race that you've been able to apply in your workplace?

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:20:18] Yeah. That's a great question. So now I've touched on this already, but I think the greatest lesson that I learned, I'm actually gonna say two things because there's two things that really stick out in my mind right now.

One of those being adaptability. That's one thing that, I mean, in the workplace they and especially in my line of work, they have stress to the end, you know, being adaptable, being able to change quickly, stay agile. Being able to really, you know, succeed in different situations on a daily basis is so important.

And I think what you guys are doing and the World Race was something we're obviously from month to month, we were doing different ministries. I'm moving to a completely different place to live in the middle of it we had to change teams and learn how to work with new people, on the world race.

And I know that you guys have moved from place to place. And you know, I've tried different projects and passion projects. And so that's something that's been so, so helpful is learning how to be adaptable. And that's something that if you can give tangible examples of that in an interview, it's going to go really far.

So that's something that's been really helpful. And then in addition to that the communication piece, and there were times, you know, on the world race where there are people that we weren't meant to be best friends. They're really great people who had good intentions, but sometimes there were just, you know, personality or certain challenges and being able to learn how to work well with every single personality type by really understanding their motives and just clear communication of,

okay, why do you think this way? Why do I think this way? Okay, how can we come to a compromise of what we're thinking?

And really being able to talk through that. The world race requires you to call it out in people and to press into that type of community and that's been something that's been so, so valuable. So yeah, both of those have been things that have been really pivotal in my time at work.

Seth Barnes: [00:22:13] So Elizabeth what, what would you, first of all, just a little bit about AI and anything you want to say about, you know, the future of it and then, any, any words of exhortation that you'd like to give us.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:22:25] Yeah. So I work on a team that does on-device AI, or artificial intelligence that can be used off of the cloud.

And so overall, the future of AI, I think it's going to be, you know, I'm speaking. I add my own opinion, and not necessarily on behalf of Google, but it's going to be something that obviously is gonna be a much bigger part of our lives moving forward. So, I really believe that every young person, every person in general, should really invest in understanding it.

Really develop a comfort level with that, with algorithms and with understanding that that's going to really benefit your life. I think we don't realize how involved AI is in our lives, but the Google search engine, right? That is a big algorithm and you know, maps, uses algorithm, all these different things that we use in our daily lives. You know, our voice assistants are all algorithms, and so these are things that are so beneficial to really understand and something that's really

important for our future. But in addition to that, I would say the, with the ability to have on device AI and things like that, it's going to allow different products that previously may have not worked with artificial intelligence to be able to work with it.

And that's going to be really cool to see technology-enabled in, you know, objects that we may have not considered before to be able to be smart. And then also the ability to use it in a way that, you know, in places that you wouldn't think you'd be able to use AI to really benefit the people living there in third world countries and things like that. I think a lot of doors are going to be opened up, up to that in the coming future. Which I think is going to be really, really awesome to see

how we can use that in combination with, you know, how we can use that to help people's lives.

Seth Barnes: [00:24:21] It's, I mean, obviously it's going to be over most people's heads and you're in a very sophisticated world with this knowledge, and it will be fun to talk more about it when we talk to you next. But anything on your heart that you'd like to share with us now.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:24:38] Yeah. So I kind of touched on this before, but something that the Lord's really been impressing on my heart is what I said in regards to him qualifying us for what his purposes are and not us. Kind of defining that. And I think in the past I have a history of being a little bit of a perfectionist and wanting to control different aspects of my life.

And something that the Lord's really been putting on my heart through the past events of 2020, which has been a really crazy year, is that we are not in control. But we don't have to worry about it because he has defined your purposes before you were even born. Right, it says in Psalms 1:39 that he wrote out every day of our lives in his book of life before one of them even came to be.

And it repeats in Psalms, that, you know, he will fulfill his purposes for us. And so, one I just really want to emphasize the fact that he will give you your purposes and he will put those desires on your heart. And he will give you discernment in that. And I think that's really applicable for all of you guys and Global U right now.

When I was on the world race, I remember sitting down and talking to God so much and asking him, you know, what purposes do you have for me? I want to fulfill these, you know, what are, what's your calling? What's your will on my life? And that was something that I really desired to, you know, know from the Lord.

And he didn't tell me at that time, I had no idea at that time that I'd be going into, you know, artificial intelligence and things like that. It wasn't something that was a desire at that time. So be open to the Lord putting things on your heart that you didn't recognize, would be purposes and to, you know, allowing the Lord to identify those for you, and then also don't put that pressure on yourself to feel like you have to fulfill them. Obviously work hard, be abiding in the Lord,

prepare as much as you can when the Lord gives you insights about those. But take the pressure off of yourself that you're not the one who has to qualify yourself for your next job opportunity or whatever, he's called you to something in the ministry, your missions work, he will qualify you and he will fulfill those purposes according to his will and his timing. So that's something that the Lord really impressed upon me, obviously yeah, I'm still, I'm 25 years old, so I'm still figuring it all out myself.

But as someone who was definitely a perfectionist in the past, that's something that the Lord's really impressed on my heart in the season.

Seth Barnes: [00:27:13] Enneagram one,

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:27:15] I'm actually Enneagram seven, but I am a total perfectionist. I'm, I'm really outgoing and can be a little all over the place at times, but yeah.

Seth Barnes: [00:27:27] That's great. So what does it, he doesn't call it, he doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the call.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:27:34] Yes. That is a, yeah, that's something I've heard my whole life. And I never fully understood until I think recently when I felt like the Lord truly act like qualified me for the role currently and because it's something that I wouldn't have seen myself being able to get on my own.

Seth Barnes: [00:27:53] Do you have a sense of what it is specifically over the course of your life that the Lord has called you to Elizabeth?

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:28:01] Yeah, I am really passionate about business and missions and I'm excited to continue working in artificial intelligence. So that's something that I feel passionate about. And then also I'm a big people person, so just being able to work in ministry to encourage and work with people and yeah.

Seth Barnes: [00:28:18] What a great, what a great opportunity you have. So can we pray for you? Can a Sierra, I see you there. Could you, could you pray for Elizabeth.

Sierra Bell: [00:28:29] Yes, I can.

Lord, thank you for allowing Elizabeth to come and share with us today to share about the past experiences that you've walked her through and the beautiful lessons that she's learned. Thank you for the woman of God that she is, and thank you for the space that you've given her at Google. Thank you for the light that she is there.

Then you, that you have your people involved in, involved in these things involved in the technology that's changing the world. And that you are divine over all of those things. And so I just bless her today, and thank you for allowing us to hear and learn from her in Jesus name. Amen.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:29:06] Thanks so much here.

Seth Barnes: [00:29:10] Yeah, great to talk to you, Elizabeth. I hope we get to do it again.

Elisabeth Chauncey: [00:29:13] Thanks, Seth. I appreciate it. Thanks, everybody. It's great seeing you.