Written by: Amy Marrison
While I know Dow has locations everywhere I never thought I’d get to see any of them outside of Midland this summer. Like I’ve blogged about already, I got to go to Philadelphia my 3rd day here. Now I have also been to Michigan Operations (which is here in Midland but it’s the big plant here and the interns got to tour it) and most recently, Freeport, Texas. After travelling to Freeport on Wednesday and Thursday of last week I then made a fun trip to Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan for the weekend. All these trips were quite the experience.
Drums, totes, bagging, boxing, trucks, bulk, trains….plant. An afternoon spent at Michigan Operations had those words scrolling through my head and we didn’t even see everything. Michigan Operations is Dow’s manufacturing plant here in Midland, MI. Covering 19,000 acres the plant is a sight to see. The site is the original manufacturing site for Dow. I had the priviledge of taking a bus tour and seeing Dow Solar when I came with my Honors Cohort class (miss you all!) but on this tour we got to go in to the plants and see the work up front that supply chain does the planning for behind the scenes. If you ever get a chance to take a tour of a plant – do it! You can learn a lot.
After seeing Michigan Operations and thinking that was quite extensive and an intricate system, the plant in Freeport made Michigan Operations look like a High School football stadium looks compared to The Shoe at OSU. In terms of operations – everything is pretty standard to how Michigan Ops runs, just on a larger scale, aka: after a complete shut down it takes more than a month to be back up and running. Learning about how those decisions are made to shut down and how everyday occurrences are tackled was pretty cool.As a slight side note, to show Dow’s size and market in general, BASF is a huge competitor of Dow’s, but because of the market and not being able to do everything, we do business with each other. To make the competition stand out even more, the Freeport plant has a lot of Dow plants all around, but there are also BASF plants in the same complex – yes Wolverines and Buckeyes, think about our nice friendly competition and if we had classrooms on each others’ campuses…
A perk of being in Michigan for the summer is enjoying the beautiful Northern Michigan sights with incredible weather. Yes on to the fun. Northern Michigan has a lot to offer and one of the best places for tourists is Mackinac (pronounced Mack-in-aw) Island: take a ferry over to the island and get away from real life – no cars, horse and buggies, the bluest lake, spectacular views, 8 mile bike ride around the island – it doesn’t get much better than that. I ventured here with fellow Dow employees, 9 others and a shout out to all my fellow Dow-ees: Nikki, Mandy, Kelsie, Matt, Kyle, Brent and fellow Buckeye Mal. We stayed 10 people in 1 tiny hotel room, it was quite the experience but I must say it was one of the best weekends. If you ever get the chance to go here, do it, or just make it your dream retirement place.Only 26 days till I make my presentation, 28 days till I’m done with my internship. Where has this summer gone? As more than half of my fellow Dow interns are leaving I want to give them all a special shout out, you have each helped me grow and learn in unique ways and I look forward to many more fun times with you all in the future! (Possibly at a few football games)