Written by: Nidhi Jackson
As you know, I’ve had the opportunity to travel quite a bit in my lifetime. Having moved every 3 years or less, I figured another move would just add to the list. In fact, I actually enjoy moving to new places. This was until I was about two and a half hours in on my drive up 23 north. As the landscape was becoming progressively scarce I began questioning my judgment on accepting this internship…..was I really on my way to Midland, Michigan?….literally the middle of Michigan??
Two and a half months later I can successfully say that I’ve survived Midland, in fact I’ve actually had a great summer. Although it’s a small town, there is quite a bit to do around here, you just have to look for it. Downtown Midland is a great place to grab a bite (vegetarians beware – I think I’ve tried every version of the “Michigan Salad” there is up here, which although tasty gets old really fast). Thursday nights have free concerts at the Tridge and Saturday mornings are well spent at the farmer’s market (munching on some fresh kettle corn of course). If you’re an outdoorsy person you’ll have a great time at the parks, the City Forest (for hiking/mountain biking) and on the Rail Trail. You could also join in on Dow employees’ favorite pass-time: Loon’s games! If you’re as clueless as me about baseball, no worries, games are still fun with tons of food and plenty of opportunities to network with fellow employees and Midlanders. An advantage to being in the middle of the state is that everything is at most a couple to three hours away and I’ve had a great opportunity to go exploring (who knew there were sand dunes in Michigan!)
A lot of people have pointed out that Dow’s premise is quite rare considering it’s a Fortune 50 company located in a town of a little over 40,000 people. The 2 minute morning commute to Corporate HQ is not any basis for argument especially for someone still getting accustomed to the 8 to 5 work day lifestyle. Because of the nature of my assignment I actually spent my first and last couple weeks commuting to Saginaw, MI (about 25-30 mins away depending on how late I’m running) where my team would meet for ‘co-location’. This was pretty rare for an intern, the other 14 Finance interns worked out of the Finance (5000) building or the Corporate HQ. Luckily, the small population in this area means a really easy drive wherever you go (with the exception of going “Up North” on the weekends….but that’s a different story).
So here’s the real question. Would I willingly move to middle-of-nowhere Midland, Michigan? The answer will probably surprise you as much as it surprised me…yes, I would. The opportunities at Dow are much vaster than I anticipated and in all honesty, a career with Dow seems to be well worth the move.