Arrival in Dominican Republic

Arrived a little past midnight due to the delays, the two interns from HOPE graciously picked me up from the Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic’s Capital) airport since my Spanish isn’t up to par, I studied French in high school… oops! They showed me back to their apartment, which was tiny, I’m extremely surprised they made it through this long without having any serious difficulties. Some serious sacrifice was made here for comfort. There was hardly any place to walk and amenities were scarce. I’m not sure if I could have done it, but it’s definitely spun my perspective of development in another country. It makes me feel very ashamed with my lifestyle back in the states even in PA which aren’t that generous.

Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic

The next day several of the Esperanza interns (HOPE partners with Esperanza in the Dominican Republic) come over before we head out to Jarabacoa. I absolutely butchered the pronunciation the first few times I tried to say it. It is pronounced har-a-bah-coah. We were all invited to this northern city for the weekend where one of the interns went to high school. The trip lasted about 2.5 hours on a first class bus (think greyhound) where we were able to see much of the rural countryside. Buses ran about $6 which seemed like a steal, but everything here is quite cheap in comparison to the States. On the way, it was shocking to see the many small shacks which were in essence four walls and a tin roof covering the top. Often times you could see through parts of the buildings. These also weren’t even the poorest of the poor, they were generally of the lower middle class.

We arrived in Jarabacoa around noon where our friend picked us up via school bus. The definition of school bus in the DR is a pick up truck where you sit in the back, much like a hitchhiker in movies. It was exhilarating riding through the streets and seeing everything up close, I think I’m going to try and sit outside every chance I get in the next coming week. After stopping in town our Jarabacoa friend took us to a Dominican café. One of the girls, a past KIVA fellow and now Esperanza fellow from Brown suggested I try the Chivas or goat. And so I ordered the Chivas. Meals here consist of rice, beans, some type of green salad and the meat. The goat tasted much like lamb or extremely tender beef. It was a delicious first Dominican food experience. Afterwards we hit the local markets looking for items to prepare for dinner. We then went back to the school, where we were staying for the weekend and went tubing. The plan was to enter the local river for a calm 30 minute ride. Unfortunately, we ran into rough waters about 30 seconds in and had to stop! Several of us were banged up pretty bad from the rapids, which unusually were stronger than our friend’s recollection.

Later that evening our master chefs, two of the interns, made mango coconut chicken, rice, and fried plantain (like potatoes) balls, which ended up tasting much like a starchier hushpuppy. After dinner we went back into town to experience some Dominican nightlife and rum. Supposedly Dominicans are famous for merengue (type of salsa dance), rum, and cigars. I was taught how to do basic merengue steps, which are quite basic but awkward since the male needs to shake his hips alongside the female. Let’s just say I don’t think my hips were meant to shake! It was a blast, however, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.

American School
American School

On Sunday we attended the school’s church service which seemed like any ordinary missionary church, luckily it was in English so I followed along comfortably. In the afternoon we walked around town and tried to do some shopping, but in the DR almost everything closes on Sunday. I think this is due to religion. In addition, many of the men sit out on motorbikes and simply chat all day with their friends. Just a connection note: HOPE/Esperanza and many other MFIs tend to loan the majority of its funds to females. The reason for this is because the men often are lazy, and often spend the earnings on alcohol and entertainment, whereas the women will use the microfinance profits to feed their children. It’s odd in such a poor country that people have time to spend not working, but it is a common sight. Another random witnessing I noticed was the crude way females are treated in the country. There is very little respect. Many of the men would often hiss at my female friends to try and get their attention or harass them. They told me stories of how awful it could get and it makes me ashamed that women are treated this way, yet grateful in the same time that in the States it is much better.

DR 3In the evening we visited a Dominican bakery and local restaurant where I was able to try a very flavorful fruity concoction of salmon. I noticed in the DR that seafood isn’t as popular as I thought it would be… seeing that it is an island. The staple food here is fried chicken (but not breaded like KFC). We also made chinola juice (passion fruit juice) with white ron (rum) in the evening, which is a Dominican specialty.

Tomorrow we had back to the capital, Santo Domingo where I’m going to visit the Esperanza headquarters. On Tuesday I’m going out to a bank meeting where clients meet and hopefully hear some updates with how loans are progressing. I can’t wait!

Dominican Republic Trip with HOPE International

We were able to sleep in today, Friday, because we didn’t have work. I’m flying out of PHL at six to go to the Dominican Republic so a few of the interns are planning a day trip to Philadelphia. I’m a bit sad because this is the last time I get to see several of the interns. Three are leaving next week, and I’ll be overseas, so it is a premature goodbye. We leave around noon since our ride had to work this morning. She was at work until midnight and went back to work this morning, sounds a lot like banking, yet she was able to take her first vacation with us to Philly! We arrived downtown around 2pm due to traffic and headed to south Philly for cheeseteaks. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Philly cheesesteaks, the two famous joints are Geno’s and Pat’s. She recommended Geno’s because Pat’s apparently does not cook their onions thoroughly. The cheesteaks were extremely delicious and for the first time I tried ketchup on my “whiz with.” (See orientation blog entry for explanation.) Due to time constraints they dropped me off at the airport immediately after.

I arrived at the airport around 3:30, well ahead of the recommended two and a half hour buffer for flights. Little did I know this wasn’t going to be enough. PHL is a nightmare. I spent about 30 minutes in line trying to check in my luggage. I usually would not check in luggage as I like to travel light, but I had promised I would bring several things for the long term interns in the Dominican Republic. After waiting 30 minutes my baggage tickets were printed out. Then I waited another hour and a half until it was around 5:20 due the horrible logistics and unmotivated staff at counter 52. Each of the employees were tasked to oversee about 6 different kiosks where they print out your luggage tag and check your passport then send you on your way. This lady for some reason did not follow that model. Instead she ignored 4 of her kiosk lines and only gave luggage tickets to those that were in her direct lines. Eventually people started moving over, but this created quite a queue. I eventually had to seek out another attendant to go over and take my luggage ticket because I was going to miss my flight. At this point I only had 30 minutes to get through security for my international flight. I was getting desperate, I didn’t want to miss my flight! Miraculously, I went to the security line further away from the US Airways kiosks and the line was fairly short. I breezed by and made it to my gate around 5:45, which would have been most likely the last call for my 5:55 flight. Luckily, my flight had been delayed coming in so I had a little time to relax and grab dinner. After getting on board, my flight was delayed another hour due to air traffic. I noticed a curious thing while on the plane, only one stewardess knew Spanish. The flight was predominantly Spanish so at times there was a language barrier. I would have expected airlines to place more Spanish speaking members on the flight, but I guess it isn’t a requirement. I’m currently blogging on the plane and am anxious to land. I’ve just filled out my visitors form and two of the interns are picking me up from the airport. I hope I haven’t caused too much trouble since my flight is delayed 1-2 hours from the scheduled arrival. 

I’m scheduled now to arrive around midnight and we are planning a weekend trip to northern Dominican Republic where another of the interns went to high school. Then for the rest of the week I’ll be working out of the HOPE/Esperanza office in Santo Domingo. I’m planning to visit several clients and see some of the MFI strategic meetings so I should have some interesting updates soon. The attendants are calling to shut off electronic devices so I guess I’ll fill you in on the details when I get the chance!

Second Week @ HOPE International

Second Week

June 8-11

I’m ready to hit the ground running starting the first full week. During my touch base with my supervisor I was given the opportunity to create a new model for consolidation going forward for all HOPE’s entities. I was somewhat overwhelmed at first, but was excited for the challenge.

HOPE owns a small rental company, a benefit real estate company, an investment fund, and the HOPE microfinance umbrella organization. I won’t get too technical for those that aren’t accounting majors, but in a nutshell I needed to combine all the financial statements and reconcile all transactions between the entities because they are nullified in the roll-up. I had a two week deadline as the auditors were coming in for the year end audit. (This was going to be especially difficult because usually in audits the information is simply on a roll forward where accounts are the same and the only difference is the transaction amounts. This would have made it simple because I would have had last year’s statements as an example and could tie back for a control measure.) Through my accounting classes and financial modeling training I was able to start the project with little guidance. For those of you that need to take Acct 522 fir your major, I’m going to make a shameless plug here. You need to take Teri Ziegler’s class. Even though it can be intimidating and quite difficult at times, you will learn so much. Her class helped refine my accounting skillset for the real world.

In addition, I was able to organize the model in a more efficient way with my financial modeling training. This mostly included formatting and notations, but would help the auditors trace accounts more easily to tie back numbers.

I spent most of the week working on this project, but I also have another exciting culture update to share. Every Monday the firm opens one of its conference rooms for prayer and every Tuesday we have devotions. I thought being a Christian organization was awesome enough, where our work was holistic in the approach of bringing the gospel to our clients through relationships, but I never imagined a culture so intertwined with its beliefs! We are constantly reminded our work is not for ourselves or even for the social cause of defeating poverty, but instead for God. Now, that’s an interesting concept to throw into organizational behavior. (Not, sure if Professor Wilk reads this, but if you are I expect a comment on this idea!)

Learning points:

  • Prioritization: Building off on last week’s topic of deadlines I’ll touch base more about prioritizing your work and goals. In Business Administration 499 we learn about the priority matrix from Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
I. Urgent and Important    i.e. Crisis II. Not Urgent and Important     i.e. Planning
III. Urgent and Not Important      i.e. E-mail IV. Not Urgent and Not Important       i.e. Busy Work

Most people spend their work time in Quadrants I, III, and IV. The goal however, is to spend your time in quadrant II as that will also minimize quadrant I. You won’t be able to eliminate every task, however try to screen Quadrant III items and discard IV items as necessary to make most efficient use of your time. This will not only help you achieve your goals more efficiently but also allow you to have more responsibility and impact on your organization.

  • Formatting is extremely important in the business world due to the significance of communication. In academics most professors do not stress the presentation of ideas, rather only the content of idea itself. However, in real life if you cannot communicate your ideas, they may as well never have been created. Thus, learn how to format reports, powerpoints, and excel documents! The best examples are usually things you can find from previous documents at work, or if you don’t have any precedents to use look online for similar documents by reputable corporations. Formatting should be concise, clear to read, and be able to highlight significant information. An example of this could be color coding or indenting in excel. Note: you need to be careful formatting does not get excessive; projects aren’t “art projects.” A good resource for fast formatting excel shortcuts is http://www.wallstreetprep.com/blog/excel_resources.php .

Microfinance points: This week I want to introduce the concept of “PAR” or portfolio at risk discussed in our weekly staff meeting. In a nutshell, PAR is a control metric for measuring the risk of funds, or in HOPE’s situation its microlending portfolio.

  • What is PAR?
    • Portfolio at risk is defined as the value of all loans outstanding that have at least one installment of principal past due.
  • Key Concepts
    • Includes the total outstanding value of the loan
    • Looks at the principal, not interest
    • Different from Arrears Rate
  • How is PAR calculated?
    • Portfolio at Risk > 30 days + (Value of Renegotiated Loans Gross Loan Portfolio / Gross Loan Portfolio)
    • The most common measure of PAR is >30 days
    • It is important to note that this ratio does not provide any information about WHY clients are delinquent.
  • Example:
    • Say I take out a loan for $1,200 and am repaying the principal at a rate of $100 each month.
    • I miss my monthly payment in month four
    • How much of Micah’s loan has been paid back?
      • $300
    • How much of Micah’s loan is still outstanding?
      • $900
    • What is the value of payments in Arrears?
      • $100
    • What is the value of Portfolio at Risk?
      • $900
  • What drives PAR?
    • Changes in client delinquency
      • More clients begin repaying late
      • Institution renegotiates loans for delinquent clients
    • Growth or contraction of the loan portfolio
      • This can mask problems in portfolio
  • One of the current challenges in the microfinance industry is finding ways to reduce or prevent volatility in PAR.
    • What do you think are some ways to do this?
      • I will provide some industry responses in next week’s microfinance points, but I’m curious to see what ideas you have.

First Week at HOPE International

June 2-5

Tuesday: Originally was going to leave for Lancaster tonight, but oops… change of plans, I haven’t studied enough. I’m taking my last exam tomorrow at 8 AM; off to cram.

Wednesday: Finished my last final and head back to the apartment to pack for the summer. It’s kind of surreal that I only have one year left of college left. Six hours later I’m back in Lancaster after a long and boring drive, with no voice. (The only thing I could do to entertain myself was sing to Pandora on my iPhone, if only I had recorded a bit for the blog…!) I guess that drive was my summer break.

I’m also glad to see the interns again as well as several of the international students, but I’m exhausted from the drive so I don’t stick around to socialize too much. First day of work tomorrow!

Thursday: I arrive at work bright and early the next day, our work day starts at 8 AM. I get my own cubicle, which seems quite large. I think I need some decorations, maybe a big OSU poster. The first day of work includes a lot of setup, but it goes rather smoothly. I meet with the IT coordinator, whom actually works for another company but helps serve our non profit to setup my computer and the network. I still… however, cannot get my printer to work, maybe I’ll try it again tomorrow. After getting my system setup I meet with my supervisor to go over the day’s agenda and expectations. He also reviews the summer goal list that we discussed during the orientation. The day goes rather quickly as I have administrative accounting recording to do and various HOPE staff stop by to say hi and reintroduce themselves. The culture here is amazing; people are extremely friendly and seem to genuinely want to get to know me. Five o’clock rolls around too soon, so I decide to stick around an extra hour or two to finish my task. I figure the more quickly I can finish administrative work, I’ll be given more responsibility and have a chance to make an even better impact. My supervisor stays late usually as well, so I don’t think I’m stretching the norm too much. However, I think some people at the office may be getting the idea I’m a workaholic, so I don’t stick around too long. This isn’t a culture that values face time.

I get home too late for dinner; our housing provides a communal dinner every evening but seems to serve it around 5 or 5:30… so I have to run to get some food. Well, that’s more incentive not to stay late! Off to finish unpacking… I think I brought too much stuff.

Friday: Interns are not usually required to work on Fridays unless a project has a pressing deadline. (The firm does this because we are not paid this summer besides most of our expenses being covered. They try to allow us time to find an alternative source of income to work on Fridays. I don’t think I’ll be working anywhere else, but who knows, maybe I will.) I head into work since I missed most of the work week, and feel guilty for coming in a day later than expected. It becomes a very productive day as most of the interns are not there and it’s easy to focus on work rather than take a break and socialize. I finish up some smaller duty tasks and leave a bit earlier than 5.
After work several of the interns and staff went downtown for First Friday which is similar to First Saturday gallery hop in Columbus. One of the staff took us to a pottery exhibit where we unsuccessfully tried to create our own jars… but it was still a great time and we were also able to witness some glass blowing.

Over the weekend several of the interns decide to head down to Baltimore which is less than an hour away. We visit the inner harbor for the day and grab some seafood. It’s nice how close we are to so many different cities. I feel like I’m bonding rather well with the other interns, can’t wait to see what else is on the travelling agenda!

Learning points: For those looking to learn about best practices during your internship, I will be posting a few points each week so that hopefully you will know what to do in your internship next year.

  • Seeking help from your supervisor: Whenever you have an issue with a project or task and you need immediate help from your supervisor, try hard to do it first on your own. Managers like that you show effort and if you can figure it out then it shows your determination. However, do know that there is a certain point at which it is better to ask your supervisor for help, the term is coined as “spinning your wheels.” Every instance will be defined by an appropriate time, but there is always the possibility of asking other interns or co-workers before reaching out to your supervisor. (Note: your supervisor’s job is not to only help you, and often times have much more pressing deadlines, so be patient and try to seek help only once or twice a day at most. Write your questions on a pad and try and touch base with them daily so your questions are consolidated)
  • Ask for deadlines when assigned a task: This will help you prioritize your work, hopefully setting a schedule of what needs to be finished when. I feel like many people make this mistake thinking a large project will set the highest priority, but often times small things may have deadlines prior in which case need to be finished first. If there is no set deadline, you will have to use your best judgment, but again don’t spin your wheels on something that has no immediate tangible results, unless you have no other deliverables.

Microfinance points: Last week I discussed several key points about why poverty is like an endless cycle in third world countries. This week I will discuss several ways these issues are solved by MFIs.

  • High interest rates: MFIs allow clients to have lower than market interest rates due to a transfer of liquidity between a developed country and the third world country. Most MFIs can achieve this for two reasons: (I) The MFI finds its financing from a developed country where the MFI usually is created or the founder has connections from (II) MFIs are established institutions created to give microloans, in other words it is their business model. Most local loan based are designed more for small business loans and feed off no competition towards microloans thus can charge exorbitant interest rates. They do not have the infrastructure to serve microlending and do not wish to either.
  • Savings: MFIs do not have the infrastructure or want the infrastructure to becoming a savings and deposit institution for lenders. Instead many MFIs including HOPE, teach clients how to create savings and credit associations. (I will refer to them as SCAs.) These act much like credit unions. In essence the MFis teach the clients the importance of savings and the controls needed to start one of these groups. The idea is each of these groups will designate a different person each week to collect an allotted savings portion from each of the groups’ members. This way money is dispersed throughout the group and is harder to access (use or lose). In addition the group can loan out these funds to their members at specified rates. (The lower the rate, the cheaper it is to borrow, but likewise the higher the rate, the more their funds grow.) This gives the clients much more access to capital as well as the ability to efficiently save money on a small scale.

Hope International – Orientation (May 21-23)

Orientation Blog

Hey everyone, glad to finally have time to post my first blog (which is actually backdated for the dates May 21-23.)

Wednesday (Philly Cheesesteak)

12:30 PM: Left Columbus promptly after taking an early 721 quiz. I have orientation for my internship this weekend even though I’m still in school; I’ll be flying up for the weekend and coming back to finish finals. Talk about hectic, thankfully business professors are generally tolerant to prioritizing internship duties and are flexible with the academic side. I arrived at PHL around 4 PM, had to take a “people mover” (a bus the size of the plane) to get from our landing site to the terminal due, of which took almost as long as the flight from CVG. I’m going to try to avoid PHL in the future, if possible.

After landing, I went to the meeting spot (Auntie Anne’s), which supposedly the founder is from Lancaster, PA, the city my internship is in this summer. I met with a few of the interns while we waited for the recruiter to arrive; he was flying in from Denver. One of the interns was from Point Loma out on the West Coast and the other intern was a graduate student at Missouri State. Both were interning in the Dominican Republic this summer.

6:00 PM: We were all hungry so after the recruiter arrived we went downtown to try some philly cheesesteak. I’ve never had an authentic philly before, so I was quite excited. Shortly before arriving he warned us about the ordering etiquette. To order a philly with cheese say, “Wiz wit.” For those of you wondering, it really is wiz cheese, sort of like the kind you put on crackers. The recruiter took us to Tony Luke’s, http://www.tonylukes.com/. Nobody deviated from the philly, except I chose to try it with sharp cheddar.

9:00 PM: After dinner we were taken to our housing for the summer, which the firm provides. I will be staying at an international house and my roommate is from Ghana. There are students here from most major countries, and I am excited to meet them all, however am exhausted from travelling.

Thursday (a.k.a. tagging HR with a wiffle ball)

7:30 AM: Woke up early this morning for the short commute to the HOPE office, they call it CSU (Central something… something… I don’t quite remember). Once we get to the office we are warmly greeted by the Lancaster employees, most of which are quite young, being just recent graduates. I’m already starting to feel the uniqueness of the culture I felt during my phone interview. Following greetings, each of the interns stand up and tell the office how they heard about hope and a little about their background. The interns seem to be from all over the country. There are sixteen of us, ten that are interning at CSU, and the other six out of the country at the MFIs (Microfinance institutions). Our intern class is quite diverse from traditional business majors to English majors. There are also several MBA students and an English graduate student.

9:30 AM: After introductions we are introduced to the organization chart of the firm. HR goes to draw a rough sketch of the org chart on the white board and interestingly enough he draws the chart upside down. Usually org charts start with the most important person on the top, but he on purposely drew it with the most important people at the bottom as a symbolization of a serving organization in which structure is only a formality. Immediately following, the President of HOPE, Peter Greer shares the mission of the firm. He graduated from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and has spent much time in the field with missions in microfinance. He explains our firm is much different from other MFIs in such that we are driven by faith based motivation and not simply a social impact. He depicts our strategic model as a mountain with spiritual integration on the left side and microfinance on the other side. Lean too much towards one bearing and the structure of the firm fails, thus there is a delicate balance of how our business is done.

hope_mtn

11:15 AM: Next, the director of finance (much like a CFO), goes into detail of how microfinancing actually works. I won’t go into much detail, as I’ve already provided basic resources if you are interested in learning more about the industry which can explain it much better than I. However, I will leave you with several key takeaways from his presentation.

Learning Point #1:

  • Third world countries lack the financial landscape that we take for granted
  • People cannot save money, and are often charged upwards of 30% to save
  • Say you want to save $100, you have to pay the bank $30 of that, whereas we in the developed world are paid interest to save!
  • Interest rates on loans are upwards of 100% often even reaching 1000%
  • Average interest rate of credit cards are around 15-20%
  • Microfinance can be summed up as starting a bank in a third world country
  • Requires: Head of a Banker, Heart of a Pastor, Soul of a Development Worker

1:30 PM: The new director of development shared her experience abroad in the Democratic Republic of Congo and how she experienced first hand the operations of HOPE. Following that she described how she used her field work to directly translate the need for fundraising for the firm and how important it was to share what we were doing with our families and friends.

3:15 PM: The director of marketing shares his experience in the consumer retail industry and how it translated to finding a career at HOPE. He then went on to describe HOPE’s marketing strategy and several initiatives that were taking place over the summer in which we would be able to get involved in.

(Shamless plug, 1.)Write encouraging words or draw a picture on a friend or your hand and take a picture 2.) Upload picture to – hopehandsup.shutterfly.com 3.) HOPE International receives $5 for every picture uploaded)

4:45 PM: HOPE employees gather interns together to encourage us and pray for the summer. I’m fascinated at how integrated faith is in this firm, even though it is a faith based organization… I never thought it would be integrated this quickly… in our orientation! I’m very excited to see how else spiritual integration comes into our daily work life.

5:15 PM: The director of marketing invites all of HOPE to his house for dinner. Lasagna and ice cream, anyone? You may be wondering why I subtitled the orientation blog as tagging HR with a wiffle ball… Well, it comes into play shortly after dinner where several of the interns organize a casual wiffle ball game. About midway through the fourth inning or so, the HR representative decided to go for the extra base. I pegged him with a wiffle ball right in the shin. I hope I don’t get fired! Turns out, he got me back in the next few innings when I overran a base, I wasn’t fired… at least not yet.

Friday (Until we meet again…)

7:30 AM: Head to HOPE for second day of orientation. Most of the interns are exhausted from staying up late last night eating ice cream and getting to know one another. There were some pretty deep conversations about social business the previous nights and several conversations lasted quite late.

8:30 AM: The founder of HOPE, speaks on how he started the firm and the difficulties of running a for profit alongside a non profit. He speaks about stewardship and how important it is to live the culture of the firm. He uses the example of buying a new car and not purchasing the upgrade for power windows because it could be several new microloans. (Visit www.hopeinternational.org to find out more about how HOPE began). I also found out Jeff plays tennis, and for those of you that don’t know I have an ardent passion for playing tennis. I may just have to challenge him to a match before the summer is over.

9:30 AM: HR goes through administrative information such as rules and regulations, expectations for the summer, and legal issues. For those of you taking Business Law (Fin 510), you will learn about employment law… or contracts.

12:00 PM: Sneak out of orientation to have lunch with my supervisor. Well, technically not sneak, but I think I was the only intern to do this off the bat. I’ve already talked with my supervisor several times via interview and through email so we already know each other fairly well. We catch up a little about how things are going then get down to business. He takes me to Five Guys, awesome burgers… but still not as good as In N Out. He preps me on what projects are going on at the office, and what specifically the finance team is doing. We go over my summer project pipeline which seems to have quite a bit for ten weeks, which makes me excited. He expects me to roll up my sleeves given my experience. I’m a bit nervous, but up for the challenge. I’ll highlight some of the major projects I’ll be working on this summer: consolidation of several of the entities HOPE owns for the year end audit (which is the second week of my internship, so I have a one week project deadline… yikes), mapping the process of cash flows through the firm, assessing the efficiencies of the cash flows, and consolidating four of the MFIs. Looks like it is going to be a busy summer!

Learning Point #2: Networking, as I’ve previously stated is important. It shows you care and gets you a head start on the work you will be doing. Not to mention it helps build a better relationship with your coworkers which in the long run can only help your work relationship.

1:00 PM: After lunch, the Director of Finance speaks more about how microfinance works adding onto the previous day’s “lecture.” He goes into more detail of how loans are structured and the business plan of HOPE. I’m not sure what I can and cannot talk about yet, so I’m going to save it hopefully for later blogs, once I do find out.

3:00 PM: Full time employees share their internship experience and key takeaways for a successful summer. Take initiative, network to learn more than what your job entails, go to your supervisor when needed, and lastly have fun.

5:00 PM: Cookout at one of the past intern’s house. The culture is extremely friendly and everyone seems to truly want to develop relationships with the interns. Not to mention tons of free food? We played soccer, corn hole, and football then shared several “ice breaker” stories such as the most embarrassing date, which I thought was hilarious.

11:00 PM: Leave, exhausted back to the house to pack up. Going back to OSU tomorrow to finish up classes and take finals. The majority of interns are staying as they are on semester systems. In addition, the international interns are leaving tomorrow for the country they are interning in. We all say our goodbyes and promise to skype.

Other resources: www.chalmers.org