Poly 2, Poly 3, VPN, BO’s, TPM, NPN, GSD’S, etc…etc…etc…

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with plastics, but I bet that no normal 21 year old has any idea of how big and complicated the business is in general.

You see, the thing with The Dow Chemical Company is that it is big, I mean like Texas big! I am part of the North American Base Plastics business (one of their four worldwide regions). Within Base Plastics, I am part of the Polyethylene team which is divided into different value centers depending on how the plastic pellets are made (for my internship projects, I get to work with all of them). Lost already?..

How about if you add: the company and plant abbreviations, the chemical formulas, the code products, and the special tools and software you must learn to understand the business process… Trust me, I was really lost. I still am, but just a little bit!

My first day started with a 2 minute drive to work (yes, I would walk if the asphalt wasn’t melting) and my arrival to one of the nicest buildings of the business energy corridor (picture). This new business area is located on the north-west side Houston, and is surrounded by many nice apartment complexes really close to the corporate offices.

Houston Dow Center

Once I parked, I went to get my badge, but since I am an international employee, the process was a little bit more complicated. So, after an hour of document background checks, multiple phone calls and a hundred signatures I was given my pass. Internationals employees have very controlled office access hours… I guess I just can’t work extra hours.. ha-ha!!

Meeting my hiring manager and my two supervisors was exciting. I had exchanged some emails and phone calls before, which made the process a lot easier. France, my manager, was in a meeting that day; so Boe and Cristin showed me around, introduced me to people, trained me with the basic first day information stuff and guided me in how to use the office technologies (like connecting my laptop to multiple screens). Once I had a couple of minutes to settle into my office (complete with an official nameplate), I opened my email and had multiple messages from the people around me welcoming me and offering their help in the future. Moreover, my office already had everything I would possible need… they had really planned for my arrival, and I felt really motivated about that.

From my perspective, the first days are about meeting and greeting people. They are all about developing company culture awareness and absorbing everything you can around you… learning learning learning! I did not have the list of my projects until Thursday because those first days are there to help me understand the business, the tools, and the dynamics of the people I would work with. By doing that, I think I better understand their expectations and their business.

That was my first day, just a very pleasant taste of what this summer is going to be…I really love it so far!

Now that I finally have internet access in my apartment (second picture), I can’t wait to write about some of the fun stuff I have done in Houston, but for now, I have to keep this one short. So, till next time ya’ll have a good summer!


Girl falls prey to social media bug…

Video Blog =)

Hey friends! Check out my new YouTube Channel. Basically, I have become obsessed with social media/vast internet opportunities. The Channel serves as a supplement to this blog.


First video blog ever! (Can you tell I’m excited?)

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Marshal Getz in Jolly old England: Part III

Big Ben and ParliamentGood Afternoon everyone!  I know that it has been almost two weeks since my last blog, and I must apologize for that.  I will make it up to my readers by having a fairly long blog today. After my last final, I went back to Orrville and relaxed, spent time with family and friends, and prepared for London.  I needed the relaxing break after the rough quarter, and really didn’t feel like blogging.

I arrived in London this past Monday morning, and have been doing loads of exploring.  I have covered about a good 1/2 of Central London in the three days that I have been here.  So far, this trip has been non-stop go go go, but that is how I wanted it to be.  I have the opportunity of a lifetime to spend two months in the UK, and I’m going to do my best to explore and see as much as I can in that In front of St. Pauls Cathedraltime.  I feel the best way to show the reader how much London has to offer would be to give a rough overview of each of my days here so far:

Monday–  I arrived in the UK ~ 8:45am GMT (Greenwich Meridian Time), my good friend Andrew and I traveled by Underground Rail (known as the “Tube”) to Kings Cross/St.Pancreas station where we arrived at Nido (our student housing complex) located in Kings Cross around 10:00am.  After unpacking and getting settled in, Andrew and I met up with the rest of the OSU students and we toured the Kings Cross area, then took the Tube to Leicester Square for some Fish n’Chips.  After the very fulfilling British dinner, we walked to Piccadilly Circus and went to a couple of pubs to celebrate our first day in the UK.  By the time we got out of the pub, it was going on 11pm so most of us went back to Nido and crashed.  It had been a long day, New Fetter Lane, MASECO is located on the 6th floor of the building to the right.and jet lag was really beginning to set in.

Tuesday- Tuesday was a very adventurous day.  After a quick breakfast at 9am, the group traveled to our Orientation with EUSA.  EUSA is the company that is responsible with each of our internship placements, and is located in the very upscale area near Kensington.  The orientation was very nice and we got to meet most of the EUSA staff and learn about what is to be expected of us during our stay in London.  After the orientation, we had a nice lunch at a local pub in Kensington.  We proceeded to have a little competition, in which we were given a paper with clues to various landmarks around London, in which we had 5 hours to find them.  Whoever found the most landmarks in that amount of time would have a round bought for them by the EUSA staff.

A couple of girls and I teamed up to find the clues, however we more or less stayed in the area of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.  The scenery there was beautiful, on one end was Kensington Palace (once home to Princess Diana), and on the other end was the Serpentine Lake, and in between those two were many beautiful sites.  The Albert Memorial, the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, the Italian Gardens, the Bird Sanctuary, and Speakers Corner are all located within this area.  The Princess Diana Memorial fountain was probably my favorite part of the park.  It is an oval shaped fountain that is huge, and people can actually sit and put their feet in the water.  The fountain is supposed to be a symbol of how Princess Diana gave to her people.

The Contest had finished around 5:30pm, and we all met back at a Pub in Kensington with some of the EUSA staff and chatted over a pint of ale.  It was going on 7pm when we left the pub, and I as well as some of the other OSU students went and searched for the famed Platform 9 and 3/4 located in Kings Cross Station.  We found the platform, however it was located between platforms 8 and 9, making me wonder why it wasn’t called Platform 8 and 3/4.  Once I returned to Nido, it was going on 8:30, and I decided to go shopping for some groceries.  The food in the pubs can be expensive, and the best way to lived within your budget in London is to buy food from the supermarket.  Each of the rooms in Nido are equipped with a full kitchen, so I figured that I might as well utilize the kitchen during my stay in London. After the lovely trip to the supermarket, I came back to the room and prepared for my interview at MASECO which was to take place the following morning.

Wednesday- My interview with Alex Eichorn, the Chief Operating Officer of MASECO was set for 11am Wednesday morning. I got out of bed around nine, researched the company some more, and then got ready for the interview. As a note, MASECO had selected me to intern with them pending the interview. Those working at MASECO had never met me before; therefore, they needed an interview to confirm that I would be a good match for their company. MASECO is located on New Fetter Lane which is known as the “City of London” or the “Financial District”. It is a very modern area (Due to nearly all of the buildings having been destroyed by Hitler’s Blitzkrieg during the Second World War), and also a very proper area. Nearly every person that I saw on New Fetter Lane was wearing a dark suit.

My interview with Alex Eichorn went fantastic, and I am very excited to be interning with MASECO this summer. After the interview, I decided to explore some of the financial district. I got to see the Old Bailey which is the criminal court, had a pint in the oldest pub in London “Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese” which was rebuilt in 1667 after the great London fire, the Royal Courts of Justice, and the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral.

I returned from my exploring around 4:30pm, and rested a bit until the EUSA welcome dinner at six. The welcome dinner was on the H.M. Hispaniola, a ship on the River Thames located in perfect view on the London Eye, and the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. After dinner, Andrew and I walked around Westminster Bridge and get a good view of Parliament and Big Ben. We then walked right around the Corner to the beautiful Westminster Abbey. Alongside Big Ben, Westminster Abbey is the symbol of London. Since 1066, every British King and Queen have had their coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey. We then walked to St. James Street. This may be the most posh street in all of London. Located on this street is the Ritz Hotel which is where all the members of the G20 resided while over in London for the conference. Also on St. James Street is Lobb (the very high end shoe store that custom designs the shoes for the Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales), the Cigar shop that Winston Churchill frequently visited, and the headquarters for the world famous magazine, the Economist, as well as numerous five star restaurants, and a couple of shops to purchase yachts. Pretty impressive for a street that is at most, 500 yards long.

– As I said before, MASECO is an independent wealth management company focusing on customized personal portfolios for their clients. In 2008, their inaugural year, they managed over $150 million of client assets. During my internship, I will be with a team that will be working on projects and proposals for the clients; I will also be updating the contact list database, as well as researching some clients. My internship is to start on Monday June 29 at 9am-6pm. I will work M-TH, and Fridays will be a Seminar.

To all of my readers, I am very sorry about how long this post turned out to be, but I knew that the detail would provide the reader the information on how much there really is to do in London. I will post Part IV sometime next week, which will be more or a detailed description of how my first week at MASECO went. This weekend will be more exploring, and visits to museums, and possibly a visit to Wimbledon in hope of being able to watch a practice round, or possibly a lower seed match. I would appreciate the prayers that my first week at MASECO will go well. Hope all of you have a wonderful week!

A post from Panama about Housing in NYC

Hey guys, I have not quite started my internship for Ernst & Young in New York City yet. In fact, this week I have been trying to get everything in order for my internship while enjoying the sun and the sand on a Panama City Beach, Florida vacation with 24 family members and relatives. To get prepared, I packed most of my suitcase before I left for my beach vacation. I also filled out some paperwork to be turned in on my first day at EY.

Since I haven’t had my first day experience yet (more on that in my next post), I will tell you about how I went about getting my housing in New York City. Other than my office visit to Ernst & Young’s New York City office for my final interview, I had only been to New York one other time. Because of this, I was pretty unfamiliar with the city, but luckily the people at EY were a big help. When I received my offer from EY back in December, I was incredibly excited for the opportunity that I had just been given. However, I was also a little nervous when I realized that I would be out on my own in the Big Apple. The first thing I did was to email my tour guide from my office visit and also some of the other recent full-time hires that I was matched up with on my visit. I asked them what I should do about summer housing since I am from Ohio and don’t have relatives in the area. They told me that many interns choose to live in either dorms or apartments provided by New York University. They said that this would be my cheapest option for living in Manhattan, and that I would also be able to pay for each week I was there rather than renting it out for a full three months when I wouldn’t be there that long.

I checked with the recruiters at EY’s NYC office, and they confirmed that this was a popular choice for summer interns and would fit my needs for the summer. Taking their advice, I went to NYU’s summer housing website (NYU Summer Housing for Applicants). At the website, I saw that I could choose to live in a residence hall or a furnished apartment. I choose to go for a single bedroom furnished apartment because I didn’t want to go back to living in a dorm after two years of living in off-campus housing at Ohio State. With the furnished apartments owned by NYU, I could choose from a variety of locations around the city. The single bedroom apartments are located on Second Street and 26th Street. I chose the 26th Street apartment as my first choice because it was closer (1.1 miles walking distance) to my Times Square office location. Living arrangements with NYU are given out on a first come, first serve basis where you choose 5 locations in order of preference. Everyone I talked to said that NYU housing locations go extremely fast, so I made sure that I filled out my online application as soon as the registration window opened. If I could stress one piece of advice to students thinking about living in New York through NYU, it is to make sure that you apply for housing as soon as the registration window opens. It would have been a lot more expensive and more time consuming to find a place to live in Manhattan for 9 weeks this summer if I had missed out on NYU’s housing.

I am a little nervous about living on my own in New York City this summer, but I do have friends in the area to help make my transition a little easier. My friend Alli is working for Deloitte and living in the same building as I am this summer, and my friend Bofei is working for Madison Square Garden. Since my apartment is only 1.1 miles walking distance from work, I will walk to and from work when time and the weather allow me to. Also, I will be getting a Bus/Subway pass to help get around the city; both when there is inclement weather and also just to be able to travel to all corners of the city and explore everything that the Big Apple has to offer. I hope to see and experience as much of New York as I can during my nine weeks there, and I will definitely make sure to share all my experiences and adventures with you guys as they happen this summer.

Vaishali’s First Week

Well hello dearest reader – so I had an exam at the last possible slot at OSU; 3:30pm on the Thursday of finals week, and I wanted to be on my way to Georgia sometime within 24-30 hours after I was out, so yea, it was an interesting end to a crazy busy quarter…

Packing up an apartment and moving away has never been my favorite thing to do, and it took longer than I anticipated, but oh well!  So after meeting everyone I wasn’t going to see for a while (also because I’m going to Italy for the fall right after my internship, so I may not see some friends for like 6 months straight!!) and packing up for a while, I grabbed dinner with my brother who was driving with me, and set out on an about 10 hour journey after the sun set.  And I made it to my new home for the summer in time for the sun rise!

It is a gorgeous place that took no place to feel like home… from white towels in my bathroom and a dining table set up with plates and wine glasses, there was no looking back.  I also have a Puerto Rican roommate who is also an intern, and I’m so glad I can practice my Spanish too!  We’ve shopped, cooked and hung out by the pool after work already, so that part of it has been wonderful.  We could choose to use the company’s help for housing as interns, which I did, and we pay for a part of it.

Well related to work – that’s been amazing too!!  Do you remember what welcome week was like here at THE Ohio State University? Well that’s what people here at work refer to OSU as… My first week and orientation (well on-boarding) was kind of like that – different trainings and introductions, and being introduced to my projects and networking with other interns across the country, especially the other logistics interns at the various plants.  Since I’m the last one to be on board (as we are on quarters and get out in June and not May) and we have a project that all of us logistics interns do collectively, so I’m catching up to that and trying to add as much as I can along with settling in…

I’ve met with the Plant Manager, a ton of HR people, Finance folks, Operations, Maintenance, IS, Engineering and then some (you name the group, and they had set up time for me to connect with the team leader)… ooh and I got to learn about sensory testing as well!  The plant I work at makes cereal and has two divisions, and I’ve only gotten a chance to tour one side – so I’ve seen how much goes into making sure you get your Cheerios in the morning; surely makes me appreciate my breakfast more after seeing how much goes into it!

The culture of my work location fosters learning and team work based on relationships, so a chunk of my first week (that flew by in all honesty) has been meeting all the people involved so that I can work on getting to know how it all comes together…  I have started getting a grasp on the basics and am meeting people that will facilitate the smooth progress of my projects.

Oh and we do have uniforms, and I do wear steel toed shoes when I walk through the plant, and I have that certain hat and eye protection and ear phones and all that goodness related to not working at a corporate office exactly!!

I shall share more details about my projects, and actually anything in particular you would like to hear more about… the people? the city? working at a plant?

Just let me know if you are looking for particular details…