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…

First day/week at Cohen & Company

Hey everybody! Glad to see this site has been getting a good amount of activity. I am writing this entry a little later in the week due to my travel agenda for my first week. At Cohen & Company, the training process occurs throughout the first week and exposes the intern class to a few offices. Being from the location which is the furthest from the main office, I have been the unfortunate victim of traveling all across Northeast Ohio. I started in the downtown Cleveland office on Monday morning at 9 o’clock which meant leaving Columbus at roughly 6:30!  I was fortunate enough to stay at the Wyndham for two nights and was treated to numerous delicious Cleveland restaurants.

The Wyndham - Cleveland
The Wyndham - Cleveland

The great part about the hotel was it was right across the street from the office. Being able to wake up at 8 instead of 5:30 on the 2nd day was a great surprise!  After Cleveland I was on my way to Akron for the first time, where I was staying at the Radisson. This was my first time seeing the Akron office and after a day of training it was back to the hotel before I left the following morning for my final stop of the week – Youngstown. This was also my first time to Youngstown. Finally, at the end of the work week I was back on the road for a nice 3 hour drive home to Columbus. However, while training I found out I will be working on an engagement very soon. In fact, this Sunday (6/21) I will be driving back up to Cleveland for a 7PM flight to Richmond, Virginia where I will be working on a SAS 70 Audit until Thursday. This engagement is one of the services offered by the entity of Cohen I will be working with mostly – Cohen Fund Audit Services (CFAS) .

This week has officially been my first introduction to the concept of “living out of a suitcase”. The most frustrating part is that I was exposed to all of these training materials this past winter when I interned part-time. However, the principles and shortcuts serve as great reminders and refreshers. Either way, I am definitely looking forward to getting back to work and eventually making it into my home office back in Columbus. I am sure that my next entry will discuss my trip to Virginia and any interesting things that came up while performing field work. As mentioned by other bloggers, if any of you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me:

jvogel@cohenfund.com   -or-   vogeljake@gmail.com

 

cc

Dimitar Popov @ Nestle USA

popov_dimitar_2

My name is Dimitar Popov and I just completed my junior year as a Logistics and Operations Management student.

My strange foreign name comes from Macedonia, a small country in Eastern Europe where I was born and raised. You might have heard of Alexander the Great, the victorious military commander that conquered most of the world… well, he was from Macedonia. Although back in Alexander’s age Macedonia was spread across continents, today, it is a tiny country no larger than West Virginia. I would encourage you to visit it, if you ever get the chance. It’s a place of timeless tradition, hospitable people, and an exceptional cuisine.

Ohrid, Macedonia
Ohrid, Macedonia

Approximately 8 years ago, my family migrated to the United States. We moved to Ohio and I attended high school in Beavercreek, a growing suburb of Dayton.

Then, it was time for college. I walked into college knowing that I wanted to major in business. My ultimate goal is to make a substantially positive impact in the world. In particular, I would like to help the people of underdeveloped countries, such as Macedonia. I believe that this can be done most effectively and realistically through business. This was the primary reason why I chose to go to business school. The second was that I fit the requirements. A great quote carved into a bench at Fisher states “Business is a combination of dancing and calculations” (and don’t hold me to this, I’m not sure if I’m quoting it 100% correctly) and I know I have a pretty good blend of both.

However, “Business,” by itself, is a pretty wide concept. Almost everything is related to business. Thus, although I knew I wanted to study Business, I struggled to choose a particular path within the business world.

Eventually, after many considerations, classes, experiences, and Major switches, by the end of sophomore year, I decided that Operations Management and Logistics is what I would be best at. I like these majors because although they are part of the business world, they are very similar to the technical and analytical aspects of Engineering and Economics. Additionally, as someone who truly has an interest in multiple areas of the business, Operations and Logistics allow for cross-functional work with all departments within a company.

I’ve had the greatest time throughout my college career at Fisher. I’ve stayed busy and involved with many clubs and organizations and have continued to challenge myself with rigorous classes. This year I was a part of the Honors Cohort program, a life-changing experience, and I recently joined The Logistics Association as the new Vice President of Marketing.

Nestle USA Headquarters in Glendale, CA
Nestle USA Headquarters in Glendale, CA

This summer, I am interning for Nestle USA in their headquarters located in Glendale, California. I am a Logistics Intern working in the Beverage Division, which manages many popular brands including Nesquik, Nescafe, Ovaltine, Juicy Juice, and Coffee Mate.

I started working two days ago and I hit the ground running. So far it’s been great. I’ve got 6 main projects that I will be completing through the summer. Stay tuned for my next post which will talk about my on-boarding experience at Nestle.

Ticket to nowhere…

Join me on my journey into the unfamiliar glitzy, glamourous world of the Entertainment Biz! So far, tickets have been purchased and plans have been made, but there’s still so much to be decided…

After reading everyone else’s blogs (which are all stellar!), I realized that I need to make an important distinction: though my internship is secured, my summer plans are still somewhat up in the air. In my last post I explained to you guys how this “Thor” position came about: I was put in contact with the producer of the film and was accepted as an intern based solely my resume and a brief phone interview. This was an exciting moment for me, so exciting that logistical details such as housing and transportation were the farthest thing from my mind.

Summer 2008 internship on the set of "Magic Man."
Summer 2008 internship on the set of "Magic Man." Click on the picture to see more!

Luckily I got started with the search early so I had plenty of time to mull over these “little” details. Well, unfortunately, in the business of entertainment and especially in Los Angeles, things change at lightning speed and nothing is ever guaranteed. Needless to say, I am still trying to clarify and confirm my living arrangements. The cool thing about Marvel is that they are being very lenient with my schedule and basically invite me to start and end my internship when it’s convenient for me to do so (being a Buckeye carries that much weight, I guess :p ). So, tentatively, my plans are as follows:

  • A week before departure, notify Dan, Arne Schmidt’s assistant, that I will be in L.A. on the first.
  • Arrive in Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Wednesday July 1st around 7 PM. Take a car to the apartment building in Universal City I will be staying at until (or if ever) I find an alternative (cheaper) living arrangement.
  • Relax, unpack, wait for the fact that I’m in L.A. to set in!
  • Thursday July 2nd: If it works out, I plan to visit my friend who is a make-up artist on the set of Heroes =) Also, need to get the rental car situation squared away.
  • Friday July 3rd: Meetings! This day will be all about networking and making my presence known to the other industry contacts I have been in touch with this year. First, head to beautiful Manhattan Beach to meet with Dan and learn all about my responsibilities with the Thor project. Then, meet with a different Dan, owner of the New York Film Academy (NYFA, with locations in both NY and LA) about possibly taking night classes for acting/film production during this summer. I will also explore a different (employment) opportunity with NYFA in August, but I’ll discuss that in a later post.
  • Monday July 6: Officially begin my internship

Ahh! I can hardly wait, but man am I nervous. None of the latter is for sure so stay tuned. The most important thing to remember about the entertainment industry (and any industry really) is that you have to be persistent, patient, confident in your abilities, and strategic/forward thinking. I can already see where I could have been more proactive (housing!) and am sure that I’ll learn a ton more in the weeks and months to come. I’d love to hear what you guys have to say / answer any question you may have! Also, if any can help me understand how to pack for two months (ladies, you understand the issue here), I would be forever grateful.

overstuffed_suitcase

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