Dimitar Popov @ Nestle USA

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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.

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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.

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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

Marshal Getz in Jolly old England: Part II

Hey everyone!! hope you all enjoyed my first blog.  Summer officially started for me about twenty minutes ago when I completed my BA 499 final.  Seeing how I just survived one of the toughest quarters ever, most of the people who know me probably assume that I’d be in the bar by now, however, seeing how it is only noon, I figured that I would hold off with the celebrations until this evening.  In the meantime, I figured that I would update all of my readers on the status of my internship.  I found out almost two weeks ago that I was going to be interning with the independent wealth management firm, MASECO

MASECO is located in the heart of the ‘City of London’ (aka London’s Financial District/The Square Mile), and was established in December 2007 by Joshua Matthews and James Sellon.  Like I described earlier, MASECO is a independent firm specializing in developing and implementing financial planning and tax efficient wealth management strategies for individuals and families (Predominiantly American expatriates).  Matthews and Sellon had previously managed over $500 million of assets from the UK office of Citigroup/Smith Barney.  MASECO’s founders firmly believe that during the past twenty years, there has been a shift in relationship banking and that the product-driven model delivered by some of the larger institutions is no longer desirable for wealthy private clients.  It is because of this that they developed MASECO to better meet their clients sophisticated needs.  While interning at MASECO, I will have the privilege to work in a team with five other people, many of whom have previously worked at Smith Barney and Citigroup.  While on this team, I will be helping the guys on projects and proposals, and when I’m on my own, I’ll be updating the database of potential clients and so forth. 

I am extremely excited in this opportunity to not only have the rare opportunity to get involved in seeing how a small start up works, but to work with Joshua Matthews and James Sellon, two entrepreneurial men who have made their mark on the financial world. 

Well, I think this is about all that I am going to talk about today, I’m kind of hungry and am thinking about getting some lunch at the Marketplace.  Man I love that place.  I’ll be heading across the pond in nine days, so I’d appreciate the prayers for the safety of the flight, and I’ll update all of my readers when I arrive in the UK.  Cheers mate.

Oh ya…I need to give a shout-out to my two Awesome Sisters Liz and Em…Love you guys..                                                                   

The two COOLEST gals on the Planet

Catalina Lizarralde interning @ The Dow Chemical Company

Hola everybody! My name is Catalina Lizarralde and I am a international student from Ecuador that has been living in the US for 19 months. I must start by saying that if something in my grammar sounds a little wrong, it probably is… but please bear with me… just imagine I am talking with an accent :). Anyway, I am a junior and currently I am part of the Honors Cohort program here at fisher. Hopefully, I will be graduating in the spring of 2010 with majors in Logistics Management and Operations. I decided to come to Ohio State because of its high ranks in these fields, and so far my experience has been fabulous. I must accept though that I am not a fan of the winter or the sudden weeks of crazy weather. In the flip side, I love the crazy scarlet and grey obsession and I proudly call myself a buckeye…even though I don’t undin the beacherstand how a nut can be a mascot or the fact that “buckeye” means nothing in Spanish… oh well that is another story.

Ohio State has been quite a journey of emotions, experiences and memories that have made a stronger human being. I have been able to meet people (professionals, professors and peers) that have influenced me in infinite ways and I just rejoice when I realize how valuable this ride has been for me.

A little bit more about me. I was raised in Quito, capital of Ecuador but I am Colombian… After high school I studied music performance and German in SalzbuSome of the family membersrg- Austria and after that, I backpacked all Europe in a couple of months. Also, growing up I participated in United Nations, program that took me to many different places around the world. With my parents, I have gotten the opportunity to travel as well and all the interesting experiences I lived in each unique place make me become passionate about traveling and experiencing new places. Besides that, I love to dance, sing, play soccer, chill in the country house, interact with different people of ages and spend lots of time with my family and friends. Pretty sweet random fact? Back home, my dad has an ice-cream factory and yes, I was the luckiest girl in the world….  I got to make my own creation. Also, I am addicted to soccer and In 2006 I experience some of the best days of my life while I was in the World Cup in Germany!!! Finally, I am the youngest of three sisters and I am a proud With my friends in the country house!aunt of three gorgeous little girls and a little boy that takes care of me from heaven.

This summer I will be interning with Dow Chemicals in their brand new business center in Houston Texas! I am really exited because I will not be only working with an industry leader, but specifically with their supply chain analyst improvement team which professionally passionate me. Everybody tells me Texas is a different country and that probably I am no longer going to be international one…that is pretty awesome. I think is fascinating I get to experience a different American life style. As soon as I get there, I will let you all know how it goes.

What can I say, I am a pretty lucky person with a life full of exiting anecdotes… and I have a feeling this summer is not going to be the exception.. so, stay tuned!
World Cup 2006!