Marshal Getz in Jolly old England: Part V(c)

Note to Marshal’s Faithful Readers:  Marshal’s editor has taken his most recent post, Marshal Getz in Jolly old Enlgand: Part V, and divided it into six shorter posts that will be released as Part V(a) through Part V (f). This is the third installment.

Like I said earlier, so much has happened over the past 3 weeks that I really don’t know where to start.  Last time I wrote, I had just gone to the Harry Potter Premier, which was AWESOME!

Newton's Tomb at Westminster Abbey
Newton's Tomb at Westminster Abbey

The following week was more or less uneventful.  I usually work until 6:30-7:30pm and when I get off work, I’ll either walk around London or head back to NIDO to chill.  On Friday, July 10, I went and explored Westminster Abbey with Drew and Alexandra.  Westminster Abbey was absolutely beautiful.  When I entered the massive cathedral, I was literally speechless.  Westminster Abbey has been the symbol of England for almost 1000 years.  It was completed in 1065 by Edward the Confessor, who died a week after its completion, and every English monarch have had their coronation ceremony at the Abbey since William the Conqueror in 1066.  Inside the Abbey lie the final resting places of some of the greatest men and women to have ever lived.  Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary I, Bloody Mary, Henry VII, Edward the Confessor, Edward I, Edward III, Richard II, Henry V, Edward V, James I, William III, and George II are among some of the monarchs who are buried in the Abbey.  Also buried in the Abbey are some of the greatest scientists, literary figures, and poets the world has ever known.  Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, T.S. Eliot, John Milton, Lawrence Olivier, Alexander Pope, Rudyard Kipling, William Blake, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Gerard Hopkins are among some of the great men to have been buried at the Abbey.  Walking through the Abbey was like stepping back into time.  Newton’s tomb and Darwin’s grave were among two of my favourites.  Passing Newton’s massive tomb (which can be seen in the Da Vinci Code) took me back to the 17th century in a time

Inner Courtyard of Westminster Abbey
Inner Courtyard of Westminster Abbey

before the laws of gravitation and theory of motion were in place, and when the universe was still viewed as heliocentric.  It was only fitting that Charles Darwin, another great man who helped to shape human history was buried near Newton.   I also LOVED seeing Geoffrey Chaucer’s tomb.  I don’t think there is a single person on this planet who has not read or been effected by his masterpiece, the Canterbury Tales.  That along with Mallory’s La morte d’arthur are two of my favourite books of the English Language.  So much can be learned from these works of genius that I felt really honoured to be standing in front of Chaucer’s tomb.  Another thing that I really enjoyed at Westminster Abbey was King Edwards Chair.  Built in 1301, this chair has been the coronation chair of every monarch since the 14th century, and I thought it was amazing to see a 700 year old chair and the history ingrained in it.  Lastly, my favourite spot at Westminster Abbey was the Tomb of Good Queen Bess better known as Queen Elizabeth I.  The daughter of Queen Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, Elizabeth was the 5th and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty; a dynasty that will live on as one of the greatest in English history.  Elizabeth I succeed her evil half sister Mary I who was Catholic.  Upon gaining the throne, Elizabeth turned England back to Protestantism which it has been ever since.  What is so cool about Elizabeth’s tomb is that her half sister Mary I is buried directly under her which is a symbol of the Protestant domination over the Catholic Church in England.  Being a Protestant, I thought that this was AWESOME, however, I guess if you were on the other team, it wouldn’t be so funny.

Stay tuned for Part V(d)

Marshal Getz in Jolly old England: Part V(b)

Note to Marshal’s Faithful Readers:  Marshal’s editor has taken his most recent post, Marshal Getz in Jolly old Enlgand: Part V, and divided it into six shorter posts that will be released as Part V(a) through Part V (f). This is the second installment.

With my ladies at Fabric (from left: Alexandra, Lian, and Kelly)

With my girls at Fabric
(from left: Alexandra, Lian, and Kelly)

Though only 20 days have surpassed since my last post (Part IV), to me it seems more like a year.  So much has happened since I last posted that I’m really having trouble remembering it all.  I have met some really cool people here at our student living complex which has been awesome.  The OSU group here is really cool, but one of my goals for this trip was to meet people from other places.  My closest friend here was Alexandra who is from from Palo Alto, California but goes to University at Chapman in Orange County.  She worked with one of the OSU girls at a fashion company, and came out to the club with us one night and her and I became really close friends; I just really loved her California chill attitude.  Unfortunately, she left this morning so I was saddened by that.  On another day I was down in the basement washing my clothes, and noticed some Spanish kids playing this weird card game.  One of the girls was good looking so I decided to make conversation and asked them about the game.  We ended up having a 2 hour conversation and I worked with them on their English skills, and I am supposed to be going to the club with them this coming weekend.  Two weeks ago, while us EUSA students were at Cambridge University, I struck up a conversation with Lian and Kelly who were on the same trip and are from the University of Washington, and we have become pretty good friends since.   It has been so nice meeting people from different places.  These people have been great to hang out with I am so happy that I have branched out and made new friends. It is cool to chill with people from all over the world because you really get to see how you and that person are similar and different.   I chose to talk about my new friendships first because I have done so many things with these people over the past three weeks that I didn’t want to confuse you guys when I brought up their names.

Stay tuned for Part V(c)

Marshal Getz in Jolly old England: Part V(a)

Note to Marshal’s Faithful Readers:  Marshal’s editor has taken his most recent post, Marshal Getz in Jolly old Enlgand: Part V, and divided it into six shorter posts that will be released as Part V(a) through Part V (f). This is the first installment.

Hiya mates, how is life back in the States?  It has been sometime since my last post and I must yet again apologize for that.  I have been having the time of my life here, and almost never have the time to sit down and blog.  However, I planned for a lazy Sunday so I would be able to relax and blog today.  This weekend has been a non-stop party.  From a visit to Cambridge University, to a wonderful walk and relaxing day in the fields of Hampstead Heath, to an evening spent at the BBC Proms with my friend Alexandra, to dancing the night away until 4am in one of the world’s best dance clubs, I have done it all this weekend.  Consequently, after having a go-go-go weekend, I wanted to have a relaxing Sunday.  My initial plans were to take a trip to coast-city of Brighton and relax on the beach, however that fell through, so I decided to spend the day relaxing in London.  I was thinking of going to either St. James Park or Regents Park, however the clouds are moving in and it is extremely windy outside so I think I will have to nix that idea and just stay here.  There is so much that I want to talk about in this blog, from my work, to the cultural experiences, to the great mates I have made from other Universities, however, it would literally take me a day to explain everything that has gone on in over the past 20 days.  But for starters, I will begin with my internship placement and then proceed to everything else.

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

When I left off last time, I had been at MASECO for about a week.  I still LOVE interning there; however so much has happened in the 20 days since I last blogged.  I have really gained a lot of knowledge about the financial world, and though I am nowhere close to becoming a financial consultant, I believe that I have made significant strides in determining what career path I want to pursue down and what I really enjoy.  For me, I believe that the periods we are in now are some of the most important in modern history.  Within the time span of a year, we have experiences one of the worst financial crisis’s in history, seen numerous banks and other financial institutions nationalized, seen the symbol of American Automobile glory file for Chapter 11, and yet just had a record second quarter with Goldman Sachs leading the way by posting a record second-quarter net income of $3.44 billion dollars.  Are we going to sail through more stormy weather before finding the calm seas?  I think so.  I don’t how it is possible for everything to be so peachy, given that the government more or less printed $700 billion in TARP aid for the banks and car companies.  When the government is writing that big of cheque, I don’t see how inflation can be avoided.  So going back to the topic, these current events are why I am so interested in the financial system and economics as a whole, and interning at MASECO has really provided me the opportunity to experience working with investments and the markets first hand.  Being a small company of seven people, I have been given a lot of responsibility and have had the ability to work on more daunting tasks because of the limited number of

Standing with the guard at St. James Palace
Standing with the guard at St. James Palace

people working at MASECO.  More or less MASECO needs my help and they aren’t going to waste anyone’s time by giving me pointless tasks to complete, I have earned the trust of the employees at MASECO and they have responded by including me in meetings, giving me challenging work, and treating me as a part of their team.  I really never get a break at MASECO which is what I like about the job.  I am constantly busy but the work is enjoyable, for example, there are a lot of times when I’ll be working on a certain task, and Josh or James will call me telling me that they need a certain spreadsheet of a client put together for them in 15 minutes.  I will get that time sensitive task completed, and as soon as I’m about to start again on the original project I was working on, Alex will need my help with something concerning PR.  These things constantly occur all day, but I really enjoy it.  It not only gives me the opportunity to work with everyone, but helps me to learn different skills as well.  This past week in particular has been very exciting.  This past Thursday MASECO moved offices from New Fetter Lane to the very prestigious Charles II Street which is sandwiched between St. James Square, Piccadilly Circus, and Trafalgar Square.  This is one of the most posh areas of London and it is amazing that MASECO is moving to this location seeing how they just opened shop a year ago.  Moving day was very fun, everyone was really happy, and we all pitched in to help pack everything.  At 4:30pm, the movers came and we all went to the local pub across the street to have our final pint or two in “the city”.  As we were about to leave, it became emotional for a few of the employees.  It was really amazing seeing the care they had for each other and their job; it was something that I had never experienced in the workplace before.  Here they were leaving the building that had been their home since their inception a year ago.  When MASECO was formed last year, no one knew if their gamble would pay off.  In reality, the idea MASECO stands for is ingenious, however, would their clients follow Josh and James to MASECO from Citi? No one really knew.  I know that some of the employees didn’t think the company would have been this far along already.  Currently, MASECO holds ~ $200 million in assets, with the hopes of reaching $1 billion within a few years.  This is an amazing opportunity for me to witness firsthand how a startup company has grown within its first year of operation.  Tomorrow marks my first day working on 10 Charles II Street, and the start of a new chapter for MASECO Financial.

Dimitar @ Nestle [Part 3]

Me in Hollywood
Me in Hollywood

One thing that I’ve noticed at Nestle, which has been very different from my previous work experiences, is the importance of employee-to-employee as well as employee-to-manager relationships outside of work. It seems like every week management or employees organize casual after-work events where large groups of people socialize and develop relationships.

The first week we went to a Korean BBQ in Koreatown (the greatest thing ever – if you ever get the chance you must try it) and an Irish Pub/Bar (Side note: L.A.’s Koreatown has around 350,000 people living in less than 5 mile square radius – crazy tight!). It was a perfect opportunity to get to know some of my coworkers on a more personal level.

The second week, one of the managers held a cookout. Everyone brought family, kids, and friends to the event making it very pleasant. The house where we had the barbeque was once on a house make-over show – so I guess you could say it was sort of a big deal.

Interns at a Cookout
Nestle Interns at a Cookout

Some other work-related after-work events have been: a kickball league (after which every kickball player gets specials at a bar), a golf league (T expenses covered by Nestle), and many happy hours. It is common for management to pick up the tab at these events.

This is definitely my favorite thing about Nestle. Although employees maintain a distance with their managers and are very respectful, management supports social and informal gatherings that make this relationship less official and a lot of more friendly. It makes the workplace a much more comfortable environment and it eliminates intimidation typically caused by titles.

As an intern, I’ve gotten to bond with coworkers and supervisors on an even greater level than the average employee. This is due to an HR effort called the Buddy-Intern program. Each intern is assigned a Buddy – a coworker, typically from similar background as the intern (my buddy is an OSU grad) that helps the intern adapt to the company culture. A Buddy is given a budget that is to be spent strictly on fun events outside of work. So far me and my Buddy (her name is Hannah) have gone to an Incubus concert (coincidentally, my favorite band), and bowling (yes, even in California, where there are limitless opportunities to have fun, people choose to go bowling – which can only mean that bowling really is that fun!). Even though it was my 4th Incubus concert, the show was still incredible. It was at the Hollywood Bowl, an open amphitheater that sits in the hills beneath the Hollywood sign (really cool at night). The other interns and their Buddies came as well and the 6 of us had a blast. Before the concert we picnicked, ate sushi, cheese and crackers. 

This weekend we are going to a place called the Getty and we’ll hopefully be taking a Surfing lesson sometime in August. Man, I love the Buddy program! Too bad it ends once you get a real job… I wonder if they’d let me intern twice

The Getty
The Getty

Something else that’s helped me develop relationships with coworkers and supervisors at Nestle is being a Buckeye. There are a lot of Buckeyes around here… seriously, it’s kind of bizarre. Just in my department, 30-40% of the employees are OSU alums. I guess that makes sense… since OSU does have one of the Best Logistics Programs in the nation. My boss’s boss, the Director of Logistics, is the biggest Buckeye fan I’ve ever met. He goes back to Ohio to watch every home game. I’m happy with this, as I get brownie points for being a Buckeye.

Company policy requires an abundance of candy to be available at every Nestle event!
Company policy requires an abundance of candy to be available at every Nestle event!

That’s it for now. Next time i’ll probably give you a little more detail on my projects. I’m halfway through my internship, so things are beginning to get a little tough. Due dates are approaching and I’m getting pretty busy with work.

I’m still working on getting together a Flickr page where I can post all my pictures… be patient!

Putting your feet on the ground….

dow_logoI finished my first project.  It was exciting to see the final result of a process of adaptation and learning!
 
You see, I had to create a map that interactively refreshes with Excel data that is imported from queries and databases (trust me THANK YOU CSE200!) in the company’s system. The map retrieves costs that Dow incurs when shipping products to different customers located in different states. This project was very rich for my internship experience since it provided me with an opportunity of being exposed to the different elements of the Supply Chain.  As a Logistics major, this was ideal since I traced costs from the plant to the moment it reached the customers, including all the different variables that take part in an order. I don’t want to be redundant or extremely detailed because I understand that not everybody is as obsessed as I am with logistics, nevertheless, trust me,  I think anybody that gets to do a project like this would have enjoyed it. In a nutshell, it was a little taste of everything. Another great component of this project is that the business leader who proposed it really saw value in the potential savings this map could bring to the company. This gave him a very useable tool.  Additionally it gave me the good feeling of knowing that I did at least a little something for a big company.

The Dow Chemical Company planned six projects for me, all as interesting as the one that I just completed. Personally, one of the reasons I have enjoyed my internship so much is because I have been challenged to learn new things, in new ways and deliver results. I also believe that it is important to be exposed to as many different parts of the Supply Chain discipline that you can before you graduate.  Wherever you are interning, take advantage of the leaders and peers around you. Schedule meetings and ask many questions. You are an intern… you are supposed to ask dumb questions, so don’t be scared.    It has been due to these conversations, and these little steps that I have learned about the company’s culture, the available opportunities and have taken with me valuable advice of people that I admire as leaders and professionals.

Finally, put your feet on the ground;   work is not school!  In school, you can read ahead, study hard, and maybe even go to a tutor room if you want to stand out. At work, on the other hand, it’s not that simple. A company like Dow has taught me the value of being humble, of realizing that there are some things I can’t do nor control on my own, and that there is great value to learning from the experienced people around me.

Anyways… I have to wake up early to take a plane to visit The Dow Chemical Company headquarters in Midland, Michigan, so I hope you enjoy this informative post!