Shadowing and Filing

Over the past two days, I have shadowed the women in the front office. I have learned about their paying, billing, and other financial processes and I’ve filed a lot. Because of all the filing I was doing today, I didn’t sit as much, which I really enjoyed. I still didn’t walk that much (3.8 K steps as of now, at 4:57 pm), but I was standing and moving, more than just sitting and studying or learning, as great as those are.
I was going to go visit a house today, but that got moved back to tomorrow. It is cool, though, now that I’m out of the class and shadowing the people in the front office, I’m interacting with everyone more and that’s made it more fun.
Yesterday, I went to another Community Involvement event. There were just a few of us, a total of 5, and we went mini-golfing. It was super fun to just hang out with the guys and it definitely made my mood go from “eh” to “THIS IS AWESOME!!”
Anyways, hopefully, I’ll finish all my assignments. I’ve only got two more days left! It seems crazy. Guys, we’re gonna graduate really soon.

Learning, Researching, and Playing Basketball

I finished up the worksheets that Coach Frye gave me to research about. They helped me to learn a lot more about psychology and a few mental disabilities, which is pretty helpful for this field.
I did that work in the unscheduled time around the classes that I was taking with the new hires. Some of the classes got a little boring, but Brian and Rico (the two doing the classes) both made it more fun and joked with me. It was interesting to learn a little bit more about workplace dynamics. Some of the stuff reminded me of what I noticed and learned about at ADB. It is cool, though, because I’m pretty sure I’m not irritating anyone. Yesterday, Coach did huff, walk over to me, and dramatically introduce himself as “Brian,” so I’m not allowed to call him Coach anymore, but other than that, everything’s gone smoothly.
Some of their guys pop in and out of the office, like I think I mentioned in my last post. I’ve gotten to interact with a few of them a bit more, but because of the classes that I’ve been taking, I mostly only saw Brian, Rico, and the new hires for the past few days. I think the biggest thing that I took from all of the classes was just that we should treat EVERYONE with dignity and respect, and should give people as much freedom as possible.
Last night, there was an occasion at the YMCA, and I went along. I didn’t have any specific job, unlike most other people, so I just shot baskets for the most part. The guys would come in and out. One of them, who when I met him said that he was full of sunshine, referring to his shirt, shot around with me the longest. You could tell he’d played when he was younger because of the way he handled the ball, and he was super great, getting rebounds for me. A few other guys came in and he was really encouraging with them, which was super cool to see.
Today was pretty slow and I wrapped up my work on the worksheets and talked some with Coach. We planned next week out, and I’m a little bit worried that I won’t be able to finish all of the work that we planned. It’ll be super interesting though, and I’m excited. You know, maybe one day I’ll learn that I shouldn’t be quite so worried and stressed before I go try out something new. I was so nervous to go into Initial Independence, and while I’m not as comfortable here as I am, say, at school, I’m not anxious anymore.

Another Day at Monsanto

Yesterday I went to the Monsanto at Creve Coeur. That is where their regulatory division is centered and I ended up spending most of the day with Anirudh. He is in charge of making sure that their corn meets all of the regulations for the different countries that they have customers in.

He showed me a lot of how their company is structured and the “pipeline” that their products have to go through. They end up spending millions of dollars on products that end up failing at some point of the process, or get weeded out. There’s an incredible amount of work that goes into each one and around 1% of the products that they start off with make it to the market. He also showed me the countries where they grow and then countries that are their buyers, either of GMOs or breeding plant.

We also talked about my future, college and beyond, a fair amount. Anirudh was a college professor for a while when he was younger and he gave me some advice about interacting with professors, and keeping in mind what I might want to do as a profession while I was pursuing my degree in college.

Then at lunch, people were pretty nice and teased with me some. It was cool though because I had a question about what I was supposed to do and they helped me out, while having a little bit of fun too.

This morning, I took the AP History test and that was fun. I didn’t drink enough coffee in the morning ’cause I was rushed, but I think it was okay. I actually really enjoyed responding to the short answer questions, which I normally don’t like as much as the essay questions.

Next week, I’m moving onto working with Coach Frye’s company. I’m excited! This week was fun, though it was crazy to go to a different place every day, pretty much. There was a lot of trying to find where I was allowed to park, but that only really happened with Monsanto. Anyways, I learned a LOT about lab science and other fields that you can go into with a science degree, as well as getting to work with kids and clean closets. It was a full and diverse week.

Preschool and Monsanto

This week is probably my craziest week. Monday and Wednesday, I was working at my church’s Preschool in the mornings and then on Tuesday I went to Monsanto’s Chesterfield site. Tomorrow I will go to the Monsanto in Creve Coeur, which is where most of their regulatory teams are located now, but that is in the process of being changed since they want everything to be more centralized at the Chesterfield location. On Friday, I will take the US History AP in the morning and since I would have gone to the preschool that day before I decided to take the test, I will have the rest of my day “free,” but I expect that I’ll find something to fill my time with.
My time at the Preschool has been nice. I’ve helped out there before so it was kind of nice to do a more familiar thing. On Monday, I organized part of their massive closet and I think I made it better. Today, I helped out my mom. The two other teachers that work with her on Wednesday were trapped because of the flood, so I and another substitute were with my mom to take care of all those kids. That was pretty fun, but I got tired, especially during our indoor recess time.

At Monsanto, I shadowed people. I mostly talked to lab scientists, all of whom were very interesting and fun. Two of them were especially fun and we got coffee and relaxed in their office, talking about the science behind the different steps in the overarching process that Monsanto goes through to get their products. They both have kids a little younger than me and so they could explain what they were doing in ways that were much easier for me to understand; the other scientists explained their work well, I just had to think harder and longer to comprehend what they were saying.

My dad had also just started working at Monsanto so he met up with Mr. Duff and me for lunch in the café (where the guy who served me was super nice by the way, guessing that it was my “first day”). That was neat and a nice, comfortable break for me in my day stuffed with one shadowing after another. The whole day was incredible, though somewhat exhausting, and I definitely learned a lot.

Tomorrow, I will have the day at Creve Coeur and I’m excited. I’m guessing that it’ll be relatively different from my day at Chesterfield, just since I’m pretty sure that I’ll be shadowing fewer lab scientists.

Memphis– a pleasant interruption

This week, I went to Memphis with Mrs. Baxley and the group. I’ve never been to western Tennessee before and it was pretty different from Knoxville and Oak Ridge (where we normally go). I really enjoyed seeing the Southern culture and Memphis’s musical history. Mrs. Scott (Mrs. Baxley’ s mom) was super wonderful the entire time and provided us with a lot as well as being fun to hang out with.

Another part of Memphis that just super blew me away was the history of civil struggle and the momentous events that happened. We visited the Civil Rights museum and it was, though overwhelming, incredibly thought-and-emotion-provoking. Since a large part of the museum is commemorating MLK and his life, I was particularly blown away by his moral strength and his philosophies. I think if I could choose to meet anyone from history, I would probably choose him.

This trip showed me another part of the US, and connected me to current and historical struggles in our society in a way that I haven’t experienced before. I also ate a lot of great food and coffee, like the one pictured here.

Soap, Nail Polish, and Lip Balm

This week, we only met with Mrs. Hardcastle on Monday and Tuesday, since I’m headed to Memphis. She has given us a lot of resources that we can use as we craft our “businesses” and some of the stuff is helpful beyond just starting a business. For example, one of the activities that we did yesterday was going through a set of cards with various adjectives on them and we organized them into categories of what we wanted our brands to be, not to be, were torn, or it didn’t apply to us. For both of us, and probably a fair number of people, this activity actually ended up with showing not only how we wanted our brand to be, but also who we are (or want to be).

In addition to working on this sort of activity and others to help build our brands, we also made a few more products, nail polish and lip balm. These were both relatively easy and not as dangerous or complicated as the soap was. We took home and can start using them. Our soap is still drying and will continue to for a few weeks.

From here, we can continue working on our brands. Mrs. Hardcastle has suggested a few steps we could take now even if we are unsure if we ever want to start a brand.

I have enjoyed these weeks a lot, though I have found that I like having a certain level of structure to my days, more than what we had with Mrs. Hardcastle. I think if I did ever run my own business, I would have to keep myself very in check and scheduled, or have someone to help me with that.

One Week Completed with Mrs. Hardcastle

This week, we learned a lot about starting a business, mainly focused on being built from a craft or hobby. On Friday, we watched about a video that analyzed a few similar businesses. One of them was particularly interesting to me (So Worth Loving) and I think if I did ever start a business of my own, I would try to make mine have a similar message, or at least a bigger goal like hers.

We also made and cut our soap. We do a fair amount on our own, with the steps we might take if we were to start our own businesses, and while I’m enjoying it, I do think I would do better in the long run with a stricter-scheduled job like what I saw at ADB.

Second Day with Mrs. Hardcastle

Melissa and I have been working with Mrs. Hardcastle for two days now. Most of our time has been focused on the business portion, particularly starting a personal business, and we have done a little work with making products. We are going through part of a course that Mrs. Hardcastle took to help her with starting up and then running her business. As we go through the process, we are doing it as if we are starting our own company with our own product(s). It’s super interesting to learn about all of the thought and work that goes into starting your own business. We’ve listened to a few interviews with some of the other people who have gone through this same program and who have a wide range of successful companies now. We have some work to do at home in relation to starting our companies.

Today we also watched a video on lye safety and then made a mud mask, without lye. We are supposed to try it out tonight, and I’ve currently got it on. Tomorrow we will work with lye and make some soap!

Last Day at ADB

Today is my last day at ADB. It’s incredible how much I have learned here, not only about the “grown up” working world, specifically in relation to recruiting and construction, but also about people. I am just continually blown away by how wonderful everyone is here. You can tell it’s not perfect and people still have their disagreements, but they all care about their work and each other (and, amazingly, me, an intern for just two weeks). I hope I always remember this time here and take what I’ve learned into the rest of my senior project and my life.

This past week, I did another project for Kayla and then helped her out with a few smaller things. I finished up the research for Mr. Sharma and saw more of the recruiting-to-hired process, which I feel relatively comfortable with now, though I wouldn’t go so far as to put myself in charge of hiring someone. Day to day, Kayla’s schedule is basically the same and she goes over almost entirely the same tasks, with a few interruptions. I got to experience at least portion of what a day in the office is like, though I’m pretty sure I won’t easily find another place like this.

Today, I sat in on a checking-in meeting. We started off with an activity relating to the company values, which today involved Easter eggs. After that, everyone gave a summary of their past week and then what they needed to get done the next week. That went pretty quickly, and there were cookies too. They asked me how I had liked being here and then we took a picture all together with our Easter eggs.

All in all, I’m not excited to leave, but I am excited for the rest of my senior project and so glad that I spent time at ADB. I remember coming in the first day, I was so nervous, but it has turned out way better than I’d ever imagined and I have learned way more than I came in expecting to.

Applications and Job Descriptions

I have continued watching Kayla go through applicants. The part that she does most often is review the resumes that come in, picking potential fits from those. All of the applications are beginning to look basically the same and I think I’m learning about what to put on and how to format a resume.

We also finished putting the Job Descriptions into the new format and then into the binders. I’m doing a little bit of research for Mr. Sharma about recruiting/HR software which is helping me understand more about that side of the recruiting world too. Through everything, I’m just witnessing and observing some of a small office’s politics and ADB’s particular culture.

Another thing that I’ve learned is just that sometimes you can have an entire day planned out with what you are going to do, but then something else comes up, and then another thing and another, and suddenly the day is over. Kayla explained that’s what “real life” is sometimes and you’ve just got to roll with it.