Monday, June 18, 2012


Two weeks in - how did this happen?  I cannot believe I'm 8% or something done with my internship (scary!).  Though I don't have photos of them, this week I made banana bread and strawberry pie in addition to trying to eat most of the stuff I made earlier (probably was a little over-exuberant on the cooking last weekend).

In the world of work, I visited another casting plant this week in Indiana which was a seven hour drive down on Monday and a seven hour drive to return on Tuesday.  We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express which had a pool, so, in the future, I need to remember to bring a swim suit on any overnight business travel, just in case.  In Indiana, I sat through another set of project meetings like I did in Ohio and got to see more of their casting  equipment installations as well as a die-cast area.  Basically my internship is trying to help them improve the system of project management and status reporting that they are currently using for these casting plants.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent doing self-paced required GM training for new employees, setting up meetings, and starting to look at org charts and to think about the stakeholder map I need to create for the end of July.

Friday...was spent off-site, but not visiting a plant this time.  This past Friday was the anniversary event for GM JumpStart which is a program they have to integrate interns, co-ops and new hires into the company and help them get excited and learn more about GM.
The Design Dome in Warren, where the conference part of Friday was held

The name of almost everything at GM has some fun play on vehicle terms, the main hall of conference rooms is called Gasoline Alley
The anniversary event was all held at the Tech Center in Warren, MI and consisted of a morning of speeches and panels (kind of like a conference).  These included a speech from Mark Reuss, GM President (fun fact: his Dad was also GM president) as well as a panel mixed between GM employees and other innovators.  Outside employees were included because this year HR had a chance to partner with MTV Scratch (a consulting arm of MTV/Viacom which helps companies make sure they stay in touch with the young people of today (in this case Millenials)).

In the afternoon, we had a ride and drive (where I drove only one car since you had to sign up for a driving slot).  Riding was fun, but driving the Sonic was more fun.  I thought it was a good little car.  Riding in the CTS-V was impressive, but would have been a lot cooler if I weren't crammed in the backseat with very little headroom.

Over 500 HP in this buggy - the CTS-V
I also rode in the XRS, Escalade, Terrain and Camaro and got to sit in both the Spark and the ATS that were stationed in the parking lot.  They had a Corvette, but all the driver sign-up spots were full by the time I got there and there had to be a staff member in the passenger seat, so no riding for me either.

The Spark is similar to the Fiat 500, but less expensive and with a good set of standard features

A baby blue grand sport corvette - could only look at this one unfortunately
Finally, after an afternoon in the hot sun, we had a break and then headed to the next town over for an afterparty.  At the party, which was co-sponsored by Scratch, we had dinner and time to mingle and then a local indie band called Dale Earnhart Jr. Jr. (don't know why they picked the name), played for us for an hour or so.  Their backdrop was a white sheet with a changing slide show of Detroit related photos - both modern and older.  It was cool.

One of the backdrops before they started playing

The three of them playing for us
I've been thinking a little bit more about why I like Michigan.  Yes, it has lots of companies and a variety of things to do and people are friendly (they say hi to you or at least nod when they go past - how nice! - I had forgotten that I did this to people when I came back to Boston from three years of working in Michigan and people looked at me kind of strangely), but I feel like it's got something which isn't nearly as present in Massachusetts which is what I'll call modern history.

Related to that note, click on this link for some really interesting stuff about the Motor City:
The Six Facts All Detroiters Should Know About Their Hometown

Massachusetts, but Boston especially, has so many ties to and artifacts of 200+ years ago, that sometimes I feel like we forget the cool stuff that went on recently, whereas the famous aspects of Detroit are primarily associated with the last 100, if not the last 50 years.  People are alive who've seen the changes, who've invented new technology, who've captured it on records and video and everything.  I don't know.  I'm not sure how else to describe it, but it just feels more dynamic here in certain ways (it doesn't hurt that everyone drives 75+ on 70 MPH highways either).

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