Friday, June 8, 2012

Hello from Michigan!

The housing that GM put me in, I have to say is great.  They have an office that assists students doing internships with the company and provide housing to anyone whose home is more than 36 miles away from their worksite (I think Cambridge qualifies!).  While they house four undergraduates in a 2-bedroom unit, their policy is to only put two graduate students of the same gender in the same place, so, for now at least, there are no other female graduate students working in Pontiac where I am, and so I've got a two bedroom mostly furnished place with A/C to myself.  The complex also has tennis courts, a gym, a sauna and a pool and hot tub all around the main leasing office/community building.  It feels like some strange cross between home and a hotel.  When I arrived the internet worked, the TV worked - everything!  Maybe in a future post I'll give more of a house tour.  That would mean I'd have to finish unpacking :-)

Kentucky Kasenga the Grand Prix outside of my unit (I also have a covered parking spot a little further away)
Sunday night, after running around to multiple places getting groceries and other things, I decided I really wanted to cook.  So, I made myself homemade broccoli cheddar soup and beer bread (used a bottle of Blue Moon and white flour, but I've heard you can use most any beer or flour).

All from scratch!
While I won't write in detail every week for sure, I thought I'd share some highlights of the first week of my internship with General Motors.

Day 1 of the internship the initial orientation was in Warren, MI, about a half hour from Pontiac.  Warren was also where I got my badge.  At the end someone who worked in Pontiac came down to Warren to meet me and I was able to follow her back to the plant.  In Pontiac, I got a phone, and a laptop, and started getting settled at my desk.  Everyone seemed quite prepared for my arrival and so I was pleased about that.

There aren't phones at cubes anymore - they just give you a cell phone - nicely they gave me a case and a car charger, too!
Day 2 - I spent 3/4 of the day at another building on the Pontiac campus going through lockout training.  Lockout is a way of stopping the flow of energy, anything from electricity to the full of gravity from harming anyone while they work to fix, repair or maintain equipment (usually involving going where people wouldn't normally go if they were just operating the machine).

The training, I thought, took longer than it needed to, but what was cool was that we ended by walking around this stamping building which also housed the training room.  I saw them making body parts for the Sonic, but the guy leading our training said that they also stamp Volt parts here and would soon be bringing Cruze stamps there too.  We walked by three huge presses and they were in the process of installing a fourth.  When the fourth one is up and running, our leader said that this would most likely be the biggest stamping plant in North America.  I do not know if this meant just in GM's portfolio or of all automakers.

Day 3 - Day trip to Ohio to sit through project progress meetings.  For my internship I will be going to one of these almost every week, just in different plants. On break in between morning and afternoon meetings I saw my first ever molten metal (Aluminum) and got to see some of the equipment working on the casting floor.  It was a long day though since we did all the driving in addition to the meetings - I was picked up from my place at 5:30AM and dropped back home around 6:15PM.

Day 4 - Not filled with training or driving, yesterday was a day to work on getting organized.  I sent a whole bunch of emails to get in preliminary contact with people, set up files (like starting an acronym glossary!), and went through some background PowerPoint files one of the managers shared with me.  I had lunch at my desk this time, rather than the cafeteria, but made an effort to talk to two interns that sit across the aisle from me.  They're both from Michigan and both going into their senior year in college.

Day 5 - I had lunch with LGO alum Mike Peterson, figured out how I will be getting to Indiana for another project meeting next week, a set of company wheels to use for the weekend!  GM has a vehicle ambassador program where employees can borrow fleet vehicles in order to promote them to friends and family or take them for their own personal test drive.  Interns get two over the course of the summer, but also qualify for the one-a-quarter regular employee program.  Since the 2nd quarter ends at the end of June, I checked out all the weekends til then and this weekend had the best selection: a Cadillac CTS Wagon.

Grand Prix?  Temporarily replaced :-)
The guy in line behind me to pick up a company vehicle told me that the particular paint color I have, black diamond triple coat is a 5k upgrade.  Crazy!  The coolest thing about it that I've come upon so far are the air-conditioned seats.  Not bad for when it's 80+ degrees outside.

Tonight, again I also cooked.  I made burritos to freeze (super easy to heat up for work lunches) and some of my spring veggie soup (I used alphabet pasta just for fun).  See the soup below.

Lots of green stuff, plus pasta, not much broth...

In summary, since it's summer currently, I'm going to bed when the sun goes down (which admittedly is after 9:30 - hooray western edge of EST!), but I'm having a good time, seeing a lot (everything from the plants I'm visiting to just the cool cars in the parking lots), and am happy to be in Michigan.

This is a non-altered photo out my bedroom window at 9:30PM -  9:30!  How cool is that?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...