Tuesday started like every other day has since I’ve gotten here: with a wake up FaceTime call from Jordan at 6:30 AM sharp (11:30 PM Wisconsin time). After good morning/good nights, I got ready for another day of hard labor, this time in the warehouse order picking.
However, once I got to NP, Shawn and I decided to switch around a few days in my schedule, so that I would be with the Scandinavian sales department that day and order pick next week. (My blisters are still killing me.)
The sales team makes phone calls (some in Dutch, some English, some Norwegian, German and Spanish), answers emails and fills out invoices all day, so there wasn’t much for me to do. Hans, the sales leader of the Scandinavian block, has been with the company almost since the very beginning and gave me a little schpeel about what he does. He also showed me a lot about Bama Trading, Nature’s Pride’s biggest customer from Norway, including their marketing plans. Another girl, who’s name I didn’t quite catch, showed me what she does as sales support. It was a lot of entering information into computer systems so that the buyers, warehouse and Pack could all see what orders needed to go out and when.
All of that took probably only an hour altogether before they had to get back to work, so I spent most of the day working on my final project for the internship, writing blog posts, searching “travel”on Pinterest and daydreaming.
After work, Shawn and I went to the grocery store. We went to Albert Heijn. It was a similar experience to going to Hansen’s at home, but smaller. We got stuff to make salads, yogurt, Doritos and vanilla ice cream, almonds, and the Dutch version of Almond Joys to attempt to recreate Shawn’s favorite ice cream in Vegas.
Shawn recently told me how to pronounce all of he vowels in Dutch, so on the way home from the store I tried pronouncing every word I saw. I’ve found myself constantly doing this, actually, and all of the constant concentrated thinking is really exhausting.
We made our salads and talked about Shawn’s future plans after retiring for quite awhile before making our dessert, which she said turned out not quite like the Almond Joy ice cream in Vegas but still good.
It was a pretty quiet night. Ivo is gone visiting his dad and we were both quite tired.
Today was a very busy day for me at Nature’s Pride, even though it is rainy, cold, foggy and windy outside. I worked with 3 departments. I started with sourcing, talking to Joost who buys asparagus and sugar snaps. He explained to me how he procures the stock, how he knows how much to buy, what he does with the information and other processes he is responsible for like making sure that the shipment is successful, on time and correct.
I then spoke with three different people in wholesale, Chantal, Damien and Rita. The wholesale clients buy what they need today or tomorrow, so I personally think wholesale is a lot more exciting than regular sales. It is unpredictable and you have to work with what you already have in stock.
Chantal showed me how the computer program they use works, and I listened in on a few sales calls that she did. Some were in English and others in Dutch. She also showed me that she IM’s a lot of her customers on Skype, which to me is much more appealing than speaking on the phone. Damien and Rita told me about business trips that they’ve went on to places like Lisbon, Portugal and talked to me about generally working at Nature’s Pride. Actually, everyone that I’ve talked to here seems to really enjoy what they do and where they work. Nature’s Pride is definitely a employee-friendly company.
After lunch, I was with Fred, the Managing Director who will be CEO after Shawn retires. I went to a few meetings with him, and they were very nice to speak completely in English so I could follow along. The meetings were basically to decide how they are going to decide things in the upcoming year, and I got to hear about projects they are working on to improve their company which was really cool.
I then went with Adrielle to watch another intern present his final thesis project to graduate from his university. It was about why consumers choose to purchase an avocado. I thought it was super interesting. There were focus groups and recommendations for marketing strategies, and it gave me a lot of ideas for my final paper.
After work, I conquered boot camp. Nature’s Pride has a full boot camp area outside of their building complete with a turf, track and a lot of jungle gym-like equipment. They also hold free boot camp sessions with trainers 9 times a week for their employees. Since I got here, everyone has been bugging me to go, so Shawn and I decided it was time and brought a change of clothes for boot camp at 5 PM. When Shawn ended up being in a meeting, I thought I was off the hook, but Peter, who works in sales and I’ve known since I was a baby, dragged me along. We did a cross-fit style workout with several circuits. The trainer was so nice and took it easy on me knowing that it was my first time, so it really wasn’t that bad at all. I actually had a lot of fun.
Shawn and I met up again and headed home, but first stop: food. We went to Shawn’s favorite restaurant, De Resident, in the Hauge which had the most amazing wings. It was really nice to have an evening alone with her to just have girl talk.
When we got home she showed me about the stock trade and the stocks she watches, and we caught one of my favorite movies, The Devil Wears Prada, on a local station. Then, it was off to bed.