I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I left Wisconsin! I especially can’t believe that I only have one more day of interning at Nature’s Pride! This internship has honestly been the opportunity of a lifetime. By working with almost every department, I really got a good overview of the whole company and everything that goes into running a successful company, and this opportunity opened my eyes to what I want to do as a career. Marketing has definitely been my favorite department to work with. I get to use my creativity in a practical way in a business setting and I love that!
Writting this blog over the last few weeks, however, has made me think that I would enjoy a job in journalism as well though, so now I have to pick between journalism and marketing. I must just be completely unsatisfied with knowing what I want to do and not being totally lost and confused. Yay.
Another thing that I’ve had a lot of time to think about is whether or not I could see myself leaving the U.S. for good. I think that if it weren’t for most of my loved ones living in Wisconsin and the fact that is somewhat difficult to travel back and forth between Europe and America, I would never come home. But the people that I fill my life with are so soooo important to me, so I don’t think I could up and move across the ocean by myself quite yet. Maybe after school or later in life.
Wednesday at Nature’s Pride, I finished my final project analysing the difference in the way that American produce companies (Dole Food Company, Whole Food’s Market and Trader Joe’s mainly) use social media to market their products versus how Nature’s Pride does. At first, when I recieved the assignment, I thought, “it’s the internet. It’s the same everywhere,” but it turns out I was wrong because I actually found very different trends especially between the Instagram accounts of American produce brands and those of European ones. Basically, American brands try to interact with their consumers much more on social media while European brands tend to just use social medias to inform. The paper is 8 pages long, so I hope Shawn, Fred, Adrielle and Jan Willem (the marketing director) are ready to be schooled on Instagram from the viewpoint of someone who’s on it 23 hours a day. (The other one is for sleeping.) 😛
After work and my usual post-work nap, Ivo and Lara showed me what they like to do whenever Shawn is away: dinner at IKEA. I was surprised to discover that IKEA has a full functioning cafeteria as well as a Target- or Sam’s Club-style food counter. We had Swedish meat balls (so good) and the drinks were refillable!! Finally. That’s one of the things I miss most about the U.S. honestly (other than my family and friends of course).
On Thursday, I was in the warehouse for my last day at Nature’s Pride. I first started with Mateusz, a young worker on the incoming side who’s English was rough, but he was very nice and a great teacher. Mateusz showed me his job of counting the boxes on the incoming pallets and labeling them with barcodes. Then I went to order picking with Jesse. I got to drive the forklift-ish thing around, find the boxes that we needed to build the pallet for the customer, scan the products so their location was updated in the system, finish the pallet with plastic wrap and cardboard corners and take it to the outgoing side of the warehouse.
After orderpicking, I went to the outgoing side with Mus, who showed me his very simple but verrrrry important job of checking the outgoing pallets to assure that the customers all got what they’d ordered. Then, Mo, who works in the warehouse office, showed me how he coordinates everything that happens between Nature’s Pack, incoming, outgoing and the truck drivers so that everything goes smoothly and all customers are happy.
The warehouse was a super interesting. Everything moves very fast paced, since the product is fresh and has a very short shelf life, and it is also very cold for that same reason. Also, I was the only girl in the whole building, so that was interesting. I think I was hit on more in my 3 hours at the warehouse than collectively in my entire life which was strange, but hey at least they were nice to me and didn’t care when I ran the forklift into the shelves and almost ran people over.
I FINALLY got to have lunch with Shawn… On my last day. She’s a very busy woman. Then we took off a little bit early to go do some shopping in Rotterdam.
I’m so spoiled. I got THEE most stunning shoes in the whole world. A few pairs of jeans, a few shirts and the most delicious perfume from a parfumerie that is run by a friend of Shawn’s. I actually was there the first time I visited when I was 13 and I still have the empty bottle from that trip.
After shopping, Ivo met us at a restaurant called 1 zero 8 (literally the house number for the building) and we had wine and tapas. Then, we returned home and I took the longest shower ever (to wash the warehouse off of me). I am SO looking forward to being able to sleep in past 6:30 for the first time this trip!
A THANK YOU TO NATURES PRIDE
I just wanted to thank you all for being so nice and welcoming to me these last few weeks! Thank you all for everything you’ve taught me! Special thanks to everyone who took time out of their days to talk to me about their jobs, to Daisy for giving up your computer more than once so I could use the English version of Photoshop, to Daniella for ALL the bandaids, to Maya for answering my many questions and being so sweet and helpful, to everyone I had lunch with, to the marketing girls for showing me cool shoes and of course to Shawn, Fred and Adrielle for this amazing opportunity. I learned so much in the past 11 work days than I could have in 11 weeks in a classroom. I’ll always remember this experience!