Hello Mr. Gomez!
Thank you for much for taking out the time for what I imagine can be a full day to talk to me (and my fellow classmates). It was amazing to learn about Kraft on a whole and in detail in regards to sales. I may not have known the sales side since I will be interning in logistics, but your knowledge will help me understand how everything works together. The store visit was particularly interesting- I’ll never walk into a store the same way again! Thank you for your hospitality and kindness in all regards, especially in your willingness to answer my questions although they might have not been the best. I will never forget the support and wisdom you gave me- perhaps I may find myself happily employed in Kraft one day.
Eliza Michelle Serame
I drafted this thank you card out on my laptop before writing it on the card. I wanted to figure out exactly what I wanted to say instead of effing up and bsing what I wrote. I hope he can tell how grateful I really am for everything. I honestly did learn one heck of a lot.
Day one is over, and I’m madly in love with my internship so far. Yay!
But for day two, I’m spending my hours elsewhere. As part of that situation I told you about that I had to deal with before starting my internship, I had to go to a Kraft orientation down in Irvine. I was to meet up with the other Troy interns (Sara from ACE and Andrew from business class) to meet an Alfredo Gomez, the regional training manager. He had a set schedule for our orientation and everything.
The drive down with my dad and sister was terrifying; I was scared out of my mind that I was going to be late. I wasn’t, but still scary. The Kraft office doesn’t look like you could be able to find it at all. It’s hidden and label-less amongst other grey office buildings. Inside, though, it’s nice if you look past the cubicles. This place doesn’t do logistics, but mainly human resources and some sales.
Anyway, Mr. Gomez is really nice. Sometimes he strikes me as overly serious, but he’s great. We watch a DVD on the history of Kraft, how it functions, the breakdown of the company, etc. The operations side of Kraft, like the food production, marketing, and R&D are basically not dealt with on this side. He talks to us about the different employee rules, benefits, etc., even letting us look through employee handbooks. Later, he tours us around the office, occasionally knocking on doors and introducing us to the manager or director inside. One of them is either super nice, shady, or just confused as he gives all of us one of his business cards.
Besides all of the talking, Mr. Gomez takes us out to lunch! We pile into his company car for lunch at Pei Wei, which is great. It’s sort of awkward in the car and sitting at the table, but we make do. Mr. Gomez used to be a sales rep, and so he provides a lot of insight on the functions of everything from a retail point of view and human resources. After lunch we take a visit to the Ralphs nearby, where he imparts just so much wisdom on us. He teaches us about the number of facings each brand has, the different POSs, how the store is set out, and he even shows us the backroom.
We return to the office to learn and talk more, and then, let’s us out on a food spree. He gives each of us a plastic bag to fill with any of the product samples they have stored that are generally used for the sales team. They’ll be moving offices anyway, so they don’t mind us gobbling up so much. Happily we fill our bags to the brim and over, lugging them back to the conference room we had been using for all of our talks. A few more discussions, a round of business cards, and we shuffle out back to the real world.
The way I describe this orientation, I sound like I only care about the food I ate and the food I got to bring home. But those things are only a small fraction of what I experienced, learned, and enjoyed that day. I learned so much about Kraft from all sides and angles that it was this day with the kind Mr. Gomez that I decided I would love a job within this company one day in the future.
Amidst all of this, I am called and referred to as ‘Eliza’. At first it was just weird, but I never really felt like telling anyone to call me Michelle because I didn’t want to be a bother. And it’s too late now. They all know me as Eliza now, and I respond to it. It’s all right, I’mma deal and see how I function with this identity. I’m just sort of curious, though, what would happen if I told them all that.
Oh, and whenever I speak to some of these people, I have to watch my mouth. Not from profanity, but I have an urge to call everyone Miss or Mr. insert first name here. I don’t know why, I just do. It might be an attempt at being respectful but cute? Whatever, I’m letting it out in these posts, but don’t think that Mr. Redd is actually a guy with the last name Redd. Redd’s just the code name I’ve come up for him :)
The end of school passes with a bunch of crazy as I never imagine. Projects, grades, drama, music, business, and sickness bunched all together with my cousin’s wedding the weekend after really put me through. I had arranged with Mr. Redd to have my internship for 6 hours a day, 8 am to 2 pm, 5 days a week, for five weeks. There was a situation that I had to deal with the weekend right before, and the way we figured it out, I skipped out on that Monday.
So the first day of internship is that Tuesday, June 22. I get buzzed in by who I would know as Ms. Dorie, with her instructions that apparently I’m supposed to meet a Miss Amy. This Amy’s code name is Amy because she is like Amy Liu, the senior when I was a freshman. It’s nothing shallow, like the reason that they’re both Chinese and super smart, but they had a similar way of speech and humor. Their differences and Amy’s true shining personality would come out and spread them apart over time, but for that first day, oh man, to me, she WAS Amy.
I meet her, and she gives me a tour of the office. During the tour, I find my mentor, Mr. Redd. He’s happy to have me around and can’t wait for me to start on things. Miss Amy takes care of me for the first couple hours, teaching me about customer logistics in general and taking me for a brief, brief tour of the warehouse to meet a few key figures. Soon, though, Mr. Angelo arrives. He takes me on a tour of the warehouse again, taking me all around and explaining everything as it goes by. The warehouse is his domain, while the office is mainly Miss Amy’s.
Mr. Redd soon asks me to come to his office where he tells me that he’s signing me up for online CBT classes. They’re safety classes that all employees must take, and I’m honored to be treated like them. There’s a computer in the back usually used just for this stuff, and I start. There’s over 50 classes on a bajillion things, ranging from Forklift Safety, to Bloodborn Pathogens, to Electric Arc Flash Safety, to Hazardous Materials Identification, to Safe Ladder Use, to Defensive Driving, to Ergonomics, to something called a Truck Driving Championship. These would prove to be my sworn nemesis.
But besides those, it’s a wonderful day. The people I meet are super friendly and nice- I know I’ll become attached soon. The lunch they bought for me from Panera isn’t half bad, either.
I really needed to find an internship. LIKE REALLY. Yeah, I looked at different professions and businesses online and old internships in the red book. Even last summer I looked into an internship with Disneyland, and my hopes fell flat when they only take college interns. I mean, who wouldn’t want to intern at Disneyland?! I really wanted to do it specifically with their musical division, you know those folks who help out the marching band when they come over. Anyway, I looked in the red book, and pursued seniors who sounded like they interesting internships. The Warner internship was interesting, and I asked David about it, and apparently it was for developing iTunes apps. I have no skills in that area, so… skip. The lighting studio people… apparently it’s terribly boring and hard work. Seth’s internship at UCLA! Again, not the best. Bernadette’s internship with UCLA’s music school was a let down, too. Out of all of the red book ones, the best ones were the hotel ones. Through Ms. Lambert, I emailed Jane about interning at DoubleTree in Anaheim. She gave me so much advice and even said she would recommend me and everything, but once I told my parents, it was shot right down.
And so here I was, internship site-less, deadline approaching. In a heaven-sent move, the internship advisor, Mrs. Downum, posted some internship positions in the business room. The medical one sounded like fun! I needed to send in a resume and all that jazz, but after thinking about it, I stopped. It seemed like too much work I wouldn’t have the confidence to do.
All that was left that was reasonable was a description for an internship at Kraft. It said that it was an internship in human resources at one of the Kraft locations; either Fullerton, Buena Park, Irvine, or Ontario. I just had to email Mrs. Downum with my resume attached and she would take care of it. Boy, was I glad. I had developed an interest in human resources because of business, and I was excited!
An email from Mrs. Gail, the head of human resources for basically all of Southern California, comes into my mailbox saying she’ll direct me to Kristen Frew at the Kraft in Ontario. Soon, I’ve got an interview with Mrs. Frew, and I’m shaking in my boots. It went well, I thought. But she wasn’t the end of all of this, as she was the Director of Customer Logistics for the whole southern CA region, she just happened to be stationed in Ontario. Customer logistics, you say? Well, yeah. There’s only logistics in Ontario, where there are sales and human resources at the other facilities. I’ve always loved logistics anyway, so it was all good.
Anyway, the person who would be in charge of my internship would be Mr. Redd, the Manager of Customer Logistics for the Ontario branch. After I missed his call during fourth period one day, I called him during an afterschool band practice, and arranged an interview. Back I went to Ontario for an interview. Another fellow, Angelo, the Logistic Associate for the branch, sat in during my interview, and I think this one went well, too.
But it couldn’t be that easy, no, I had to come back again another day to finalize things. I admit, I may have been more than a bit forward about getting the internship, but I was able to be in and out, human resources approved internship with Mr. Redd and my mentor, and signed papers in my hand. My mom, sister, and I celebrated with a trucker-sized lunner at the Farmer Boys around the corner. Success! No more worries for me. I got myself an internship at Kraft in Ontario working with the management crew of customer logistics.
Other than the confusing chain of events in all of this, the weirdest part was when I got interviewed by the two people in Ontario. They each had the same interview evaluation sheet to fill out. I got asked the same questions twice, but since I always told the truth, it was easy to duplicate the answers. I hope I was cuter and more charming the second time around.
I figured I should start this blog from the very beginning. Albeit late, it’s here.
I don’t know about anyone else, but everyone I’ve met asks “What is this internship of yours?” I think I’ve got this one down pat.
This internship is part of my school’s Troy Tech program. The Troy Tech program is a program that students can be a part of throughout their high school careers. You must test into Troy Tech as it is considered a type of advanced course. Every school year, we are required to take higher level English classes (possibly in conjunction with advanced math, history, and sciences classes), in additional to a special “tech” class. Regular students are not required to take this class, although we must as a part of this program. The tech class have a focus on various technological/professional topics. Freshman year I took Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Logic Algorithms, sophomore year I took Design Technology IB-SL, and last year took Business and Management IB-SL. In the second and third years we generally have a choice in our classes, for example many of my friends have decided to take classes in Computer Science.
In the third year, we must take a Pre-Internship class or study Pre-Internship topics in our other tech classes. This because in our senior year, we must do our Troy Tech Internship. This Internship is regarded as the high point, the culmination of our Troy Tech program. It defines our program to be above and beyond any others, providing each student with a professional and competitive edge. Other schools may have 8 hours internships, but ours is a major undertaking of 150 hours in the working service of a company without monetary pay. The internship was formerly done during the senior school year after school, but after working with the school board by guaranteeing control and checking processes, the internship is now commonly done during the summer before the senior year. It follows with various reports and a display in the following spring.
So this internship is a big deal. We’ve been working up to this for years, and can be the base for us to develop our skills in a professional environment. We’re supposed to use this as an opportunity to learn and experience things in the real world. Do it in the right field, and this can be the launching pad for a bright career. The weight that this internship holds and the early deadline
unfairly set upon by my business teacher pushed me to find an internship. This is serious stuff, but I wasn’t sure what field I want to focus in. And so the search for an internship site began…