So I planned on making posts daily, but my less than great phone (Samsung Stratosphere) insisted that I needed to log into my account in the app market for only some apps. It wouldn’t be a huge deal, if it let me either log out or type in my password somewhere for verification. I used to be all about Android and an iPhone hater, but having this phone for going on 2 years, I may change my mind. But that discussion is for later. Since I couldn’t make formal posts, I texted myself what I wanted to note on. With all the events that happened…this’ll probably be a work in progress post.
Sunday, June 23rd:
Arrival Day. After driving circles around UC’s campus, I figure out where I have to be. I walk into Turner Hall, and a bunch of girls are chatting ceaselessly amongst each other.
INSERT: I left nearly this entire post blank to finish it later. Now it’s later, so a lot of the details have been lost. My old phone with some notes I saved is dead, so I’m winging it with the itinerary from the camp. So sorry, each day with be pretty brief. And, I’m typing this on my paper then transferring it over to my blog, so there won’t be links or tags.
I sort of learn about a few girls around me, one ended up being a roommate. We do this one exercise to get to know each other where we all sit in a huge circle, and if you’ve ever done the thing mentioned by the person in the middle, you have to run to find a new seat. It was insane, but fun. Leah, one of the girls I befriend right off the bat, but not to be a lasting friendship. She’s just a little too…’do what I say’ for me. But we go to the bathroom together since neither of us knew where it is (which it ends up being right around the corner) and might as well go together. When we’re there, I mention that I don’t like bathrooms. I had to quickly correct and say that I just don’t like public bathrooms. The look she gave me seemed like she thought I was a loony. Steak and potatoes (MMM!) was for dinner. Whipped cream for some reason came up in conversation, so I make the comment: there are so many uses for whipped cream…but not all I can mention here of course. Lastly, we played Apples to Apples. One of the girls tried to pronounce Quinton Tarantino as “Tuh Rahn Tin Oh”. Everyone started cracking up. We soon go back to our rooms to end the night for tomorrow’s early beginning.
Monday, June 24th:
First full day of camp. We all have breakfast (there was no orange juice!) and have an overview of the camp, and soon after we’re broken into our groups for the week. Ironically the three Sarah’s in the camp are all put in the same group. I’m slightly discouraged that our group only has six members, whereas some groups have seven. 9:30 AM rolls around, and it’s time to visit GE Aviation.
The building inside is impressive. Models of engines cascade from the ceilings and appear to be floating. We work our way around our tour, eventually ending up in a room where I assume where the presentation would be. It goes on four roughly two hours. If you asked any of the girls there, they’d say it lasted for days. The first presenter who took up 90% of their time rambled on about the most boring aspects. The majority of us are teenage girls, not particularly interested in working there for the rest of our lives. Nothing personal, but our ambitions lead us elsewhere. So we’re not interested in the difference between the models currently used versus the models used twenty years ago, the personality traits of the man who began GE Aviation, the history of how the company went global, and so on. Yet we learned it all. I can’t vouch for anyone to say that a single detail was absorbed, but as sure as rain the presenter preached everything he knew. It was cool how he was so animated about his job that he obviously loved.
After two hours, Dean Lewis (aka the head of the camp) asked for a five minute break. She easily noticed everyone drifting off and our eyes pleading for an end. He agreed and everyone excitedly jumped up. While everyone went to group up to chat, I went for something I learned while at INTERalliance Careers Camps: to go talk to the speaker, get your name out there, and get their information to get ahold of them later. He asks me what I’ve been up to all summer. I take this opportunity to shine. I tell him of my internship with Dayton Analytics: a new contracting busy currently working in cahoots with the Air Force. He’s very impressed and asks for more details. I explain that I code in R and that I do data analyses. As I’m explaining, Dean Lewis and some of my peers walk by and catch part of it. They also seem impressed and inquire for more information.
The five minute break is over, so we all return back into the room. I feel slightly exposed as a compulsive bragger, but I guess it’s how to get noticed and remembered. Doug (the INTERalliance President) tried to encourage us to brag about ourselves in all situations. So I tried to hush my feelings of being exposed, and move on with the presentation. Luckily, more speakers come up, each taking only five to ten minutes to explain their position and role in the company, and how we may one day be involved with them. Sadly the speaker I wanted most to introduce myself to left before I could have the chance to talk to her. After our round robin group conversations with the speakers, I try to personally introduce myself to each of them. Fellow campers saw what I was doing, and decided to follow along this time, sure to not be left out on the opportunities. We leave to head back to UC. I had never been as scared for my life as I was driving back. The bus driver was speeding faster than I would in a little car! And he was speeding in a one lane portion of the highway, both sides walled in.
Lunch wasn’t too shabby. We didn’t get the promised meal, but Quizno’s didn’t kill us. If you’d ever look at my Instagram, I posted a photo of my sandwich box. I’m not sure why, but let’s just roll with it. So after, we had an exercise with Professor Elaine Hollensbe. Our task was to create a device with the given materials (20 straws, the container the straws came in, and a short strand of tape) for us to put an egg in and drop it from certain heights. We also had to design an advertising campaign, commercial, slogan, the works. Our slogan (solely devised by yours truly): “Launching eggs since before Chickens.” Our “company” was called GE Aviation, standing for General EGG Aviation. See what I did there? Cheesy, but since I got snuffed with helping create the container to keep our egg safe, I figured I’d just stick with the advertising campaign. Our logo was a shirken (I was sad that no group member knew what that was, oh nerdy me) shaped like an egg. They wanted to name it Gwen, and so it was named Gwen.
Gwen didn’t last long. The first drop I think was 15 feet, and those were her last 15 ever traveled. Two of her competitors made it passed the first marker, but cracked (literally) by the second marker that was twice the distance.
After, we had Project Time. We had to devise a presentation (expectedly in a PowerPoint format) to present at the end of the week to the Deans of the University of Cincinnati and our families. I’ll explain how ours ended up on Friday. For now, I’ll mention that it was hectic and our productivity was basically at zero on the first day.
At 4 PM we have a workshop on Leadership & Communication with Professor Suzanne Masterson. Not terribly memorable, we just talk a lot about college and leadership. I took pages and pages of notes, but nearly none with her.
We decide to explore a bit. Amber and I end up on the 3rd floor. We run into a couple of very hot looking guys that invite us for pizza. Oh if only…
Tuesday, June 25th:
This morning we go to dunnhumby. STILL no OJ for breakfast! Their company statistically analyzes sales and customers. They invented the Kroger Plus card, along with other cards similar to. Their building is beautiful. It’s so innovative and youthful and open. The CEO has his desk out in the open with no doors or walls, freely inviting employees for conversation. There was even a basketball court, a place to work out, a gaming room and more. If I had to work in a corporate office, I’d want it to look just like there. We played a few games trying to guess customer types. I took a LOT of notes here. I loved it. And man was my tour guide hot.
Next we travel to Vantiv. Another company there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of. They work a lot of with credit card security, to sum it up in a nutshell. I took a lot of notes here also. They served us Panera! That was pretty fantastic. But here they talked a lot about themselves as women in high positions. We received some rad swag there: they gave us a souvenir cup with headphones and hand sanitizer. I again talk with a lot of the women before we leave. One I find so motivating, I mention she should consider being on TedTalks Women. All of them could, they were so moving.
On the ride home, I’m not sure if I thought of it myself or what, but when a fellow camper and I were talking to my project coach, we gave her, Gika, the nickname Gikachu. I thought that was a fantastic nickname if I do say so myself. She taught us that hi in her native language (which I think was Edo (?)) is kedu.
After a short break, we have the alumni panel (aka “Exploring Career Paths Panel”). Sadly, it was nearly the most boring thing I’ve ever done. But during team time afterwards, we actually got a lot done. And after that, it was dinner time. No official dinner was planned, so we had to walk into the college town to get food. A good portion of us choose Five Guys (a burger joint). And MAN alive were there hot guys EVERYWHERE around UC. I may have said hey to a few of them. Maybe. Before bed, we go to a little movie room UC has, and watched Pitch Perfect. Maria knew how to do the cups song, so she taught all of us how. We snacked on gummy snacks during, well, all the time. All I’ll say is never get in the way of a pack of girls and gummy snacks. Nuff said.
Wednesday, June 26th:
After breakfast, we have an early start with the “Social Impact, Business & Non-Profits” with Margaret Swallow. We learn a lot about coffee, and about people making a life for themselves from nothing. It got pretty emotional. We have project time, then another workshop with LaDreka KariKari (very cool lady) dubbed “College Apps”. Funny, with all of these workshops, it really feels like college and taking classes. Only the classes are different each day. Then we have another “College/Majors Panel” with a few alumni. Directly after is a “Diversity” workshop with Kim McGinnis (another very cool lady). During the break before dinner, Amber and I walk around on the 3rd floor again. We run into some guys at the end of the hallway. I shout at them, and quickly dodge their sights, thus framing Amber. Then when we run away, we somehow run into them at the other end of the hallway. Pretty freaky. When we’re leaving to go back to the group, we pass a room with the door open. A guy (apparently named John) laughs at the way I was laughing hysterically, and starts to tell us about his sister Daniel. All this conversation happens while we’re passing, so we just keep walking, laughing, and chatting before the heavy door behind us closes.
Thursday, June 27th:
The second to last day! Everyone’s pretty sad that camp is going by so fast. Breakfast is quickly proceeded by our meeting with Fifth Third Bank. We did this cool exercise…they gave us a bucket of Legos and told us to build a house. Everyone at each table starts grabbing to do things. Some groups denoted tasks, and some took turns with the ‘final’ product. With my group, since I had a group of static leaders, I decided to start working on my own piece and add it to theirs. My goal was to get wheels attached to mine contraption. It proved very difficult, but I eventually got it, and with seconds left, asked to take theirs and add it. It somehow worked, but was extremely delicate. They were treating this as if it were a project that a group of workers were assigned. They told us that we should have asked questions about it such as when is it due, instead of just going for it. So it was sort of enlightening. I do have to say though; our groups’ was the most fly of them all. Guess what time it is? Another student panel time! Woo. I wish they were more engaging. They are helpful, with their experiences of college and such. Then we had a workshop with Professor Elaine Hollensbe (egg drop lady) again. This time on Networking. Pretty interesting. Notes were taken. Then our next task was to assist United Way (a global volunteering company) with decorating and filling lunch bags to give to needy children. It was a blast! I took pictures of the scheme I had for my décor. Each bag was a new animal, sort of like a sock puppet. Everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves with the silly creations to be had. And everyone got a shirt! I love getting shirt souvenirs, hopefully one day I’d like to put most of my souvenir shirts together to make a quilt.
Then we had our last segment of team time. Our group hadn’t ever buckled down as much as we did then. We were quite productive, though I did feel slightly like a dictator. We had a lot to do in little time, and a few of the girls messed around. Maybe I was taking it too seriously, but I had high hopes for our idea. We had a few more things needing done, so we hoped that we’d have a sliver of time tomorrow before presentations to finalize things. At night, Priya, Amber, and I worked for a few hours on things to add, so we wouldn’t waste a second tomorrow.
Friday, June 28th:
Last day! The most stressful, yet it’ll be the most fun and exciting. Everyone’s packing up to have their stuff ready to grab and go. It’s the final reminder that this short week which felt like longer, that these few days to get to know a pack of girls almost as a family extension, will be gone in a few hours. My team executes our last touch ups, and begins to run through our presentation for the last time. We feel ready. The camp makes our way to a certain building on-campus that will be where the banquet occurs.
Katie arrives alone. My father has work so he stays at home. I tell her about the friends I’ve made, how camp’s been, and that our project will be the funniest (so we hope). The first group presents. Theirs is a nice informational presentation, as are the next two. A budget on one or two seems quite unreasonable. It’s my turn to go. My nerves are about to shake out of my body. I walk up to the front, keeping focused on Gika’s easy gaze. She gives us our last kind words before we go. The flash drive has a few issues starting up, which I actually am thankful for. It gave me a minute to collect myself. When it begins, I start my lines. I’m at the podium while the other girls are sitting in chairs aligned next to me. I ask who’s interested in college, who isn’t, and who doesn’t know. Certain girls raise their hands at their planned cues. I ask why each girl who said no and that they weren’t sure didn’t choose yes. At each problem a girl mentioned, I paused as if frozen in time, while one girl explain statistics (boo yah) on the likelihood of that being a problem. We added humor, as Amber had to explain that she was pregnant and told a silly story. Also Lauren said that her “GPO” (fake ignorance instead of GPA) was “like a 2 *maybe*. These occurrences are funny to us, but not too unrealistic. Girls really do get pregnant in high school, and many students really don’t know what they do in high school amounts to. After we present, the judges have to talk over who gets first and second. Everyone is on edge. I’m extremely proud of what we did. Even if we didn’t win, we knew we were the most creative and appealing. Though this isn’t just about that, it’s mostly about the probability and capability to go through with our projects and make them a reality. Mrs. KariKari goes up front to spill the places. She gives a small speech on how they were all fantastic, and it was very hard to choose. She says second place. They don’t seem incredibly happy, but still happy to place. The room falls completely silent in anticipation of first. A needle falling would have reverberated throughout the room. “First place…Team Vantiv!” My team jumped up in excitement. KariKari coaxed us to come up to the front to take our bag of prizes. For me, it wasn’t about the winnings (a lot of UC swag, which would probably cost a good chunk), but it was about knowing that our idea was the best.
That is how I ended my week becoming an emerging woman leader.
Saturday, June 29th:
Today I have my interview for INTERalliance Leadership Council (ILC) for the next year, and Sydney’s party.
The interview was impossible to find, and 5 minutes before my scheduled time, they moved it a mile down the street. When I got there, it were all kids that I knew and participated in ILC with the past year, yet they all acted as if I were a stranger with their “nice to meet you” shpeals. It wasn’t too bad, but the faux meeting made things incredibly awkward. Within 15 minutes I they let me know I’m done and can return home. Later I get an email saying I made it to the second stage of the process: an interview with Doug, arguably the easiest part that is if you can get a scheduled time. I watched the slots, waiting for more to open. Since I had work and camp and planned activities, I couldn’t make a lot of the available times for the first interview round, so I took one on the last day. By the time I received the approval email, all 16 slots were full, never to open or expand. This was the end of my seat on the council, at least for now.
When I got home, I had to quickly get ready in order to go over to Sydney’s. It started at noon, but I didn’t get home until roughly 2:00 PM. When we got there, their air was stagnant with awkward feelings. Sydney and I still haven’t gotten over fully our bout we had during the school year. We signed off on ever being friends, but at an Interact Club meeting at Carol’s, we decided to try to sort out our differences and eventually return to being friends. We swam and such, mostly Andrea and I messing around with Manon (Sydney’s little sister) and Sydney talking to Andrew (the only other party attender at the moment). Andrew got there around 2:00 PM and was the first guest to show. Andrea and I were the next to show between 3:30 and 4:00 PM. Tori (one of her closest friends now) made a cameo later on with some others I don’t recall, but none that stayed long.
Sunday, June 30th:
Planned to be a more lazy day, but Katie coaxed me to clean out her car for as my IOU for her picking me up from King’s Island. I swear I need to either drive or find a new source of transportation…
Monday, July 1st:
One, two, skip a few…Sunday and Monday! Well by the time this is first posted, I’ll have a lot of empty spaces for the rest of the days, but I figured it to be best to not get even more behind. First day back to work, and I chose to take a half day in the afternoon.