Work has been pretty excellent lately. I've been more in my element than ever before, as work has been less data collection and more writing about said data this past week and a half, and we all know that I enjoy writing (and am pretty decent at it). I've been interviewing the Sales Directors about their largest customers, and had a wonderful conversation today with Ludmila, the SD of Russia+CIS. We discussed some of our business in that part of the world, as well as the governments and policies in the CIS in general. Certainly the most interesting conversation I've had all summer, really was great.
This past weekend was pretty good. Friday night was the company beach party, which was fun. There was a beach volleyball tournament (our team went 1-5, I did pretty badly, having never played beach volleyball. Henning was an absolute juggernaut, though, which was slightly surprising, as he's probably not any taller than like 5'5", but he really was by a wide margin the best player on our team). Afterwards we watched the World Cup matches (we being 50 or so employees) at a beach bar with a huge buffet and open bar. I had a fair few pints with the English boys from the office, and it was a late night which was not my finest performance. Saturday morning I woke up around 8:30 somehow, despite not getting home until about 2:45. I biked about 15-20km through Wassenaar before going into "town". This was actually really cool. A brief aside: businesses here in Holland have inconvenient hours. They close at like 5:00pm, and open at like 9:00am, which means that every time I go into "town" (i.e. after I get off work), everything is closed except for like 2-3 restaurants that I eat at when I go there. However on Saturday morning, it was absolutely jam-packed and bustling, which was really, really cool to see. Bought a few post cards of Scheveningen Beach from a store in town, bought SuperFreakonomics and read a bit of that Saturday, and just sort of had a lazy afternoon of World Cup watching. Sunday was another day of biking, reading, getting a bit of sun, and watching the World Cup.
Monday was good at work. Hunter returned from the States, which was excellent as I've now got another person about my age to hang out with. I continued to do some data collection and start the writing. Tuesday and Wednesday have been more of the same.
Looking likely that I go to Colombia, I'll probably book that airfare tonight or tomorrow afternoon. I've decided on my 4 goals for next school year, in order of increasing difficulty:
1) Win either the Outstanding Senior in International Business or the International Business Service Award
2) Get a 4.0 GPA while taking 22 credit hours (7 classes) fall semester
3) Participate in the Student Export Project. Explanation on export project: basically a midwestern company wants to expand abroad. The ISU College of Business selects about 4-6 COB students to do a market analysis for the market the company wants to expand in to. These students do this the entire spring semester. After the end of the semester, the students travel to whichever country the company wants to expand into for about 4-5 weeks (sometimes as many as like 7 weeks). This year they sent some students to Germany and another group to Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. The internship I'm doing here in Holland will be excellent practice for this project.
4) Establish a College of Business study abroad program in Istanbul, Turkey, hopefully with the help of Dr. Aysen Bakir. I brought this up to Dr. Bakir about a year ago and she expressed modest interest, so I'll be looking forward to hearing back from her about this, but to my knowledge no student has ever done this before, so we'll see how this works out. It would be a wonderful legacy to leave at the ISU COB, so we shall see. Again, lofty is this.
Other than that, Mr. Iain McMahon is coming to Amsterdam this weekend, so that'll be fun. Next weekend Hunter may go to Munich, though that's not looking promising, but if he does I'll come along. I'll probably post something if I end up buying tickets to Bogota, as that's sort of a major-ish thing. Hopefully I'll be able to take off Friday a few weeks from now and go visit Henna Helsinki and The Village Man in Finland, as the Old AlanKey is coming here from Hong Kong to see them then tour Europe for a bit, so meeting them would be excellent.
More to come as I keep hanging around the Netherlands...