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Olivia FrenchToday was a fun day to be an intern at P&C! I got to do one of my favorite things in the world… arts and crafts. To get ready for a photo shoot later this week, I had to assemble a few toys and craft kits including a friendship bracelet maker and paper bobble heads. It certainly didn’t feel like work, but hey, there’s no such thing as a “typical day at the office” when you work somewhere like Scholastic.

This afternoon, I had the opportunity to attend a metrics meeting. I had no clue what a metrics meeting was when I walked into it, but I quickly figured out that it is a meeting to discuss how much attention the magazine is getting online, and what we can do to improve it. It sounds a little boring, but it was actually fascinating! I was amazed that not only could we see how many people visited the site, and how many total page views we’ve gotten in the past month, but we could also see how people are getting to our site, whether by search engines or links or what-have-you. We also got an overview of how the Facebook, twitter, Pinterest and other social media aspects of the magazine are affecting online popularity. In a world that uses technology more and more every day, I think that this is a very important thing for magazines to focus on, and I’m sure that I’ll attend more meetings like this in my future career, and put what I learned today to good use for many years to come!

 
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Step 5: Take a picture to send with the pitch

Visuals are compelling. Sometimes they are able to show something that words can’t. So, an important step in the pitching process was securing a picture to send with the pitch. If needed, I have access to the NASM photographers who can take pictures for me, but for the most part, I have taken this task on myself because it is an opportunity to learn more about the intern and their personality. And because I am able to keep the story I’m selling in mind when taking the pictures I can take a picture that goes well with the pitch I’ve written. When possible, I’ve tried to take action photos that go along with what the intern is doing at the museum, but sometimes that just isn’t possible, especially if the intern works in an office! When this is the case, the intern and I talk about where in the museum they’d like to have their picture taken—perhaps in an exhibit that relates to their work, or maybe even just their favorite exhibit in the museum. When taking this angle we’re usually able to get some cool shots that include some of the amazing artifacts we have on display.

Here are some examples of the pictures I’ve taken to send with the pitches:

7.17 Airplane 7.17 Desk 7.17 Directions

So, I’ve been running around the museum taking pictures of interns for the past 6 weeks and I’ve become known as the person to go to when a camera is needed. Because of this, I had the opportunity to help a fellow intern out by taking pictures of him conducting an interview with a museum volunteer for the Blue Crew News—the volunteer newsletter. It was fun to be able to help out an intern from another department.

I’ve really enjoyed being able to take pictures of the interns—although I’ve found that the museum has terrible lighting for pictures, because natural light is relied upon so heavily and pictures are frequently quite backlit. But I’ve learned to adapt and regardless of this, it has been a lot of fun completing this step of the project.

 
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Olivia FrenchToday was a VERY exciting day! I had the chance to show off my internship… To HPU! After I spent the morning working on the Gold Star Toy awards program and a few minor projects, I got to welcome Roger Clodfelter, and three videographers and photographers into the P&C office. It was great to show everyone what I’ve been up to all summer! I got to show them around the Scholastic building, and then I sat down for a short interview about how HPU has helped me with my career so far (which it definitely has). Stay tuned to the HPU website to see what I had to say :) Seeing Roger and everyone, and talking about HPU helped remind me how lucky I am, and how excited I am to go back to school in just one short month!

 
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7.16 Taylor

Enventys is the parent company that houses the magazine, and also houses several other resources for inventors. They are the manufacturers of the Gyro Bowl, the Emory Cat, Eggies, Mister Steamy, and many other recognizable “As Seen on TV” items. Their newest creation is Hot Huez, the temporary hair coloring roll-on chalk worn by Nicki Minaj at the VMA’s (compliments of the “swag bags.”) You can’t make this stuff up.

Behold- the June issue of Inventors Digest, and whose name is that on the editor’s page? It’s a little small and hard to make out, but I’ll tell you – it’s ME! Taylor Higgins- Editorial Director. I sound like a grown up. But in all seriousness, I am extremely honored to have this career-building experience, and I can’t wait to show my mom.

7.16 Editorial Page

My name and signature are listed on the editor’s page of this month’s issue.

This month’s issue is, by far, my favorite that we’ve put out since I began with the magazine. The cover is fresh and clean, the designs are new and energetic, and the stories are inventive and creative. It’s good to see the stale and re-done-to-death stories and designs give way to a breath of fresh life, which I think is symbolized by the new baby plant on the cover. I am very proud to have been a part of this June issue.

7.16 Cover

The June issue is out, and I personally love the cover! It’s clean and fresh, and just what the magazine needs!

But an editor’s job is never done. Yesterday was a full day of editing new articles for the upcoming August issue, and putting the finishing touches on the July issue. I am very excited that a lot of my work and material will be going into these upcoming issues. I am also being afforded the opportunity to create my own editorial for an upcoming issue – I’m talking a full three-page article. I am still thinking about what I will use this opportunity to capitalize on, but I am anxious to begin! As this will be my first BIG byline, I am little star struck still. (Stupid, I know, but I can’t help myself.)

I am responsible, here at the magazine, for composing the “Radar” section, which is a 3-4 page section where we monitor the market for new and innovative inventions and emerging products. I check out several websites, and select 12 items to write a brief bio on, just as a fun little eye pleaser. And who doesn’t want to know about cool new products? I ran across an awesome new innovation called the TurtleCell, a new iPhone case designed by engineering graduate students at the University of Michigan. The students polled over 500 people to find out what people wanted to solve the “earbud crisis” and came up with this ingeniously simple design – an iPhone case with built-in retractable earbuds. Kind of amazing! It is stupidly simple, with no real electronic engineering involved. The campaign is titled, “Untangle Your Life,” referring to the time my generation spends untangling our earbuds. The fundraising campaign is pretty inventive too – they are using a “crowdfunding” site, Kickstarter, to gain small amounts of money from everyday investors, like the 2008 Obama campaign. It looks like they have already started manufacturing for the iPhone 5 and iPod Touch 5, and are keeping up their Kickstarter site to get funding for other popular smartphones. You can even pre-order your TurtleCell for the iPhone 5 on Kickstarter. Check them out – I think I am sold on this product! http://www.turtlecell.com

The new TurtleCell phone case.

The new TurtleCell phone case.

It is nice to see projects through from start to finish, and to observe how they transform from writing, to editing, to design, and eventually all culminate into a finished product. But equally as intriguing is why there are SO MANY different memory cards for cameras these days – I can’t find a single port in this entire building to fit the design department’s camera memory card. Why do we even have it if we don’t have a card reader? On to solve this pending crisis.

 
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Brian Angevine Making Pancakes For Charitable Donations at Employees Breakfast

Brian Angevine Making Pancakes For Charitable Donations at Employees Breakfast

Well, I just finished my seventh week as an Operations Management intern here at Olympic Steel in Siler City, NC. The experience has been interesting, challenging, rewarding, and fun. I started this internship at the end of May, not knowing where this internship would take me, but Brian, the Operations Manager and my mentor, took me under his wing. He has been sharing his knowledge and showing me the skills which are essential to becoming a successful operations manager. Brian discussed how it will be difficult to become an operations manager straight out of college. I would have to start as a foreman and then move to a supervisor position before I would be able to become an operations manager. Other tips I received for getting on the fast track to the position is to be willing to work off-shifts and pursue additional certifications. That is what Brian said worked best for him, and he first became an operations manager at the age of 25. Brian’s advice has been invaluable in helping me map out my career path.

At Olympic Steel, I have been given many opportunities to work on different projects to get a feel of how the production warehouse works as a whole. Brian told me that I need to understand the functions of the warehouse and the employees in order to be a good operations manager. It was absolutely amazing to witness how Brian interacted with the employees on the floor. He knew how to motivate each employee to work harder. It taught me the lesson that not every employee is going to act the same way to a single action. I trained and worked on the floor in each zone to understand the functions, and also got to know the employees better. I’ve built a couple of great relationships with some of them. Many of the procedures in the warehouse are the results of Six Sigma training. Brian has encouraged me, and has shown me different websites I can go to, to get certified as part of Six Sigma. Brian says most production industries use Six Sigma. As a result of this I will be working to get a Six Sigma certification.

I have been given a lot of responsibility over the past 7 weeks. My weekly responsibilities are: Attending and participating in team lead meetings; working with production metrics and how to use them, as well as what they mean; vendor negotiations; cost reduction and attending Six Sigma meetings; completing return on investments (ROI), ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 audits; and employee confrontation and conflict resolution. The ROI I am currently working on is analyzing the delivery method and cost of the gases we use for welding. Should we have the gases piped in, instead of having gas cylinders around the warehouse? For this assignment I have to look at past pricing of gas and cost of gas from different vendors, as well as getting quotes for piping gas in the warehouse. The ISO 9001 audit is the part identification audit, which means I go around the warehouse and mark down which parts are properly identified and which areas aren’t identified well. The results are then emailed to Brian and Corporate. The ISO 14001 audit is the environmental audit. I make sure all the waste like paint and oil are labeled and disposed of properly.

Recently, I was selected to be on a team of six people who will be in charge of implementing the Olympic Steel Production System (OSPS). The team goal is to improve the quality of our items and attempt to eliminate the eight wastes in production. The eight wastes are: unused creativity/capability, defects, excess inventory, overproduction, waiting period, excess motion, excess movement of work-in-process, and over-processing. We have weekly meetings on this and talk about what we observed during the week. Right now we are in the observation phase of the project, where we are looking into the making of radiator guards, and observing the actions the part has to go through to completion. We make notes of each action that takes place, and during the weekly meeting we discuss what we think is being wasted. I am thoroughly enjoying this task so far!

Olympic Steel isn’t just a steel production plant; they also like to give back to the community. The whole month of July, Olympic Steel is donating all money received from various company fundraisers to the Make a Wish Foundation. For our first fundraiser, we made pancakes and sausage for any employees who made a donation, which was well received. Next week, we are holding a company event where employees can play corn hole and try their best at the “Dunk-A-Manager” dunk tank for donations. I am learning so much at Olympic Steel and enjoying every minute of it. I can’t wait for what lies in store for me over the next three weeks!