On the Grind in NYC….

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Fri, Dec 30, 2011

Academics, Off Campus, Projects

My MQP project experience was the most real life job experience I had particularly so because it so wholly encompassed everything that I want to do after graduation. It was like seeing myself 6 months from now. It start out as a project but very quickly got real, soon I was on the grind. Even though we had objectives in place to achieve our goals each day was like create your own adventure day. I had to be flexible yet firm, fast yet patient, and understanding yet bold. This was the tenuous balance that had to be maintained on a daily basis from 6:30am – 3:00pm (or later depending on what needed to get done).

Now you might be wondering why the odd hours. Well as I mentioned in my previous blog my project partner was across the seas in London England and thus to maximize the overlap in our time zones I would start my day early. Even though I am a morning person this still took some getting used to, but never fear coffee was always there.

Start the Day

Start the Day

This particular brew was from a FABULOUS coffee shop called Culture Espresso on 6th and 38th St. It is so good after having this, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are just cheap tasteless blah.  I’d typically get the Cafe Mocha because you need fancy drinks when you’ve got the real deal in front of you. Furthermore the baristas were so friendly and always ready to strike up a conversation while they made my life elixir. So if any of you find yourselves in NYC any time soon you should definitely go check out culture.

With such a fabulous brew to start off I was ready to go when I hit my desk. My day typically started with a phone call to my partner to catch each other up on the work I had done once she left the office in London and anything I missed while she was at work earlier in the morning. We had a truly global project taking WPI’s Global Perspectives to new heights.

One would think with the different time zones that things would get lost between us and our sponsor, who happened to be at the London office as well. On the contrary, we all worked together to keep each other in the loop we had almost daily conference calls with our boss and Aika and myself we in contact all the time, whether through the phone, e-mails or office communicator (which is the corporate version windows or yahoo messenger).  This way were able to minimize any humps along the way and the ones that did arise, we were able to nip those in the bud quickly.

Pick-me up

However sometimes we would need a break from it all and so we would take breaks, Aika going for tea and I would head across the street to the Bryant Park and get a cup of Max Brenner Italian Hot Chocolate. Let me tell you between this and the coffee I could have easily moved into one of these cups. Let me tell you this is now ordinary hot chocolate it was rich and creamy with hints of various spices that just spoke to my palate. It took me back to my childhood days in Jamaica when I would go visit my grandmother and she had a cocoa tree in the back yard. She would pick the pods and grind, beat and mold them using her special method to make into a cocoa chocolate ball that she would then boil to make hot cocoa. Just writing this makes me want some :-).

In any case, with my hot chocolate in hand I would head back to the office and once again hit the grind. Put this cycle on repeat for 7 weeks and you can tell not only had I been absorbed into the corporate culture but my bank account was being severely absolved of all money, lol. Oh well soon the project came to an end, we did our presentation which really wowed our boss and then turned everything over to him and his team for implementation. We have been keeping in touch just to see how things are progressing and I am pleased to say that they have already started implementing some of our recommendations and are looking into aspects of other. That, my fab readers, is the WPI way between the academic culture and the opportunities afforded to students, interesting  even amazing things happen. For the past 3 years, I have pushed myself to this point and even though I was happy with the experience I am looking for to my final semester to see what new things WPI is throwing my way. :-)

 

I hope you all are having a great holiday, spending time with the family, enjoying vacation and the like. Until the new year, Ciao!

 

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- who has written 24 posts on In Our Words….

I'm an Actuarial Math & Management Engineering Major from Kingston, Jamaica. Class 2012 On campus I play Women's Rugby, am a Brother in Alpha Phi Omega a community service fraternity, and am apart of the National Society of Black Engineers.

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