July 18, 2007

Neeley Interns in Germany Keep in Touch with Blogs

"You are probably wondering how two girls who go to school in Texas ended up working at igus® in Germany."

So began Neeley students Sharon Galindo and Lilly Howell on their blog from their summer internships in Cologne, Germany.

"We were able to have this experience because of the internship program set up at TCU and its relationships with companies like igus®." They continued on their blog. "We only knew a few things about the company prior to flying to Cologne. We had looked at what they sell and saw that they produced plastic parts like energy chains and cables called Chainflex®. They also make plastic bearings called iglidur®, igubal® and Drylin®. We had no idea what any of these products really
did but we were excited to go and learn more about each one."

Jane Mackay, director of the E-Business program, facilitated the internships, which are required for E-Business majors. The CEO of the company, Frank Blase, graduated from Neeley and currently serves on the International Board of Visitors.

During their work abroad, Neeley's Business in Europe program visited them at igus ®.

"We joined them for a presentation on igus®' business, Energy Chains, Chainflex® cables and plastic bearings. This was very informative for us as we learned more about the products that igus® makes and how they are applicable to real life situations. We got to go on a tour of the igus® factory. It was really cool to see the machines and the people that make these parts. The tour really made us feel like we were working for a good company that makes superior products. It was also great to show some classmates where we were working for the summer and what a great place igus® is."

Lilly and Sharon also participated in igus®' beach volleyball tournament. They learned how to drive a standard and that cars are much smaller in Europe. They discovered that hardly anyone has a microwave oven.

"Moving to a new city is always an adventure. You have to learn where the market is, the easiest way to work and how to get around. You also try to make new friends, find new 'favorite' restaurants, and go to the local hotspots. Coming to Cologne has been somewhat of a culture shock but we have learned a lot from the cultural differences we have encountered."

Though the two began working together, they were moved to separate departments after a few weeks. Sharon moved into the exports department, where she could put her ability to speak three languages to work.

"Since we are not working in the same department, we have taken on completely different projects. We are using different skill sets in order to complete our work here at igus®. This lets us talk about what we are doing at work together and we can learn from each other's varying tasks. It also gives us a new perspective on all of the areas of a company that are needed to make it successful."

Lilly and Sharon also traveled extensively around Europe on their weekends off, as well as discovering sites and sounds around Cologne.

To read their entire blog, go to http://www.igus.de/wpck/default.aspx?PageNr=3225&CL=de-de .


Elaine Cole
Public Relations Manager
Neeley School of Business at TCU