BLOG ARCHIVE FOR: July, 2010

Jul.30
2010

Helping in our own backyard

At our One by One blog, you learn about Amway’s relief efforts all around the world.  Where there’s a need, our affiliates step in and lend a hand by providing volunteers or sending products or funds to help people affected by all sorts of disasters.

But sometimes the help is needed in our own backyard.  And it isn’t people that need support.  

Tomorrow we’re sending more than 1,000 bottles of  our Dish Drops and L.O.C. products to aid in efforts to clean birds and other wildlife affected by this week’s oil spill in the Kalamazoo River.  

You can read more about this and Gulf Coast spill relief efforts at the One by One blog.

Jul.30
2010

Alive and kicking

“Don’t be fooled into thinking that direct sales are a thing of the past,” begins a Fortune article online today. “Amway is not only still alive and well, it’s actually growing, even as many retailers continue to struggle.”

The story  showcases how Amway has not just survived but thrived, highlighting  our success in China and how our business model and products – like best-selling Nutrilite protein powder –  have fueled our growth in that market.

As the article concludes, “In the modern era of direct-selling, protein powder may be the new lipstick.”

We’re alive all right.  Alive and kicking.

Jul.30
2010

From the Cemex Way to the American Way

Editor’s Note:  This post was originally published on the Interns Expose Amway blog.

My internship has been the best thing that has ever happened to me, it has been a dream come true in every sense. From my project, to the people I have had the chance to interact with in the company. Fortunately, I have been extremely busy, but a busy that I really enjoy!

The reason why I love Amway, is because it is so different from my former job in the Cemex Way –which I used to think was the best job on Earth!-. But it falls really short when I think of how cool the purpose of my job is and the company culture is. Imagine sharing cookies and refreshments with your whole division including the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Candace Matthews and be the first topic in the meeting to be formally addressed. At the start of the meeting the marketing interns were welcomed one by one to the company. That is how important interns are at Amway. The environment in here is so cool that employees’ share all their personal and professional accomplishments which include: getting married, having babies, being promoted, launching a product, completing a marathon, receiving recognitions from inside or outside of the business, and retiring from the company after 30+ years of service. I cannot imagine how difficult it is for people to leave the company if I am already suffering from thinking of the end of my summer and it has only been seven weeks. It would be really cool if I could stay forever!!!

Apart from participating in the divisions’ meetings, interns participate in the professional series where the undergrad and masters degree interns obtain career advice from different managers, among them we had the chance to hear Amway’s President Doug DeVos speak.

In addition, my fellow masters’ degree intern class and I also get the chance to interact more intimately with C-level executives, like Jim Payne (Amway’s Executive Director) to learn more about the company direction.  As part of his presentation we were requested to deliver him an email with suggestions on how to improve the business from what we have experienced in our areas. Mine appeared to be successful; I got an email back from him telling me that he had really liked my suggestions and that he wanted to share my insights with other executives. Isn’t that amazing?

Also, I participated with my department on the employee appreciation day, a lunch when top management serves food to their fellow employees. Besides, my department’s director, some managers in my area and I attended two fellow brand managers Latin dance class in the fitness center. These have been some highlights of my internship, since management in here is so approachable and down to earth.

Moreover, HR organizes a reverse career fair, which is a great opportunity to know more employees in different areas, touch base with the members of my cross functional team, meet the interns from California and learn more about all the interns’ projects. Alicia did a great job organizing the event and everybody put a tremendous effort on the materials that they prepared for the presentations. I feel very proud of belonging to such an amazing intern class!

But let me tell you more cool things about my summer, my internship project consists on the responsibility to create the business case and the business brief to seek approval for the introduction of a new product line in one market.

Preparing the business case entails leading a cross functional team to state the strategic and financial prospects for the company should the product launch in the market, in addition to that I am the brand’s gatekeeper for the project. Also, as part of the process it is important to communicate the potential opportunities across different managerial and operational networks to gain commitment, support and alignment until the project is finally approved. Upon approval, I lead the team to prepare a detailed launch plan where we include the future activities. This is the fun marketing side that everybody knows about where we work with creative to prepare commercials, teasers, samples, and gifts.

This phase also requires for us to start planning for the next best thing that will be used in the market to regain momentum once the product novelty to the consumers is gone.

As part of those efforts, I get to try a lot of make-up, skincare and hair care products and I had the chance to participate in an immersion and an ideation session where we conducted ethnographies (that is the fancy word for watched consumers use products in the category) and observed trends to develop the next best thing.

Finally, since most of my team is based in New York I get to spend time in there, which is always a lot of fun. It is an opportunity for me to learn a lot about our business, our products, and the trends. The best is that as part of my internship I spent 4th of July in New York City. It was an amazing experience for me, because I arrived to the US last fall, which means this was my very first time celebrating Independence Day. It is so different from our independence celebration, that I cannot express how much I loved the fireworks. This has been a great introduction to the American Way!!!

What cool things have you done in your summer?

Jul.29
2010

Dwight Howard hoops it up in China and Taiwan

Orlando Magic all-star center Dwight Howard is keeping busy during the NBA off-season. He’s been touring China and Taiwan in support of the Amway Nutrilite Junior NBA challenge and he’s making a big impact with kids and fans along the way.

The Junior NBA Challenge is a developmental program for seven to 12 year olds in China and Taiwan. Young players representing the cities of Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei, Taiwan will compete against each other in tournaments in Beijing and Taipei later in the summer. The winning team travels to Los Angeles for next year’s NBA All-Star game.

Last week in China, Howard gave basketball clinics to players in Beijing and Shanghai. And he participated in a charity game that donated RMB 150,000 (US$22,183.00) to disabled children.

During May in Taiwan, 3000 players competed against each other to be chosen to take part in this week’s City Camp with Dwight Howard, the second stage of the challenge.

When he arrived in Taiwan on Monday Howard was greeted by the mayor of Taipei and given pineapple cakes that he ate on the spot, much to the delight of all the kids in the crowd. His message to aspiring players? Play hard on the court and work hard in school. A good recipe for success.

Jul.28
2010

Presidential honors

On the One by One blog today Jesse Hertstein writes about Leticia Rodriguez, a 7 year-old student at the Humberto Ribeiro School in Ubajara, Ceara, Brazil. Amway’s Nutrilite farm in Brazil sponsors a permaculture project at the school, where over 400 students have benefitted from the supplemental coursework, including Leticia.

And on June 26, Rodriguez had the honor of meeting Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva who presented an award to her for the best poster design promoting education in Brazil.

You can read more on Jesse’s blog. And congratulations, Leticia!

Jul.28
2010

On the mall

One of the rites of summer in Grand Rapids is the WLAV Blues on the Mall concert series.

Every Wednesday from mid June to mid August, thousands converge on Rosa Parks Circle to hear top blues acts perform live.  It’s great music and even better people-watching, as the concerts draw a crowd as diverse and eclectic as the music itself.

Amway’s down there as well.  We’re a sponsor of Blues on the Mall and tonight you’ll find us downtown.  Stop by our booth and say hello.  You can play a game and pick up product samples.

On August 11, for the Blues season finale featuring the legendary John Lee Hooker, Jr.,  we’ll even have our Artistry and Nutrilite mobile brand experiences down on the mall.  You can stop by for Artistry skin care advice and a bit of pampering or check out why Nutrilite is the world’s leading vitamin and supplement brand.

And, of course, enjoy the show!

Jul.27
2010

Exposing Amway

Who better to expose what really happens at Amway than  interns spending their summer here?

That’s the thinking behind the Interns Expose Amway blog, which launched in 2009 at our North American portal and today moves to our global blog platform with a whole new look. 

It’s a fitting change because while the blog was started by the North American PR team and interns, today Interns Expose Amway reflects the experiences of interns from all around the world of Amway.

Our Amway Corporate Communications intern, Leah Zuber, has been curating the blog this summer as part of her responsibilities.  She’s recruited  interns from different Amway divisions to share their stories.

See and hear what they have to say – and expose!

Jul.27
2010

Oh, hi there.

Editor’s Note:  This post was originally published on the Interns Expose Amway blog.

Welcome to the newly designed Interns Expose Amway blog. What do you think of our new place? Nice, huh?

You may have noticed that the blog has moved from the Opportunity Zone to a new global blogging platform where we join the Amway Insider and the One by One blogs. Now our stories will reach people globally.

You’ll also see that with the move, we’ve done a little redecorating. In addition to the Contact Us and Home pages, the About Us page lists bios of intern writers who frequently contribute to the blog. Also, when you click on the photo at the top it’ll take you to a page where you can watch the video series.

We’re happy to provide you with a new, modernized version of the blog and hope you continue to read about our adventures and explorations at Amway.

Jul.26
2010

Comforting flood victims

On June 21, more than 150,000 people in Fuzhou, Jiangxi, China were displaced when the Fu River burst its banks and flooded the community.

The next day, 30 Amway China volunteers from Jiangxi Province rushed to the scene.  They were the first corporate volunteer team to arrive with help and support. They immediately got busy helping settle displaced victims, distributing relief materials, and assisting with clean-up. By July 2, more than 80 volunteers had provided over 4,000 hours of service.

Zhang Huizhong, the 16-year-old daughter of one of the volunteers, found a special way to comfort the flood victims. An accomplished pianist, she gave a wonderful performance for the villagers. The music touched people and helped release their stress, warming their hearts during an unfortunate time.

Jul.23
2010

Reverse Career Fair 2010: Planner’s Edition

Editor’s Note:  This post was originally published on the Interns Expose Amway blog.

 Amway intern Alicia Dembinski organized and participated in this year’s Reverse Career Fair, an event where interns show off their internship projects, and connect and meet upper management from different areas in the company. Below, Alicia shares her experience in organizing the event.

As an intern in the Special Events department, the Reverse Career Fair was my summer “project” so to speak. A lot of planning and prep went into making it a success!

When I first started my internship at Amway in June, I was immediately thrown into events, assisting planners with on-site execution – which I loved! In this field, it’s all about experience. While I found the execution of events beneficial, I hadn’t really gotten any exposure to all of the planning and prep work that happens before execution. My mentor thought it would be a great idea for me to get involved with some of the intern events, so we met with HR and I hopped on board the Reverse Career Fair project.

As a Hospitality Management major at Grand Valley State University and an active member of my campus programming board, I had a pretty good idea about organizing and executing events. However, I was not prepared for the amount of details that the Reverse Career Fair would entail!

Finding a way to get organized was a must; in fact, my mentor subtly hinted so during a one on one meeting as I was rifling through sheets and sheets of notes to discuss how plans were going. Needles to say, I got the hint and was honestly feeling a little frustrated with my lack of organization. At our next meeting, I proudly presented a tabbed binder and started to feel like I was on the right track.

One of the first elements I focused on was the layout of the event. Last year, HR utilized a circular arrangement of tables in the World Headquarters Auditorium, including tables on the mezzanine level. The refreshments were housed in the side room near the kitchen and each session lasted two and a half hours. Based on feedback, the refreshments were hardly touched due to their “hidden” location, the traffic flow of the room was not ideal, and the sessions seemed to last too long.

I could go on and on about what actually went into planning this event, but to keep this short, here’s a list of all the elements instead:

  • Attendees
  • Room set up
  • Survey (info. for name badges, tent cards, attendance numbers, electrical needs, dietary restrictions)
  • Communication pieces to Nutrilite and Ada interns
  • Agenda
  • Travel, lodging, and transportation for Nutrilite
  • Refreshments at the event
  • Printed pieces: Name badges, tent cards, layout handouts
  • Check-in materials
  • Dinner arrangements
  • PowerPoint slide show (info. pulled from intern profiles on SharePoint)
  • Budget

It’s crazy to think about how much prep work really does go into an event, and when the event day finally arrives, it’s like putting on a show! I felt pretty confident for the Reverse Career Fair but rule of thumb in the event world: nothing ever goes according to plan. This is why thinking ahead and risk management are also key elements in the field.

Overall, the event went very smoothly and everyone who participated seemed to find it very beneficial. It was such a great experience to plan and execute a large event from start to finish! I will be presenting this event to my department in a few weeks to discuss challenges, lessons learned, etc.

Thank you to all who participated and I hope you enjoyed the “show”! J