Pool splash fights, campfire sing-alongs, cabin scary story time, nature hikes, new friends… summer camp is one of my favorite memories from when I was in school. But imagine if your camp didn’t have a playground.
Indian Trails Camp, located 6 miles west of Grand Rapids, provides individuals with disabilities camping experiences all year long. But their playground consisted of a rocker, bike track and tire swing. That changed last week thanks to a seven year partnership between KaBOOM! and Amway.
It took the 300 volunteers (200 Amway volunteers/100 community volunteers) only six hours to build a playground with multiple swings, slides and climbing structures that are sensory-friendly and accessible for campers of all skill levels. (The timelapse video below condenses the build into 30 seconds.)
The Amway-KaBOOM! playground builds are special because the volunteers consists of employees from our manufacturing and logistic plants. They have limited opportunity to volunteer during the year because they have to keep production lines going. But for KaBOOM! builds, Amway shuts down the lines for the day so they can take off their safety glasses and pick up rakes, shovels and hammers to make difference in their community.
The Indian Trails Camp playground is the 15th that Amway and KaBOOM! have built in Michigan, the 11th in the Grand Rapids area and the first designed specifically for children with special needs. See a great a photo album on our Amway Facebook page, too!
If you drive past the Amway World Headquarters today, you will see 57 United States flags lining the front of campus to commemorate Flag Day.
On most other days, the poles display the state of Michigan flag and 56 international flags representing the many countries in which we do business. (We operate in more than 100 countries and territories, but local regulations allow us only 57 flagpoles. So we make sure to rotate them regularly.)
“People driving by Amway find it really special to see the street lined with American flags. They’ll honk their horns to show their patriotism,” said Kammie Van Oosten, team leader of Ada Facilities Buildings and Grounds.
Van Oosten’s team of about 10 employees raise, lower and change flags as needed all while adhering to strict protocol for displaying the American flag through storms and sunshine. In addition to Flag Day, the flags are switched out on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day or other appropriate occasions.
There is a strict protocol for the American flag, but the facilities team treats every flag with the same respect. “We have important rules we follow at all times,” Van Oosten said. “One is that the flags must never touch the ground. This can be very difficult in bad weather.”
Flag Day is a U.S. holiday, but you don’t have to be in the U.S. to honor your flag. Share a picture of your country’s flag using #AmwayFlagDay on Twitter or Instagram. We look forward to seeing them!
This four-day annual meeting offers attendees the opportunity to choose from more than 20 workshops and sessions exploring topics from The Affordable Care Act to how to find a new distributor base on college campuses.
Four thought leaders from Amway will be there sharing insights and data to contribute to the global direct selling conversation:
John Parker | Chief Sales Officer, Amway; and Chairman, Direct Selling Education Foundation | “Celebrate Vision”
Mike Edwards | Director, Global Services | “Bridging the Generation Gap”
Kim Drabik | Industry & Shareholder Relations Manager |“Direct Selling Goes to College”
Judy Jones | Consumer & Market Insights – Insights Lead | “The State of Direct Selling in the U.S.
Because everyone isn’t able to fly to Arizona for this great opportunity, don’t forget to follow DSA on twitter. The meeting hashtag is #DSAAnnual. Keep up with the conversation!
When I was younger, I always knew I was different from other children. No, it wasn’t because I was adopted from Korea, nor was it due to my excessive reading. Rather, it was because I was excellent at lying. All my other friends tried to lie and were caught in the process, but not I.
I knew the correct amount of eye contact, the earnest tone of voice and the innocent smile that were all part of the “perfect lie formula.” These lies weren’t your average that-shirt-looks-great-but-actually-doesn’t lie. I told my friends of exotic trips I took to England and Ecuador. I shared stories about how my father was a secret FBI agent and worked undercover. I even told my first grade teacher that I never had a sandwich and convinced her that I truly thought it was a witch made out of sand.
However, I soon realized that nobody likes a liar. It took losing my best friend, frustrating my favorite teacher and annoying my family to their wits’ end to make me change my ways. In fifth grade, I took charge of my life and started telling the truth: an act that has changed my life forever.
Thus, when I arrived to Grand Valley State University in the fall of 2010, I was fascinated to learn there was a career path I could take that you actually get paid for telling the truth: Public Relations.
So here I am three years later, a public relations intern in the Amway Corporate PR department tasked with sharing an intern’s view of Amway. Throughout the summer: I will introduce you to interns from various departments, I’ll bring you to events and activities and together we’ll explore behind the scenes of the largest and most successful direct selling company in the world.
My name is Austin; I am from Grand Haven; I enjoy waterskiing, pie eating and afternoon naps; and I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Now president of the Nutrilite Health Institute, Dr. Sam has eaten Nutrilite supplements every day since childhood. “I came to Nutrilite by birth,” he says, “but I have embraced it as my own lifelong passion.”
Growing up, he watched his father persevere against multiple obstacles, blazing his own trail as an entrepreneur to introduce the multivitamin/multimineral and other nutrient-rich food supplements. Today, Nutrilite is a multi-billion dollar brand sold all over the world.
Dr. Sam was determined to follow in his father’s footsteps. Carl was proud of his son, and thrilled that he wanted to preserve the Nutrilite legacy.
It’s been more than a decade since Amway launched the Executive Speaker Series, where interns can hear and learn from our most senior leaders about what it’s like to work here.
The series is unquestionably the highlight of our summer internship at World Headquarters.
Many of us are attracted to Amway because it’s a great place to work and has a strong global presence. But we also have this incredible access to Amway’s top leaders.
Recently, 100 interns gathered to meet the first of this series’ seven presenters: Amway President Doug DeVos. “We all have special gifts to contribute,” said Doug. “But success is not simple. It’s hard work.”
Not too many interns can say they met the president of their organization. But now we can say we did. Interns left the event feeling inspired and ready to face their internship head-on.
How can we make the most of our Amway internship – known here as the 12-week interview?
The Talent Acquisitionteam hosted a panel of past interns who are now full-time Amway employees to welcome the 2012 internship class to Amway World Headquarters. They answered our questions, shared their Amway stories and offered us words of wisdom.
Three common themes emerged:
A friendly, encouraging culture matters. The culture, which drew interns to Amway in the first place, was so engaging that it brought them back for full-time jobs – even after “wow” experiences like an internship at Walt Disney World.
Actions speak louder than words. People who truly live the company’s values create a welcoming workplace.
Connect with other interns and employees. Many interns are hired for positions – but not necessarily in the same area. Having connections with management outside of their department played a large role in being offered those full-time positions.
Thanks to our panel, we left confident and inspired, ready to get the most out of our Amway experience.
Nearly 100 eager interns will be on-site with us for the summer, and started arriving earlier this month.
The interns will work in 16 different internal divisions and 70 departments, in both the Amway World Headquarters and the Nutrilite facility in Buena Park, California. These internal divisions range from supply chain management to marketing to human resources. They come from 33 different colleges and represent 58 majors.
While we routinely hire interns every summer, our approach was slightly different this time around. Interns were hired based on projected future positions within departments, to help create a pipeline for talent, geared toward converting interns into full-time employees.
I’m one of those interns and will be sharing my experiences – as well as those of other Amway interns – with you here at The Amway Insider.
When deciding where to complete my internship, I wanted a company that listened to me, recognized my strengths, and understood my desire to work internationally. I was prepared for all of the horrible things I had heard about graduate level internships such as long hours, mysterious projects, impersonal relationships, impossible deadlines and a fiercely competitive pool of interns.
I was wrong – about Amway, about the people, and about the job.
My projects related to the exact skills I was learning in the classroom and allowed me to work on projects with colleagues from around the world. I have led an international team with members from four continents to complete a project that will have a global impact, even after I am gone.
The company also strives to provide a great balance between work and personal life. Throughout the summer I was able to be challenged professionally, as well as find time to take a canoeing trip, hone my photography skills, and play softball with other interns.
Now, 12 weeks later, I feel much more prepared to finish school, start my career, and be a part of the workforce.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on the Interns Expose Amway blog.
Jack Gray is an intern in the Business Innovations department.
This has become quite the fashionable term in the past few years with companies like Apple and Google launching products and services that are effectively blowing our minds (currently checking Google+ on my iPhone 4). These products or processes can sometimes be so groundbreaking, that as an intern I sometimes sit back and wonder how I could possibly be that innovative. After some observations with my team, I was able to come up with five things that I use to think big.
Speak your mind
Keep an O P E N mind
Spark thoughts in team-mates for overall success
Think > Listen > Contribute
Know what they mean
People don’t always express exactly what they mean
Ask deeper questions around experiences to get the truth
Position the conversation to get to the root of the problem
Build some empathy
View the world though the other person’s eyes
Make an effort to really understand their position
Respect their position and learn from it
Use tactics like “walk-a-mile” and “fly-on-the-wall” in combination with contextual inquiries
Make it visual
Experiment with sticky-notes
Write down thoughts (good & bad) throughout the day
Post thoughts on the wall to start discussion
Organize thoughts into common themes
Information gathered on computers is tough to digest
Open visuals encourage group participation and discussion
Its all about finding the right “head-space”
Sit on the ground
Listen to music
Skateboard around the office
Play with toys
Don’t let convention tell you how to work best
Five or ten minutes every few hours of a fun mental break can really increase your overall productivity
So take these tips and make your job something more. If anybody gives you grief about these things, just tell them that you are “innovating” and that they should try it sometime! It might just bring a smile to their face…
Disclaimer: The authors of these blogs are Amway employees. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily reviewed in advance by anyone but the individual author. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the view of Amway or any other person or company.