Hello from Memphis, TN! I have been in Memphis for about a month now working at the headquarters of International Paper as an intern. International Paper, or IP, is a global company that specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of paper and packaging products that I am fortunate to learn from for the next 7 weeks. Like I mentioned I am working at the headquarters for IP, which consists of 3 buildings collectively known as “The Towers”. It is the most formal of the 3 facilities IP has in Memphis because it is where the CEO, CIO, CFO, CTO, etc. all work. I work in Tower 1 on the 10th floor and the view is great! In the center of the three towers is a gorgeous courtyard that has benches and waterfalls, and the most beautiful flowers in bloom. It is such a peaceful place to get to enjoy on breaks, but I need to do a better job taking advantage of its serenity.
The team I was put on for my internship is the Converting Papers & Pulp Business IT Group that is a part of the higher level Papers IT group. I have 7 other team members, which include 1 in Krakow, Poland, 1 in Ohio, 1 in Atlanta, and 4 in Memphis. During my first week was our bi-annual team meeting that lasted for 3 days in Memphis. I got to meet my entire group and get updates on all of their projects plus some other ones that affect our team. We even got to go on two tours of IP facilities that I like to refer to as “field trips”. We first got to visit the Customer Commitment Center, which is where they design and test packages for IP and their customers. We learned about the machines they use to test the cardboard and the boxes, and see just how intricate it can be to produce a box. The next day we visited the Recycling Center where they sort and bundle the recycled items and we learned about the process of how it is done. It was incredible to see such a large facility and all the different things they could recycle. Did you know that all paper products made by IP are made with at least something recycled? It was so much fun and such a learning experience to meet my team in person and get to know each other over these 3 days. I even got some Polish chocolate and soap made from goat’s milk that is made by my team member in Ohio.
In my time at IP I have already attended multiple meetings, started learning the structure of the company and how it runs, piloted a video-telephone project, worked copiously with SharePoint, compiled our teams ideas to figure out future projects, created feedback forms in SharePoint, Word, and Excel for our customer service agents to analyze, helped other business areas of the company get updated computers, gathered presentations from our team meeting the first week and uploaded them to our SharePoint site, and even got a tour of the data center, which is 16,000 square feet. I also got to go to a baseball game with our entire group one day for a team building event. Oh, and did I mention the barbecue is AWESOME here!! Some of my other projects I am working on consist of coming up with how to set up a tip of the day/week for IP-Memphis, helping the customer service agents get set up with alerts for their customers’ orders through SharePoint, creating a PowerPoint presentation for the new features of our OrderIP® site, completing the methodology process for a tablet, digital pen, and dictation software for voicemail, and helping with the budget planning process for our part of the company. My boss has weekly meetings with me to see how these projects are coming along and to see what else I can be a part of in my time here at IP. I’m having a great experience so far with IP and exploring Memphis, and I expect it to be nothing short of that during the rest of my time here.