Friday, December 10, 2010

Musings on the Future

This is a bit of a shorter blog post, my mind has been wandering a bit lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about my future, and where I go from here. I intend to move back to Iowa City very soon, and that’s been at the forefront of my mind. For the past four years, I’ve called Iowa City home. It’s a nice place and the integration of the college campus with the city itself is one of my favorite features. As I prepare to move back, however, I feel as if I may have outgrown the city.

The feel of the city has changed a bit, as my outlook on life has changed with age. The 21 law would have been something I would have fought against tooth and nail. Now, frankly, I simply don’t care. If younger people can be in the bars, cool. If not, meh. I likely won’t be there myself, so it simply doesn’t matter to me. I no longer care about going out on weekends and living the life of the typical undergrad. I don’t care about how many people I know, late nights, and many other things that used to be the typical features of my life. I feel that part of that has to do with the fact that I am mentally preparing for professional school, and part of that is living in Des Moines, working in a professional setting.

As I’m submitting my applications for law school, I look at the list of potential places I might be living and it honestly freaks me out a bit. Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chapel Hill… All a good distance away (except Chicago, but the city is bigger than any place I’ve ever lived). Even through all of that, however, I can honestly say that I cannot wait to start my career as a true professional. To have my own place, my own money, and the responsibilities that come with it are exciting and frankly a bit scary. I’m anxious and apprehensive about moving on, but I can’t wait. Big things are ahead, and I can only hope I’m up to the challenge.

~Justin H.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's been real, and its been fun...

...and of course, it's been really fun. Oh! And I got my picture loaded from my last post!
It feels so strange and sad to be writing my last blog post and knowing tomorrow we have our last class together. (And yikes! My group is presenting on alternative energy tomorrow! - I'm the 'good' kind of nervous... I think)

Well, I guess I'm taking this last blog post to talk about how much I love(d) my internship. I sincerely learned a lot, met a lot of great co-workers had some fun along the way. At times I'm really shocked at the amount of business/office/marketing knowledge I learned throughout the semester. I also didn't realize my internship was going to get me more addicted to what we in my office call 'social media'. Suddenly I find myself with twitter and foursquare accounts in conjuction to my facebook account...

I think my internship also gave me confidence to continue to learning to further professional opportunities. If I would have resisted trying new projects or not being proactive in asking questions I probably wouldn't have gotten the most out of my time in Des Moines.

I'm am very nervous to see what's in store for me next. I'm still torn between Des Moines and Iowa City (went to Indianapolis weekend... liked that place too...) and while I haven't found a job yet I've been applying for many in both cities so I am hopeful. As long as I don't move back in with Mom and Dad, I think I'll be okay!
Great job this semester everyone! It was fun getting to know everyone! Good luck in the future!!
Kaitlin D

Nearing the End


With a little over a month left in my internship, yes I said a month and I’m not too happy about it, I’m eager to finish the job and return to school. I have learned more than I ever imagined coming in and appreciate everything my co-workers have done for me. They have helped me feel more confident about my abilities and actually got me excited to go back and finish school. I’m ready to get back into my finance and econ courses and see how much progress I have made.

The Des Moines experience has been great but the Iowa City lifestyle and being with all my friends again has got me more than ready to get back into a “normal” routine. I’m glad I got the chance to have this test run of a full-time finance position because it made me realize how easy I have it being a college student. I’m not a big fan of getting home at 6 am and going to bed at 10 so I’m able to survive the next day without falling asleep on my keyboard. I’m looking forward to staying up to 2 am for no reason at all and sleeping until my body wakes itself up, sounds amazing.

My two supervisors are only a few years out of school and they have given me more advice about life after college than I even knew to ask for. Even though they are both ISU alumni they did actually learn something at that school and both ended up with positions at a respectable company like Aviva. I am thankful that I have these guys to reach out to when I am faced with a tough decision or deciding which company to apply to.

But like Tamra mentioned in her post I am also not going to rush my last year at the University. I understand that I’m going to have to start looking into full-time positions in the near future and this experience has opened my eyes to the importance of making the right decisions and starting off on the right path.

Thoughts on Iowa Basketball

It’s a tough time to be a Hawkeye these days. We’ve stumbled into a bad patch of mediocrity in most sports, and there seems to be everywhere you look, whether it’s recent with DJK’s drug bust, the Satterfield/Everson trial from a few years ago, Kirk Ferentz charging $540,142.86 per victory this season, or men’s basketball recovering from one of the lowest points in program history (henceforth referred to as the Lickliter Days). The decline of the basketball program has meant the most to me personally. Football is entertaining, but it’s difficult to watch 3.5 hours of the same thing over and over again. There comes a certain point in watching Iowa football where you can predict the plays that are going to be called (and frankly, even the results sometimes). When that time comes, it’s time to change the channel.

Basketball has always held more magic for me. The spontaneity, creativity, and flow of the sport have always appealed to me aesthetically more-so than football. College basketball and the NBA are my favorite domestic sports leagues, with the NFL and college football off in the distance. As much as I love being a Hawkeye, however, college basketball has been ruined in Iowa City for me as of late.

More than anything else, I often wonder where the basketball program would be right now if not for those Lickliter teams. Alford had the program heading in a decent direction, but it was clear he had worn out his welcome in town. The Sweet Shootin’ Hoosier was never really a Hawkeye, he simply coached

them. When Lickliter came to town, it’s as if the program imploded. Player transfers, internal disputes, poor recruiting, player transfers, decreased attendance, lack of enthusiasm, PLAYER TRANSFERS; all these things combined to lead to an awful product on the court.

Much in the same way as Alford, Lickliter was never truly a favorite of our beloved Hawkeye faithful. He was a necessary stopover in the arc of Iowa Basketball; a switch from the jerk holier-than-thou image Alford brought to Iowa. He knew his place in that basketball was a second-fiddle to the football team; however, try as he might (and sometimes, it legitimately looked like he was not trying on the sideline), he never really found his groove with the team. Players left, losses mounted, the team looked listless and, frankly, seemed to take the coach’s lead in not caring about results. The “wear-down-the-shot-clock-before-jacking-up-a-long-contested-3” offense that Lickliter espoused, somehow, always seemed destined to fail in the Big Ten.

Enter McCaffery. His style of coaching (we’re going to run you up and down the floor and pressure you every chance we get) seems to be getting results. Left with talent that many would consider on par with the Purdue or Michigan State JV squad (which might even be pushing it), McCaffery has the Hawks at 5-4 and with their first winning streak in far too long. More than that, the team has looked competitive against squads the Lickliter teams would have rolled over and died against. White Magic, as he was known in his playing days, seems to have instilled some of his competitive fire into his players.

The new players under McCaffery have shown that they could become strong Big Ten performers in the future. Melsahn Basabe is a beast of a freshman on the boards; in conjunction with Jarryd Cole they form a strong, formidable (if short) starting frontcourt. You get the sense that while they will be undersized in many games, they will give up few easy buckets and will compete night in and night out. Cartwright brings the kind of fire and fight you want from a starting point guard at any level. In the game against Wake Forest, which Iowa would go on to lose, he grabbed the team by the scruff of the neck in the middle of the second half and forced them to put up a fight that with a Wake Forest team that had woken itself up at home and was mounting a tremendous comeback. While Iowa would eventually lose, Cartwright has shown the type of on-court leadership and initiative the team has frankly lacked in recent years. While I personally am not sold on Zach McCabe, I see the value he could bring to this team in the future with his ability to space the floor and rebound. At 6’7, he could make for a very valuable wing player in the future.

The returning players are reaping the benefits of the new system and intensity as well. Eric May looks as if he could become a flat-out stud player in the next two years. Baseball has what is known as a ‘Five-Tool Player’ (a player with good speed, defense, a good arm, and the ability to hit for power and hit for contact). That sort of analysis can be applied to basketball as well. This idea of a basketball five-tool player is championed by, who state that a Five-tool Player in this sense is one who is capable of “attacking off of the dribble, knocking down jump shots, defending a position on the floor, passing, and rebounding”. Eric May has all five of these tools and he is capable of using them all with nearly equal efficiency. As a 6’5” guard, he rebounds rather well. He has developed a handle since coming to Iowa and has shown the ability to guard his man and knock down jump shots when called upon. Matt Gatens has these tools as well, but he is recovering from both a wrist injury to his non-shooting hand and the mental funk that comes with being a survivor of the Lickliter Days.

Even Andrew Brommer, he who was once regarded as the worst player on the floor regardless of the opposition has experienced a renaissance in the new McCaffery system. Sporting a spiffy new shooting sleeve that doesn’t look awkward at all, he has shown the ability to run the floor and finish at the rim. If he can stay out of foul trouble, he and Devon Archie bring some much needed height and reach to the 5 position. While the rest of the roster is a bunch of walk-ons, they’ve shown the ability to play at least a little bit when called upon.

While this is still a team that is likely to languish in the Big Ten basement, they’ve shown the kind of competitive spirit and heart that has become the calling card of Fran McCaffery’s Siena teams. He has the program headed in the right direction already, and that alone is enough to have me excited about the future of Iowa basketball. It’s time to get mad again, Iowa.

~Justin H.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One Last Round

Tamra G.

Thinking about the future brings me a mix of emotions. I am excited go back to school to finish my degree but am nervous to graduate and step out into the real world. Now that I have figured out what I want to do with my career, finishing school seems to be the easy part of the future.

This spring I will start classes again and for the first time in a long time I am excited to attend school. I feel that figuring out what I want to do with my career has given me a new passion to learn all I can about a particular field.

After this semester most of my friends will graduate and leave the Iowa City area. The college experience is made of two main components, going to class and having a good time with friends. I firmly believe it’s who you hang out with in your free time is what makes college fun. In order to take advantage of the Des Moines Center Program this semester I had to postpone my graduation from college by one semester. I know that I have benefited greatly from my time in Des Moines but not graduating with my friends is a clear disadvantage to graduating late.

I am excited for the next phase of my life which is graduating college and venturing out into the real world. At the same time I do not want to rush my last year especially this next semester. I want to cherish the last semester I have with my friends and continue to make lifelong memories with them. Being away from my friends this semester has really made me cherish the friends I have and the fun times we have shared together.

I cannot wait to see where my future leads me, but for now I can’t wait for one last round in Iowa City.

“Templeton Rye”

I never would have thought that there would be so much buzz over whiskey in Iowa but that’s the case for “The Good Stuff” known as Templeton Rye. Which dates back to the 1920’s where residents back then became outlaws. This stuff is such a hot item that it’s flying off the shelves and today I heard a story about a guy who followed the delivery truck around town so he could get his hands on this sacred Whiskey. He ended up with 17 bottles most stores limit one per customer. The reason the whiskey is so popular is because another batch of it won’t be ready for another four years. Templeton Rye has a smooth finish which is produced from the Prohibition era recipe.

Every day I have people asking me about it since my Internship deals with fine wines, spirits and malts. I wish we sold this item so then I would have a better chance of knowing where it’s going to be. There are stores with waiting lists 100 or more people deep. Other stores are doing a first come first serve. At around 33 dollars a pop people are still drooling over it.

Templeton, IA produces the historic Templeton Rye whiskey which has made an impact in Iowa History. This whiskey was the choice of Al Capone. A little history about the product is that “most whiskeys ceased production after prohibition ended, Templeton Rye continued to be produced illegally in small quantities for loyal patrons. More than eighty-five years later, the infamous small batch rye whiskey finally returned – made available legally for the first time ever in 2006.” (

Maybe I will be lucky enough to score a bottle of it and see what all the hype is about. But I don't plan on fighting someone for it or waiting in line.

By: Cody

Des Moines Center Experience!

The Des Moines Center Internship Program has been a great opportunity. I was able to gain professional experience while working at Glazer’s Distributors of Iowa and earn college credit. Compiling assigned assignments throughout the semester for a Final Portfolio related to my internship.

I’m glad that I got involved with this program because it taught me a lot about myself and whether or not sales is a future career path. I got to help out the community with my service learning project, meet new people in class, go on field trips and put together a final presentation. Overall it was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone who has the chance.

By building a portfolio it will provide me a written record that may be the deciding factor in future career choices. This experience would not have been possible without Crystal, Jim and Ralph helping all of us over the semester.

Thank You


Thoughts on the Semester...

At the beginning of the semester, I was unsure what to expect out of this internship program and was self-doubting after receiving the load of information during orientation. Jan spoke about her “best intern” and all of the things they accomplished which made me uncertain if I could make that big of a difference. From talking with previous interns, I knew that I should prepare myself to be thrown in the mix of things. Thankfully I had this prior knowledge, because it could not have been better said and helped me deal with the rush of emotions I had during the first week. I also had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation (now in a week and a half!), but The Des Moines Center Internship Program has challenged me in new ways and given me more insight and confidence.

One of the most challenging things for me has been prioritizing and multitasking on several projects while other projects popped up. I guess I’m the kind of person that gets really involved in one project and does not like switching gears before I reach a good stopping point. But eventually I became more comfortable with setting aside my current focus, be it responding to emails or writing newsletter articles, to attend a meeting or work on another project. At first, the interruption was frustrating and difficult for me but became easier and I value the learning experience.

This program has been a very valuable experience both personally and professionally. As a marketing major, I have participated in several class projects but they can’t compare to the growth, understanding, and knowledge gained in an actual work setting. Learning how to work with different personalities and generations, multitasking under pressure, and being responsible for a variety of tasks has challenged me and helped me discover my strengths and goals. I also have a better idea of the types of work that I enjoy and feel that this program has been a great transition to the ‘real world.’

Picture: My supervisor Jan Kaiser, Author David Herlihy, and I after David's program and book signing.

By: Lauren

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Hidden Treasure

Tonight my office, the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau held a "Sip n Social" event which is meant to bring our partners together with others in the community for a fun and realaxing evening of networking and socializing. This specific event had a holiday theme and was held at the Hotel Pattee which is in Perry, IA (Northwest-ish of Des Moines, about 45 minutes away)
This was the first sip n socialize I was participating in with the office because we had not had one yet this semester. I believe normally they have a good turnout with the number of people that show up but with the weather getting more unpredictable and the hotel being further out of the way, not as many people seemed to show up and most people knew eachother. So, in analyzing this event I would say there are certain factors that can affect the turn out of an event an organization might hold. Weather is a factor to take into consideration although not something a planner can do much about. Also, a location that is easily accessible and one that is well recognized or with a good reputation will attract a bigger and possibly more diverse crowd.
Ok, I was going to add a picture of the hotel here but it won't load so I'll add it in my last post.
With all that said however, I very much enjoyed the event! The food that was provided was delicious and the hotel offered us all tours of the hotel. I didn't know much about Hotel Pattee until on the tour my coworker turned to me and said "this place is so cool because every room is different!" and it turned out to be true! There were rooms named in honor of famous people who had stopped through the town and famous Iowans along with cultural rooms that represented the state. The picture you see is the two-lane bowling alley located down in the basement. The hotel is extremely unique in all it has to offer! I asked our tour guide if I could buy a room...

Kaitlin D

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Unforeseen disappointment

- Keith

When I accepted this internship in Des Moines I was giving up something I look forward to every year - Iowa City during football season. I bought season tickets because I knew I would still make my way over for the home games, but I knew I would be somewhat disconnected. Since I work in an office full of ISU alumni there really isn’t much for Hawkeye football chatter. They really don’t seem to get that excited for games like hawk fans do, I wonder why. Sitting in the office staring at a computer screen for 9 hours a day really didn’t build too much excitement. Nonetheless, I tried to read up on the matchup during lunch breaks to mentally prepare so I could be on the same level as everyone else on Saturday morning.

The Iowa City atmosphere in the fall is electric because everyone has Saturday games to look forward to. This season brought high expectations due to the success we had last year and the return of so many key players. I figured I would be asking my supervisor for time off in early January for a mini vacation to California for the Rose Bowl. Since I have to stay and train the next intern after the Holidays I figured this would be a difficult task.

As the season progressed I started to get a little worried about the direction the team was headed. Losing to Arizona before the Big Ten schedule was bad enough, but after the Wisconsin loss I was in serious doubt. I was actually happy I to be away from all the students whining about the loss and acting like they know how to coach the team.

After the season ended last weekend and I stood in the freezing cold stadium listening to the “We hate Iowa!” chants I realized that I picked a pretty good season to skip town. I had such a good outlook coming into the season but was let down once again. I guess I should never assume the Hawks will ever live up to their expectations because the only time they DO have a good season is when they aren’t supposed to. In the end I didn’t have to ask for time off and am now saving around $500 by not going to the Bowl. And since I set my graduation back six months I’ll have my last semester to try it all once again, maybe I’ll set my expectations a little lower next time.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Unforgettable Weekend

By: Hannah

I'm engaged!! Last weekend, my fiance (wow, can't believe I have a fiance) proposed to me. My mind is going crazy now. I haven't been able to concentrate on anything for the last week! I have been scrambling to get my speech prepared for tomorrow, but can't seem to take my mind off the wedding. It is July 2 of next year, that's why my mind is all over the place right now. Who REALLY knew the amount of planning that goes into this wedding thing?! I thought a few phone calls and consultations and BAM, it'd all come together. NO. There's so much more detailed things that have to get planned out and it's driving me nuts right now. But it is all worth it. I cannot express the amount of joy I am feeling about getting married.

So we were headed downtown to Splash for dinner on Saturday night and he had mentioned we had tickets to something after but he wouldn't tell me what. And I, being an organized/stick-to-the-plan person, was going crazy not knowing what we were doing. Anyways, we finish dinner and our waitress brings out a "complimentary dessert" from the chef. I'm thinking, "Who the heck is giving US a complimentary dessert?" She lifts the napkin and there it's sitting, the ring box. I immediately started tearing up. I had no idea this was even happening! It was the most amazing moment of my life so far.

So after we leave the restaurant, he's full of more surprises. He claims we have time before the "show" to check out a possible reception place that is close to where we are going. So we walk into the Suites of 800 Locus and go into the bar area and... SURPRISE. About 60 of our family and friends were there to congratulate us. It was all like something out of a movie. Just simply unforgettable.

So why such a soon wedding? My fiance graduated from Iowa last spring and moved to San Jose for chiropractic school. His time frames are very limited on when he can come back over breaks because they go to school year round there. Winter weddings are out of the question, so summer is the only other long [well, not really long compared to Iowa (only 4 weeks)] break he has. So, July 2011 it is. But, I am happier than ever and can't wait for what's to come.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Better Late Then Never

In preparing for my Service Learning project I wasn’t sure how to fulfill my requirement, so I started thinking of ideas that would appeal to me. When the idea of helping Habitat for Humanity came after a few family members had participated at the annual build day with their place of work. Before I had a chance to look into it I was asked by a classmate if I would be interested in doing a build day. Replying with “yes”, jumping on the opportunity though a little nervous at first. I wasn’t sure what to expect due to not having much experience with construction other than helping my dad on home projects.

Building a house? That’s right never would not have thought that participating in Habitat for Humanity Build Day would be so rewarding, not only for myself but for the community. A few weekends ago I volunteered my time at a home on the North side of Des Moines. I was in charge of nailing plywood panels to the studs, placing nails every 6- 8 inches then I covered them with foam for insulation, but first I had to make sure they were lined up so we could cut the foam to fit the windows.

Although I had fun minus the fact of people being too cold to work, so they just stood around most of the time. Why did you sign up to volunteer when all you did is complain? Not only was I giving of my time but I also had to put my beloved Hawkeyes on hold since they were playing at the same time. The game we all thought would be a blow out since it was against unranked Indiana ended with a nail bitter. Luckily I caught the highlights and glad they pulled out the victory.

The day went fast since as I kept busy working the whole time and felt like I achieved something when it was over. I enjoyed giving up my time to help those in need, which I would volunteer again either by myself, with a group of friends, family or classmates. You should try to volunteer if you can because until you do it you don’t understand the impact it makes not only on you but those you are helping as well. By doing this service learning project it made me realized how important it is to volunteer as I plan to give of my time in the future.

By: Cody