“I’m excited to let you know relocations for next year have been approved.” An email I’ve been waiting for months arrived December 2, 2015 and suddenly a dream was about to become reality. Deep breath! It is really happening.I grew up in a very small town, nay village, in former East Germany and first explored the world in 2002/2003 as a high school exchange student near Salt Lake City, Utah. It was an adventurous year with ups and downs that showed me that there are people, yes sometimes strangers, who are willing to help in difficult situations. This is a character trait I’ve been trying to practice ever since. It was clear to me that at some point I’d like to go back and live in the States again.To explore the world a bit more, I studied international business and management living in multiple countries: South Africa, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. I moved back to my home town to write my Master’s thesis before moving to Dublin, Ireland for a full-time job. Through LinkedIn, a talent agency convinced me to stay near my home town for role as a Social Media and Online Marketing Manager at Dell.So I stayed for almost four years and was fortunate to work at Dell in a variety of roles: from launching the first ever global brand campaign around empowering our customers to do more and leading the social and digital strategy in country and region; to teaching executives and hundreds of employees on the use of social media with our award-winning trainings. </p><p>Next to providing me such great opportunities, Dell is also a great employer for flexible workstyle and always keen to develop its employees. To be clear, nothing is delivered to you on a silver plate, but you do have many options to get engaged and to develop your skills. The Global Marketing Rotation Program is one of the programs available to advanced marketing professionals and has been recognized for its excellence, earning the LEAD 2016 award. Members are hand-picked by Dell executives to develop leadership skills while completing multiple job rotations in global marketing functions and to collect executive and industry-wide exposure and organizational agility while completing stretch assignments. It is a marvelous program with a unique community of smart, driven marketers. Next to being exposed to different roles, you (and your family, if you have one) also have the opportunity to relocate to different Dell locations worldwide.I raised my hand and expressed my wishes to relocate to the headquarters in Austin, Texas–my chance to move back to the United States. And so it happened starting with that email on December 2nd, 2015.I have been living in Austin for six months now and it has been a great experience so far. The move was relatively easy thanks to a great relocation service from Dell. The team provided me with access to various service providers and agencies that helped me to settle in and set up my new life in Austin. I found a great place within a day with my *** agent – a perfect combination of high standard apartment complex with pool, lounge, business center and gym and an unbeatable offering for a great apartment with built-in kitchen and appliances. Within an hour I signed the contract and also met my new neighbor who just recently moved from Brazil and was working for Dell as well. She took on a role I initially turned down. The world is a small place.Luckily, I did not suffer a “culture shock” when moving here. My experience living in the States before and previously moving from country-to-country helped with getting a routine and settling in a new place fairly quickly. Usually it starts with buying a decorative home item or two before actual real furniture. J Don’t judge!The first week in Austin, I took off some days from work.Day one: Unintentionally, I bought most of my furniture in one store. Sometimes it just fits. Downside was the delivery time was two to three weeks. An air mattress had to do for that time.Day two: buying a car. That was the plan but it didn’t work out. I didn’t like what I saw so I decided to give it a rest for the day and moved on to getting organized on smaller things: kitchen utensils, office desk, and coffee machine. IKEA was my friend for the rest of the day.Day three: Car. I gave it another try because, well, I needed a car. And with a little help of friends, I scored a great deal. Having crossed of the big items from my list, the following days were occupied by unpacking the boxes that arrived day after day and making myself comfortable in my new home.The relocation agent checked in every other day if I needed anything. Any question or concern I had I could address with them, almost like a concierge service. Thank you Dell and the agencies.Stay tuned for Janine’s key takeaways during her international adventure in Dell’s Marketing Rotation Program!
When pitchers and catchers begin to report this week, to many, it is a sign of good things to come.Reporting day means it is almost time for baseball season to begin. It means spring is almost here and, for those of us who are still in school, it means we can see the light at the end of the tunnel as summer break approaches.However, each year, we are always disappointed come spring training.We’re in that void between the end of the professional football season and the beginning of March Madness. This time in sports can be less exciting than actually doing homework on a Sunday, instead of watching almost eight straight hours of football.The day pitchers and catchers report could be one of the most overrated days in sports. It’s like a freshman hearing about the riots happening in Madison during Halloween only to find out you have to pay to get onto a street you walk down every day.Getting excited for pitchers and catchers reporting and spring training is like getting excited for the NFL Combine or Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament. You go in with such high expectations only to be let down by reporters overanalyzing a player’s performance or over-speculating how a team is going to do the following season.Spring training means watching the guys who you know are going to start get about three at bats a week until the final days before the season. It means watching guys who will disappear into the minor leagues hit triples, then never hear from them and hearing the same reports on “Baseball Tonight” again and again.This year will be no different than years past. Every year, the same storylines are repeated on a daily basis to the point of nausea. This spring, there is no doubt all eyes will be on Yankees’ spring training. With almost half a billion dollars invested in three players and Alex Rodriguez going from A-Rod to A-Roid topping headlines, we can count on hearing hourly reports from the Grapefruit League on the status of CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett.Of course, news of steroid scandal is also nothing new to spring training. In the past, we have been used to daily reports by Pedro Gomez covering Barry Bonds and how he deals with allegations of using performance-enhancing drugs.After Rodriguez’s admission to using steroids, there have already been daily broadcasts from the Yankees’ spring home in Tampa, Fla. Shortstop Derek Jeter has already deferred to talking to the media after practices have started, trying to avoid the daily onslaught of press and attention.But, of course, the focus won’t solely be on the Bronx Bombers. The attempt to sign Manny Ramirez by the Los Angles Dodgers has been futile due to the left fielder hold out for money and the organization not willing to pay top dollar for the 36-year-old. Things are sure to be resolved in the coming weeks, especially because both Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu signed, which will certainly lead to more pressure being put on the Dodgers to sign Ramirez.While spring training does have its perks, namely going to cheap games and watching baseball from a lawn on a beautiful Florida or Arizona spring day, only those who can afford such pleasures can benefit from the enjoyment of spring training. For the rest of us, we are usually stuck in the cold, watching athletes who earn more than we can imagine enjoy the southern sun.With the Yankees and Ramirez sure to be the hot topics of spring training, other subjects are sure to come up. But, as we watch highlights from games in late February and early March, there will really be nothing to get excited about until opening day in the first week of April.Once the season actually starts, attention will surely switch to the NFL Draft, which is almost equally overrated as spring training.Ben Solochek is a senior majoring in history and journalism. Hate spring training, too? E-mail him at [email protected]