Monday, July 19, 2010

Las Vegas - The Sin City

One major responsibility during my internship was managing registration, contracting and logistics for tradeshows. As the intern only prepares for the shows but never attend, it became tradition in the CT department that the Marketing/Communications intern is allowed to attend one of the biggest cardiovascular meetings for Computed Tomography to actually see the outcomes of our work.
Last year, my predecessor Carolin went to the annual meeting of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) in Orlando, Florida. So I was hoping that the annual meeting of the SCCT in 2010 would be in a great location as well. When I actually found out that it takes place in Las Vegas, I couldn't believe it. I was allowed to attend SCCT 2010, one of the most important trade shows for CT in Las Vegas!

Due to the fact that I was attending the show as well, I was involved even more in the preparations beforehand, developing and managing the major part of the external communications. This responsibility made the show even more important to me and I was so excited to go.

Guillaume, our product manager and I left Philly the day before the show started. We arrived in the afternoon and had enough time to check our booth and make final arrangements.
In the evening, Guillaume had to attend a dinner with customers, so I had the chance to explore the city with 2 other team members.
Even if I try to describe Las Vegas and its atmosphere, it won't give you the whole picture. You have to see and experience it on your own. First of all, it was unbeliavable hot! It was middle of July and during the day we had more than 40° C. Even at night, when you went out, the ground was still hot from the heat of the sun. Along the strip, they had little water hoses with nozzles that sprayed water in the air to cool the pedestriants. Very refreshing!!
When you walk down the strip and into all the casinos with their different architecture and special topics, it is really overwhelming but also impressing. With all the casino bars and restaurants, everyone will find a place that they will like. The 'Treasure Island' Casino hotel had an open air pirate show going on during the night and as we stayed at the Bellagio for the show, I got to see a lot of the fantastic and impressing water fountain shows.

The show started Thursday afternoon and went on through Saturday afternoon. Friday and Saturday were long days, starting from 7am to 7pm. On Friday night, the whole team went to the German 'HofbrÀuhaus' to have dinner. We had such a funny time there! Especially getting up on Saturday morning was hard, as we went out the night before after the Brauhaus.

After the end of the show on Saturday, Guilaume invited me to have dinner at the restaurant on 'Eiffel Tower' to thank me for the effort before the show during his sickness. It was an expensive restaurant and we had to dress nicely. Arriving there, I found out that he managed to get a table at the window. So we were able to watch the fountain show of the Bellagio at night every 30min. It was wonderful!
After dinner, I went with another team member to the old Las Vegas strip. This is the original strip with all the old casinos which still operate. With all the lights, older banners and old fashioned interior you can tell that this is the older part but still as crowded as the casinos on the new strip. They build a movie screen roof above the pedestrian zone between the buildings and show music videos and short movies with music every hour.

On Sunday, I could sleep in while Guillaume needed to attend a customer breakfast. After breakfast, I rode the rollercoaster with one of my co-workers at the 'New York, New York' hotel and the rest of the day I walked down the strip to take more pictures. Doing that I realized that New York and Paris are not that far from each other. You can get the statue of liberty and the Eiffel Tower in one picture:

My flight back home was at 10pm, with arrival 6am the next morning. It also called the 'red-eye-flight', as this is a short over night flight and you might look a little bit tired and worn out the next morning.
My former roomie Svenja picked me up from the airport. I went to Mona's apartment, had a shower and went to work. This was my last day at work but I already finished and completed all my tasks the week before I left for the show. I was mainly going there to talk to all the people I got know and worked with during the past year and say goodbye to my team. I also had the chance to meet my successor. Totally tired, I went back home in the afternoon and slept for 18 hours until the next morning. It was a very unique experience for me attending this show. I learned a lot about what happens at trade shows and I had a great team around me which made the evenings even more entertaining in Las Vegas:-)

Here are the pics from my Las Vegas adventure:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

World Cup Party - My farewell party

Unbelievable how incredibly fast time went by. I arrived in the USA almost one year ago. After uncounted farewell parties for the other interns and some sad farewell moments, it was my term now to say goodbye to the intern community. As you can imagine preparing your farewell party also let you realize that your internship is about to end. So you expect it with some sadness on one hand but also with some excitement on the other hand as this the moment you can celebrate the good times and memories and thank all the interns for the fantastic time we had here.
Jill, one of our American interns, was also finishing her internship and so we decided to host it together. With all the farewell parties having a theme, we needed to come up with one as well. Due to the soccer fever amongst the interns, we chose to have a "Soccer World Cup Party".
Everyone dressed up in either their national teams jersey or in sports cloths.

One of the best things that night was having Tyra, Ryan and Rayl coming up from Washington. I was so happy to have them with me sharing my party. At some point in time the "emotional moment" comes. Time for the flag and farewell slide ceremony. Being my closest friend here, Mona was holding my speech and I was so nervous when I got the flag and the slides that I completely forgot what I wanted so say in my speech. In the end ,I recommend to everyone to make the most out of the time being here, travelling, connecting with people, getting to know the American culture and people.
It was a wonderful party and it will always be a great memory.

Unfortunately, Tyra had to go back home to Washington the next morning. While I was cleaning the intern house in West Chester with Jill, I send Ryan and Rayl to Philadelphia to do some sightseeing. We all connected in the evening back at my house in Wayne where Betty and Bill were holding my farewell BBQ. I invited a few other interns to have BBQ with us and hanging out together the whole night.

Ryan and Rayl left the next day after breakfast and I started to pack my stuff. This was the day of moving out of Wayne. I would stay the next 2 weeks with Mona to enjoy time with her. Tim was on vacation in Germany that time. It was the day of the Soccer World Cup final match but I didn't pay much attention to it as the packing process took much longer than I thought. Packing all my clothes together, made me even more realizing the time here in the USA came to an end and I became really sad. I had a very emotional afternoon, as it became clear to me how much I enjoyed living with Betty and Bill in Wayne and how bounded I felt to that house. But with all that sadness to leave it also helped to appreciate and value the time and the opportunity I had to experience all that and to live here. And still, I had 4 more weeks to stay in the USA after the end of my internship.

So, back to the fun part, here are more pictures from Jill and my farewell party: