Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In the Long and Imposing Shadow of the Sombrero

Southern California is a lot like central Indiana, except that there's an ocean and a bunch of mountains here, and the governor has a funny accent. There are 37 million people living in this state, and I had feared that I might get lost in the crowd. A trip to the beach always reassures me otherwise, however. For when I take off my shirt and stroll proudly into the cool, crisp waters of the Pacific, a quick glance at my fellow beach-goers reminds me that I am the whitest person within 300 miles. Thank you, Midwestern winter. Na zdorovie, Polish ancestry!

I am currently four weeks into my summer internship in the Commercial Leadership Program (CLP) at the biotech company Amgen, and life is good. All employees are given unlimited access to the gym on campus, which is the finest workout facility I have ever seen. A host of fitness classes - from yoga to strength training to spinning - are free and scheduled all throughout the day. All of this is a welcome respite from the absolute physical lethargy that marked my first year at Kelley. A buffet of fresh fruits and fruit-infused waters is on offer when you finish, and partaking of this has become my favorite part of the day (see picture...I am easily impressed). Sadly, whatever weight I lose while exercising is regained five-fold in water weight, but such is my plight: the fruity water is the most succulent beverage to ever grace my lips. I believe that running is like mushrooms. By that I mean that many people don't like it, but that you should try it again every few years just to make sure your tastes haven't changed. Fortunately, I have always enjoyed mushrooms, but alas, running still does not suit me. Nevertheless, I have joined the Amgen running club, which offers me the opportunity to sweat profusely and thus drink more of the fruit water when the time is right.

Amgen has treated all of us in the CLP quite well. On the weekends there are a variety of free outings planned. Surfing lessons began last week (I am terrible), and next weekend we are doing an 8-hour ocean kayaking excursion around the Channel Islands. Paintball and paddle boarding are soon to follow. With all of this going on you might be asking, "Ah, but when do you get your work done?" The answer is that I do not, but that is neither here nor there.

In all seriousness, my project is quite good. Not good enough to bore you with the details, of course, but I am working on the marketing team for Enbrel, a biologic agent used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. My coworkers are all very intelligent, and most hail from the company's core recruiting schools of Northwestern, Harvard, MIT, and Cornell. It would bother me that I am the only Kelley MBA in the department and that they consequently mispelled Kelley (they wrote 'Kelly') in the directory, but then I discovered that my boss's boss's boss is a Kelley MBA, too. This has led to many a forearm smash (a la Mark McGwire and José Canseco) as we pass one another in the hall.

Oh, yes, the sombrero that I mentioned in the title. I was going to stop typing and go to bed, but I'll close with that. My office/cube was absolutely bare when I moved in, and I despaired at the utter lack of character. But then I looked up and spied the sombrero high atop my desk. No one knows where it came from. No matter. It is all I need to give my cube a little flair, and sometimes I don it when I go to the kitchen to make some tea. Good times.

Name: Tom Paprocki
GradYear: 2011
City: Thousand Oaks
State: California

No comments:

Post a Comment