Published: July 11, 2011

Jul. 11, 2011

It’s been another solid week here in beautiful Boulder, CO. Three pretty cool things have taken place over the past seven days.

First, two fellow classmates and I participated in the Boulder Peaks Triathlon. It was a great stepping-stone to the fast approaching Boulder 70.3 Half Ironman. I bested my previous time at that distance by 40 minutes and still had some energy left in the tank. There is a lot to training left to do before the Ironman, but the Boulder Peaks race has given me the confidence that my training plan is doing its job. Overall, it was another fantastic racing experience.

Next up was a rare opportunity to sit down and meet one-on-one with Ball’s CFO. I’d say it went pretty well and it’s kind of cool to now have a Fortune 500 company CEO within my network. It just proves how important and powerful networking can be. I had been taught early on to always ask at the end of a conversation, “Who else can I talk to?” This generally results in a few names and if you follow-up and do the same with those people, pretty soon you’ll find you have a solid contact base. That’s what I did and eventually it got me to the top. It was great to learn more about his career path, to find out what advice he had for me, and learn his thoughts on what it means to be an effective leader. There is a certain stigma attached to the CFO title, however; I learned that he is an approachable man and that with hard work and solid leadership skills, the C-level is within reach.

Finally, I had the opportunity to tour a Pepsi filling plant. It was a customer facility where Ball products are shipped so they can be filled with product. It was another lesson in efficiency and operations. I don’t drink a lot of soda, but when I do I love a good Diet Dew (Sorry Boulder, not everything I eat and drink is Organic). We got to sample some right off the line and I have to say, it tasted pretty darn good. It took a lot of willpower to not keep grabbing them off the line. The sheer volume of product this plant could produce was amazing.

I don’t doubt that my classmates are enjoying their summer too.  Only three weeks left in the internship until our final presentations to Ball’s senior leadership. No big deal, right? I have started getting emails about helping with orientation and things going on back at school. The start of my 2nd year is quickly approaching; I’m not sure how I feel about that! I am eager to meet the incoming students, share my experience with them, and learn more about their backgrounds.

Have a great weekend!

- Chris