Friday, September 30, 2011

That's the way it crumbles... cookie-wise.

On November 1st, 1959, the population of New York City was 8,042,783. If you laid all these people end to end, figuring an average height of five feet six and a half inches, they would reach from Times Square to the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan. I know facts like this because I work for an insurance company ~ C.C. Baxter, The Apartment

With the last days of summer behind us and our boys of summer unfortunately done for the season, it is time for me to provide you all with an update on my "vacation."

Much like the iconic character, C.C. Baxter, from Billy Wilder's charming romantic comedy, The Apartment, I worked for an insurance company. For better or worse, the similarities end there. There was no passing of keys to accommodate management's various extramarital liaisons, no fetching elevator operator girls to flirt with on my way up (although the kind, elderly doorman was always ready with a plastic bag for my wet umbrella), and for those of you familiar with the film's musical adaptation, Promises, Promises, certainly no Turkey Lurkey Time.

This past summer, I spent my days as a MBA Associate at Liberty Mutual's headquarters in Boston on Berkeley Street in Back Bay. I worked with a fine team in Group Benefits in Commercial Markets where I was able to head-up a project focused on the conception and development of an online self-reporting portal. Splitting my time between the conservative Boston locale and the much more casual (sadly, plaid was the closest thing I could find to flannel in my closet) vibe of Dover, NH - I gained great insights into the daily operations of the insurance business and was able to apply many of the skills and knowledge I developed in my first-year classes (Information Technology for Managers and E-Commerce) in a professional setting. From the development of a wireframe and prototype through the preparation for its anticipated market testing, I received senior level executive exposure (reporting to the COO of Group Benefits) and sincere accolades from the project steering committee. While I was very nervous taking on this high level project in the beginning, this experience has certainly built up my confidence and proven to me that the pedagogy I am exposed to in the classroom at BC will, if applied correctly, yield much success in a corporate setting like Liberty Mutual's. All in all -  I had a wonderful experience at Liberty Mutual as it was a perfect company to help me transition from the non-profit sector to Corporate America. While inarguably a corporate machine (See Fortune 100 list), Liberty Mutual has been able to uphold a culture defined by its sense of responsbility toward its customers, employees, and communities.

On a lighter and completely unrelated note, I was also able to return to the proverbial director's chair this summer as I was involved (as director and actor) in the premiere of the new musical, Affairs of a French Afternoon. One part Mel Brooks comedy, one part French farce, one part Shakespearean comedy, and one part Gilbert and Sullivan operetta - this new musical delighted sold-out audiences throughout its run. For your enjoyment, I have posted a fun, behind-the-scenes video as well as some photos from the production.  

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