Days two-five: Working at DONG Energy

Wow this is a cool company and a cool country. Its been a really exciting couple of days full of walking and work and waking up to the blazing sun at 3am.

Quick hits:

  • there is no obvious pecking order at work
  • everyone shares tables and desks (and they’re the cool desks that have motors so you can stand and work if you don’t want to sit)
  • everyone eats together and lunch is free
  • no one knows what a sorority is and it is very hard to explain
  • the architecture at this company is insanely beautiful
  • tattoos are everywhere
  • full service coffee machines are all over the office
  • people wear Birkenstocks to work
  • not learning the metric system from birth is so inconvenient for the rest of the world

 

Details:

On Sunday I was lucky enough to spend the day getting to know my coworkers at DONG Energy on the company’s dime. The gardens are located right next to my hotel and they are absolutely adorable. Tivoli is a mini, more clean, more charming, Disneyland. It makes perfect sense that Tivoli was the main park that walt disney drew inspiration from to create Disneyland.

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The rides were nothing short of super lame and extremely cute. We sat down for a lunch that was too pretty to eat. Strawberries are a big deal here in the summer and apart from root vegetables, they are one of the very few kinds of produce that can grow here.

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On Monday one of my coworkers was nice enough to come and pick me up on his way to the office so I would know the way. The Gentofte office of DONG is the main building they have in copenhagen and it houses the CEO and from what I can tell most of the development. The building is almost a greenhouse, with trees, glass ceilings, small pools everywhere. The Viriam office is less pretty, still modern and illuminated by natural light. This morning I got a little lost on my way to work and had to spend an hour on the metro correcting my error. Although the office is in Viram, you have to take the Jæsborg exit to get there, even though there is a train exit that SAYS VIRIAM. Whatever, I made it to work, I just took a little scenic detour.

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What struck me more than the architecture was the nature of the office space itself. No one, not even the CEO, has an office. Everyone sits at tables in an open room. The desks are assigned but there are no walls, no clear partitions. The team lead poked fun at the American way of having walls everywhere in the office. Honestly, he’s not wrong.

 

When there is such an open structure like this, it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to tell who is in charge of who. Who is the boss? What is the pecking order? I AM AN AMERICAN. I NEED TO KNOW WHO TO BE AFRAID OF. Honestly though, it is very admirable the way in which everyone is given equal respect, and I much prefer this open style of working. I know who hired me, obviously, and I know she is very busy, so I assume she is in a relatively high position within the company. Other than my boss, however, I have no idea who my immediate boss is, or what levels of authority everyone is on. I am sure the longer I work here I will have a better understanding, but as of right now I am enjoying thinking everyone is important because everyone in this world really is important, regardless of title or pay.

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everyone gets a desk with a motor so you can stand up and type!! the coolest!

My work here is currently very vague. Because I am an “external consultant” and my internship is unpaid, its the immediate supervisor that hired me that has the ability to assign me work. My boss is interested in hearing a fresh perspective, and knows my interests in clean energy coupled with GIS, but has yet to decide what she wants me to be doing. I have a pretty clear list of objectives for what I hope to gain from this internship and until I have a specific task I am getting an education on how the company works, what kind of technology is being used in the generation and distribution of clean energy, and how GIS is used to tackle some of the issues the company faces. From what I have learned, I am thoroughly impressed.

An issue I have encountered here is work dress. People are wearing Birkenstocks and shorts. BIRKENSTOCKS. Being the naive and ever prepared boy scout I brought heeled work shoes, slacks, blouses, and sweaters all coordinated from ann taylor. Little did I know I would be on par with the actual business men of the company. Programmers and scientists here wear t-shirts and jeans. Although the first two days were a little embarrassing, and my blisters are horrific, I just feel the worst for my generous mother, who bought all of these nice sweaters and blouses from ann taylor that weren’t really necessary. If anything I can dress down the blouses with jeans. The heels will go into my suitcase and never return.

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before i showed up to the office and looked like a total DOINKER

After work this Monday and Tuesday I have walked the city. If I wasn’t thoroughly stretching each night I would have terrible shin splints. As a matter of fact DONG Energy is having a stretching campaign going on right now, and in general is obsessed with safety, health, and well being of their employees. I, an undergraduate intern, get complete health care out here.

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we get in trouble if we don’t hold onto the handrails… 

 

Food:

I am provided breakfast at the hotel and work (yay) They really like their cheese and dairy here. Half the time they just put a hunk of cheese onto a piece on untoasted bread. My hotel has oranges and they are actually really good so that is a major treat. I love rye bread so thats an added bonus because I’m pretty sure its the national source of carbs here.

DONG Energy provides lunch and breakfast to all of their employees (yay) It is gourmet buffet. I am very overwhelmed. This is the only opportunity I have all day to get some serious veggie intake so I’m trying not to screw up my selections. Also I am eating with respectable adults and I don’t want to embarrass myself too seriously before the end of my first week.

There are these Scandinavian dry cracker things that look like prison food. They have no flavor. They explode into a violent crumb catastrophe after the second bite. They might cause death if not consumed with emergency liquid lubrication. I love them and will be eating at least one a day.

Dinner kinda sucks honestly. I am not a full time employee so I cannot take any of the cafeteria food home (a popular option) and my hotel does not have a kitchen, so I am either going to waste all my money on food or have to get creative. I have a coworker that might be willing to do some sneaking for me, but he’s a real adult with real responsibilities so I might befriend someone younger who respect less to do the dirty work. I could live on ramen dinners, but I don’t want to do that to my body. I could also eat a lot of street hot dogs, but again, I don’t want to do that to my body. It is a constantly evolving situation that I will keep you updated on.

More pics:

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Hope you have a fantastic week! Hav en god uge!

Day One: Orstedparken, Stroget, Christiansborg Slot, and Hannah!

I’ve been here less than 48 hours and I am falling into the ultimate abroad girl cliche but I don’t care. I am proud to say I’m already in love with this city. In an attempt to not sound like  broken record the entire time I’m here, I’ll just say that everything in this city is beautiful.

Heres the quick hits:

  • I have read that this city is walkable and after a day here I can confirm this statement.
  • The bike culture here is awesome (not too different from IV)
  • I was identified in the Copenhagen airport as my fathers daughter because one of his co workers saw my NASA jacket and thought “thats Erik Hoel’s kid” (listen to “My Old Man” by Mac Demarco)
  • I am living in a hotel for three weeks before the company puts me in a more permanent living situation for two more months and I am in the SMACK DAB MIDDLE of the city
  • Everyone initially speaks to me in Danish
  • Saturdays are for the loud aggressive drunk German boys
  • Trendy “New American” style burger restaurants are everywhere (maybe I didn’t need to slam so much Habit before I left)
  • 1 dollar is like 6.5 krone
  • hot dogs are like 4 US dollars
  • Danish is not an intuitive language. (I don’t know what I was expecting)
  • ABBA, the BeeGees, the Bengals, and Blondie are all big here. (I am not opposed)
  • This is not an easy place to be lactose intolerant
  • Public urination is a problem here. Not hard to believe considering I have only seen one public bathroom after walking around for an entire day
  • Basic colors and sneakers are the style here. I have seen almost no accessories other than sunglasses. (did someone make this country for me?)
  • It is bright from 4am-11pm (yikes)
  • Weather here is great (its going to be sunny and 75 today)
  • Hans Christian Anderson is a big deal here.

 

Saturday 6-17-17:

Saturday morning I was ready to go do some adventuring so I set out to the closest park to me, Orstedparken.DSC_0131.jpgDSC_0051.jpgDSC_0090.jpgDSC_0045.jpgDSC_0127.jpgDSC_0017.jpgDSC_0085.jpg

I managed to connect with another ADPi from Kansas over Facebook and she invited me to spend the day with her exploring and wandering around the city center shopping. I am so thankful I was able to meet her. Hannah had an absolutely inspiring story and amazing attitude. She is only here till Wednesday and I hopefully will be accompanying her to get a tattoo Tuesday night.

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thriving!

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Postcard worthy photo around every corner

We walked all around, one of the stops was Christiansborg Slot. Apparently this is a palace (makes sense) From the top we were able to see some amazing views of the city.

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check out the cruise ships and wind farms on the ocean!

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Christiansborg Palace

FOOD

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We both got hot dogs for lunch (yay hot dogs)

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We got dinner at the downtown Hostel and it was really affordable and delicious

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We shared some pastries and I cant remember the names of them for the life of me but the white one was like a fancy flakey layered strawberry poptart

Many more adventures to come today! Can’t wait 🙂

Danish phrase of the day:

Undskyld mig (On’skil ma’ee) (excuse me) (also isn’t this language the worst?)

 

Quality not quantity: How I make the most of my free time in college

Every quarter i find myself saying “this is the busiest quarter I have ever had”

Is this quarter an exception? No. This is the busiest quarter I have ever had. My free time is limited and very cherished. Once I am free, its easy to stress and think “oh my god this is my only time to have fun. I HAVE TO HAVE FUN” This, however is not the mentality you want to have when it comes to having fun.

It took me a long time to figure out how to make the most of my time in college, and I find it to be something I am constantly improving. When it comes to finding activities in my free time, I keep a few things in mind:

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  • This Saturday I had the pleasure of joining one of my best friends in the science march in downtown Santa Barbara. We studied in the morning, marched for an hour, got lunch, and came back to do some more studying. I also went to the womens march in Oakland in January. Both are experiences I will never forget!G0011015.JPG
  • Is there something that I can only do in this season?
    • A popular summer activity in Isla Vista is floating on the ocean in a 10 person raft. I got a chance to go this Friday afternoon for three hours. We laughed, relaxed, and watched the surfers go by. Best study break of all time
    • I try to go the pumpkin patch once a year. Yes it is tacky, yes it is a photo op, but with the right people it is a lot of fun, and something that really puts you in the seasonIMG_6786.jpg
  • What did I want to do going into college? Have I done all those things?
    • Almost everyone has kayaking on their UCSB bucket list and it only costs about $15 to get out there and do it
    • Every campus has some cool spots, whether its a rooftop, awesome hidden library, or fun gym. Bring your adventurous friends and some food and find it! Be wary of cameras and cops, not worth it to get arrested.IMG_3720.jpg
  • Can I get out and experience the town I’m in? Locals only?
    • A lot of towns have Facebook pages for residents. I would join one of those or something like an event forum. College kids don’t hear about everything going on and can really get stuck in a bubble. I joined a Facebook page for Santa Barbara events and I have heard about a lot of things I wouldn’t have otherwise.
    • Make friends or establish connections with people that aren’t in college. Ask them what they do on the weekends! This might sound awkward but theres nothing wrong with asking. I used to work retail and my manager was always happy to recommend food and other things to do on the weekend for me!
    • You’re only in college once, and you might only be in the city your college is in once! If you have FOMO for your college bubble, it might surprise you to see how fun it is to get out on the actual town and see how many memories you can make outside of campusDSC_0308.jpg
  • Does this involve any sort of physical activity?
    • Even if its not super strenuous, if you’re working out in any way it can give a serious feeling of accomplishment. And what better than tackling a physical feat with your best friends?
    • You will sleep better after working out (I am not a doctor so I am speaking 100% from personal experience)DSC_1068.JPG
  • Is this activity outside?
    • Vitamin D is your friend
    • This does not really apply to all my friends in cold schools (sorry but you did this to yourself)

I think the most important lesson I have learned about having quality free time and escaping from my studies is quality of quantity. Even if I only have three free hours on a Friday, I can make that time quality and go on a little adventure (like floating or watching the sunset on the roof with friends) or watch netflix for an hour or so in the morning and an hour or so at night.

I’ve also found that I study more efficiently when I take quality breaks (like two hours surfing or a sunset walk) or I have something to look forward to (like date party or a trip to the county fair) I starved myself of fun free time my freshman year and I still think that caused me to have worse grades.

Get out there, have fun, and embrace your free time!

Paige Post: Camping is the greatest ever

Do you like the outdoors? Do you like great conversations? Are you pro hot dog?

GO CAMPING

DSC_0899This weekend I had the pleasure of sharing a camping trip with the two best pals a girl could have. We ate lots of hot dogs, hiked, admired mama oash, petted lots of dogs, and let go of social media for one glorious day.

My parents were always large supporters of camping, more specifically beach camping. And boy am I thankful they were. My brother and I sat in the back of our VW camper as we drove from beach to beach every summer. We would camp on the cliff, eat hot dogs and body surf to our hearts content.

What I learned from all of those trips is that camping dosen’t have to be expensive or hard to be successful. It is what you make of it. Camping allows you to completely remove yourself from being productive. Its an excuse to loose focus in the best way. I loved all the camping trips we had when I was a kid, and I hope to do the same for my children.

Now an adult (not really) I’ve made it a personal goal of mine to go camping with friends as much as humanly possible.

So this easter weekend when everyone in our college town seemed to be at home or coachella, we headed for Gaviota.

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After we hiked, we made it to El Capitan where I realized I had accidentally booked us a campsite for the wrong night. By some beautiful stroke of luck, we ended up back in Gaviota where there was one remaining campsite. We took it, parked our car, and headed for the beach.

DSC_0891.jpgDinner was a traditional affair of hot dogs and a special easter version of smores with peeps. We watched the sunset and sat by the fire in content. DSC_0959.jpgDSC_1004.jpg

It was a spectacular trip, and I would have rather shared it with any other ladies!DSC_0920.jpgDSC_0941.jpg

I didn’t go to a tropical paradise for spring break

Cabo looks like fun. I’m not gonna pretend like my spring break is any better than those going to get their bikinis on and let loose. If you need the tan and the beach GO FOR IT!! If you don’t- have no fear!

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This year I chose to go to Boston where my best friend lives. Yes, it is March in the Northeast. I am freezing my ass off. To be honest I chose Boston spring break on a whim, but I am so glad I did.

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Heres my little recommendation for going somewhere outside of your box this spring break:

  1. Seeing new things is awesome. I mean really awesome. I am going to remember every weird day of this vacation and the sun has yet to shine through the clouds. Although you might not be in paradise- seeing an environment completely different from the one you are accustomed too is so refreshing and truly makes your break feel like a huge change from schoolDSC_0503.jpg
  2. Traveling with your best friend is a bonding experience unlike any other. I should say that choosing a friend that likes similar amounts of activity and has similar expectations for your vacation is critical. I was lucky enough to have a best friend that likes the food I like, the sports I like, and is a great traveler. Jackpot. You may love your best friend more than anything in this world, but if they have very different priorities on vacation, a long weekend might be a better idea than a full week.IMG_7221.jpg
  3. Traveling somewhere completely different can help you be open to the unknown. Some of the most fun I had this spring break was walking around colleges I had never seen. Driving past an OPEN sign and turning the car around to check it out can result in some legendary finds and memories.DSC_0405.jpg
  4. Sometimes its the places you dont expect that will teach you the biggest life lessons. Maybe its the stage that I am at in my life, but I have found on the trips I have taken to places I may not consider paradise that I have learned the most about myself. I may not have gotten any tanner, but I have spent time considering my goals in life, where I would want to end up, and what it is that makes me happiest in these completely new situations.DSC_0480.jpg

None of this is intended to say that any vacation destination is better than another!! Spring break needs to be different things for different people! I am writing this to ensure those that don’t find a party destination very appealing that they are not alone, and there are lots of benefits to doing something a little unexpected for a college kid.

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I had the most amazing Spring Break in 40 degree Boston, New York, and Rhode Island. I have learned so much and seen so much, and all it took was a ticket. I have to thank my best friend and her family for showing me how fun New England can be even in March. I am so lucky to have received so much generosity from such incredible people.

I hope everyone had fun on their travels, wether it was to Iceland, Cabo, home, or anywhere in between!

beautiful day and a march calendar

fullsizerender-6Santa Barbara is STUNNING today! I have been working on my homework at Handlebar coffee roasters and I’m taking a little break to share a cute little calendar for march. This will work for desktops or it would be very adorable printed out as well.

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I have to share some of the pictures I took after class today. Sometimes I cannot believe I go to school on the ocean. Actually, not sometimes, always. I will never get over the natural beauty of this place.

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Choosing the perfect college for YOU

It is most likely the biggest decision you have made thus far in your life. It is most likely a decision that is terrifying, exciting, and confusing. It is most likely something you are stressed about.

I am here to calm your nerves.

Make some tea, grab a blanket, and relax.

Choosing the “perfect” college was something I had been fixated on since middle school. I was obsessed with the though of a huge campus with classic architecture and a big football team.

Today, I am a junior at UC Santa Barbara. This school dose not have a football team or traditional huge buildings and pillars, and I could not be happier with my choice.

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Me (Paige) and my best-friend (also Paige)

 

So how did this happen? How do you make a decision like this? What things are the most important in a school?

  1. Determine if you want to go large or small. I will say that you can never make a small school bigger but there are many ways to make a big school seem smaller. If you want a small community, you should not have to compromise. This seems to be one of the first distinguishing factors in a college selection
  2. In state or out of state? In state offers cheaper tuition and less travel expense. Staying in state, however can leave many kids wishing they made a bigger change and went further from home. Living out of state provides an opportunity to start FRESH, and learn how to be truly INDEPENDENT. I particularly love this article from the swirl blog on out of state advice
  3. Create a rough wishlist of things you desire in a college and find 9-10 schools you would like to apply to
  4. Check out my college admission planner. I created this planner for my tutoring clients in this exact position. You can purchase it from my etsy shop here.

After you have received admission letters:

  1. If you have not yet, tour! There is no better way to get a feel of a campus than actually visiting.
  2. Consider where you would live after the dorms. I know this seems really far off, but the atmosphere of the town surrounding the college can end up being just as important as the school itself.
  3. See what kid of activities there are outside of campus. Will you be locked in your room all winter? Do you want to try new hobbies?
  4. Talk to friends or people you may know that are going there. It is amazing having a friend or someone from your background give you honest advice on their school. College kids remember very well how terrifying the decision and process was, so they would love to answer any questions you may have about their school.

Once you have made a decision:

  1. Go in with an open mind
  2. Get involved and create your new home
  3. Accept college as a challenge, and have the strength to rise to the occasion.
  4. Get ready for some serious FUN
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Its always good times and tan lines at UCSB

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UCSB alum Jack Johnson performing a free concert my freshman year

UCSB was a safety school for me. I was heartbroken when I didn’t get into UCLA or Berkeley. I cannot believe how lucky I was to be denied to those schools, or else I never would have even considered moving to Santa Barbara.

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I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and with a positive attitude there are very few things you cannot enjoy.

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Sands Beach in Isla Vista (no filter!!)

Feel free to comment you questions about college applications or advice you may have to those making the decision!