Ahoj from Prague

The first week in Prague has flown by quicker than I expected it to. After arriving and getting settled in on Monday, we had orientation with the program that coordinates our internships followed by a traditional Czech dinner with the entire group that is participating this summer. The company that sets up our internships also planned a walking tour for us on Wednesday which took went around to most of the major sights in Prague including the Prague Castle and the John Lennon Wall. After that we were free for the next few days to explore the city on our own and make sure we had everything squared aware before our internships started. The end of the week was filled with attempts to figure out the metro and tram system to navigate the city as well as a trip outside of the city to Bohemia Switzerland National Park. Getting outside of the city for the day was a nice change of pace and really showed how beautiful the Czech Republic is. While we enjoyed our first weekend in Prague many of us have started making plans for traveling, including Budapest next weekend. I’m really looking forward to learning the city more but also very excited to finally be able to travel so many places around Europe!

After a week of exploring today was finally the day to start our internships and while I still haven’t mastered the public transportation systems, I did make it to my first day of work on time after only getting on the wrong tram once.  This summer I will be working with a company called Flexible Metal, they are producers of many specialized metal parts that go into the engines of brands like Volvo and Fiat. The company is originally from the United States and has locations in both Michigan and Georgia but expanded to Prague recently to reach more European markets and expand its operations. Specifically, I will be working within the logistics department which will entail working with forecasting of products, performing inventory checks, and ordering different materials needed around the manufacturing warehouse. In my department there are two other people who have been with the company since it came to Prague and have even more experience in the logistics field outside of that. I’m very excited to learn from them

In terms of the industry that Flexible Metal is in I believe it would be the capital goods sector. Generally, this is defined as the category of stocks which relates to the manufacture or distribution of goods. Flexible Metal both manufactures and distributes goods from its Prague location. There are about fifteen different metal parts that are produced in Prague and many of these parts are sent out to even more specialized locations before returning to Flexible Metal to be sent off again to the final consumers. In this particular sector of business, the key skill or strength that comes to mind to be successful is to pay attention to details. A lot of this business is filling customer orders while balancing a production line and still remaining profitable. It’s not as easy taking an order, the making that specific amount. For Flexible Metal they are receiving products, further manufacturing them, then sending them through to the final customers. This not only involves keeping track of all of those products but keeping track of all of the shipping material that is needed to keep the parts undamaged when they are travelling from place to place. The company has processes to manage all of these book-keeping like activities, but it is in an everyday activity that has to take place for everything to run smoothly. I think this attention to detail quality is also one of the Czech people, which allows a company like Flexible Metal that employs mostly locals at its Prague location, to succeed in the global market.

Although I’ve only been here for a week, I feel much more confident now than the day I first arrived in Prague. Having a week to transition to the new city gave me time to adjust and figure out the way things worked here, and now finally having my first day at my internship done I feel like I’m right at home. The people at Flexible Metal don’t speak much English other than my supervisor, but everyone tried to talk to me and even entertained the little Czech I could pronounce correctly. I’m looking forward to it being a great summer along with some great work experience, have some more updates for you next week!