PECULIARITIES OF MANAGEMENT AT NISSAN CORPORATION
This summer I had an amazing business internship in the United States of America. It is very useful for student to have such an experience because it helps to understand how American business operates, to make new connections and friends, to improve English skills. Also it is great opportunity to see American culture in real life through going to malls, fast foods, and native speakers.
I arrived in Seattle on the 1st of July. Seattle is a very nice city in the north-west of the USA and is one of the major cities in the northern United States, and the largest city in the Pacific Northwest and the state of Washington. It is a major seaport situated on a narrow isthmus between Puget Sound (an arm of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, about 114 miles (183 km) south of the Canada – United States border, and it is named after Chief Sealth "Seattle", of the Duwamish and Suquamish native tribes. Seattle is the center of the Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue metropolitan statistical area--the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States, and the largest in the northwestern United States.
There were another four students with me. It was my first long trip by plane without parents, so I was nervous a little. My friend Iskander and I were met by Tom Goetsch in the airport and went to our host home. It was a three-level house in the University District. It is very calm region of Seattle with a lot of kind people and international students. There were three girls from South Korea and a boy from Vietnam in the house except of us.
This house is called as International Student house (ISI). Dick is the owner. He is 80 years old man who bought 3 houses for international students in 1970’s. We had a manager of the house – Laura Lucht. She is a student in University of Washington. She lived with us, helped us adjust. We had lunch together at 7 p.m. where we shared about the highlights of the day.
I was happy to be in the States on the 4th of July. This is the Independence Day in the USA. All American people are proud about it. They say that it is a blessing to be independent and very successful. We went to the fire show on that day. It was wonderful to watch it for entire 40 minutes at night. There were around 100,000 people with us. All of them were excited and happy.
I had my first day of internship on the next day. But firstly I had a meeting at Microsoft with Jason Cowan. He is young man who is responsible for strategic planning in Microsoft. He told us general information about company. Microsoft is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions. Established on April 4, 1975 to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, Microsoft rose to dominate the home computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems.
Jason had a lot of work experience despite his young age. His first work place was an Investing Bank where he was responsible for making plans for each department. Then he moved to Starbucks where he worked as corporate strategist in the area of finance.
Later, he moved to strategic planning group for IT. His team has 1.5 billion dollars budget. They create budget plans and decide how to spend the money in the most effective way. He decided to move from Starbucks because it is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 17,009 stores in 55 countries, including over 11,000 in the United States, over 1,000 in Canada, over 700 in the United Kingdom, and over 150 in Turkey. The company’s core values are integrity, direct point of view and honesty.
Also it was interesting to learn that employees can manage their managers. It is impossible in our country because we can lose job because of it. But in the USA workers have easy access to their managers. If somebody does not like his work conditions or has another problem, they can go to manager and ask him to help resolve the situation.
It was important to find out how people of the company learn new things. Jason gave me several suggestions such as:
- Ask a lot of questions. When people ask question it means that they listen to you and think about what you said.
- Give the sign that you care about what people say. When you do it, it can encourage the speaker.
- Be optimistic.
- Be a volunteer to do new things.
I went to my main work place, Campbell Nelson car dealership after lunch. It is very old business with a great history.
James Campbell started his automobile career at Howard Ford in Seattle’s University district while he was still in high school. During the 1930’s he worked his way up from his first job as a wash boy to General Manager until the start of World War 2. Following the war he went to work for the Blume family at University Chevrolet eventually partnering with Bill Blume to buy Hopper Chevrolet in downtown Edmonds.
Arne Nelson and Bob Campbell, James’s son, met while they were both employed at Hopper Chevrolet in the 1950’s. They continued working together when Bill Blume Chevrolet relocated in 1963 to the corner of NE 205th and Aurora in Edmonds (the place where I worked). The store changed to Bill Blume Volkswagen and Arne and Bob continued working eventually buying the dealership in 1974 and changing the name to Campbell Nelson Volkswagen in 1984.
The third generation of Campbell boys, Craig and Kurt, began working full-time at the dealership in 1991. Enjoying the business, Kurt and Craig began buying stock in Campbell Nelson Volkswagen until they became majority shareholders. Kurt and Craig currently operate the dealership while Bob and Arne enjoy retirement. In 2003, Campbell Nelson acquired Northwest Nissan in Lynnwood and by 2005 the dealership was relocated to its new building next to the Volkswagen store. Campbell Nelson also operates an auto recycling yard in Arlington, Washington.
I was involved in its business process. My main duty was observing financial part of the business. But I also tried to be car washer, helped at the service center, sales person, etc.
The most interesting thing was helping chaplain. His duties are to help employees to solve their private problem, he runs a vending business and consults all workers in the business.
Campbell Nelson is about people and relationships. Their mission is to encourage, equip and engage one another with love to help meet the needs of their co-workers, customers and community. Campbell Nelson is social responsible company. They gathered stuff for people who were damaged by tsunami in Japan. They build a shelter for homeless women and their children.
Besides doing the internship, we also had a trip to Lopez Island by ferry. Lopez Island is the third largest of the U.S. San Juan Islands. Lopez Island is 29.81 square miles (77.2 km) of in-land area. The 2000 census population was 2,177.We had a very nice host family there. They spent much time with us. We went hiking, Kayaking and boating.
I’m glad to thank Tom Goetsch and all people who created this program. It was an incredible and unbelievable experience in my life.