Friday, March 22, 2013

Grundfos final

This will be a short post, but I want to conclude my remarks on Denmark while I'm still enjoying my time at the Grundfos Academy.

While our team was not one of the winning teams, I am still extremely pleased with the experience here at the Grundfos Challenge. The students that had been recruited here are examples of the future, of the most innovative, and hard working groups of people that our generation has come to represent. I cannot wait to watch throughout the next 10 or maybe 15 years to see what these students will make happen for our world, all over the world. Simply being a part of this representation has been an honor, and I'm so pleased to have had this opportunity to represent the United States and rockhurst university throughout the past week here in Bjerringbro.

Tonight has been a fabulous example of intercultural relations- working together and enjoying a night to relax and celebrate the accomplishments that we have all accomplished. We enjoyed an amazing dinner at Frisholt, the guest house of Grundfos, and drinks, music, and dancing after. Talking, playing games, and dancing with everyone gave us all a sense of perspective of the importance of working together in all that we do.

Now tomorrow morning, as we prepare to leave Denmark for our respective legs in our journey of life (from Guatemala, to India, china, and all over Europe, in addition to back to the United States) I hope that each of us remembers this past week with fond memories of the students and the staff that truly made the grundfos challenge unique.

--I hope this post includes the pictures I've uploaded- with a broken computer, this is the true test of the Blogger application on my iPhone!--

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Grundfos- real challenge

So we've now made it halfway through this week at the Grundfos Academy in Bjerringbro, and the true challenge has really come into play this evening!

 First I'll talk a little more about the experience here at Grundfos though.  A really unique part about this opportunity with the Grundfos Challenge has been the chance to talk to real people who work at Grundfos about future opportunities.  A part of the offer for the winning team is an offer to work at Grundfos.  They incorporated two "interview" sections into this week to more specifically decide where you might end up.  The first interview was with a recruiter, which became a relaxed, longer interview- with her experience looking at potential candidates already, she is able to assess if (and where) the student might be a good fit for Grundfos.  The second part was with someone in a department or division that we set up ahead of time.  Through this process, it was a way to see if the student would like to work at Grundfos.  Making sure that the fit is right in both directions is incredibly important to this company from what I can see from my perspective.  It was a neat chance to delve more deeply into the company and into the opportunity.  Also given this unique position, we have been given a chance to run our ideas by some very influential people in the company.  We have developed a good relationship with a few employees who have given us an amazing amount of support, helping to develop a viable plan from every direction for the challenge. 

I've also had a great time with the social media work that the Grundfos Graduate Program has put toward this event.  Its also been great to see all of the support from everyone back home!  Its great to know that at Rockhurst and all around Kansas City and my hometown, we've got an awesome support system of people! 

I'm not sure what else I'd like to share about the experience! We've had snow the past few days, so that's been fun to watch-- with our big windows, it feels a lot like we're inside of a snowglobe! (atleast that's what I'm imagining)

 I'm avoiding posting repeat pictures just for the benefit of those following my Twitter and Facebook also- so I'd encourage everyone to atleast check out the Grundfos twitter @GrundfosGrad- they're posting tons of videos and pictures throughout the day (night for those in North America) to see our progress and the progress of our colleagues. 

Now tonight- we've changed a big part of the outlook for our solution- so we're looking forward to a very late evening, to prepare for our final day of preparation tomorrow!  :) 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Grundfos First Days

Saturday, after a delayed flight out of Chicago on Friday, a short flight in a small plane out of Frankfurt, and arrival in snow and wind in Billund, Denmark, we arrived at the Poul Due Jensen Academy, here in Bjerringbro to compete in the Global Grundfos Challenge.  We arrived just before dinner-time on Saturday a few hours after the Chinese teams had already arrived.  They greeted our travel-worn and weary faces with large smiles and many greetings, which were probably not received the best due to our sleep-deprived state. However, after a shower and some food, we were ready for more time to socialize- a few of the US students even learned a game that the Chinese students taught us.  

Sunday, we began the day with a factory tour on the Grundfos headquarters.  Learning such an in-depth part of the country so quickly was incredibly interesting- especially to the Engineering students I believe.  We then were directed to a new groups- which combined students from all of the teams, Engineering, Business, US, China, and Denmark- into 3 teams of about a dozen students.  We were given the task to create a simplified hot-air balloon in 2 hours that could lift the weight in a full water-bottle.  Each team had a framework, but then was encouraged to expand or change the plan as needed.  My team, Team #1 actually became the eventual winning team- by expanding the framework and lifting 2 1/2 water bottles off the ground.  
Ours is the first balloon- not too pretty, but effective
Later in the day, we had culture "training" you could say.  By having a chance to more deeply look at the Chinese and Danish culture-- exploring assumptions and first-impressions from all of the teams from different countries was incredibly valuable and made us more self-aware of our own assumptions also.  

Today was our day to receive the challenge.  After a few inspiring messages from innovators, such as John Picard, Niels Due Jensen, the son of the founder of Grundfos, and Carsten Bjerg the CEO of Grundfos, we were given our challenge and given the rest of the day to complete it.  We are given all the resources we may need- from experts within the company, to certain resources outside the company to really develop a solution that the judges will also react positively to.  I think many of us are extremely excited about the challenge- and the final product is going to be absolutely fascinating!  

The trophies set out as inspiration for the week! 
I can't wait to share more about this week (hopefully I'll have time to write a little more before the end of the week about our experience at the Academy!!)  hint:  the food has been incredible!  

Also- if you want to check out more updates from the challenge, the Grundfos Graduate program is posting TONS of videos from throughout our days on their Facebook and Twitter sites (Grundfos Graduate Programme on Facebook-- and @GrundfosGrad on Twitter)  You can also follow me on either-- Anna Juenemann on Facebook or @_AnnaMJ on Twitter-- I'm retweeting and posting a mix of everything on the various social media outlets!  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mayors forum and departure

Last night, I was honored to speak at Rockhurst's Mayors' Forum, including three RU grads who also currently hold public office as city mayors of Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri, and Blue Springs, Missouri. I was honored to have a chance to meet all three mayors and talk to Mayor James and Mayor Reardon about the Grundfos challenge. As I sit here waiting to board our flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, I'm very excited to begin this next journey! I will do my best to keep this up to date and full of pictures and stories of our adventures. So far we have a rainy and cloudy day in the Windy City to bid us adieu from the states for a few weeks :)

Monday, March 11, 2013


The preparation for Denmark is coming into its final stages.  I have four more days before our flights will depart from North America for the second time this semester to arrive in a new country.  A large part of the preparation process this week will be packing- but this last week, the chance to go back to my hometown and spend time with family was also important.  There were a few events that I absolutely loved attending while I was there.

The program from the show
On Thursday night, our small town welcomed the Navy Band Sea Chanters for a phenomenal performance.  This performance became their last due to the budget cuts within the national government- they could not continue their tour for the final 5 days throughout Kansas and Missouri.  Therefore, this became the final performance for one Georgina Todd, a woman who was an active part of the Sea Chanters for 20 years.  Her retirement was obviously an emotional event for the whole group- and the fact that it was forced to be early could not have made it any easier.  Their performance was absolutely phenomenal- you could see the passion in their performance for what they do.  They had some fun performances and also some patriotic performances (both are links to some performances that had been uploaded in the past of other performances) which made it fun for everyone.  By representing a part of the military that they obviously feel strongly for, it became a chance for the audience to really see the devotion of this group.  I would love everyone to have a chance to see this group perform, but that can only happen by letting your representatives know.  Here is the link to find out who your elected Representatives are- just type in your zip code and it provides a link to send an email- its always encouraged to send emails to let them know what you would like to see happen (it is their job)- there's no other way for them to know!

I also enjoyed spending a lot of much needed quality time with my family and my community, for instance, at our church's Lenten Fish Fry on Friday.

But now I only hope to finish up these last few days and get my bag packed!  Enjoy the week- I'm sure I'll be back to share my stories throughout my journey to Denmark on Friday!!!!  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spring Break

Its finally here!  Or should I say Winter Break (round 2)?  With all the snow on the ground, its hard to tell.  This week was very busy indeed- (3 day school weeks are just difficult) :P  But overall, trying to finish up everything before another week away from the Rock is definitely a struggle.  

With the start of Spring Break, my Facebook feed has been flooded with everyone posting pictures and statuses regarding their travels.  Rockhurst provides a chance for students to apply for several Spring Break service trips all over the place- from the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and trips within the states.  There are also plenty of people venturing back home to St Louis, Nebraska, New York or wherever they are from to enjoy time with family and friends.  I'm looking forward to spending a few days here in Kansas City (including this weekend) to work at my internship.  Then, I'll spend the weekend back home!!  I'm excited to see family, since I haven't been back to western KS since December, before I left for Barcelona.  

This first weekend back though, I've already gotten to enjoy a friend's birthday celebration at Power & Lights last night, and an afternoon at the Kansas City classic cafe, the Roasterie here in Brookside.  This snowy, sunny afternoon is best enjoyed from indoors, with good music and a great companion (my boyfriend has come up for the weekend to visit me)  :)  we might catch the huge Oscar-winning movie, Argo at the Cinemark on the Plaza later tonight.  

Hope everyone enjoys a little time away.  :)  

This is actually the Roasterie factory image-- but it includes a great view of Kansas City