Sunday, December 30, 2007

Week 22 - Flyin by the seat of my pants

Hey there, hi there and hello there all you Iowans and Georgians. I know it's been a short week since the last post, so I'll make it brief. I hope everyone is recovering from the holiday celebrations and all of the food and especially getting ready to bring in the New Year!

It was a fairly slow week at work with only three days and pretty much only three people on the 10th floor. We've got some pretty cool cats up there though so I had to do at least one rolly desk chair race around the place to break up the monotony. I was able to continue work on the projects and prepare for the big collaboration presentation in a couple weeks. I only have another week working in Product Development. I really wish I could've contributed more there, but it was a short month and they have Focus coming up this week so it was just a lot of learning to be had!

I got a pretty sweet invite from the Columbus Chamber to join some of their board members and employees at the Georgia Annual Chamber Conference in Atlanta in the middle of January as a young professional representative. I think it'll be a great networking and leadership development event if my good friend Bob can clear it with HR...he's got connections so I think it'll work out. I also got an email from the Literacy Alliance Executive Director and she wants to take some financial literacy lessons that I talked with her about into more schools after discussions she had with the Muscogee Schools Superintendents...which would be pretty awesome! We could be getting some grants for some of the initiatives, so I'll keep you posted.

I kind of flew by the seat of my pants this weekend and booked a flight back to hang with this lady Jenny for a ski trip later in March. Don't know what it is about this cat, but she seems to be a bit captivating to me:)

Don't have much else going on in the ol' Columbus. Looking forward to the New Year and what good fortune it will bring. I hope everyone is able to stick with their resolutions and has a safe/good/hearty time partying like it's 2007!

Until next year, have a great week! Peace out.



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Week 21 - An extended weekend of holiday wondermous

Hey there, hi there and hello there all! I hope the holiday season has been going just wondermously for everyone as it has for me. I know it's been a while since the last chat, so this should be a good one I hope.

I'll start with the past week at Aflac. It was a fun-filled shortened week at the duck. Business was pretty much as usual with all the projects going on. I had to facilitate a couple of meetings and get the ball rolling on the big projects I've been working on and now I have a big presentation for some execs in a few weeks so that should be fun. I took a class on how to use Access which seems like a pretty cool program for folks that like building databases...this guy would not be that guy. We did have a delicious 10th floor partay where I made the ol' famous dad's breakfast casserole and it was a hit!

Last Monday was my final Junior Achievement class at Dawson Elementary. I brought all of the kids ducks and we had a great time. It was amazing to see the growth in just five short weeks that some of the students had just standing up in front of class and talkin about their business they created. I was attacked with hugs at the end and Miss. Baulkmon told me I should come back before testing time to help get them motivated in April because they enjoyed it so much...that will be fun. Each one of the kids wrote me a thank you as well and they were amazingly uplifting!

Now comes that most memorable part of the week...the trip back to Shueyville! So after I realize the transportation I was going to use on Christmas coming back was not available I knew I was in for a treat. Our flight took off fine and as we approached Moline, I felt the plane bank as the captain got on the loudspeaker, (pretend you're hearing this in a captain's voice), "uhh, ladies and gentlemen...there seems to be a dense fog in Moline and the tower officials will be unavailable in the next ten minutes so we are rerouting to Chicago." Damn. So after 45 minutes on the runway, they inform us (again in a captain's voice) that we can either a. fly back to Atlanta or 2. take a charter bus to Moline. So after we got vouchers to eat at the fine hot dog establishment, we all took our full bellies onto a charter bus for a 3 hour tour (Gilligan theme song) to Moline in the fog and almost freezing rain. After arriving at about 4 in the morn, I hitched a ride with a guy I met named Vince (no last name) and he brought me back to Shueyville...looking back, I guess I can understand why they have outlawed hitch-hiking, but I sized him up and thought I could take him if it came down to it.
Christmas then started when I arrived at 6 am on Friday morning. I went in to the mount to visit with Dean Castle and Anne two school mentors...they're absolutely amazing! After that Steph played chauffeur and took me to lunch with my two best Ryan pals...Funkmaster and Gump. We had a delicious lunch at Victor's Place...I do indeed miss those two clowns...looking forward to seeing Gump, his Jenna and Horman in a couple months down here! Then I tagged along with mom to work on a United Way initiative...I can't get away from the volunteering! Took a wonderful trip with Dad Seda down to Coral Ridge...good bonding time had there.
Then when the pigs were flying in the sky, I went out and had a gathering with one cool cat Jenny...ya, you made the blog:) So I'm not skilled at the whole getting together with a gal and taking her out on the town, so we ended up at Panera which was probably the best. Some hot cocoa, pb&j and good conversation took us over to the CWC and then a movie. We gathered for a bit in Shueyville afterwards and it was fantacular...I'll give her the smiley face sticker for the evening...which is a good thing!
After a super de duper breakfast gathering with my good friend Amy Lynn, who is amazing, and the newlyweds Ryan and Kim, it was time to start the Xmas season. Christmas celebrations were plentiful starting in Clutier and the ride back in what mom coined, "the snow-globe from hell." Eight inches of snow later we ended up back home. Sunday brought a reunion with Z and Ms. Jencks at the mount and then it was off to pops' for our little gathering (pictured above). I did get to see both of my nieces, Lindsey for the first time, which was nice.
Sunday brought the most gatherings of the season starting in Greeley with grandma and the Raves. Of course it was delicious cheesy corn noodles and ham with the fam. Then off in the sleigh we rode back to Shueyvilletown for our family gathering. Wonderful food and family time is always had there! Christmas morning brought the dreaded farewell to Blaker, Dad and's always tough, but I'm always happy to see them.
Off to Manchester I ventured for the fifth and final Christmas with all of the aunts, uncles and cousins. Godfather Dave always provides so much that I am thankful for as well as all of the other great family I have up there. Grandpa seems to be doing well and yes I did get attacked by the youngins yet again. I pulled a fast one on Megan for the gift exchange which I laughed at later that night.
Took a long ride home and after a long goodbye to Barb and Steph, pops and I headed back to Moline. It was a great chat and the time always goes too fast, but it makes a memory every occasion. The flight back home is another story...for another time, but I finally made it back and didn't have to stay the night and catch the Greyhound in the morning.
I will always miss my family and close friends, but you can't beat being home for the holidays. I love you guys and thanks for always being there:) Until next time...don't forget to have your pets spade and neutered.
Alwayz, Nate

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Week 20 - Livin' the Dream

Hey there, hi there and hello there. Just four more days until the trip back home...the countdown is on this holiday season!

It was another fantastic week at Aflac again of course. I'm learning quite a bit about some of our products that we market throughout the US and I've been doing quite a bit of analysis for future product unveilings...hopefully what I've been doing can help impact some future decisions, we'll see. I went to my second Cafe Conversation event last week, this time with Dan Amos our Chairman and CEO. He got up and answered questions in our lunchroom with about 75 other folks. It's pretty cool how the execs take the time out to connect with the employees on a regular basis. I also took another couple interesting employee learning classes on keeping meetings under control and then an all-day class discussing how to lead the team. I think the most beneficial part about the classes are meeting folks from throughout the company and hearing their stories. I went to my first Aflac Webcast this last week as well. Four of execs did a 45 minute skit for the field force where some people from HQ sat in the crown SNL style clapping and cheering as they unveiled power week results and handed out prizes, free food and was a fantastic time! I did get some debatable news though at the end of the week regarding the MBA reimbursement gig they have going and it appears that what I was told when recruited might not come true after all...we'll see how it goes, I may just end up footing the bill to go to Emory anyways...guess I'll take it where the wind blows it.

It was another fantastic volunteer week as well with not one, but two JA class events. I wrap up with the Dawson Elementary school kids tomorrow which should be fun. The really exciting event was last Friday when about 15-20 of the Lasseter Academy students came over to the Tower and we talked about Aflac and the job opportunities that were available. Some of the students got really engaged in the conversation and I ended up by handing out some ducks, so I think they had a good time. Finished up the weekend by getting all my shopping done and then helping the Habitat for Humanity for about four hours doing a little Christmas wrapping...I'm pretty sure I'm a certified gift wrapper after that event:)

Welp, I should probably go finish up the ol' MBA entrance essays and hit the hay. Can't wait to go home this Thursday, it's going to be a week full of fantasticness and I can't wait to see all my family, friends and snow back home (pictured above at my folks' house in Shueyville).

Hope everyone has a wondermous week before Christmas...try not to work to hard and enjoy the season!



Sunday, December 9, 2007

Week 19 - Lovin' the summer weather:)

Hey there, hi there and hello there all. I hope the holidays are shaping up well for everyone! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...ok, maybe it is back home in the snow but down here it's about 77...I know, it's rough but someones got to do it:) I am looking forward to some sledding when I get back home though so Steph if you could have my sled ready that'd be great.

It was another wonderful week at Aflac. Yes, it is first project is on the floor, functional and signed off on so I did a little jig and hit the ol' easy button. The other projects are still rolling and always picking up speed. I'm learning quite a bit about the Product Development department I'm in within the first week. It's interesting to understand the different products we have, how we price them and also how we get them to the customer. The people in the department are fantacular and very nice to boot.

We had another great SIFErs in Action meeting this week. We've volunteered over 100 hours together, started some great initiatives and now we have 7 people joining me for the Hurricane Relief trip...I'm really excited about how everyone is coming together for that, it will be unforgettable! I was part of a focus group for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce in their attempt to get a Young Professional Network up and going. I think it has some great potential and I'm hoping to contribute a great deal, I just know we need to get a going on it and not keep sitting around on ideas. It will be a great thing for the community and it will hopefully change the landscape a bit...look out, here comes Columbus Rising (sorry, that's just a name I came up with:)

I've realized that our basketball team is missing a certain...I don't know what, but at least I'm still having fun! I was able to get back into the bowling circuit this week with the team (pictured above). Blake and I are in a bowling tourney this week which should be pretty exciting! I had another great volunteer experience with the Christmas is for Kids event that Aflac sponsors. I got to put on my flashing Santa hat and help to hand out toys to hundreds of underprivileged was amazing to see the joy on their face when they took their picture with Santa and got their presents...always very fulfilling.

We had our Dirty Elephant gift exchange (a classy mix between Dirty Santa and White Elephant since we couldn't decide on a name) on Friday at our apartment complex. Everyone brought a dish, I brought some scrumtrulescent Hanky Panks, and we had a ball opening up, trading and stealing some pretty cool gifts. All the SIFErs hung out again on Saturday when we all went to Tuna Christmas; a hilarious 2 man play at the Springer Opera tummy hurt from laughing so hard. Then our whole group went out to Houlihan's for desserts, appetizers and of course some Splemonade. It was pretty cool when a couple of the execs joined us for a night of fun, that really said something about the culture at Aflac that I appreciated.

Lastly...the weather, what can I say? It was about 75-80 degrees this weekend so I had to get out and about. Went biking for about an hour and a half and put some serious miles on the old Rollerblades in the last couple of days. I am looking forward to a white Christmas, but I think I can make due with this weather for a while!
Looking forward to coming home in the next couple of weeks to see ol' friends and the family. Until then, peace out.



Sunday, December 2, 2007

Week 18 - Party time

Hey there, hi there and hello there all. Hope everyone is having a wonderful week and that November was a great time for you. Wish everyone luck back home in Iowa with all the sleet, ice and snow...I'll try to send up some of the 70ish weather to you to melt it down. If you could save some for sledding when I get back that'd be great:)

My last week in Policy Services was long awaited. I met some great people there, just wish I could have gotten in on some more projects. We did finally get in the capital project I've been working on forever and will hopefully get signed off on by the end of the week...then the celebrating can begin:) I start in the Marketing dept. tomorrow with Product Development which should be pretty exciting. I met some of the folks I'll be working with; they seem pretty cool and they've already got some projects for me so it will be wondermous! We had a big shake up at work and now a bunch of 2nd VPs all moved around, so it should be interesting times at the ol' duck over the next few months but exciting nonetheless. I had a couple pretty good leadership training classes this week and also had a great lesson in meeting preparedness...I'm learning quickly to have all the answers on hand:)
We had our first basketball victory this week. I haven't gotten to my true form foul outs;) We've got a couple pretty cool guys on the team, should be an interesting season. Victorious Secret had our last soccer game on Friday...we went out with a bang, but lost in the semis. There were a lot of pretty cool guys on that team...nothing like the Cool Hawks...but I'm looking forward to playing with them next season!
Had another fantacular week outside of work too. Did a lot of volunteer action throughout the week starting with week 2 of JA at Dawson Elementary. Those students are pretty cool but then it was off to the Lasseter Academy for the beginning of our investment game. I think there's a lot of potential there, I hope I can get through to more of them in the weeks to come. Saturday I went back to Easter Seals at 5:30 am (wow that was early) to do some pancake breakfast action; I think I probably flipped about 1,000 pancakes but it was fun and I met some pretty nice folks.
I went up to Emory University this week too for kicks. Met with a current student to get a feel for what the class load would be like. The campus was immaculate, the teacher seemed interesting and I guess you can't beat the #2 Evening MBA program in the nation. It's nice not having homework and finals now, but I think another challenge next fall will be good for me so hopefully it all works out and I can get accepted...o, and then I need to work on that whole Aflac kick-back which should be fun:)
Of course I had to end the weekend with the Aflac Christmas party. Corporate signed on the Ojays, had some delicious pasta/shrimp action and of course a big dance floor. Went with a big ol' group and saw lots of people I knew, there had to be thousands of people at the Civic Center. First moves out on the dance floor I bumped into a guy and I turn to see that it wasn't just any guy, it was Dan the Man Amos...Chairman/CEO of Aflac shakin' his groove thing on the dance floor. Of course we had to dance with him and get a picture, amazingness! It was a great time dancing and hanging out with friends and new acquaintances...a great end to the week.
I hope everyone has a great start to the holiday season...can't wait to see everyone back home in a few weeks! Until then, keep livin' the dream. Alwayz....Nate

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Week 17 - Happy Holidays have Begun!

Hey there, hi there and hello there all! Hope everyone had a very filling and very satisfying turkey day and beginning to the holiday season.

It was another wondermous week in Georgia, maybe because we only had to work 3 days:) Aflac is still going well, challenging, but exciting nonetheless. The big project I've been working on forever finally got signed off on and the vendors are coming in this week to install it...keep your fingers crossed. Just getting geared up on another big cost savings project where I get to help design a new envelope...I know, the smallest things in life excite me;) I only have one more week in my second rotation in Policy Services before I head over to the Tower to join the Product Development Marketing team. I am really looking forward to going over to this department to learn more about the products we offer after being on the production side of things since the beginning.

Started back with the basketball team this week after taking a sabbatical for the whole dislocated shoulder thing (yes mom it's feeling much better:). We are not a fantastic team by any means, but I haven't fouled out yet so I haven't gotten back to true form...I'm working on it. Our soccer team made the playoffs and play this Friday night against the number one team, so that should be a wonderful time.

This was the first Thanksgiving holiday I've spent away from my family which was very strange. I miss them all more than they'll know and I can't wait to see them over Christmas. I did get out and about on turkey day though and went to help out at the local Salvation Army. It was pretty amazing to see the amount of volunteers that turned out to help the cause, we had so many that we had to turn some away. We packed the house with single moms, families and war vets but all seemed to be in good spirits with a full belly. I was able to scoop up the stuffing, ham, turkey and dressing and had a few of them come up and thank us for what we were doing...that is always a fulfilling moment in time when you can see the gratitude on someones face for something you've done. Ruth Smeltzer once said, "You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you." I truly believe in what she said, and that day...was near perfect!

I hope all of you back home enjoyed the snow and that everyone had a wonderful holiday. In honor of the family back home, there's a little picture of everyone that I am thankful for: Mom, Dad, Dan, Barb, Nicole, Sarah, Blake and of course my best friend Steph...can't wait to see you for you all!

Peace out



Monday, November 19, 2007

Week 16 - Go Pack Go

Hey there, hi there and hello there...and a special good day to my new niece Lindsay Glau. Congrats Nicolasa and Jeff...good luck:)Had another great week at the ol' Aflac.
Started out things with a delicious Thanksgiving meal over in Support Services...mmm. I'm still workin on these projects for them and it looks like the big one just might get in by the end of the year. We had the vendor come into town to chat about some of the logistics and he took us out for steak...which was delicious! I did a little dance when we finalized everything and I'll do another jig once all of the officers sign off on it...that will be a great celebration! I had my first performance appraisal this week with Bob and it went great. He will be a great mentor in the years to come because he truly believes in the whole servant leadership thing I've been trying for the last couple of years, so it should be a fun ride. I had another class on How to be Successful in your Career and it was pretty interesting to hear some of the stories. People still ask me all the time, "what is a SIFE?" I think I've got the SIFE 45 second little diddy down pretty good now:)
I started my Junior Achievement class this week at Dawson Elementary. I've got 4th graders again for Our Region. I have to say, it was probably one of the most well behaved classes I've taught in a long was super de duper! I also had my 2nd week at the Lasseter Academy. We went over interview skills before, during and after the fact. I was able to show them our MMC SIFE Nightly News Team Interview video and they seemed to enjoy it and learn a few things while we were at it. I see a lot of potential in these students, I just hope they see the same thing...they remind me a lot of the students back at Metro and it makes me pretty jazzed to see some of them get into the lesson. I'm trying to get Aflac to let them come on campus for a tour and to use the computers, but we'll see how that goes. It sounds like this project might help me get into the Literacy Alliance Board of Directors too after the beginning of the year, so that'll be pretty cool!
Last, but nowhere close to least for the week was the unfogettableness of the Green Bay Packer game at Lambeau Field. Words cannot describe how exciting that trip was! First off, I took Midwest airlines and they serve warm cookies and milk...scrumtrulescent. I flew in Friday night to meet up with the folks, Steph and Blaker in Milwaukee where we spent the night. The next morning brought snow (awesome) and a trip up to Green Bay to check out Lambeau. We walked around the atrium a bit, visited the hall of fame and then went and had a big lunch at Brett Favre's Steakhouse. Later that night we came back for a tour of Lambeau which was fantastic! After hearing some of the history and checking out the view from the box seats we went down and got to run through the same tunnel the Pack does every home game...what a rush. Then we stepped foot out onto the frozen tundra and it took my breath away, how amazing it must be to play there...I just wanted to lay on the grass and take a nap!
Game day came pretty quick so we bundled up, grabbed up our signs, put on the cheeseheads and headed out for some tailgating action. After some tasty brats and jambalaya at Favre's we headed towards the stadium and went to our seats on the 7th row up from the 20 yard line...we were so close I could see everything perfectly. More than 70,000 made for a rowdy crowd and a big Packers victory. Favre had a great game, the defense played great and we got to heckle Vinny Testaverde and the Panthers was fantacular! I even got to see the ol' Cain family at the game before the Pack wrapped up the victory. It was one of the coolest spectacles I've seen and I will never forget the atmosphere in the bowl.
Well, that's it for last's to another great week! Have a turkeyrific Thanksgiving week...don't work too hard and always remember all of the things that you're thankful for. I know I will never forget the greatest family and friends a guy could ask for...thanks and sleep tight.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Week 15 - Another day in the neighborhood.

Hey there, hi there and hello there all again. I hope everyone had a wondermous start to November! First wanted to wish my sister Steph happy 21st this past week...she is amazing and I hope she had a great time celebrating with her pals!

Had another fantastic week at work following a weekend back home. The first day and a half I was able to take part in a Management/Newly Promoted training course which was pretty awesome. Worked some on my project in Policy Services but mainly did a lot of work on my Support Services project. It looks like we should be able to get most of the capital in by the end of the year...which will mean high fives for everyone; I'll keep my fingers crossed! We had another great SIFErs in Action meeting and everyone got to share a volunteer was amazing to hear the stories. We've got some great things going on with that little group, it should be an exciting year with those folks. I passed another LOMA industry exam...felt like I was back at the mount. Overall a pretty solid week at Aflac, especially since they came out with the new commercial with Yukon Cornelius;)

It was going to be a great sports week for me with basketball, bowling and soccer...but my first basketball game put a damper on that one. I was on pace to have a double double in rebounds and fouls when I went up for a board and my shoulder got a shooting pain. I went to the bench and noticed that my shoulder was down by my bicep...which was weird to see. All of my teammates freaked out at the dislocation and somehow I pulled a Mel Gibson and popped it back into place. It hurt for most of the week, but I almost have full motion back...I hate going to the doctor so I'm holding off as long as I can. Hopefully I can get back in action this week.

Decided I should probably invite some folks over for a pizza and peach cobbler night...I know, a weird combo but you get my drift. About 10-15 people showed up for Mr. Ed's birthday celebration and to eat some bbq chicken, steak, Alfredo chicken and other delicious pizzas...scrumtrulescent! I think everyone had a good time over at the pad, it was pretty awesome. Another beautiful day was had today, so I went for a nice run after the Packers put another W on the more week and I'll be in Lambeau, yippeekiyayay!

Hope everyone has a fantacular week...until next time, keep smilin:) Happy birthday sis!


Monday, November 5, 2007

Week 14 - Fantastic trip home with friends and family for fun!

Hey there, hi there and hello there all. I'm sorry for the delay, I just had so many wonderful things to think and write about! I hope everyone is well as we're shifting from summer to fall.

Had another great week at Aflac working with everyone to get projects rolling and in house before year end...should be an exciting finish! I've had some great mentoring sessions with Kathy Gant and my boss Bob Ottman has been pushing me to make an even greater impact on the SIFE program as well, which is exciting. Even more wonderful was the fact that Aflac allows the employees to dress up for Halloween, so I got the boys together: Blake, Mikey and Mr. Ed to assemble as the Channel 4 News Team from Anchorman. I was able to sport the Ron Burgundy burgundy suit and moustache and we got some amazing pictures, unforgettable!

Had a great Toastmasters meeting but had to miss out on bowling and soccer last week. Basketball did start and let's just say it was a little rusty! We have our first game tomorrow night, so it should be interesting to see what we're made of!

The highlight of the week by far was the trip back home. Left Thursday night, on Sarah Jenck's bday:) and got back to Shueville late...great to see the fam! We had a nice dinner for breakfast in the morn and then I wen to the mount for a day of catching up and seeing old friends. Anne had me speak to a couple classes, hope I didn't bore them too much...I handed out ducks so it couldn't have been that bad! I was able to see some of my favorite professors, some of the greatest staff, SIFErs and the best friends of all time! Wish I could've talked with everyone twice as long, but it was great to be there.

The reason for the trip started that night, Fisher's wedding...the first I've been in of any of my friends. We had rehearsal dinner that night where I got to see Amy again and meet a bunch of cool cats. After receiving a nice pair of underwear, a glass of splemonade and a tuxedo t-shirt it was time to get some pizza with Gump, Jenna, Horman and Jessi...of course I couldn't forget #2, then it was out on the town with all my compadres in Iowa City. There was probably about 20-30 people that came out for a good time and I want to thank each one of've all been the greatest friends a guy could ask for! We danced the night away and chatted before parting ways again...I miss you all!

After a sleepover with Gump at his new pad, it was wedding day! Of course the priest was late to the ceremony...unforgettable! The wedding was beautiful, the pictures were a blast and I hope Kim and Ryan had an unforgettable time. The reception was more fun than I ever expected, and after we ate and I read my poem (instant classic) it was time to cut a rug! Iowa country weddings are the most amazing events and we danced the night away. I met a pretty cool cat Jenny, and she's lucky I'm not back in Shueyville or else she'd be having a steak dinner with me this week topped off with eating a tub of Rainbow Chip frosting...don't think she had the dance moves of the flower girl though...classic move! Overall it was a wonderful wedding and I wish them the best. I got to play some pong with the Funkmaster before the day ended too.

Sunday was another big family day over at pops' was great to have everyone come down from both sides of the family. It's always great to see all of the smiling faces and hear what all of the cousins are up to!

The amazing weekend ended with another Packers win and a flight back to was unforgettable and thanks everyone for good times!

Happy Birthday to the sister, the big 2-1...don't have too much fun. Until next time, you stay classy planet earth!



Sunday, October 28, 2007

Week 13 - Words cannot explain the amazingness!

Hey there, hi there and hello there! Best week in Georgia by far...I don't even know where to start. I hope all is going well for everyone down here, back home and everywhere in between.

The ol' Aflac Duck has been treating me very well lately...and the AFL stock is on the rise, which is nice:) Work has been quite challenging lately, which has been great. Since I'm the project manager on a couple big projects, it's been really fun continuing to work with the vendors on contracts, NDAs, negotiating time frames and trying to get everything in by the end of the year. Some vendors even gave me a call to see if they could fly in to talk with me from New York...wish they would've flown me to New York, but o well! This week Jason (Swiney), Eddie (Mr. Ed), Blake and I even got to go golfing during work for the Boy Scouts...which was amazing! I actually shot better than I usually do, cutting down on the Caddyshack slice a bit with one amazing birdie putt.
It was an even more wondermous week outside of work. Tuesday night was free salmon and steak at the RiverWatch where we saw some pictures of the Hooch and heard they may be putting in some white water rafting action. Bowling of course came again on Wednesday where we had a clean sweep; I bowled two pretty good games with 162 and 147 but we won't talk about the other one! Thursday Mr. Ed, Swiney and I went out for some male bonding and pizza after golf and Friday brought about my first Columbus Cottonmouth Hockey game. We had about 12 people come and watch the Snakes whoop up on the Havoc including three wonderful fights! Sunday brought about another round of par 3 golf action with Josh, Blake and Mikey...didn't even go in the water this week. There were some hysterical moments throughout the 9 holes and I shot about 7 strokes better this week which made me a happy guy!
Columbus is apparently trying to start a Young Professionals Network like Access Iowa back home. They must have heard I was involved back in Iowa so I ate some lunch with one of the members of the Columbus Chamber that I met at the Legislative Express event last week to chat about how we can get it off the ground. It sounds like I could get pretty involved with helping this thing come to fruition, which would be a great thing for the community. I started up with the Lasseter Academy this week on a SIFE project of sorts teaching them about the financial marketplace. The group of students remind me of the ones at Metro so I am stoked for this project to continue throughout the year. After I was done with the lesson, all of the students were leaving and I asked if they were done for the day and a couple turned and said that Fridays are their days off...they just came in to hear what I had to say. What an amazing feeling, it made me feel pretty good for the rest of the day! Speaking of great feeling, I forgot to mention a couple weeks ago how proud I was of some of my best friends. One of my good SIFE friends Ashley and I talk some and she called me and we started chatting about volunteering and she said that there was just something missing at work, so she decided to try and fulfill that with some volunteer work and it just made me happy. Then the same thing happened with another SIFEr Sarah when we chatted, she always makes me smile. And it didn't stop there, Lindsay called and told me that she was getting involved in volunteer work as well and loving it! But best of all was when my sister called and told me all the amazing thins she was doing back at the mount...getting 50 college kids to go read to youngins is a feat I have never seen anyone do. I know it's weird to say, but she makes me so proud every time I talk with her...she's amazing! Then a bunch of us got together to cap off the week at Easter Seals to paint a few more rooms for the stuff as usual.
O, I almost forgot the most important thing...I'm coming back home this week for Fish's wedding and some good times with family and ol' friends! I am stoked to see everyone...all the friends and the family of course. Shueyville, Iowa here I come...hope you're ready!
Until next time, have a superific week, don't forget to dress up for Halloween and go Packers!
Alwayz, Nate

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Week 12 - Another year under the belt

Hey there, hi there and hello there. I hope everyone and everything is going wondermously for all.

Twenty-three years old seems a lot like twenty-two...guess birthdays won't get exciting again until I hit twenty-five and finally start saving some money on car insurance! Thanks again pops for coming down, it was a blast. Thanks also to my family, everyone at work (especially Annikka's balloon and Ruthanne's cookie cake), the Funkmaster and all the rest of my pals for the great birthday wishes and gifts. I bought myself a new fishing pole and a Brett Favre jersey for the game in a few weeks...very exciting!

On the Aflac side I have run into a crash course of business these last couple of weeks with the projects I'm working on...learning quickly about the importance of strategic planning and the budget process as we're rushing to get in capital expenditures by the end of the fiscal year. It has been fun contacting vendors, working on contracts and bringing people together to get things done...what a rush! It's been somewhat difficult to try and grasp the fact that everything isn't always planned out like it should be and some things get too rushed in my opinion, but I've learned that's why I'm not the one making the big time decisions:) I did get to take an all day leadership course on how to help coach people, which was very interesting to learn about.
We had another great SIFE meeting this week recapping all of the good things we've done and getting psyched for all the things we have in store. My bossman Bob put me in charge of the social activities in addition to running the meetings and I think we're going to have an amazing time getting together outside of work...even more than we do now! We've got some more volunteer action set-up for this upcoming weekend...should be fun!

I went up to the Children's Hospital in Atlanta again this week with Mike Hope and some other Aflac, what an experience. I played BINGO with two little boys that were only 1 and 2. After chatting with their mom a bit, she told me that even at that young age they had already been through multiple heart was really hard to swallow knowing what these kids had gone through, but they were still happy-go-lucky! We played catch with their new football and exchanged high-fives before I said farewell to Demarcus and Demarko...two kids that are an inspiration to everyone, helping me realize how insignificant some of the worries I dwell on actually are. I wish their family the best:)

Had another wonderful sports week with some amazing left-handed Then this weekend I went with my compadre Josh to a podunk par three course, that was amazing! The highlight had to be the brawl that broke out in the fog of our soccer game. After one of our guys was getting kicked, I ran in and tackled a couple guys off of him and must have grazed some fellas' nose. To make a long story short, a guy punched our player in the back of the head and a few others kicked him while he was down before I came in to break it up...I ended up with a red card and now have to chat with the cops to tell my story because our guy may press charges against the cheap shot...should be an interesting experience to say the least!

Other than that it was a great week, full of excitement and adventure as usual. I know this week will be the same.

I want to end by remembering Ryan Zimmerman, a fellow '07 MMC grad whom has passed earlier this week. I was only able to interact with Ryan through Ambassadors and outside of the classroom every now and then, but it seemed as though he had a very positive outlook on life and you could tell how grateful he was to be graduating and on that stage during his commencement address. It makes us all remember that life is too short to live each day for the next. You have to live in the now and make every day count, live life to the fullest and leave it with no regrets. Your family is in our prayers.

Until next time folks, remember to get out there and enjoy your family, friends and everything you have.



Sunday, October 14, 2007

Week 11 - Delicious chocolate and a great visit!

Hey there, hi there and hello there all. Life is good, I read that in a book once and I have found it to be true. I hope you are all having a wonderful time as well!

This has been one great week right from the get-go. I'm still having a fantastic time at work getting to meet new people pretty much every day. I'm still on a pretty steep learning curve in my new department, and the projects from the first stop are still rolling along. It's still hard to get used to the hoops you have to get through going from a great idea to execution, but it is helping me to learn the business that much better. I think I'm starting to understand some of the politics and ideals of Aflac a little better through all of the trials and tribulations of the projects I'm helping to implement and it's very interesting working with the different personalities. I did join the Aflac Toastmasters group so I could get some more work speaking in front of people and thinking on my toes. I've gotten to be the Ahh counter and Grammarian the past couple of weeks and it has been quite the entertaining experience!

Had another fun week outside of work. Of course I'm consistently the most inconsistent bowler, but it's always a good time meeting new folks at the alley. Our soccer team did have a big W this week winning 4-2...chalk another one up for Victorious Secret! I also had a great opportunity to chat with some students at an alternative learning facility. I think this will be a great project opportunity and give some of us SIFErs a real opportunity to give back to the community yet again!

One of the highlights of the week had to be the Business Expo that Jason, Mike and I went to. Met a couple of folks I knew from work, which is always fun, and got a lot of free food. Made a connection with the Columbus Chamber folks and the local news station. The best part of the evening had to be when the Chocolate Fountain lady was spooning the left-over chocolate into the trash bin only to have me ask her to ladle some into my newly acquired water, hilarity ensued! After we took a picture together, I went back...gave her my business card, and told her to email me...yes, I said, "Email me" and walked away...makes for a great story, I'm not planning on an email though!

Best part of the week was when my pops came down Friday night. We had a great weekend of relaxation and catching up. We met some of the SIFErs Saturday morning at the ol' IHOP, caught a movie and watched the Hawks, the Packers and the Chiefs make a solid sports weekend. We even ventured up to Callaway Gardens to see the birds of prey show, the butterfly place and just took time to walk around in the gorgeous weather.

It has been a fantastic weekend with pops, my last as a 22 year, I'm an old man! I hope everyone continues to have good fortune and good times...until next time.

Peace out


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Week 10 - New place...still good times

Hey there, hi there and hello there all. Hope everyone is having superfantacular times all over! I'll tell you it has been another wonderful week down here in Columbus, GA.
I started my second rotation for the Duck this last week and had to pack up my stuff and move out to the Paul S. Amos Campus...holy schnikes that place is huge! There are a lot more people out there, and apparently a 70/30 girl/guy ratio...which is nice:) I had a fantastic time in Support Services and will miss all the great people there, but Policy Services is going to be a great time and I get to do some pretty cool future planning and business modeling so that'll be interesting. I've already met some pretty awesome folks over at my new place and it was even better that we had Customer Service Week this week, which it seemed like the whole company was partying the whole week...then Greg Biffle (the NASCAR driver dude) came and made an appearance. I think I would've been more excited if I had ever watched a race, but thought it was pretty cool they brought him down. I was able to meet the president and other executives of one of the vendors I'm working with on a project, which was very exciting...although corporate red tape is very unnerving at times! I also got lucky enough to go to lunch with the Chief People Officer (that name just sounds cool) for was fantastic, but the waitress was even more amazing...I'll never forget the waitress from Ohio, wow!
So I bowled a 201 last week, and came back with back to back 75, I guess you could say consistancy is not my thing! We did win our third soccer game this past Friday...we've got some pretty cool cats on our team so it's been fun thus far. Took another wonderful bike trip over to Flat Rock Park, I'm starting to get in some good biking out RAGBRAI!
Hands on Georgia week finished up today and I was fortunate to be able to go and help paint the local library, if I'm not careful all of this painting could turn into a new career...pause not! I will say that our Autism Walk was the highlight of the week. I started a team and got 14 people to show up early on a Saturday morning and we raised over $200 for a great cause. This was an event that really hit home and made me think of all the good times had back home with the kids from the Arc, I hope they're all well!
Well kids, it's been's been fun...and it's been real fun. Hope all of you back home are having great times with school, homework and the real world! Pops is coming down this week and less than a month I'll be back home for the weekend...good times to be had. Until next time, peace out.
ps...that picture has nothing to do with anything, it just happens to be the funniest picture I've ever taken and thought I'd share it with you!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Week 9 - Giving back

Hey there, hi there and hello there yet again! What another beautiful week in the Peach state. Hard to believe I've already been down here 2 months...time is just flying by!
This week at the ol' Aflac brought my last day in Support Services, which was my first stop on my 2 year journey with the duck. I must say, if every department I go to is even close to the experience I've had with the people in Support Services it will be an amazing couple of years! Everyone I met in the department was so helpful and kind to the entire time I was there, I know I've made some great friends that will stick with me throughout my run down here. I felt challenged and appreciated with every move I made, and I hope to continue to provide value to that department with the big projects I'm working on. Policy Services here I come:) I learned a lot about the company, budget process, it's people and culture...I think I made the right decision to come down here!
It was another great week outside of work as usual! It all started on that magical Wednesday night Aflac bowling league where yes, I did bowl a 201! Granted I started the night barely breaking 100 the first two games, but then I think I blacked out and bowled 6 straight strikes...that's right, the turkey dance came out twice and it was fantacular. That is by far the highest game I've ever bowled, I don't know what got into me. This weekend marked the first Callaway Biking Adventurness bike outings with Mikey at Callaway Gardens. That place is beautiful, and once we found the bike was amazing, very good times.
Highlight of the week though would have to be the volunteer action on Friday and Saturday. Began Friday with some Junior Achievement training for a class I'll be teaching over the next couple months, but that was just the start. Hands on Georgia Week kicked off Friday night with Game Night for the Homeless. It was amazing just to sit down with these folks and hear their stories and how appreciative they were for what we were doing for them. I was able to play a game or two with some of them, then I got the call to be the, that was a blast. The whole place was laughing and having a good time and it was fulfilling to see how happy these people were that usually don't get to celebrate too much. Saturday morning brought our first Aflac SIFE Alumni Sweat Equity project with the Easter Seals, which is an amazing organization that gives hope and a place to have fun to people with disabilities...something very near and dear to my heart after working at the Arc for the last 4 years back home. Interacting with kids that have down syndrome, autism and other societal disabilities has changed my outlook on life because when you step back and think about it, if they can be so happy with the hand they've been dealt in life, why should I be any different? Although the kids weren't there, our group pulled together and painted a few classrooms to spruce up the place a bit. We had a blast getting together outside of work to give back to a greater cause, and I think we've made a partnership with the Easter Seals for the future...I know I'll be back to help out! I just happened to be in the middle of a paint war with some compadres with the news crew came, and I think they just picked the most ridiculous looking person to take a picture of...I don't know if that is a good/bad thing for me, but I made the paper so that was pretty cool (
Well, another week in the books and a wonderful one at that...especially since I was able to take a nap by the pool today. Just booked my flight for the Packers game on November 18th (Go Pack), starting the countdown until pops comes down in a couple weeks and then in November I'm headin' back home...this month is just going to fly by! Until next time, try not to work too hard out there...if you love what you're doing, you'll never have to work another day in your life!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Week 8 - Lovin' the Duck

Hey there, hi there and hello there again. What a fantastic week down in the south...I hope you are all livin' the dream too!
This by far has been the best week working for the Duck yet. The people I'm working with and the projects I'm working on are fantacular. Been getting some traction on my project to save the company thousands of dollars a month (which apparently is a good thing) and working with some very smart folks. We even were able to take the entire Support Serivces department out to the bowling lanes for an afternoon of karaoke, eating, BINGO and of course...bowling. We were all apparently supposed to wear football jerseys, but I didn't get that memo until I got to I made my own Brett Favre Packers was a hit!
We were even able to pull together all of the SIFE Analyst to start our own Aflac SIFE Alumni team. We're putting together some great projects for financial literacy, the homeless, insurance awareness and the list goes on. I never thought I'd be able to make a difference like I did back at the mount, but if we put it all together...the possibilities are endless on the lives we could impact! I atteneded my first Literacy Alliance Board of Directors meeting this week and they were thrilled to hear about the opportunities, and want me to join the board later this year...very excited about that!
Wednesday night bowling was decent, bowled a 156 (my best ever), followed by a weak 1cough19...ya, still not great! We won our second soccer game on Friday 5-nil and I had an assist, we've got a pretty solid team I think and could do some good things! Like my old self I got my head stepped on and the ref got in my face because I was apparently being a little too physical, don't know where that came from:) Went out with some of the SIFErs again on Friday for some of the most amazing putt-putt golf...words cannot explain the hilarity that ensued! Laying out by the pool has been amazing, but it's cooling down a bit (yes, 83 is cool down here...strange).
Welp, guess this is my last week in Support Services, then it's off to my next department for another couple of months of fun! I'm loving it down here but missing all my friends and family back home...hope you're all well! Can't wait to see you in November...until then, peace out.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Week 7 - Out and about...and again

Hey there, hi there and hello there. This by far had to be the week that has gone by the quickest of any since I've been here...but it was amazing!

Work is getting pretty exciting now that I'm learning the ropes and taking on the projects. It's been challenging to bring together people for the projects I'm working on, but I've found that all the information I would ever need for anything I want is only a phone call I just need to bring it all together to make it work. Had a great goal-planning session with some folks, learning more and more about budget and working to push through these projects before I go to my next department. I'm really stoked about a big SIFE meeting I'm working to set-up with the other SIFE Analyst...I think we have the potential to do some great things for the community. We had a great little new SIFEr gathering at the Chattahoochee River Club where we met some HR folks and had good times eating delicious food!

I was fortunate to be able to do a couple really cool volunteer activities this week starting with a tribute event for 9/11 at CSU where we handed out flags to the attendees for a rememberance vigil with a cool helicopter fly-over. Then, this weekend I ventured up to Atlanta with some Aflac people to go to the cancer center and play BINGO. I met a little 2 year old named Abbey with her family and I helped win them some pretty cool prizes and played catch for some fun!

The weekend was the best yet with some pool playing action on Thursday and then two nights of amazingness! Friday was the Decade Party at the Columbus Museum where Mike, Mr. Ed and myself took on the Anchorman/70's look with amazing suits from Goodwill. We turned quite a few heads at the party with our skills, my short tie and shants...but even more heads when we stayed in costume and went out on the! I think we had some fans that were taking pictures of us and then we owned the dance floor, it was spectacular. Saturday was a great SIFE gathering and a see-ya-later party for Tom before he goes to Hawaii for the military...he will be missed!

The weather is beautiful and the pool has been great, but the bed is calling my name here pretty soon. Another great week down, and a fun week ahead...I can't wait! Until next time, you stay classy world!



Sunday, September 9, 2007

Week 6 - Fantasticness!

Hey there, hi there and hello there again. I hope all has been well for everyone this past shortened work-week. I knew it would be hard to follow a long weekend, but this week was amazing!

Work is really starting to pick up at the ol' Aflac, and I think I'm really starting to get into the swing of it with some big projects. The two big projects I've been working on are starting to come together. I was able to do a presentation for our VP, which went quite well...didn't fumble around with it too much, so that was pretty cool. Hung out a bit more with the SIFErs at work and met one of the new rookies...I think we have a pretty cool crew of SIFE Analyst that came in and I'm looking forward to getting to know them.

Also had my first meeting with the Literacy Alliance to talk about some MMC SIFE projects (I know, I should grow up eh:) that I could do down here, so she invited me to her Board of Directors meeting...should be a good time!

Had bowling yet again this week, and let's just say it was a little sketchy for myself...but Spare Us came away with the victory yet again! This was also the first week my soccer team Victorious Secret...hilarious. Got the start at stopper and did the shimmy a couple of times with success, which is always fun. We have a pretty good team and we won our first match 5-3 under the lights...looking forward to the rest of the season.

My folks and little bro came down on Thursday night, so I decided to give them a little taste of Georgia with my first peach cobbler from scratch...and no one got sick, so it was a success! They came late Thursday night to stay with me, and got to meet my boss for lunch and some fellow SIFErs for brunch on Saturday. We had a great day on Saturday when we went to Callaway Gardens; that place is gorgeous and the beach was fantastic. We went to the butterfly conservatory, where I had a little butterfly friend land on my shoulder! We spent a lot of time at the pool relaxing and catching up, then had a wonderful din din at Carraba's.

After dinner, went to get some new dishes and the parental units thought it would be funny to not only break two plates at Pier One, but then come back and guarantee that the plates I had would not break...don't worry, it did all over the floor!

Sunday was a nice walk down the Riverwalk along the Hooch and some tennis with Blaker, but then they were off too was a great weekend!

Looking forward to having some more folks come down to the south, it's fun stuff!

Big gulps huh, welp, see ya next week.



Sunday, September 2, 2007

Week 5 - Keep on truckin'

Hey there, hi there and hello there. So this past Monday I walk out to my car after a great weekend only to find things a bit off kilter. Sitting on my seat is half of my iPod charger/player...strange I know. Then I notice that my Aflac ID badge is missing...well that's crappy. O, and then I notice that both my passport and Social Security card were gone as well...coincidence, I think not. By this time I began to realize that thankfully I had not lost all of this stuff, rather it was stolen out of my car...bush league! As the days went I noticed more things that I had not remembered, like my packs of gum, my silver change and yes...even my new bowling shoes, dang. I think the thing that upset me the most is that when they stole all of my change, they didn't even have the nerve to take my pennies (I hate pennies) and that my passport picture was pretty darn good; so now someone has a really good picture of me walking around. Life happens, so I just kept on truckin'!

This week was fantastic at work, it just keeps getting better. I'm in charge of a couple pretty large projects that could benefit the company a great deal...hope I don't screw it up:) My boss, Mike, and everyone else I'm working with are fantastic and continue to help me learn the ropes. I took a Image & Career Goal Setting class which was quite interesting. I took what I learned and am helping a couple of folks in my office set goals for the future, they're very appreciative and are excited about having something to shoot for.

Had the first night of bowling (without my new shoes) and we shot pretty average, but pulled out the W over Split Happens. That's gonna be a good time! Practiced a little soccer action as well to get ready for the game this's not Mustang soccer, but it'll do.

Just kind of bummed around all weekend, except for one amazing bike ride. Mike, Tom and I took the bikes down to the Riverwalk where we were met with torrential was a fantacular ride.

Looking forward to the shortened week, my first soccer game and of course, my family coming into town. I hope there is some good weather so I can show my mom, step-dad and little bro a good time!

Until next time, remember that life happens...make the most of it.


Nate Klein

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Week 4 - The train is movin...

Hey there, hi there and hello there. I hope life is well with all. I'm just down here livin' the dream! It was another hot week down in the South, but I have to say, it's gorgeous. I've been able to hang out at the pool quite a bit lately which has been very refreshing.
Work has been picking up lately at the ol' Aflac. I was able to complete the entire budget roll-up for the department I'm in and help to present it to my boss. He seemed like he has appreciated what I've been doing, but I can't take it for granted. I've got a couple big projects now that he is entrusting me with, so I guess the train is starting to pick up some speed. Everyone is still being very helpful, and it's been great to meet new people everyday!

I attended my first Toastmasters meeting this week, which is some sort of club to help people with their public speaking skills. I'm hoping to get into some competitive speeches and contribute more to that club in the future. We also had Diversity Day this week, which was an amazing experience to see the value that Aflac puts on diversity and how it contributes to our culture.

This was also week 1 of the bowling, that's gonna be a great time. I've got a pretty fun team, and of course I now have some sweet bowling shoes to wear around! I also got some new rollerblading wheels...and I hope you got a big trunk, because I'm puttin' my new bike in it!
Got to hang out with the SIFErs again on Friday night and head out on the town to Knockin', country...yikes! Saturday I helped dig some holes for a fence at the Ronald McDonald House which should be a pretty cool project that I hope to help out with more in the future. Went to Bourne Ultimatum and some food at Cheddars...mmm monte cristo/heart attack on a plate!
It's been another great week, and next week looks to be the same. I hope everyone has a fantacular week and I'll check in again next weekend.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Week 3 - Into the grind

Hey there, hi there and hello there. Hope all is well with everyone. First off...Georgia is hot, just an FYI; over 100 many days in the last weeks!

This last week at the ol' Aflac was New Employee Orientation (NEO) time, which was very informative and I got to meet some pretty cool cats. An English bloke Mike and a new SIFE Analyst Mr. Ed/Eddie. Found out that Aflac has some amazing benefits that I will fully take advantage of in the near future.

I was fortunate to get in on some very tangible projects at work, including working on the entire budget for the Support Services center where I currently reside. Everyone I meet continues to be very welcoming and helpful as I begin to get challenged with projects and different tasks.

This weekend, I was able to volunteer for the first time down here with Habitat for Humanity. For 5 hours I helped put up siding for Rhonda and her 5 children that will be moving in the middle of September. I met some interesting folks, including a group of sorority girls and Harley riders...what a combo. Rhonda is actually a refugee from New Orleans, so I was able to chat a bit about her experiences as well as mine having been down there to help. It was a very fulfilling morning of work.

I hung out with a new pal, Mike (big soccer fan), to watch a soccer match. I think I am getting signed up to play in a men's open soccer league down here...pretty pumped about that. Last night, a bunch of us SIFErs went out on the town to Scruffy's to hear a live band. I really enjoy the night scene down here with live bands and people having good times!

That's it for this week, this week looks to be a good one where hopefully I can start taking the lead on some projects and making a difference!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Week 2 - Work has begun

Hey there, hi there and hello there. Another week is now in the books, my first full week in the real world...not as bad as it's all cracked up to be.

I started my two month rotation this week in Support Services downtown Columbus, and everyone I have me thus far has been very welcoming and kind. I hope that I am able to take on some projects and leave my mark before I have to leave in a couple of months.

I decided to break out of my shell a bit (I know, hard to believe) and get involved. I joined a bowling league, Toastmasters and still may join a tennis and/or soccer league by weeks end. Should be a great way to meet some new people and network within the company.

This weekend I also went through a volunteer orientation with Hands on the Valley, a volunteer matching group similar to back home at United Way. I really hope to get quite involved there and maybe even help to create some financial literacy initiatives with some of the other SIFE Analyst.

Went and checked out the Columbus Museum, which was quite nice, and then had my first rollerblading experience along the Chattahoochee River...very nice.

The apartment is starting to all come together and feel like a real bachelor pad!

Well, I start New Employee Orientation this week, so that should be exciting. Until next life!


Nate Klein

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Week 1-A New Beginning

Hey there, hi there and hello there. My name is Nate Klein and I am a 22 year old guy that packed up all my things from Cedar Rapids/Shueyville, Iowa to start the next chapter of my life in Columbus, Georgia.

Although I may have brought all of my material belongings with me 16 hours away, I will always have with me my family and friends back in Iowa.

I have had the great pleasure of living in the Cedar Rapids and Shueyville area for the last 12 years and have met some of the most amazing people from teachers and professors to local business leaders and most importantly my lifelong friends.

My education from both Prairie High School and Mount Mercy College has been two of the best things that have ever happened to me. No matter if it was performing for the show choir, playing football, basketball, soccer or leading the Student Government and SIFE teams…each of these educational experiences have enhanced my life a great deal and I have many of you to thank for that.

With the help of my family, peers and friends, I have been afforded many great opportunities that have been quite humbling. I’ve learned the importance of giving back to the community through some great opportunities as a board member with United Way, service trips to help in hurricane relief efforts down south and empowering others with the skills needed to succeed through Junior Achievement and SIFE.

I am proud to say that because of all of your contributions and these experiences, I feel that I am prepared to enter the real-world.

As some of you may already know, I have recently accepted a job with Aflac (unfortunately, not as the mascot) in Columbus, Georgia. My job as SIFE Analyst: Business Administrative Unit will be a great two year training opportunity in which I will be able to see many facets of the business world while learning and living a new culture down south. My plans are to complete the program and pursue an MBA, hopefully at Emory University, after a year with Alfac.

I can never say thank you enough to all of you that have changed my life and helped shape who I am today. I hope one day that I can impact people in the same way that you have impacted me.

Week 1-A New Beginning

My dad rode down with me last weekend to help me move into my new place in Columbus. After a few traffic hold-ups, we made it into my apartment at Inverness Monday afternoon.

I was able to spend a couple great days with my dad hanging out and settling in. I really appreciated being able to have him join me as I begin my journey. He left on Tuesday, and finally on Wednesday all of my things arrived. After a long day of unpacking and reorganizing, my place is beginning to look like the bachelor pad I had envisioned with all of Grandma's stuff...thanks Grandma.

I started work on Thursday where I was greeted with open arms and a smile. Bob Ottman (the boss man) seems like a great guy, and he had me shadow another SIFE Analyst, Mike Frank, for the first couple of days. Those first couple of days in the claims department were a whirlwind of information, and I learned a great deal by just diving in. I met so many people, and all seemed to be loving the fact that they are working for Aflac.

The weekend came fast. I spent most of my nights watching movies and reading "Today Matters." I am quite pleased to say that I have yet to cook a meal out of the box...without burning down the place.

I went with Mike and Dedra (another SIFE Analyst) to the Flint River for a 5 mile canoe ride. The water was a little low, but the scenary was amazing...we had a great time! After getting home late, two more SIFE Analyst, Miranda and Rosario, wanted to show me out on the of course I tagged along and showed them some of my Iowa moves. I didn't get to hand out any business cards, but did notice that the bars play a lot more country than back home...that could be a problem!

It has been a fantastic week, but tomorrow is the beginning of a full work week and time to show them what I can do. I am looking forward to working in the support services building and meeting some new people.

I will try and post every week to tell of all the tales, maybe leaving a few out here and there, but you'll get the jist. I'll even try to make 'em a little shorter from here on out.

Until next time...peace out.


"The only things in life that you will keep, are those of which you give away."