Episode 94 – Shaping the Minds of Tomorrow



Joe: On this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast," shaping the minds of tomorrow, we welcome our first set of interns who are wrapping up their summer internship, what they learned, why we launched the program, and advice for those looking to get into the industry. This is the "CPG & CBD University Podcast," and it starts right now.

I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." If you are a returning listener, welcome back to our podcast. And if you are a new listener or viewer, we are glad you found us on your podcast platform of choice. And don't forget full video episodes on the Global Widget YouTube channel and the YouTube channel of our brands.

Hit that Subscribe button wherever you listen or watch our podcast to get notifications of new episodes each week. This summer, we welcomed our first class of interns as part of our new internship program, partnering with local universities to give recent graduates and current students the opportunity to learn hands-on all about our industry. And joining me for this episode is our vice president of operations, Enrique Porras, and our four interns. Welcome, everyone.

Cara: Thank you.

Ellen: Thank you.

Muhammad: Thank you.

Joe: And why don't the interns go ahead and introduce yourselves, either where you go to school or graduated from, and what your major is, or was?

Cara: So, I'm Cara Duong. I'm currently a senior at the University of South Florida, and I'm majoring in Industrial Engineering.

Ellen: I'm Ellen Miranda. I just recently graduated from the University of Tampa, and I studied International Business and Entrepreneurship.

Muhammad: I'm Muhammad Faseeh Nauman. I graduated from the University of South Florida with the bachelor's degree in Industrial Systems and Management Engineering.

Nathan: I'm Nathan Plumb. Along with them, I also went to University of South Florida, and I graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

Joe: Awesome. And, Enrique, talk a little bit about the internship program and the opportunity that our interns have this summer here.

Enrique: So, for Global Widgets, it's very important to be current and fresh, and how best to get an internship program giving young professionals the opportunity to get professional experience in the real workforce, but also benefit us from their talents and build a pipeline for future employees of the company.

Joe: And Cara, Ellen, Muhammad, and Nathan, let's talk about your summer as you wrap up your internship. What are you taking away from your time here at Global Widget?

Cara: So, something I've taken away is that I really enjoy the manufacturing environment and how things are very dynamic, because when you see TV shows and you see how everything's very constant and there's not much change, but once you're actually in it, you see there's so many different changes happening, and you get to see things firsthand of how things are made, and you get to do things hands-on.

Joe: And Ellen?

Ellen: Yeah. I also agree with that. I feel like we were able to work with so many different departments and gain such an insight into the inner workings of what this industry really is, which we would have never really had that opportunity to do so without this internship, because you get to work so closely with all these different individuals of different specialties.

Joe: Muhammad?

Muhammad: So, basically, my main reason why I joined Global Widget was that most companies, they're product-focused, and Global Widget has been determined to be a leading manufacturer of CBD gummies and consumer-packaged goods. So this would allow me to work at an organization and provide me with invaluable work experience. And due to this, I was able to work on the production floor, communicate with different departments, and be mentored on how to work on a daily basis.

Joe: And Nathan?

Nathan: Yeah. Kind of, the same as they've said. There's only so much you can learn in a classroom. I did have a couple of labs at USF, but working on a GMP floor is completely different than working in a lab at school, just being able to see the moving parts and be able to do work that actually means something.

Joe: And, Enrique, what advice do you have for our interns as they wrap up their program here?

Enrique: Well, and we have talked about it throughout the duration of the internship, make always a difference. And we call it, make a wow factor. And always try your best, but more importantly, enjoy what you do. If you enjoy what you do, it's very easy doing it every day.

Joe: So, what advice would you have...and I think, Nathan, you're gonna answer this first, for other college students or graduates who are looking for internships or positions in this industry?

Nathan: Some advice I would say is, don't underestimate the time frame. So, you might not have the knowledge necessarily when you're early in your undergrad, but there is a lot of open positions for sophomore and junior students. And don't underestimate those positions. You'll learn just as much knowledge as you would in a semester in just 12 weeks or 16 weeks at a company.

Also, don't underestimate making connections, whether it's the job fairs. You might not have the experience to get a job, but just going and talking to those companies and adding them on LinkedIn goes a long ways. A lot of students don't realize this until their senior year or after they graduate. Just don't underestimate that importance.

Joe: Muhammad, did you have something to add to that?

Muhammad: My only suggestion would be to current students and those who are graduating, is just to be patient and trust your journey. And I would always recommend people to use LinkedIn as Nathan said, make connection, because I believe that that's the most pivotal resource in getting a job. And just be patient. You don't have to demotivate yourself. Just be patient and trust your journey. That's my advice, because I have gone through it, and I've been very, very patient after graduating. So my advice is, just be patient. You don't have to worry about anything. Just be patient.

Joe: Go ahead. Cara or Ellen, did you have anything to add to that?

Ellen: Well, I mean, I'm huge into networking. I think it's one of the most valuable things that you can do. I think, like, since day one, when we all met I was like, you have to make those connections and make the best and the most of what you have, because we have amazing resources here, great opportunities. And even as an undergraduate, you have so many opportunities to take those resources into account, into your hands, and do with it what you will. So, like Nathan and Muhammad said, don't underestimate it because, especially as a student, you know, you have everything ahead of you. So you might as well make it work for your favor.

Joe: And I gotta ask, did you guys know each other from USF before you started here or?

Nathan: No.

Cara: No, we did not.

Muhammad: We met here for the first time.

Joe: Awesome. All right. So, what's next for you guys now that you are wrapping up your internship, and, Cara, obviously you're still in school, as you alluded to?

Cara: Yeah. I'm still finishing school. But after that, I would love to have a job in the manufacturing industry because it's just crazy seeing how everything's changing and very dynamic. So that's the route I'd like to take.

Joe: Muhammad?

Muhammad: I haven't made a final decision yet, but I'm considering many possible options that would help me career-wise. But I do have a knowledge or I have a mindset in which direction I need to go, which is the production side, or the manufacturing side, or the logistics sides of a company. So I haven't made a final decision yet, but soon I will, and I hope it proves best to me.

Joe: Nathan?

Nathan: Yeah. I'm in the same boat as Muhammad, a little bit unknown right now, but that's a good thing. Have different avenues you can take due to this internship giving us experience. Undecided at the moment.

Joe: And, Ellen, what are you doing these days?

Ellen: So, I actually accepted a position here at Global Widget, which I'm very excited for. I'm an Amazon Marketplace specialist. So right now we're working on that transition from the internship into the Amazon team, which I'm very eager and excited to be working with, and again, to be staying at Global Widget because it's such a great community and super inviting to everyone who comes.

Joe: We'll have a lot more on our Amazon presence in future episodes of our podcast, but for now, Enrique, I'll let you close things out with parting words for our interns.

Enrique: So, I think that it's very important they have done a meaningful contribution to many processes and systems, so make sure that as the internship program transitions, there's continuity to those programs. We want that great work to continue to help us get better as they have helped us during this internship. The second part is it has been my honor and privilege to work with them, very refreshing, and even I learned new lingo. So thank you for your internship.

Joe: Enrique, you're all up-to-date now on tech scene lingo.

Enrique: Yeah.

Joe: Well, Cara, Ellen, Muhammad, Nathan, thank you all for joining me on this episode of our podcast. Best wishes to you all on your future endeavors, and great work. I know we have interacted somewhat during your internship, and I look forward to hearing all about your future endeavors. Stay connected on LinkedIn.

Muhammad: Yes, sir. Thank you.

Cara: Thank you.

Ellen: Thanks for having us.

Joe: And before I close, I do have to mention, when I first met our interns right after they had started to show 'em a little bit around, I think it was Ellen who said, "I'm gonna be on that podcast." Well, there you go. You got your first podcast episode.

Ellen: It's exciting. First of many.

Joe: Oh, you hope so? And again, on behalf of everyone here at Global Widget, we thank you for your hard work and contributions over the summer, and wish you all the best as you move on. And thank you for listening to this episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." Reminder to hit that Subscribe button wherever you get your podcast to get notifications of new episodes each week. I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." Thanks for tuning in.

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