Oct 12, 2017

The Solon Campus

Life can take you in some pretty strange and wonderful directions.  Just over six years ago, I had just graduated from college with a degree in psychology and sociology and not much of an idea of how I would use them to make a living.  I had a business card that was given to me by a recruiter who had visited the campus in my senior year, so I called, had my interview and was hired as a temp.  I expected to work here through the holiday season, and maybe for a few months in 2012 while I found something in my field.  After all, this was the kind of customer service job I had before I went to college.  In fact, it paid significantly less than the job I had before I went back to school full time in 2007.  However, I took an interest in the company and my role in it, and it allowed me to grow.

Now, as I leave Ohio, I can only look back on the past six years and smile.  The temp gig that was supposed to last a few months until I could find something better has turned into a career as a trainer.  I just worked with one of the largest corporations in the world to develop a piece of software, and a training program for that software, and I will be facilitating the training for this software to a team of over 100 brand ambassadors.

I can't say I ever saw any of this coming, but I am very grateful that it did.

This is where I've been spending a good portion of my time over the past few days.  It's the Solon, Ohio corporate campus of Nestle USA.  I cannot possibly say enough positive things about this company, who I feel have truly taken me under their wing and allowed me to develop into my best possible self.  Before we left, they took my team on a tour of the facility.

This is the front of the building.

This is the rear of the building with the parking lot.

This is the view from the front door on the ground level.  The Stouffer's plant on Harper Road is on the left.

The center of the building is open from the ground level to the ceiling.  Each floor of the building has a walkway around this center.  The glass wall is at the front of the building.

This is the view of the ground level looking in from the front door.

This is the same area as the photo above, but as seen from the second floor.

When you walk past the small seating area on the ground level, you come to a seating area with a large wipe off wall.  Team members are encouraged to share their favorite places that they can visit on a single tank of gas.  This is a pretty cool idea that I'd like to bring back to Wilkes-Barre.

We did the vast majority of our work this week in this glass room on the roof.

As you might imagine, there is a lot of branding and company slogans hanging on the wall throughout the facility.  The "five behaviors to live by" are a solid way to conduct business.

Nestle was founded by Henri Nestle.  He was a German man who moved to Switzerland in his adulthood.  My father's side of the family went the opposite direction; they were Swiss born and they emigrated to Germany.  Our name, Schweitzer, is the German word for a man from Switzerland.

This is the hub of social media communications for Nestle USA.

This is one of the test kitchens where recipes are developed for Nestle Prepared Foods products, including Stouffer's, Lean Cuisine, Hot Pockets and DiGiorno Pizza (among many others).

We've got a big challenge ahead of us, but we're off to a great start after this trip.  It's been an overwhelmingly positive experience.  I hope to have an opportunity to come back soon.