Student Blog: Notes from Brussels (Internship)
First Week on the Job in Brussels, Belgium
by Shahin Soltan '09
After arriving a few hours late and missing our plane due to my traveling buddy's ticket issues, we got on the next available flight and arrived safely in Brussels, Belgium. Because of the fact that we were late, our driver had left us and we had to pay 40 euros (equivalent of about 65 U.S. dollars). At the time, we didn't think of how expensive a 15 minutes drive was in Belgium, all we could think about how nice it could be to have a bed to lay down on. Total flight time from Charlotte, N.C., to Brussels, Belgium is about nine hours but since we stopped in Munich, Germany, it took us a little bit longer and we arrived in Brussels around 12 p.m.
My buddy Chad and I took a few hours of nap time until we felt like it was time to explore the city of Brussels for a little bit. Fortunately, we are staying at a hotel very close to the downtown area so we didn't need to walk very far to see some stores and lots of people. Although all the stores, except for a few restaurants were closed it was nice to just look around. If we hadn't lived so close to downtown it wouldn't have been the disaster either considering the fact that Brussels have a very nice public transportation system which involves subways, trains, and buses. It didn't take long for us to learn how to work our way around the city. Most importantly, I learned how to get to and from work. It takes me about 45 minutes to travel one-way, so I need to leave around 8 a.m. in the morning in order to be at work before 9 a.m. I am usually done with my work around 6 p.m.
The place I do my internship for is called Delhaize Group and it is a grocery chain, which also owns Food Lion in the United States. My daily tasks are booking bank transactions for the Accounting Department. It is not uncommon to perform transactions for billions of euros. My internship also has a nice cafeteria and it is fairly cheap to eat there and the menu usually involves soup of the day with a sandwich or hot meal.
Chad and I have also gone out exploring the city which we have some pictures of as well. One of my friends from Sweden is coming on Tuesday June 3rd and we will definitely do some more exploring then. After he arrives, my mother is going to come visit me for a few weeks which also will be nice.
Right now I am just relaxing and cleaning up a bit so the room will look nice for my guests that will be arriving. I am excited to start another week of hard work at the corporate offices of Delhaize. Talk to you again next week. Until then, take care.
PHOTOS: Business Internship in Brussels, Belgium