Student Blog: Notes from Brussels (Internship)
Week 4 of Internship in Brussels, Belgium
by Shahin Soltan '09
My fourth week was a bit more exciting than the previous one. Monday probably was my favorite day at work so far. We cracked a lot of jokes and laughed together at work, but we also got plenty of stuff done. I was given a task to analyze this year's budget for the different entities of the Delhaize Group. It wasn't an easy job considering the organization is large. Specifically, I had to compare the forecast for quarter 1 (Jan-Mar) with the forecast for quarter 2 (Apr-Jun), to see if there are any differences, if so why. I first had to try to explain the differences myself by looking more in depth at the budget, but if I couldn't explain it I needed to ask a question and forward it to someone who knows the answer.
During the past week we also had a meeting with a person from TMS (the automatic accounting system). He helped us map all of the accounts and balances that we needed to map for March 2008. Now we have to do the same thing all over again for April, but hopefully it won't take as long because we know more about where all the accounts belong in TMS so now we just have to find the differences in balances between SAP (the manual accounting system) and TMS.
On Friday I also had the opportunity to sit in a meeting with internal audit of Delhaize. It was interesting to sit in that meeting because it made me better understand what exactly internal audit does and how important they are for the company. The meetings get a little bit complicated sometimes because everybody in the meeting usually doesn't have the same mother tongue. Most meetings are in English, however, I believe the associates here are doing a great job speaking it the best they can. Should there be any problems, there are usually a few individuals who speak both English and the native language fluently who can translate.
This weekend I had lots of fun too. My mom is still here and we wanted to go see the famous Atomium here in Brussels. Everybody at work was telling me that I really needed to go and that it is the pride of Belgium. Atomium is like a monument which looks like atoms put together. You can take an elevator and go up to the top and see pretty much all of Brussels. You could go to every single one of the "atoms" which had their own little special purpose. In one there was a restaurant, in another art, in another they had the history of Belgium, etc.
Later on in the evening my mother and I decided to go out for a walk again. We just wanted to get some fresh air but we got a lot more than that. We saw an unusual number of people out on the streets. We went downtown and saw over a thousand people gathered in one area. We could hear music so we went closer and saw that they were having a concert. It was free entrance so we went in but once we got somewhat close to the stage they started packing up for the night. So we didn't get to hear a lot of the music but people were still there and just dancing having a good time. That was a new experience for me but I liked it.
Today is Sunday and I think I will go for a jog in the park so I will be ready for another week of hard but exciting work.
PHOTOS: Business Internship in Brussels, Belgium