Getting the news that I was able to intern at General Motors with Mary Ann Brown, I was both very excited and exceptionally nervous. However, I was very excited because Mary Ann has been the Plant Communication Manager for over 30 years, so I knew I was going to be in good hands. On my first day, Mary Ann introduced me to many others and I got to learn how they all work together. She took me out onto the plant floor and I got to see different parts of the process of building engines. While we were walking through, she was able to wave at many of the employees and greet them by name, and for how many people work there, that was impressive to me. We also passed out mouse pads to those who had desks and cubicles, which were also tear-away calendars with safety information and facts on them. Before having my internship, I had not realized just how much GM focused on safety. Of course, with it being a manufacturing site with a lot of heavy machinery, I expected safety to be a big part, but it is emphasized and focused on every day, always seeking ways to improve safety. When I walked in, I had to watch a safety video, and then undergo several safety training classes to make sure I knew the dangers of the plant as well as how to be safe there, too.
At GM, they care a lot about their employees. In the newsletter that goes out to employees, they even include questionnaires where employees can put “Things that no one would ever know about me” and other similar information so that everybody can get to know as many people as they can, especially since they employ over 1,200 people. With this in mind, Mary Ann assigned me a project that involves creating a way to inform employees about products that GM creates/ helps to create. I will have to come up with ways to distribute information about products to the employees in a way that is memorable, measurable, and at times interactive. We will be bringing products in for employees to see, too. I’m also responsible for figuring out costs of presentations and information distribution. It is a lot of responsibility, but I look forward to working with her and others to create an interactive and educational learning experience.
Another HUGE part of General Motors is that they care a lot about the community. I learned a lot in my first couple of shifts about how they reach out to the surrounding community. One surprising fact about the GM Tonawanda Engine Plant (TEP) is that they are a landfill-free facility. Even upon entering there was a slideshow about the environmentally friendly aspects of the TEP. There are countless ways they are eco-friendly, and one of them is by ensuring that no chemicals leak into the Niagara River. They even have a nature preserve between the different plants. I really think that I will enjoy my at TEP, as I already am. There is a lot to learn!