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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Captone Summer Intern Conference - Day 1 Recap

Today marked the beginning of our Capstone Summer Intern Conference. McGladrey hosts these conferences every summer (and for the first time last winter) at The Q Center in St. Charles, IL, which is about 1 ½ hours west of Chicago. The Q Center is a former college that was transformed into a corporate training and conference facility. Being as far as it is from Chicago (and just about anything else) is a good thing as it allows it’s visitors to focus on the facility and the event at hand. It really is a great facility too, with nice accommodations, all you can eat dining and snack stations, a full gym, a clubhouse with a game room and bar, and outdoor facilities as well. Essentially, they make you feel very comfortable here, and ready to connect and learn.

The interns begin to arrive in the early afternoon, but the conference doesn’t officially begin until 5PM. The conference faculty members, dressed in their alma mater’s shirts, welcomed our interns, help them get situated, and direct them to the amphitheater for the start of the event. At 5PM, the conference begins with an inspirational video, a warm welcome, and an introduction to the first speaker, John Blumberg, who sets the stage for the conference by explaining the Kolbe Index. The concept behind Kolbe is that we all have innate instincts and strengths which help define how we are most effective working individually and as a part of teams, which ultimately the interns will use to learn how to interact more effectively with each other.

Dinner is next. Q Center dining really is a great experience. It’s all you can eat, with several stations serving a wide variety of cuisines (I had sushi tonight). The conference has only been going on now for a couple of hours, and it’s great to see our interns from all over the country start to mingle and get to know each other better.

After dinner, we reconvene for our next activity, where everyone creates Who Am I? poster boards using a variety of materials to describe themselves. As John Blumberg said during his presentation, everyone is creative, and it certainly showed with the work the interns did on their poster boards. To finish off the evening, the interns broke out into project teams, where the teams got to know each other better using their poster boards. Their faculty engagement leader explained the projects that they were been assigned to work on for the conference (more on that tomorrow). At 10PM, it’s time to wrap up. It’s been a long day for everyone, and it’s an early day tomorrow. Some head to their rooms, some keep the networking going for a little longer. I know that I’ll be up early for a quick workout and breakfast before the conference continues. Be sure to check back tomorrow for a recap of Tuesday’s activities.

Click below for a slideshow of some pictures from Day 1.

McGladrey Capstone 062909

Note: BTW, this is the 100th post on this blog! A big milestone to match up with a big event!

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