Oriflame Summer Internship

8. Graduation ball on the Moscow river

Publicerad 2017-07-10 19:14:00 i Anton in Russia

This Friday I went to my girlfriend’s graduation ball on the Moscow river. After another week with intense rain and low temperatures it was nice with a moment of celebrations, food and dance.

 Just arrived to the boat.

I took off from work around 18:00 on Friday afternoon and met up with Lolita at Kievskiy Vokzal, one of the major railway stations, at 18:45. The boat was waiting for everyone down by the pier. I had put on a dark suit for the occasion. The invitation said black tie but I thought I could get away with an ordinary suit. I was right since there were only artsy and theatrical people at the ball and most people of them have probably never had a reason to dress up in a smoking. One girl had even misunderstood what black tie meant and came to the ball in a black dress and a black whip(?!) as accessory. :) At 20:00 the boat took off and cruised along the Moscow river for a couple of hours. There were speeches, a lot of them before they served the food. The student in me still threw itself on the occurrence of unlimited free food and wine. It was good and tasty. They had a couple of jazz bands, who played during the dinner and afterwards a DJ took over and everyone went to the dance floor. We also danced and had a good time. Overall, it was a great evening with nice view of the city, good food and fun times.

 Enjoying the sights and food.
 The dance floor is open!
Stay tuned!
/Anton
 
 

7. Work, bad weather and banya

Publicerad 2017-07-05 19:40:00 i Anton in Russia

Hello!

I’ve been quite busy the last week with both work and leisure. Unfortunately had to postpone some blog writing. I am closing in on the end of my project as well of my staying here. There has been a lot of meetings and some minor presentations at work since last week. It as a lot of fun and I have taken on some new tasks for other stakeholders as well.

Farewell celebrations and banya

This weekend I said my farewells to a friend who’s leaving Moscow for new pastures. We were a gang of Swedes, Finns, Latvians and Russian who spent the evening together. First the larger part of the group went to Sandunovskie Bani, which is a Moscow landmark and one of the oldest banyas in central Moscow. It was nice just hanging out, having some beer, vodka and snacks. Afterwards we met up with some more people at a trendy Mediterranean restaurant.

Coldest summer in 130 years

Since Monday I’ve been digging into my work tasks. They say this is the coldest summer in 130 years here. The weather has been quite terrible since my arrival. It feels like it has been raining every day and rather cold. This is strange because usually Moscow summer are very hot! Anyway, it has been easy to focus on work. Just looking out the window and seeing all the grey clouds, rain and thunder makes it feel quite cozy to sit behind the computer in the office. :)

 This has been the standard view from the office. :)
 The Gorkiy Park with the triumph arch in the background.
 Lovely company.

It hasn't been raining all the time so yesterday I could take a walk in the Gorkiy Park with Lolita. The Gorkiy Park is Moscow's main city park. Summertime, it is green with trees, flowers and park ways. There are a lot of cafes and restaurants there and it is one of the most beloved places by Moscovites for leisure time.

 

All the best,

Anton

6. Presentation and Deadlines

Publicerad 2017-06-28 20:13:00 i Anton in Russia

Привет! (hello!)

This week I have been once again been diving into marketing trends and concepts. The Monday was spent preparing for a mid-project presentation I had on Tuesday. I have also deadlines for some objectives coming up so it’s I’ve been focusing on to get my material ready.

Mid-project presentation

This Tuesday I presented what I’ve have come up with so far in my research. I presented for the main stakeholders I must relate to in the communication project: Linda, Olga and the channel managers Kirill, Anna and Maria. Everyone had already got a pdf with 100 slides the evening before and so I only presented a ‘summarized’ version on the meeting. You can only do so much in one hour! I still had more than 50 slides with content that I couldn’t exclude. The meeting went alright. I presented briefly on all covered issues in a rather fast pace. There was some good discussion between the sections of the presentation, which is good. It is the whole idea of what I’m doing here. I’m trying to come up with input that makes people think about how things regarding the different communication channels can be done better or that maybe aren’t being done at all now

.

 Focused Oriflamians. Great deeds in the making.

The week progresses

Since the presentation on Tuesday I’ve been diving into the research again. I must finish some material for Kirill and Maria by the end of the week so there’s no time to waste. :) Sometimes I miss out on breakfast at home when I feel it is being better spent either sleeping or working. Thankfully, there are protein shakes and powder soups in the kitchen corner of the office. It a real lifesaver.

 Oriflame Wellness products - real lifesavers!

This weekend I’m looking forward to go to the banya to say farewell to a friend who’s leaving Moscow for new pastures. It will be an awesome reward for diligent work.

/Anton

5. Weekend at the dacha

Publicerad 2017-06-25 21:09:21 i Anton in Russia

Hello!
I spend this weekend with my girlfriend and her parents at their dacha. For those of you who don’t know, dacha is a typical Russian vacation house on the country side. Moscovites love to get out from the city for some fresh air and nature whenever they can and many of them have their dachas.
 
Going to the dacha after work on Friday

This Friday I went straight home after work. Packed my stuff and changed clothes. Then Lolita and her parents picked me up at 20:45 and we hit the road. Their dacha is located close to Volokolamsk around 130 km from the city center. We weren’t the only ones going to the dacha a Friday evening so the traffic was rather heavy. It us around 2,5 hours to get there. Usually you can make it in 1,5 hours. We were all rather tired whenever got there so called it an evening.

 The dacha. Not only a place of relaxation. The grass doesn't cut itself.

Relaxation, good food and Russian banya on Saturday

The Saturday was about relaxation. I got out of bed late, had breakfast went out to the hammock and read for a while. After that, I and Lolita took a walk. In the evening, we had a typical Russian barbeque with shashliki (pork grilled on toasting irons). Sergey, one of the neighbors came over as we were having dinner. He told us that he was firing up the banya and that we were welcome over. So, we all went over after a while. Sergey’s brother and father was there as well. My mother-in-law and Lolita styed for a short while and said hello before going back. So, I and my father-in-law stayed with the other men. It was nice and relaxing with some good banya. I thought to myself this is so Russian, as I sat outside the banya between the rounds at a table full of snacks. Of course, we had some drinks of vodka and something ‘home-made’. As the evening progressed, Sergey brought out his rifle so we could go shooting on the lawn. Unfortunately (luckily?), he couldn’t find any ammunition so we gave up the shooting.  Overall it was a great evening; the full Russian experience and I am grateful for all the hospitality everyone shows.

 Taking a walk.

Return to Moscow

On Sunday, we repeated what we did on the Saturday with exception for the dinner and banya. We went back to Moscow as the evening closed. Very nice weekend indeed and now I feel relaxed and ready for a new week at work.

/Anton

4. Midsummer celebrations and team-bonding amid all work

Publicerad 2017-06-23 19:03:14 i Anton in Russia

Sofar this week I’ve stayed busy with my project assignments. This week I and Olga met with Maria, another channel manager to her what kind of research she needed. I also got an addition from one the other channel managers. So now I have a lot to do but I have the full picture.

Midsummer celebrations

This week we’ve had a pair of social events at work. This Tuesday we celebrated Swedish midsummer with some traditional dance and song, followed by some cake. I had the responsibility to prepare songs and dance so I had chosen “Prastens Lilla Kraka” for song and dance and “Helan Gar” for a toast afterward. Johan Rosenberg, who heads the CIS-region opened the celebrations before he gave me the word. It was fun to take charge and demonstrate the songs and dance before encouraging everyone to do it all together. It was a nice fika and a good chance for all locals to bond with Oriflame’s Swedish heritage.

 Mmm all the good stuff

Team-bonding

This Wednesday we had a team event so the team had a chance to get to know everyone a bit better. We started after lunch with Linda presenting the day’s agenda: strategy discuassions, individual plan reviews and strategy workshops. Linda did not have any poker face so after 10 seconds she stopped pretending that we should do all this ‘boring’ work before all the ‘fun’. I thought it sounded interesting. Anyway, we dropped everything and went to an art studio, where we painted pictures in groups. Linda will hang the paintings in her office. After that we went home to Linda’s place for dinner and drinks. Overall, it was a great day and I think I got the chance of knowing the team a bit better. :)

 A lot of creativity going on.
 Oriflame products run in their veins. :)
 The end result of my group's creative effort.
 
All the best,
Anton

3. 15 000 Oriflame-consultants at Megaforum!

Publicerad 2017-06-19 16:53:00 i Anton in Russia

Hello everybody!

This Saturday it was time for Megaforum. Megaforum is an event that is arranged regularly to celebrate and reward Oriflame consultants for their success. This time it was held at the Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow and 15 000 consultants gathered together with Oriflame management and employees to perform this grandeur event! It was a day of motivational speeches, success stories, music and introduction to new initiatives and products followed by fun and relaxation at one of Moscow’s most famous night clubs. I was blown away by the magnitude and professional execution of the event. My initial reaction was that this is like the Eurovision Song Contest Final but with better content.

The Olimpiskiy Arena. It was impossible to cover all of it in one photo.

Megaforum on Olimpiyskiy

I arrived to the arena at 11:45. At first sight I found it quite unbelievable that such a large arena was needed for a corporate event. The Olimpiyskiy Arena is one of Europe’s largest arenas with closed roof. I walked in and took my seat in the section for Oriflame employees. A had view over the whole arena and the stage and everything and could see all the people streaming through the doors.

Magnus is speaking.

The atmosphere was booming when the event started at 12:00 and the crowd cheered. After that the whole schedule followed. Members of group and senior management were treated like rockstars, when they held their speeches. Magnus, the CEO himself was there and all the consultants went crazy. Successful consultants received awards on stage with glitter and glamour. Some of the consultants shared their stories and how they their experiences with Oriflame transformed their lives. Even a famous Russo-Ukrainian pop group performed with some of their hits. Their English name is The Virgins but in Russian it’s literally VIA GRA. :)

Awards!

The Megaforum finished a bit after 18:00 and was left deeply impressed by the whole thing. The atmosphere pulled you in to the Oriflame-culture and sense of connection between everyone there. No matter how interesting it was the whole six hours, it was about time to get some food.

Afterpart at Jagger Bar

An afterparty was arranged at Jagger Bar, which is a popular open-roof bar in Moscow. We were lucky with the weather! About 600 selected consultants relaxed and had a good-time with Oriflame management and employees. The consultants had to participate in a competition on Instagram, where they put out a thematic picture to win a ticket for the afterparty. I went straight from the arena to Jagger Bar and met up with my girlfriend Lolita outside the bar.

Finally some food.

 Me and Lolita posing for the cameras
 Magnus and the other big shots came to the party

It was fun to relax, dance and have fun with colleagues, consultants and management. It also great to see members of group management hanging out with the grass roots of the business. I think that’s a great thing to do. However, sometime after midnight it was time for me and Lolita to make our way home. A day of so many impressions. I am so glad I have the opportunity to experience all this. :)

My Iphone 5 doesn’t do justice to everything pictured but take a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7D6p7kMR-4 for a livestream of the Megaforum-event.

2. National Holiday and Full-Speed Ahead in Week 2 in Moscow

Publicerad 2017-06-18 14:53:00 i Anton in Russia

Дорогие Друзья! (Dear Friends!)

The second week in Moscow has been great. Monday started off with a holiday and ended with Megaforum!

 Russia Day

Monday was a national holiday: Russia Day. It commemorates the creation of the Russian Federation in the transition from the Soviet Union. So, everyone got the day off from work to celebrate the holiday. I did however work a couple of hours from home to do some adjustments to an assignment, which was due to Tuesday. In the evening, I met up with my girlfriend to see the fireworks, which were planned to 22:00 around the Red Square. I met her close to the Red Square at 21:45 and we went to a spot with good view over the Kremlin. The fireworks were supposed to be set off after a VIP-concert that took place on the Red Square. We were unfortunately not invited to the concert. So, we waited there with hundreds of other people and the clock turned 22 but no fireworks. No big deal, a small delay is ok. 22:05 still no fireworks, hmm well soon probably. 22.10 hmm, if there’s still no fireworks. 22:15 a soldier walks up to the crows and says: “Hey folks! The firework was moved forward, there won’t be anymore. Go home!”. So, that’s it. Sometimes things don’t turn out as planned in Russia.

Close but no cigar. Nice evening though.

Making progress at work

It’s been raining a lot this week, so it’s been easy to focus on the work at hand and shut out the outside world. I have gotten a lot of things done already done a significant part of my project, which is good since I need to deliver the bulk of my project in just a couple of weeks. My project is a part of a much larger project at the office so I need to adapt my schedule after what fits all other cogs in the machinery.  I don’t mind if that means that I need to speed up sometime because it feels good to doing impact, where it matters and being part of a larger context. This way there is no risk of being ‘isolated’ with my own ‘special assignment’ with no real connections to all other things that go on at the department.

A moment of clarity. The Moscow State University can be seen in the distance behind the Luzhniki Stadium from the office.

On Tuesday, I and Olga sat down for a feedback session after lunch. It was great to get some feedback on the work I have done, both to confirm that I’m on the right track and to get some advice on future directions, focus areas and improvements.

Speaking a lot of Russian

One thing I have reflected upon is that I talk in Russian 90 % of the time at work. I’m a bit surprised of how well it is working. I and Olga had a meeting with Kirill, who is one of the Channel Managers, who I am supporting with some analysis. The purpose of the meeting was to define the analyses that Kirill needed me to provide and we took the whole meeting in Russian. I didn’t feel any need to clarify anything in English. It feels good that all those thousands of practice hours are paying off! It is only with the other Swedes or in mixed groups that I talk Swedish or English.

Score! Double rainbow seen from the office.

Learning new things

Since the project that I’m working on is related to Marketing and especially Brand Communication, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot of new things since the start of the internship. I have not worked directly in this area before and I can say that the learning curve has been steep in the last two weeks. This Friday we had a team meeting to go through the results of a campaign that ran on TV and internet earlier this year. It was fascinating to get some insight in how you work with targets and KPIs in this sphere of business. Overall, all these experiences keep adding more and more pieces to the puzzle of how businesses work.

That’s all for this time but stay tuned for an update on Megaforum! It deserves its own post.:)

1. First work week

Publicerad 2017-06-15 09:20:00 i Anton in Russia

Hi!

I hope all of you will enjoy taking part of my time as a summer intern for Oriflame in Moscow. I will share both work and spare-time activities to give you true insight of what it’s like to an internship in such an exciting place as summer-time Moscow.

Flight in

I have already finished my first workweek with lots of exciting activities, so I’ll give you a recap of what’s happened since my arrival. I flew in Sunday afternoon to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Debora, one of our great administrators had a taxi waiting for me. The driver was already briefed on everything and took me straight to the apartment where I am staying. It was great, that everything went so smoothly and the clock was only around 18 pm when I arrived at the apartment. I was a bit tired after finish my last exam on Friday, moving out from my apartment in Uppsala on Saturday and flying to Moscow on Sunday, so took an early evening after going out to get a new cellphone number. However, before I went to bed I reflected on how fast time flew by and that it felt somewhat strange but good to be back in Moscow for work again.

First day at work

Monday morning, I woke up at 8 am excited about my first day at work. After finishing my morning routine I took the metro from the station Belorusskaya (close to the apartment) to Sportivnaya, where Oriflame’s regional head office is located. When I arrived to the office, I bumped into Linda, who leads the Brand and Communication department here. She greeted me, introduced me to some nice colleagues and showed me the way to the 4th floor, where I have my desk. There I met Olga, who I report to. She is a Global Business Leader and has already been here for some years now (Don’t worry there will be a more thorough introduction of her). Olga took me on a tour through the facilities and helped me get a hold of a computer. The rest of the time before lunch was spent on getting more acquainted with Oriflame’s business model.

Olga, Nastya and I at lunch in the office cafeteria. Yes, it's Stockholm on the wallpaper. :)

After lunch it was time to kick-off the communications project I will spend most of my time working on together with everyone involved in it. It’s always nice to hit the ground running! The project is basically about coming up with new strategies for the different communication channels, which are in use here. My main responsibility is related to the external-analysis part and involves mapping communication trends and coming up with input, that the channel managers will use in the strategy-crafting stage. The rest of the afternoon flew by and in the evening, I went out with Olga, some other colleagues and expats for dinner at Mos, a Scandinavian restaurant. Funny thing, that the first dinner out would be food with such a high recognition factor.

I went to bed around 12 pm and Moscow already felt like home again.

Second day at a photoshoot

The second day I met Olga in the morning at a photostudio in a former industrial area close to metro station Elektrozavodskaya. We were to spend the day at a photoshoot for an upcoming journal, that Oriflame produces every quarter. It was a great chance to see all the work behind all beautiful pictures, which are so vital in the beauty business! It was real Oriflame consultants modelling that day and I think it is great that those so important to the business get featured in the marketing material. When things had settled down me and Olga sat down and planned my tasks for the rest of the week before calling it a day.

Me and the Oriflame-team at the photoshoot.

The rest of the week flew by when I dug into some research at office. The week has been a great start to the internship. I feel like I have great and supportive colleagues, meaningful work, in a fun business, in an awesome city. It can't get better than that. :)

Om

Min profilbild

On this blog you can follow some of the Oriflame Global Summer Interns who have been selected for their passion, creativity and energy to complete exciting strategic projects in one of our locations around the world. This summer we will follow Emilia Bryngelsson, who is doing her summer internship in Istanbul and Anton Ekman who will be working in Moscow. Feel Inspired? Do you want to dare yourself and take the leap out in the Oriflame world ? Be on the lookout on our corporate site when applications for Global Summer Internship 2018 opens up in December!

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