Remember, you are foreign here – and this is the biggest and maybe scariest opportunity of it all. Embrace it. Join a local group around a hobby you enjoy, and oftentimes there are groups of international descendants that know exactly what you’re going through. You’re not the first one doing this. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to ask for help. In my case, being in the MRP with other folks having done it before me or relocating at the same time helped to exchange tips and just talk things through. Open up. It will widen your understanding, empathy and, hey, maybe even make new friends. Being different is not bad; it is really, really good. How boring would the world be if we’re all the same? Come on, jump in and enjoy it! Last week, I told you about my journey from a small village in Germany to the city of Austin, Texas in the United States during an international assignment as part of Dell’s Marketing Rotation Program. I have a few takeaways for anyone considering an international move.Summarizing my journey, here a few things I learned:Take chances: When an opportunity like relocating or even an exchange for a period of time knocks on your door, take it! Inform yourself about opportunities within or outside your company. It is a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and to get new perspectives.Prep: Make sure you take time to prepare in advance – and I mean at least three months. Lists and a checklist will really come in handy, trust me.Insurance: Check all insurances and contracts you have made at home. Some can be put on hold, depending how long you will be gone. Some need to be terminated and have certain termination policies. Now what you terminated at home, you need to set up in your new place. Familiarize yourself with healthcare options and insurances you need. Get started stat!Visa and passports: Check what visa you need and if all your family members’ passports are still valid.Healthcare and vaccinations: Depending on where you go there might be additional vaccinations you want to get. In any way, check if you need a refresh and schedule before you leave. Also, do you need any specific medicine on a regular basis? Check if it is available in the new country. If not, ask your doctor about alternatives.Driver’s license: I assume that unless you move to metropolitan areas with an excellent public transportation network, you will need a car. Some countries accept foreign licenses, others require additional tests. Check local policies, too. In the Unites States, every state has different regulations.Bank account: Set up a bank account as early as possible, especially when you’re moving to another country. Get yourself familiar with the system, what account is best for you and what you need to set it up. If you move with a company, ask if they have any recommendations or contacts that can help.Secure housing: Don’t move before you have housing secured. Decide if you want to rent or buy. Is an apartment sufficient, or do you need a house? Do your research on neighborhoods that suit your family situation and living standard. Consider things like distance and traffic to and from your work (and school if you have children). Also when researching, check if things like water, electricity, internet, trash are included or are on top of your base cost. And always remember that most places want to have a deposit.Let go of things: Make a list of things you absolutely need and what you can leave behind. Yes, it will be hard. Although I moved quite a bit, it is and probably always will be hard for me. After all, you made yourself a home with things you love. But it’s necessary – you can’t take it all. So, I regularly throw give-away-parties with your friends and family. Believe me, it will make you feel better knowing that your beloved memorabilia, clothes, plants and furniture find a great new home. And, of course, donate to shelters, the Red Cross, or whatever your charity of choice is.Culture and etiquette: moving to a new country can result in so-called “culture shock.” People do things differently. They might speak another language or even a dialect you haven’t had to cope with before. They might have a different way of standing in a queue. It can be very simple things you’ve been taken for granted that will shake you up.
If you like sweet treats (and who doesn’t?), you’ve probably got sugar beets to thank, since they’re responsible for producing sucrose, or table sugar.And those sugar beets are likely to have started from a seed developed by Belgian biotech leader SESVanderHave. With an R&D lab that tests more than one million new genotypes and grows more than 10,000 plants in its research plots each year, SESVanderHave is on the cutting edge of the sugar beet industry.It also generates a lot of big data. Consider that a single bioinformatics project involving next-generation sequencing can generate nearly 150 terabytes of data over the life of the research.SESVanderHave’s challenge was that its legacy block storage wasn’t designed for such big data. Yet researchers kept adding large DNA files until the storage capacity ran out and the file server crashed. This significantly slowed researchers’ ability to complete new projects that were critical to maintaining the company’s market leadership.In response, SESVanderHave selected Dell EMC® Isilon® scale-out storage as the exclusive environment for its biotech researchers. The efficiencies that SESVanderHave has recognized with Isilon are significant:With Isilon, SESVanderHave has reduced the time to analyze a 20 gigabyte DNA file from one and a half days to three to four hours;Projects that could take more than a year now complete in less than three months.As a result, SESVanderHave can deliver a broader range of customized seed varieties to meet specific market needs ranging from environmental conditions to production yields. Additionally, SESVanderHave gained storage capacity and performance to accelerate its genomic research projects and bring new sugar beet seed varieties to market faster. This translates into a powerful competitive advantage.Kurt Bellen, SESVanderHave’s system team leader, says, “Our researchers can process more data, which allows our research department to stay ahead of the competition.”Isilon enables researchers to run multiple analysis tools to complete entire projects more quickly. “Now, projects which contribute to producing disease-resistant plants can be completed in a few months compared to a year before.” said Bellen.SESVanderHave’s IT organization has also benefited from Isilon by eliminating storage silos. Previously, scientists had to find space for their research results wherever they could because the company’s shared block storage wasn’t designed for big data. Now SESVanderHave has a single big data environment dedicated to biotech research.Bellen concludes, “The amount of data our biotech researchers process now compared to before helps them come up with more solutions for increasing sugar yields and overcoming threats from diseases and insects that could limit sugar beet production. This will help us maintain our global leadership for years to come.”Click here to read more about Dell EMC’s work with SESVanderHave in this customer profile.
To learn more about Dell Technologies’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit https://jobs.dell.com/diversity-and-inclusion. Our paths in life are riddled with times of joy and sadness, challenges and triumphs. Your character determines how you chose to navigate your life’s path and its twists and turns. My colleague, Kris Biagiotti-Bridges, has been dealt a path that many would deem challenging and at times insurmountable. But, Kris, she just smiles and says in her wicked Boston accent, “I don’t know anything else.”Kris was raised on a farm, learning at a young age the definition of hard work and perseverance. After graduating with an undergrad degree in Electronic Engineering Technology, she began her career as an engineer and technical writer. Currently she is a Senior Advisor for IT Business Consulting at Dell Technologies. Yes, she is a rising female talent in the STEM industry, but there’s so much more to Kris.Soon after the birth of her daughter, Kayla, she realized her baby girl was different. At age 3, Kayla was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease after many tests and emotional trips to the emergency room. Later Kayla’s diagnosis was coupled with Trio, a diagnoses which she shares with only 20 other people worldwide.When some would slow their pace in life to accommodate a child with special needs, Kris kept running forward. In fact, running long distances! She shared her love of running and competition with Kayla, pushing her in many training runs and competitions. Kayla enthusiastically cheered her mom on in their big race, the 2013 Boston Marathon, a race no one will forget.As a focus for healing after losing her husband and Kayla’s father, at a (too) early age of 42, Kris and Kayla became the first mother/daughter team ever to run and finish the Boston Marathon. Kayla was all smiles as they approached the finish line, but moments before they crossed, the first bomb went off, pushing them sideways. In the chaos, mother and daughter were able to quickly cross the finish line as they headed for protection from the attack. Kayla’s smile never faltered though, she thought the bombs were fireworks celebrating their big finish, an optimistic attitude she definitely inherited from her mom.Today Kris continues to inspire as she shares her life with husband, Brian, who has a son of his own on the Autism Spectrum. Managing a life with two kids with special needs and a successful career in technology, Kris runs her life like one big balancing act. Her days usually begin at 4:30am and are jammed packed with Kayla’s care, her work and the needs of her family and home.Working for Dell, Kris appreciates the balance she is able to achieve in her personal and professional life. Personally, she found an employer with a flexible work culture that enables her to work when and where best fits the needs of Kayla and the family. Professionally, she is able to develop her career and potential to make an impact on the world.And an impact she is definitely making. For the past 5 years, Kris has served as chapter lead of the True Ability Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Dell Technologies, an affinity group that educates and advocates for the needs of the differently–abled. Working together they support team members and families of individuals who are differently-abled looking for improvements in areas such as accessibility, accommodations, benefits, caregiving, self-id, mentoring, hiring practices and neurodiversity. Recently Kris assumed the role of North America co-lead of the True Ability ERG helping Dell Technologies support all talent. And she doesn’t stop there, Kris further advocates through organizations such as Work without Limits, HMEA and various races to raise money for awareness and support.In recognition of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we ask that all employers to step back and evaluate their support for the differently-abled. Whether they are parents to a special needs child or faced with their own physical or mental challenges, everyone has unique strengths and skills to contribute. As an employer, you would not want to miss out on a team member like Kris, who brings determination, commitment and innovation to her company every day. According to Kris, here are the top 6 ways employers can make their companies more attractive to individuals with disabilities in their life.Build awareness and invest in trainingUse local organizations for support (for example, HMEA)Prioritize accessibilityUtilize accessible technologyIncrease the awareness of invisible disabilities (for example, mental illness)Communicate: External and internal communication of company policies and practices – This will encourage those talented candidates to apply!!!
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Heavy fighting has broken out in a Somali town near the Kenyan border between Somali forces and those from the state of Jubbaland as Somalia’s election troubles spill over into violence. Somalia’s information ministry accuses Kenya-funded rebels of crossing into the town of Bulo Hawo and attacking Somali forces. But the Jubbaland vice president tells reporters that Jubbaland forces stationed outside the town were attacked by what he called forces recently deployed to the region by the Somali government. Both sides have claimed victory but people in the town said fighting continued and some people had begun to flee.
WOODSTOCK, Ohio (AP) — The tiny town of Woodstock, Ohio, was the base for two people who allegedly played big roles in the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. Residents are still trying to understand how that happened in their don’t blink-or-you’ll-miss-it, one-stoplight burg. It’s the now-shuttered Jolly Roger Bar & Grill that brought the FBI and other investigators to Woodstock in western Ohio. Federal authorities say Army veteran Jessica Watkins tended the bar and recruited members for a local militia group she has said she founded in 2019 and commanded. She and group member Donovan Crowl are now facing years behind prison bars.
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Public Schools leaders have extended remote learning for two more and called for a “48-hour cooling-off period” amid negotiations with the teachers’ union. They’re citing progress but not a full agreement on COVID-19 safety plans for returning to schools. Mayor Lori Lightfoot says teachers would not be locked out of teaching platforms for failing to show up in person “as a gesture of good faith,” walking back an earlier threat that had prompted union officials to entertain a strike. Both sides have have been negotiating for months on a safety plan.