Friday, June 5, 2009

Intern: Josh Engel

picking mangoes outside the new one mango tree compound in gulu

Josh Engel. Not your ordinary intern.

Josh is heading off to business school in the fall at Kellogg. After resigning from his position at the City of Chicago working with refugee resettlement and training, he headed over to Southern Sudan to help assess community needs for some Sudanese refugees back home who want to rebuild. Our paths crossed in Kampala, when a mutual friend suggested we have coffee.

A few days later, we agreed that Josh would stick around Uganda for a few months, interning with One Mango Tree. His task? Intel. Or that's what Lucy thinks. "Josh, are you a spy?"

No, not really. But Josh is studying our production process. After getting to know the ins and outs of how One Mango Tree operates, he's taking the process step-by-step and looking for where we can improve quality, timeliness and costs. He's writing it all down, laying it all out, and making suggestions for how we can create better products faster and with little waste - all while adhering strictly to our fair trade framework. In many ways, the work he's doing is re-shaping the way One Mango Tree operates - and I couldn't be happier with the results.

In the meantime, he's getting to know the ladies - sharing market lunches, experimenting with more manly laptop bag designs, and meeting one-on-one over sodas at Jojo's. One of these days we'll have him actually climbing the trees to pick the mangoes.

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