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4 Ways to Become Your Own Best Advocate

4 Ways to Become Your Own Best Advocate


If you’re familiar with redpepper, you’ve probably figured out that this place is overflowing with passionate people, resources to grow your mind, and dogs (obviously). There are also a lot of opportunities to become a better version of yourself. So, how do you take advantage of all of this? To quote our incredibly exuberant and inspiring Partner Coordinator, Amy, “redpepper doesn’t inspire me, redpepper allows me the place to be inspired.” It’s on you to be inspired and forge your own path, career or otherwise, and here are four tips to doing so!

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1. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up About Your Goals for the Internship  

Here at redpepper, your growth is your responsibility! There are so many resources to help you achieve this, but you have to speak up about what you’re hoping to get out of this experience - no one will decide for you. Use weekly 1 on 1s with your manager to communicate what you’re passionate about and the type of work that you want to be doing; you’ll be surprised how much impact you can make!

2. Interact With Other Departments (and Ask Lots of Questions)

One of the coolest parts of redpepper is how interwoven every department’s work is. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask to talk with or help peppers in other departments to learn more! Even cooler? There’s a “Coffee & Questions” scheduled between every department and the intern class to help you discover what every person here at redpepper does - use this time to ask lots of questions!

3. Attend Every Meeting and Company Event That You Can

So many cool meetings happen at redpepper every day, so take advantage of them! In just the past 6 weeks, I’ve been able to go to super cool events like a luncheon with the Head of Artist and Label Marketing of Spotify sponsored by the Nashville chapter of the AAF. Make sure not to miss internal meetings too -- the weekly Alignment meeting on Monday afternoons is filled with good information with a redpepper flair, and the reminder to always ~Hustle & Grow~.

4. Make Your Intern Project Something You’re Passionate About

Last but not least, pick an intern project that you’re excited about! redpepper lets every intern own a project to work on during the internship, and it’s your chance to make a lasting impact on redpepper. Pick an intern project that aligns with your goals and passions -- this guarantees that the experience will be meaningful and something that you’ll proudly refer back to months after your internship comes to an end. Take advantage of that chance!


No amount of words can express the abundant possibilities that redpepper presents to its interns; this (really cool) place offers countless opportunities to become a better version of yourself while also figuring out your career goals along the way. Jump head first into every growth challenge you take part in, meeting you attend, and project that gets handed to you, and you’re bound to learn plenty along the way. Remember you’re your own best advocate, and that starts from day one as an intern at redpepper!

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Julie Gelfand, Human Resources Intern







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redpepper's Core Values: As Told by rp Pups

redpepper's Core Values: As Told by rp Pups

As you may have heard, redpepper has 5 core values that we live and die by. You ALSO may have heard that redpepper allows its employees to bring their furry friends to the office. Since our core values and our doggos are such a huge part of our culture, I thought, why not explain these values THROUGH descriptions of the rp dogs.

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1. We actively support personal growth: redpepper is a company that constantly pushes our people (and our puppers) to grow. Here we have Stella, the boss dog belonging to Tim, our CEO. Stella thrives as she wiggles through chairs and noses up to every person she can find, looking for pets from her adoring fans. Of course, all of us oblige. Stella is personally fulfilled and her love for pets grows because of the support that she feels from the hands around her. In the same way that Stella is supported, redpepper supports its employees as everyone moves along a journey of personal growth that is meaningful to them. It looks different for each of us—it can involve maintaining physical health, improving mental health, developing a new skill, and so much more. redpepper pushes its people to constantly grow and provides that space to grow and to feel the support of the entire company, just like how we support Stella in her search for pets.


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2. We engage each others’ strengths and passions: This company is very invested in ensuring that each individual’s strengths and passions are being used and celebrated, just like we do for Tucker. Tucker LOVES when you play with him. He is an active doggo, and he wants to get better at fetching toys.  He runs up to you, toy in mouth, ready to show you what he’s got. Naturally, the interns especially love engaging this passion of Tucker’s, and we spend as much time as his attention span will allow tossing the toy and telling him how good of a boy he is. I believe that rp’s employees feel like Tucker. We are constantly engaged in ways that are meaningful to each of us, allowing us to grow our strengths and passions. If something is important to one of our people, like fetching toys, for example, redpepper will provide opportunities to become stronger in that passion area.


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3. We provide creativity with provable benefits: At rp, we clearly value creativity, but we also provide that creativity by incentivizing our people to constantly be creative. Cyrus here is a great example of that. Cyrus is quite creative, especially with his sleeping patterns, and that is because redpepper provides him with that space to be so creative. Sometimes he sleeps on the floor next to the interns, sometimes he curls up on a pillow, and sometimes he finds a cozy office chair. Either way, Cyrus is definitely getting the benefit of some extra zzzs. All of our people at redpepper are creative in very different ways, and the agency makes sure to provide that space in which our people can flex that creativity. We reward creativity and innovative solutions to problems by celebrating those creative moments that we see each and every day.  


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4. If we aren’t changing, we’re dying: At redpepper, we want to be constantly changing with the world around us in order to best support our people and our clients. Here are two pictures of Loki. CLEARLY, we see some massive change here. Loki went from a tiny puppy to a huge doggo. He changed, but this change is a great thing. Loki can now run to his adoring fans faster, he can jump up higher to lick faces, and he can provide more body mass for snuggles. This is exactly how redpepper supports and encourages change. We want to see our employees and our company change and grow with the times. By doing so, we will be prepared to take on shifts in the market that could affect our agency and our clients. By changing, we are improving as people and as a company. We want to adapt to new surroundings and always change to make ourselves better, just like Loki changed to the big lover boy that he is now.


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5. We believe everyone is uniquely creative: Here at redpepper, we love when our people (and our dogs) are different and provide a unique type of creativity, just like Basil here. Basil is a very unique pupper. She was a resident of the Humane Society in Nashville. Basil was such a great dog that she was chosen to be “pet of the week,” which led Ily (her owner) right to her. This sweet girl emulates the creative spirit of redpepper. As you can tell by our website, our photos, and pretty much everything about us, we are a firm full of creative individuals. We understand that everyone is creative in their own way, and we love harnessing that creativity to improve our firm and to improve everyone around us. Each individual’s creativity brings something new to the table, just like Basil’s story makes her a very special pup.


Simmons deHoll, Client Services Intern

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Your Guide to Asking Good Questions at redpepper

Your Guide to Asking Good Questions at redpepper


If you’re thinking about interning at redpepper, you probably have a few questions. If you find yourself actually becoming an intern here, you’ll definitely have more than a few. Here’s the great thing about redpepper: you get to ask them. You’re actually expected to ask them. You’re here to learn, you’re here to grow, and one of the most effective ways you can do that is by asking questions.

Now that we’ve agreed that questions are a good thing, it’s time to come to terms with the fact that not all questions are good questions. I’ve done some thinking on what makes a good question and I’m here to share what I’ve come up with with you.

How to ask good questions:

  1. Listen: if you want to ask good questions, you’ve gotta learn how to be a good listener first. Nobody appreciates when someone asks a question that was addressed 5 minutes before. Actively listen while the people around you are talkingjot down some notes if you need tothis will help you gather your thoughts and frame your questions.

  2. Be Proactive: if possible, try to find the answer yourself before you ask the question. More often than not, the answer is either right in front of you or can be uncovered with just a little digging.

  3. Have a Purpose: don’t just ask a question to ask a question. Most of the time, people can tell if you’re being inauthentic. Asking just to seem interested is a waste of everyone’s time. Don’t be that person.

  4. Think it Through: understanding why you need to know the answer to a specific question can help you ask it in the most efficient way. Use the why to structure the how.

  5. Ask for Clarification: here’s a secret, you can ask more than one question! If something isn’t clear to you the first time around, you can keep asking until you feel like you understand the answer.  

  6. Be bold!: most importantlydon’t be afraid to ask questions! They are one of the very best ways to learn and grow and, if you are giving thought to the guidelines above, your questions will be appreciated!

redpepper also has a regular time set aside for interns called “Coffee and Questions” where you have an hour to ask ALL your department-specific questions to the members of each department. Pro tip: Think through the department and write down your questions before, listen as they talk and ask about anything else that might come up. This is your time to gain an understanding of how redpepper works!

So.. ask questions! Ask them in your interviews for the position. Ask them when you get here. Ask them in your everyday life. There’s no such thing as a dumb question (unless it’s one without a purpose!).

Clare Thomas, Production Services Intern



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An Intern’s Reflection (as told by 3 of her all-time favorite memes)

An Intern’s Reflection

(as told by 3 of her all-time favorite memes)

1. When you realize you’ve participated in a brainstorm session, conducted research on a company’s value proposition, customers & its competitors, drank 3 cups of coffee, sketched out a moodboard for your intern campaign, and pet 4 dogs, all before the clock strikes 12pm on a typical workday.

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As an intern, you’re encouraged, if not expected, to take initiative and contribute in any way possible. Being proactive and seeking out opportunities are highly effective ways to get involved, meet other employees, and expose yourself to the inner workings of a creative agency. On a daily basis, interns are also given the autonomy to apply their own unique creativity to their role and mold their internship into exactly what they want it to be. One of the best decisions I’ve made thus far during my internship has been reaching out to and getting to know individuals such as Nate, our creative strategist, Caroline, our Director of Production Services, and Bri, our Senior Art Director. The “open-door” policy here at redpepper is palpable, and something that I’ve never experienced during any other internship before.


2. When you realize how much of a privilege it is to be an intern at a company like redpepper, where they genuinely invest in their interns’ personal and professional growth, whether that is through coffee chats with the CEO, company-wide Escape Room competitions and opportunities to attend speaker events with thought leaders in the industry, such as Spotify’s Head of Artist & Label Marketing.

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In addition to everything I mentioned above, no other type of internship offers an opportunity for all of the interns to get to sit in the plushest of sofas in a small room with redpepper’s CEO and ask him anything we want. One of the most memorable and inspiring days I’ve had at redpepper was the day we got to do just that. Tim, our CEO, was transparent and honest, sharing with us his personal challenges in the past as well as giving us book recommendations, tips and advice that we will all take with us moving forward. What will stick with me most from that discussion with Tim was something he said to us towards the end: “Don’t do what you love. Love what you do.”


3. When you realize that although the internship is a mere 12 weeks, it will be an internship on steroids - an opportunity for you to grow, to be inspired, and to leave your mark, as well as to allow redpepper to leave its mark on you.

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Whether it is through the inspirational, and often, thought-provoking redbits at our alignment meetings or our company-wide 30-day growth challenge, one thing that redpepper does best is not simply talking-the-talk when it comes to instilling a growth mindset in its employees, but actually walking-the-walk. It is incredible to me to see the ways redpepper as a company cares about each of its employees. The leadership team invests in its people, and in return, redpepper’s employees are given the tools necessary to excel in the work that they do for their clients, making it an enjoyable and rewarding experience for everyone.


For me, it’s the little things about redpepper that I will miss most after I leave, such as hearing the occasional uproar of laughter coming from the kitchen at nine in the morning, indulging in my obsession with redpepper’s homemade coffee, or seeing Tim and Stella, his golden retriever, sprint around the hallway, screaming and laughing. I am so grateful to redpepper for letting me be a part of their quirky, fun and uplifting community, and will take with me invaluable life-lessons and learnings from my time here moving forward.

Ruth Cho, rp Marketing Intern

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3 reasons why a redpepper internship is different

3 reasons why a redpepper internship is different

In the business world, the word “intern” sometimes has a negative connotation. Most people think of interns as a college students trying to position themselves for a post-grad job by doing anything and everything—from grabbing coffee to making copies. Regardless, most internships do not offer the experience that redpepper does. Here are three unique characteristics of a semester spent at redpepper:

Mistakes are okay

Nobody is perfect and mistakes happen, but making mistakes allows you to grow and learn. My design eye is almost non-existent. I have no idea what looks good and what does not look good. One of my responsibilities is help put together keynotes for the client. The final product always looks nothing like my original. While this is not a mistake in the traditional way, this story is to show that nobody is perfect. Your coworkers here are always ready to pick you up and help you with your shortcomings. Everyone has a talent, mine just doesn’t happen to be designing keynote decks. (But I am getting better everyday!)


Equality is a priority

Everyone here is treated equally, regardless of status. One of my favorite lines about equal treatment came from Nate Fleming, a strategist and a founder of redpepper. He came in wearing “all day everyday pants” which kind of look like sweatpants (they’re not). Upon his arrival I said “wow I envy you, I can’t wait until I’m a boss and can wear sweatpants to work” to which he replied “JP, I’m not the boss of anybody, everyone here is in charge of themselves, the minute we put me in charge of people we’re in trouble.” That has stuck with me so much, here is a man with 20+ years experience in the industry telling me to take charge of my own experience. As an intern you really are in charge of your own experience. You get out of it what you put into it.

Growth. Always.

A core value at redpepper that I believe connects to growth is “If we aren’t changing we’re dying.” Change is good, and embracing it is even better. The world is constantly changing or “growing” around you, so you might as well go with it. As part of a company wide 30 day challenge I learned that I had it in me to exercise everyday. I am also learning more about myself and what makes me a harder worker. The personal growth is astounding, and being surrounded by people who genuinely want the best for you and are such great influences does a lot for personal growth.  

Not once while I have been here have I felt like an “intern.” Nobody has made me feel like I am at the bottom of the totem pole like most other internships. All interns are welcomed into the redpepper family for the few short months we are here, which makes it a lot easier to be 660 miles away from home.



JP McLaughlin, Client Services intern

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A Marketing Intern's Day in the Life: Told by Tobias Fünke

A Marketing Intern's Day in the Life: Told by Tobias Fünke

10:00am
I arrive at work, it’s 9:55 and I feel so well rested. It’s a scorcher but I’m equipt in my long jeans and plush sweater to combat the work-mode temperature I can count on when I enter the building. Which plus chair will I sit in today? Which brew of rp roast will I make? Who will blow my mind with their experience and ideas? My mind wanders as I enter the building before I am greeted by a few interns at the long table in the lobby. I head upstairs and into Alyssa’s office, she smiles and gives me my instructions for the day, effortlessly helping me in the midst of the million other projects she has going on. I’m inspired and ready to conquer the day.

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11:00am
As usual I just can’t get the hang of my google calendar, but a smile and nod towards the team room from the other marketing interns remind me that it’s time for our weekly marketing meeting. The meeting begins as we discuss our objectives for the week and how to best execute them as a team. As usual, the meeting goes the full hour, as we pick Samara’s brain for all of her knowledge until the last minute—leaving knowing something brand new.

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12:00pm
It’s noon. I’m sitting on a comfy in the library working on a tankfill (rp research) when an overwhelmingly wonderful scent begins to waft in. I look to our Client Services Intern Carly who shrugs, as good smells are just about daily in Wonderland. I poke my head out of the library and casually walk into the cafe, pretending to grab a glass of water and see what everyone’s up to. I hover over the mouthwatering Zoe’s spread for one second too long when Meredith calls out “I’ll slack you when there are leftovers!” So much for flying under the radar.

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1:00pm
I’ve finished lunch at the Red Bicycle, my favorite spot in Germantown to grab a crepe and coffee--I’m ready for work mode. I sit down on the green and set my intentions. I want to write a pinkgold (an rp summary), work on ideas for our growth wall (an installation in our space), and get a firm grasp on my final intern project. With all of the areas to work, and the creative minds surrounding me, I easily sink into the projects feeling like a real professional.

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3:00pm
I hear my timer go off: I’ve successfully completed my two hours of zoning (working without distraction). I slack my completed work to Alyssa and Samara, excited to get their feedback on the progress I’ve made. I head to wonderland ready to stuff my face with pita bread as a reward for my accomplishment; however, when I turn the corner, I am devastated. The pita bread is gone and sitting happily in the stomach of the 13 other interns.

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4:00pm
After solving the pita bread debacle with a satisfying bag of pretzel chips thanks to the Events and Spaces Interns, I’m ready to meet with our Marketing Apprentice, Jesse. Today we are working on a creative project that will be made into deliverables for clients. We brainstorm for the first half hour, bouncing ideas off of each other, when all of a sudden it hits us, we have our lightbulb moment. We work for half an hour more coming up with alternatives, always wanting to provide the team with options. When we finish we smile at each other, feeling confident. The ideas are FIRE.

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5:00pm
It’s time to head home for the day. I pack up my backpack and say goodbye to my coworkers and the collection of dogs roaming around the office. I feel exhausted but accomplished and happy with the work I produced today. After a day at redpepper the feeling’s always the same. NOTHING can effectively hide my thunder.

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Adelaide Owens, rp Marketing intern

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redpepper : as told through popular 90’s TV shows

redpepper : as told through popular 90’s TV shows

Working as an intern at redpepper has been an incredibly memorable experience. From the bountiful cups of coffee, to the plethora of dogs, to the overall aesthetic, there is an incredible amount of inspiration that seeps through every crevice of the space. There are mentors, and now friends, around every corner—and they are more than willing to answer questions, prompt creativity, and give you a helping hand whenever you need it. In order to further demonstrate just a few of the things that I have grown to love about redpepper, here are a few snippets from some classic 90’s TV shows. Hopefully these will help you understand why, if given the opportunity, you should take the chance to be a redpepper intern. Enjoy!

1. Let’s start with the space
“Wow” is honestly the best way to describe redpepper. As soon as you walk in, you can see that creativity thrives here. From the bright splashes of red on the walls throughout the building, to the string lights in Wonderland Cafe, to the lack of cubicles, this place immediately gives off the creative vibe that innovators crave. redpepper screams “We’re really cool & we make really cool stuff!” and that’s evident to everyone who walks in the door.

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2. Two Words: THE. COFFEE.
Similar to this classic scene from “Friends”, once you walk up the stairs and smell the fresh coffee brewing on a Monday morning at redpepper, you’ll be fighting to be first in line, pushing anyone and everyone out of the way for a taste of cold brew. No matter the time, the day, nor the occasion, redpepper continuously has coffee brewed for anyone and everyone. With various different brews, you can easily find which one fits your mood, and lets you get your best work done.

3. The People
Let me tell you about the people at redpepper: they are INCREDIBLE. As an intern, it can be really scary when you come into a really cool company like this, not really knowing what to expect. We’re still in college, therefore, we’re still learning about the industry and how it works, so sometimes being around professionals can be really intimidating. However, redpeppers are professional, yet personable. They remember how it was to be an intern, and always appreciate and anticipate any questions an intern could have. Take advantage of it!

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4. The Push for Growth
Personal growth at redpepper is one of the foundations of the business, and while there isn’t a literal push, like the one pictured, personal growth is strongly encouraged. Honestly, it’s hard NOT to grow being a part of redpepper, since you learn so many new things every single day—one of the five core values of redpepper literally states, “we actively support personal growth.” This along with the other four core values of this company equally support the purpose of a push towards personal and professional growth.

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5. Last but Certainly not Least: The Dogs
My favorite thing about redpepper? It’s bring your dog to work day every day. Working in such a pet-friendly environment helps reduce stress, and while redpepper itself is already a fun place to work, adding a dog in the mix and you have the BEST work environment ever.

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My time at redpepper has definitely been well spent, and I want to encourage any future interns who are considering this internship to by all means go for it! You will learn more than you know at this incredible place, and make connections that you’ll never forget.

Maggie Robinson, Space and Events intern, Murfreesboro, TN

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5 things you’ll learn your first week as a redpepper intern

5 things you’ll learn your first week as a redpepper intern

1.     Step outside your comfort zone.
At redpepper, your internship encompasses more than your assigned role. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean you’ll be doing coffee runs; however, you will be expected to try new things. As a design intern, I initially thought that I would be given work to design, and that would be it. While I’ve done plenty of that, I’ve also helped with brainstorming sessions, sat in on client workshops, and participated in client phone calls. You’ll soon learn that at redpepper, job descriptions are not restricted to one task, and you’ll step outside your comfort zone to get a wide range of experiences through this internship.

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2.     Have more mentors than the ones you were assigned.
Every intern is assigned one or two mentors, and they are your first point of contact when you get to work. You’ll form amazing relationships with your mentors as they tell you stories, show you their past work, and give you exciting projects. You’re going to love your mentors, but they aren’t the only people who will give you work. Every day, the other redpeppers request that interns do various tasks, ranging from setting up a room for a meeting, to designing project briefs for new clients. Have more “mentors” than the ones you were assigned, and form relationships with the other redpeppers, to both expand your network and make new friends!

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3.     Ask as many questions as you need.
Odds are, you’ve never worked in an advertising agency before this internship. And if you have, I bet this is your first time working at redpepper. On your first day you’ll probably feel a little overwhelmed. Being given tasks while a team is mid-project is not easy, and to do a good job you’ll need to ask questions in order to have a full understanding about what you’re doing. I promise, you’re never going to be judged or criticized; the whole point of an internship is to learn, and how can you properly learn without asking questions? No one expects you to be a seasoned designer, marketing expert, production wizard, etc. on your first day. Take this opportunity to learn as much as you can and ask as many questions as you need.

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4.     Be a team player.
At the beginning of your internship, you’ll take a quiz to see your DiSC profile; this is essentially a personality quiz that shows you how you work, think, and interact with others. Read and understand your profile, because no matter how introverted or extroverted you are, it is important to know the best way to express your thoughts and opinions. This is important in this internship, because you’ll rarely be working on anything alone. And even if you are, you’re definitely going to get someone else’s feedback. Your DiSC profile is a great starting point for being a team player.

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5.     Make the most of it.
This internship will be what you make of it. Of course, you’ll have guidance and help throughout the process, but it’s on you to reach out for additional work to do, to attend meetings, and to get things done by their deadlines. This internship is an opportunity for you to prove to both redpepper and yourself that you can be counted on, and that you are a true professional. So, make the most of this experience. Work your butt off, make memories, and have a blast.

Sarah Nagy, Design Services intern, Winston-Salem, NC

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Be Your First Supporter of Personal Growth

Be Your First Supporter of Personal Growth

When looking for an internship, you can get so  overwhelmed with excitement, anxiety and more often than not, rejection. It can be really difficult to keep yourself from becoming discouraged and throwing in the towel all together when faced with rejection. This was a really hard pill for me to swallow when I was going through what seemed to be a never-ending search for the “perfect fit” internship. Agency A was too small for me, Agency B had a structure too uptight for my liking, I wasn’t advanced or educated enough for Agency C; the list of excuses grew longer and longer as to why a particular internship wouldn’t work for me. I was trying so hard to keep myself from experiencing rejection, but what I wasn’t realizing was that I was keeping myself from experiencing acceptance.

When I first came across redpepper’s intern website, I was so in awe of how trendy it was that I immediately thought “I, in no way, compare to the coolness of this agency, I’ll just keep looking,” but after a few minutes of browsing on the intern website then on the main site, I discovered redpepper’s core values. The five core values are the basis of redpepper’s culture and when put together, these values all drive as one to enhance and expand a singular focus: personal growth.

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This really struck a chord with me and I had an almost light bulb-like moment. If an agency’s main focus would be to support my personal growth throughout my internship, I needed to be my first and strongest supporter. I had not been actively supporting myself or my growth and I was ultimately holding myself back from opportunity. Wayne Gretzky said “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” and I wasn’t even attempting to take a shot. My entire mindset changed in that moment and I applied to become a redpepper intern. Fast forward a couple of months and I’m currently sitting in Wonderland, redpepper’s café, writing this blog post.

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My time here at redpepper so far has been amazing. It has been above and beyond what I imagined it would be. I’m constantly learning, changing, petting the sweetest puppies and refilling my coffee cup on the way to meetings. This internship has been more than I ever could have asked for. So my advice to you, future peppers, is take the leap. Be your biggest supporter! You never know what you can accomplish until you try and trust me, this internship is worth a shot.

 

Maggy Brown, rp Client Services intern, Blakely, GA

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How to Considerately Apply to be a redpepper intern

During my time at redpepper, I’ve gotten to help out and see the intern hiring process from the ~other side.~ (Which has been cool and scary. But mostly cool.)

So, from an intern, for you intern hopefuls: here’s the skinny on how to standout (in a good way.)

1. Follow the instructions.

We’ve made detailed instructions on redpepperinterns.com. We put all the information out there to make sure that you can put your best foot forward in your application.

(One of the big ones: know how to spell redpepper correctly! ((all lowercase))) 

If you have a question, make sure you look there first. Our talent team loves getting to interact with you and see your personality, but we put information on the website for a reason and re-answering a questions that has an answer on the website is not our favorite way to interact with you. We’ve put things on the website for a reason!

 

2. Be patient.

Understand that you’re not the only applicant and be patient! Follow-up after ten days, not three. 
Our hiring manager is in charge of intern hiring and all our full-time hires and our freelancers. (If you weren’t keeping up with the math there, that’s a lot of people.)

3. Make a case for yourself!

The easier you make it for us to see why you’d be the best redpepper intern ever, the easier it is for us to say, “Heck yes!”


Use the freedom we give you in applying to tell us directly why you’d be awesome! (Trust me, you’ll do a better job explaining than we would do guessing.)
 

Lastly, remember not to stress too much! Finding internships is hard (as an intern, trust me - I know the struggle) but at the end of the day, if you’ve done your best and followed the above steps, you should sleep easy at night!

Riley Pettit, rp Operations intern, Spring Hill, KS

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DiSC Types as Explorers

DiSC Types as Explorers

One thing you’ll quickly learn as an rp intern is the importance of DiSC profiles in the redpepper office. If you aren’t a personality test-fiend like me, the DiSC is a personality assessment that defines your workplace habits: your strengths, what motivates you, how you like to communicate, and areas of growth (if you’re curious, you can take a short free version here). And more importantly, DiSC profiles also tell you exactly how your fellow coworkers like to work for maximum productivity. There are four types: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness; and each person’s profile is one trait or a combination of two. (Example: I am a DC, so my primary trait is dominance, and secondary is conscientiousness). However, it’s not a one size fits all equation, most people display elements of all the styles depending on the situation.

This super useful diagnostic tool is an important part of redpepper’s culture that I partially attribute to redpepper’s harmony within the office (other contributing factors: the abundance of pups frolicking around, unlimited high-quality coffee, and also the fact that rp is a collection of super intelligent, driven, and kind humans). To give you a better sense of the DiSC types in alignment with our explorer archetype intern class theme, here are the four different DiSC types as famous explorers!

D: Dominance

D types are natural-born leaders of the pack. They are direct, strong-willed, driven, determined, and self-confident. Dominance types drive high-level work at a quick pace, and value action, immediate results, personal freedom, and rising to meet a new challenge.

  • Strengths: loves a challenge, takes action, drives results, self-starter, decisive.
  • Areas of growth: work on cultivating patience, sensitivity, and focusing more on the details.
  • What motivates a D: new challenges, competition, and success.
  • When communicating with a D: they prefer to keep chit chat to a minimum and stay focused on the task at hand. Speak confidently, be brief, clear, and to the point.
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The D type as an explorer is: Reinhold Messner!

Messner is a perfect example of the D type because he clearly loves a challenge – he climbed all fourteen of the world’s 8,000 meter mountains (affectionately known as the “death zone” mountains) and then because that wasn’t enough, solo-climbed Mt. Everest (29,029 feet) without oxygen and was the first person to reach the summit alone. The infamous mountaineer explorer has accomplished these feats due to classic D type qualities: Messner was highly driven, self-motivated, and results-oriented (the man is so determined that he lost six toes in a climb. Yeah). Though most D types aren’t living the same extreme lifestyle, Messner’s strong will and love of a challenge represent Dominance DiSC types all around.


I: Influence

I types are the people you will find in the center of the party (or really any social event, even a dull Monday morning meeting). They are magnetic, enthusiastic, social animals, and love shaping their environment through influencing others. They strive to be recognized and valued in their social circles.

  • Strengths: warm, trusting, optimistic, social, creative, enthusiastic.
  • Areas of growth: work on follow through, organization, and staying focused.
  • What motivates an I: relationships, social recognition, and group activities.
  • When communicating with an I: be engaging, spend some time chatting before focusing on the task at hand, and speak positively. Show interest in what they’re saying and don’t focus too much on the details.
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The I type as an explorer is: Jacques Cousteau!

Cousteau, modern day undersea ocean explorer, represents the I type due to his insanely influential work in a number of areas: he was a naval officer, underwater explorer, photographer, conservationist, filmmaker, author, researcher, and inventor of the Aqua-Lung. Cousteau has left a huge impact in a number of different creative spaces spaces and changed the world by capturing the public’s imagination. Clearly, his creativity in many areas and enthusiasm for his work greatly influenced the world around him, which is exactly what makes I types tick.


S: Steadiness

S types are the members of your team that you can always count on to come through. They’re friendly, warm, and loyal (not unlike Stella, our resident golden retriever in the office). Their predictability and understanding natures establish peace and harmony in offices everywhere. S types enjoy working with others to accomplish a goal together, and highly value loyalty and dependability in others.

  • Strengths: loyal, team player, steady, understanding, predictable, friendly.
  • Areas of growth: work on embracing change, letting go of grudges, and establishing priorities.
  • What motivates an S: loyalty, security, and dependability.
  • When communicating with an S: give them time to think and react to what you are saying. Go slow and explain in detail. Focus on building trust and maintaining security, especially for the people close to them.
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The S type as an explorer is: Sacagawea!

Sacagawea is a perfect example of an S in action. She was the ultimate team player as she led two helpless men (Lewis and Clark) across the US to explore the Louisiana Territory. They truly could not have done it without Sacagawea’s steady guidance and team-player mindset. She guided them thousands of miles from North Dakota to the Pacific and helped establish some friendly bonds between Native Americans and settlers. Sacagawea’s dependability, loyalty, and warm guidance characterizes the very best of the Steadiness type.


C: Conscientiousness

C’s are the deep thinkers and data scientists of the group. They love logic, precision, being analytical, systems, and knowledge. They work methodically and thoroughly in all their work. Conscientious types are our detail and data-minded team members that keep the rest of us in shape, on track, and focused on accuracy.

  • Strengths: analytical, conscientious, fact-finder, precise, even-tempered, thorough.
  • Areas of growth: letting go of boundaries, focusing on the big picture instead of the details, standing your ground.
  • What motivates a C: logic, high quality work, getting the details right.
  • When communicating with a C: answer all of their questions and give them time to process. Carefully explain using data and logic-backed facts. Work through the details with them and provide information ahead of time in writing.
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The C type as an explorer is: Neil Armstrong!

The first American space explorer is a perfect personification of the C type. The guy was an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, and astronaut (oh, and he had the casual accomplishment of being the first man on the moon). His affinity for data (quantum physics anyone?) and detail-focus work style (because the details are pretty important when you are traveling in SPACE) make Neil an (inter)stellar example of the Conscientious DiSC type.


So how do explorers, personality tests, and interning at redpepper all relate you might ask?

Personal growth is a huge part of being an intern at redpepper. You will learn so so much - even if you tried to resist it (not that you would ever do that). You’ll learn practical on-the-job knowledge within your chosen department, get an up close and personal view of crazy busy/crazy exciting agency life, and probably most importantly: you will also be actively encouraged to be the best version of yourself. Inspiration to grow is in virtually every aspect of redpepper life, from alignment shares about mindfulness, from the company-wide #topic-growth and #inspiration Slack channels, from Tim the CEO’s book recommendations, and from multiple daily conversations around the office. Inspiration and encouragement to grow personally and professionally are ingrained within every element of rp life, which is a huge reason why we all love it here so much.

And this is where the DiSC comes in. This tool isn’t intended to label people or put them in boxes. Its real purpose is to help people identify their strengths, their passions, and areas that they can grow in. It wants to help you be better – improve at what you already own and identify areas that could be even better. The assessment also benefits the people you work with by providing them with a road map of how to work best with you, which benefits not only you but also your coworkers and your entire organization. The DiSC is an incredible tool for professional development, if you approach it as a learning manual rather than a label. The DiSC can help aid your personal development by identifying where you can grow and what you already excel at. And as our fearless leader Tim once said, “To be a star, one must know thyself.”

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Rachel Perry, rp Marketing intern, Cedar Rapids, IA

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redpepper Internships as Told by an Empathy Map

redpepper Internships as Told by an Empathy Map

I had never heard of an empathy map before becoming a redpepper intern. But, now it appears I have sipped the rp Kool-Aid- because I can’t think of  a better way to convey my internship experience at redpepper than just that. An empathy map is an exercise that redpepper uses with new clients to uncover their visions and goals—to empathize with them. During this exercise, redpepper and the client brainstorm what the client wants the consumers of the project to see, feel, think, and do when they interact with it. So, I invite you to look through my eyes at the redpepper internship experience as I guide you through my empathy map.

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Some highlights:

SEE

  • Open space: Walking into redpepper, you are greeted by wide, open space, with a plethora of places to meet. redpepper’s culture shaped the space it is in, and the space helps shape redpepper’s culture. All of the open space, along with the variety of places to meet, enables us to connect with one another, collaborate and share ideas. You will rarely see redpeppers working in their assigned offices. They are scattered all throughout the office, working in a variety of environments—depending on what fits their current task and mood. Seeing the office can tell you more than just where redpepper works—it will tell you how redpepper works.
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  • Dogs: The dogs are, in my opinion, one of the best sights to see during your time at redpepper. Admittedly, much of the time you are happier to see them than they are to see you, but they will bring a smile to your face nonetheless.
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THINK

  • “I am doing purposeful work”: At redpepper, you have a role on your team. You are doing purposeful work because you are integrated into one of the company’s subsystems. You will never think “I know every coffee order in the office.” Instead, you will think about the value your work brings to your team. It is plain to see the appreciation your mentors have for your work, whether it’s a kind comment or a #preesh shoutout on the appreciation Slack channel. To me, knowing that you have done purposeful work and made an impact is the most rewarding thought to have during an internship.
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  • “I want to work at a place like this”: My supervisor once told me, “Once you work at a place with a culture like this, it is nearly impossible to ever go back.” Between the unique people, the fun space, the creative atmosphere and the dogs, it would be a helpless effort to try to refute her comment. You will find yourself thinking daily, “I want to work at a place like this.” This thought is often also followed by, “Wait, I kind of do work at a place like this.” Then, “I need to figure out a way that I can keep working at this place.” It’s a thought progression that can only originate from redpepper’s unique culture.
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FEEL

  • Inspired: After speaking with redpepper’s CEO Tim for 10 minutes, you will walk away with 15 books to read and 12 TedTalks to watch. After attending one weekly alignment meeting, you will learn 5 new daily exercises to make you happier. After engaging in one “Coffee & Questions” meeting with the department heads, you will generate 7 new ideas to support your career development. Inspiration is everywhere at redpepper—inspirational quotes literally cover the walls of the central hub at redpepper. It’s nearly impossible to leave the office at the end of the day without a little bit of Ghandi or Henry Ford swirling around your head.
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  • Busy: Jumping from a daily meeting to a client call to the internship project, you will look up at the clock and wonder how it got to be 4:30. You will feel like another bee in the hive as you become integrated with redpepper’s hard-working staff. It’s the type of busy that you’ve heard is characteristic of “the agency life.” But, you will feel lucky that this type of busy at redpepper is the fun type of busy.
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DO

  • Grow: All in all, the things we see, think, and feel at redpepper are crafted so that we can do one main thing: grow. redpepper has an obsession with growth. They want their employees to grow by developing their passions and making plans for their careers. That aspect of the culture trickles down from the top and impacts the intern experience. We are encouraged to reach out to people, to attend meetings, to ask questions, and to voice our ideas. Throughout all of these activities, we are growing. I am most grateful for this part of my internship. What else would you want out of an internship other than to grow yourself? As redpepper interns, we are given every bit of opportunity and encouragement to take control of our experience and grow more than we thought we could throughout our time here, and then grow more.
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I hope this empathy map has showed you what a redpepper intern will see, think, feel and do during their time spent here. I think the greatest thing I will take from this internship is the action it has caused me take- the “do.” Not even in school have I been surrounded by at atmosphere so focused on intentional growth. I have the drive to read and explore and learn- not for a grade, but for myself. If you are thinking about interning at redpepper, I have one piece of advice: take control of your personal growth and go for it.

 

Elise Ferguson, Client Services intern, Louisville, KY

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The rp Fall Stylebook : Which rp style are you?

The rp Fall Stylebook : Which rp style are you?

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Here at rp, we believe that there is more to life than being “really, really ridiculously good looking.” However, that doesn’t mean we don’t happen to look good while creating and innovating on a regular basis! As you may gather from rp’s social media outlets, style is anything but normal at redpepper. In fact, the company believes in bringing their whole selves to work--funky fashion & all. Needless to say, you won’t be finding any grandma sweaters in here (sorry, Pam).

Wondering what to wear around Nashville’s most creative minds? Look no further--the rp Fall Stylebook is here and available for all your office fashion needs. Whether you subscribe to a traditional, zany, or casual way of life, we have a look for you.

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1. Classic Chic (Ally Lanahan)

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Are you on top of all the newest trends? Do your friends text you constantly for wardrobe advice and directions to the best online sales? Then Ally’s Classic Chic is the style for you. Trendy with a touch of elegance, Ally’s wardrobe takes simple statements and twists them into something classically unique. What are the perks of this style, you may ask? Easy: a simple transition from daytime to night. No time to change before Happy Hour? No problem—you can take this style with you to work and out for drinks afterwards without batting an eye. Easy, breezy, beautiful… classic chic.

Color schemes: Navy, blue, rich red, gray, olive green.
 

Accessories: All outfits to be accented by a small white pup. See left.

 

 

 


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2. Playful Pizza(z) (Sarah Parker)

Some people are born to stand out and shine. If you tend to wear your heart on your sleeve (literally), then Sarah Parker’s Playful style and spunk is right up your alley. Pizza, ice cream, tacos, you name it, Sarah Parker’s got a dress decorated with it and more. Rain or shine, Sarah’s zesty outfits are sure to spice up your day and bring a smile to your face.

Color schemes: rainbow, electric, neon, whimsical pink.

Accessories: Hamburger & hotdog earrings, The Simpsons nails, and fish shoes. Yes, fish shoes.


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3. I woke up like this (Samara Anderson)

Do you happen to always look cute without even trying? If your hair is perfectly coiffed and your ripped jeans scream edgy cool, then Samara is rocking the style for you. You’re a hard worker, so sometimes heels and a leather jacket don’t quite cut it. But don’t sweat--this look can be easily morphed into a sporty athleisure feel with a pair of leggings and some Vince slip-ons.

Color schemes: Leather-jacket black.

Accessories: Jean jacket, edgy boots, cute scarf.


4. Minimalist with a Twist (Alyssa Kalams)

Picture your perfect day. Are comfy sweaters and high waisted jeans involved? How about solid neutrals? Maybe a cute cup of rp coffee to complete the aesthetic? If all of the above speak to you and your inner fashionista, then you are definitely a minimalist like Alyssa. An effortless mix of simple and stylish, Alyssa’s wardrobe exudes a quiet confidence with a fun flair for detail and adventure.

Color Schemes: Solids & neutrals

Accessories: Handkerchief tied around the neck


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5. Brooklyn Blues (Chrimmons)

When asked to describe his style, Chris Ammons had a few words to share: “blue, blue, and blue….with a hint of red.” Well, he isn’t lying. Artfully pairing a variety of blue hues with subtle red accents, Chrimmons’ outfits defy and break misconceptions surrounding the whole jean on jean controversy. Be you. Be blue.

Color schemes: Speaks for itself

Accessories: A variety of vests, jackets, and fake hands required to complete the look.  


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6. Preppy Print(ce) (Angel Ayala)

Who said office-wear had to be boring and plain? If you like to bring some zest and class to your everyday outfits, Angel’s classically patterned flannels and button-downs are sure to speak your language. With a bevy of vibrant prints and patterns, Angel brings his upbeat personality front and center no matter the season.

Color schemes: anything colorful & fun. Opposite of boring.

Accessories: Patterns so bold Angel doesn’t need accessories.


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7. Executive Casual (Tim McMullen)

Most CEOs roll up to work in strict business formal with full suits freshly pressed and steamed. Disclaimer: Tim is not like most CEOs. I would argue he may be a step ahead of the traditional CEO mold. By pushing individualized fashion forward, Tim is able to spark subsequent creativity in the office and beyond. As the free-dress pioneer of the office, Tim sets the example for all peppers by donning sharp outfits ranging from snappy casual polos to more relaxed Athleisure pieces (quick run, anyone?). With creativity and comfort at the top of mind, Tim is able to jump from client meeting to client meeting with ease, running the company efficiently by day and focusing on health and fitness by night.

Color schemes: Winter blues, grays, blacks

Accessories/key pieces: Converse, post-it notes


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8. Loud and Proud (Amy)

Ever wake up in the morning wanting to don a onesie and get on with the day? Yeah? Well sometimes we do too. From Big Bird onesies to dog costumes and everything in between, rp employees are encouraged to do their thing-including outfit experimentation. Every day can be Halloween if you’d like. It’s up to you!

Color schemes: Anything and everything.

Accessories: Fanny packs, trumpets, La Croix.

 

 

 

Now that we’ve introduced you to some of the freshest looks on our side of the Cumberland, feel free to mix and match as you see fit. It’s clear that here at redpepper, we don’t abide by any particular dress code. We let our style express ourselves on our terms. Well, within reason that is....

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Overall, the perks of free dress at redpepper are endless. Not only does dressing the way you please boost your creativity by allowing you to express yourself, but it also empowers you to be the real, true YOU at all times. What more could you ask for from an internship?

 

Allie Love, Operations intern, Dallas, TX

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Say Yes to redpepper

Say Yes to redpepper

Graduating from college, entering the “real world,” and moving to a new city all in just two months was a little bit overwhelming, but it was also exciting! There were so many unknowns ahead, questions unanswered, and many adventures awaiting me. My biggest hope was to not settle on just any job or internship, but to really find “my place” even if that meant waiting for the position that was meant for me. I learned the value of waiting and trusting that the position uniquely waiting for me would come up and that is exactly what happened when I got this internship at redpepper and I said yes!

There are so many reasons why my internship at redpepper went above and beyond all the great expectations I already had for it. First, the culture and values are a big part of who redpepper is and why they stood out to me as a great advertising agency before I had even begun my internship. Work hard, stay curious, and keep growing are important to the culture and people. The values and culture give redpepper such a great community of people, who are striving to meet the same expectations, while thoroughly enjoying their time together. My advice is to never be afraid to ask questions, go to the “coffee and questions” to learn about the different departments in the agency, volunteer yourself, and sit in on meetings. Dive into the culture, values, and community because redpepper is the place to be.

It was never hard to spot the interns in the office because most days we would be congregated in one spot enjoying each other’s company while working on our own tasks and projects. There are interns for the many different departments, so we could learn from each other about what was going on in each department. I would say that life at redpepper challenges the mainstream agency, but in all the best ways. We always find time to take breaks to enjoy a game of ping pong, play on the putt-putt course, or take a walk outside to one of the many great places around Germantown. One thing in particular that I loved is that there is ample free reign, you can sit wherever you feel is comfortable for the day, play a quick game, or enjoy freshly brewed coffee. To get to other areas of the office, you have to pass through the main room on the second floor, Wonderland, which allows for collaboration and enjoying time with each other.

There are so many things that make daily life at redpepper unique and great. I took the DiSC assessment on my first day, which is an assessment tool to improve work productivity, teamwork, and communication within the agency. It is an assessment that is actually used, talked about, and not forgotten because it is effective for knowing how to work best with each other. Every week is started off with an Alignment meeting, which gets everyone in the same room at the same time to discuss what is currently going on. Each week someone presents a Redbit to start off the meeting, which is a ten-minute presentation on any desired educational topic. We give appreciation shout outs, we learn about exciting things going on in the different departments, and many other things.  The small things in the office make it that much better too such as the daily trumpet playing, music constantly playing in Wonderland, and dogs casually wondering around the office.  

Overall, redpepper is unique and different in so many great ways that made my meticulous internship and job search worth the wait for this great experience. The many components that go into daily life at redpepper make it the best place to work, which brings the most encouraging and hard-working people together in one place. If you love what you do every day, it’s not even “work,” which is what I would say about my internship at redpepper and I couldn’t have asked for a better last three months.

 

Margot Williams, Space & Events intern, Atlanta, GA

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De-stressing at redpepper!

De-stressing at redpepper!

At redpepper the culture drives everything we do. redpepper is founded on the idea that a great culture that supports our people will drive those people to support our clients. At redpepper, we need to be creative and efficient, but sometimes the best way to get your creative juices flowing so that you can do your best work is to take a break!

The space at redpepper supports creativity by creating places to collaborate as well as places to be alone. While redpepper might seem like a space designed solely for out-there thinking and brainstorming, we understand that after discussing ideas with colleagues it is pivotal to have time to yourself to reflect on previous discussions and expand on these ideas. For example, that’s why we have zone time – time in which there are no meetings, no phone calls, no one-on-one’s – it’s time solely devoted to independent working.

As soon as you walk into redpepper, it’s very clear that you’re not in a typical office. If you’re looking for businessmen in suits, hidden away in their cubicles, then you came to the wrong place. At redpepper, there is a strong culture of creativity, and in order to be creative, there are a bunch of resources to help you to de-stress at work! Here are just some of the ways that I have de-stressed during my internship:

1. Ping Pong – When I first walked into the office, the first thing I noticed was a ping pong table, equipped with paddles and a ping pong ball. I had researched redpepper beforehand and knew that they pride themselves on their fun culture, but I wasn’t sure if this ping pong table was just for show, or if people actually used it. I was happy to learn that people do, in fact, use the ping pong table. Usually in the afternoon, once people start getting tired from working on a project all day, some employees will venture downstairs for a quick game of ping pong to boost their energy for the rest of the day!

2. Putting Green – If ping pong isn’t your thing, redpepper has you covered! Upstairs, one of the corners of the office is adjourned with a putting green where you can practice your putting skills, as long as a dog doesn’t block your shot!  

3. Dogs – That’s right, there are dogs!! I was lucky enough to be greeted on my first day by Winnie, an adorable Westie, and was happy to quickly learn that there are always several dogs in the office! If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed with work, just wait a few minutes, and you are guaranteed to be greeted by a four-legged friend in need of a belly rub.

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4. Explore Germantown – Did I mention that redpepper is situated in a great section of Nashville. Whenever I’ve been working on a project for a while and want to get some fresh air, I grab another intern and go to one of the many trendy restaurants, all in walking distance from redpepper! There are so many cute places to check out that I discover each time I’m exploring Germantown.

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5. Darts – We also have a dart board! If you’ve done everything else on the list and still feel like you need to alleviate some stress from your busy day, take a break and throw some darts at the dart board! And then when you’re done, you can bring some of that focus over to your work!

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According to Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist, “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.” redpepper buys into this theory, and interning at redpepper has showed me firsthand how adding these elements of play to my day help me keep my energy level up and be more creative and productive throughout the workday.

 

Alyssa Kopf, Production Services intern, New Jersey

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How to play your time as an intern like a sweet trumpet solo

How to play your time as an intern like a sweet, sweet trumpet solo over the smooth jazz of the daily grind at redpepper

 (for times when actually playing the trumpet would disturb the peace)

redpepper is an interesting place. In the first few weeks it can feel like it’s hard to find your groove or any sort of routine, but just embrace it. Let the strange rhythms guide you in the everyday jazz of the office. Let them lead you to find your own path of discovery and your own form of success. Soon enough you’ll develop your own solo style that brings something to the redpepper team.

Don't be afraid to improvise, explore and scat at random.
First and foremost, let your creativity shine and have fun with it. One thing you’ll learn fairly early on is that there isn’t really one way of doing anything at redpepper, which leaves you free to make your own rules—whether that is with where you sit, whom you reach out to for potential collaboration, or what hours work for you. Use your time on projects at redpepper to explore related interests and make the most of your internship.

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Know when to utilize a mute.
Understand the importance of the little things and places you can help out in the office, even if they aren't fancy tasks. A lightly funky but consistent background jam can make a big difference. In some cases you may feel like you aren't working on anything major, but just remember that everything you help out with can have some kind of impact in the overall workings of the office.

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Open the floor to other soloists.
Do your best to support anyone and everyone. Look for opportunities to help out on a wide variety of projects that feature different leaders of the redpepper team to find the best ways to help out, even if that means just helping by taking down notes or pulling together tons of info during tankfilling sessions. This also means being available to help out fellow interns on any given task. 

Generally make noise, put yourself out there and be present.
Get in the mix, let people know what you’re interested in and always put together options for whatever you’re asked to do just to show your versatility and willingness to learn and grow. Even if you’re not involved on a particular project you can still help out by anticipating what might be needed and putting things together. Don’t hesitate to reach out to peppers outside of your mentors that interest you for projects that you could be a part of or even just to observe their process. Along those lines…

Listen carefully and don't get in your own head too much.
You never know what opportunities might pop up if you just happen to be listening at the right moment. Keep an open mind and don’t overlook little details that might resurface as useful in the future. Moreover, if you’re listening and open you’re better able to anticipate needs and fill your time when you haven't necessarily been asked to do anything in particular. This internship is for you and so you have to take the initiative to make the most of it and the most tailored to your interests. 

My time as a Design Services intern has taught me a lot. With just a few weeks left at redpepper, my biggest takeaway is that I’ve learned to get out there and break it down, really go to town and not be afraid of laying down some real clams every once in a while—it’s the best way to develop and happen upon your own opportunities for growth. 

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Julia Mahre, Design Services Intern, Hopkinsville, KY

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Lights, Camera, Action… A Day on the Cracker Barrel Photoshoot

Lights, Camera, Action… A Day on the Cracker Barrel Photoshoot

When you walk into almost any store, you’ll immediately find posters or pictures showcasing the merchandise they’re selling. Whether it be walking into The Cheesecake Factory and seeing your favorite cheesecake or passing by Nike and seeing the latest workout clothing, it’s all about making your products look attractive. Everybody knows it’s all about the perfect angle and the perfect lighting, and the only way to get these products to look that good is to have a photoshoot.

Some might know Cracker Barrel, a redpepper client, as a restaurant, but there is a retail side that many people forget about. Cracker Barrel sells all kinds of items, such as furniture, home decor, accessories, and much more. Just like any other company, the products that Cracker Barrel sells are constantly changing with the seasons. In just a couple months we are nearing two of the biggest holidays of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In order to prepare for these major holidays, Cracker Barrel teamed up with redpepper to hold a photoshoot to get that perfect picture for all their new retail items.

Waking up at 7am never felt so good as I was extremely pumped to get to the photoshoot, which had a start time for 8am. I finally arrived at the address and was taken aback when I realized we were at someone’s house… we were going to be taking pictures at a random home. Weird. I quickly realized that Cracker Barrel items are household items, and they wanted to show consumers how they can style their home with Cracker Barrel products. Anyways, getting back to my day. After arriving, the redpepper crew and the photographer’s crew were briefed on all the shots that will be taken on that day, giving everyone a heads up to plan accordingly. For me, this meant making sure I knew where all the products were and ensuring that they would be in the right place at the right time for the shot. This day happened to be the Christmas shot day. When I think of Christmas I think of one big green tree filled with ornaments and presents, but when Cracker Barrel thinks of Christmas, they think FOUR different trees, hundreds of ornaments, presents, lights, room decorations and much more.

Now, one might think, how hard can it be to decorate some Christmas trees and take some pictures? The answer is… VERY HARD! When it was time to decorate the first Christmas tree, out came five boxes of ornaments that all needed to be put on the tree. On top of that, the room needed to be set up with garland along with other items to look Cracker Barrel ready. Each shot took about an hour, sometimes longer, to set up. Once the room was set up, we made sure to get approval from the Cracker Barrel team. After their approval, the real shots of the tree/room came and it was amazing to me how the set up process took over an hour, but the pictures took less than 10 minutes. After the shots, you can only guess what was next. Packing! We had to strip the tree down, put ornaments back in the boxes and get ready for the next shot.

With so many themes needing to be shot, we started to fall behind schedule. There were four different shots for different aspects of Cracker Barrel being shot at the same time, with four more to go. Levi Brandenburg, the Account Executive, juggled to reschedule shots constantly due to time constraints but managed the situation and had us interns setting up in advance, always on our toes, and ready to assist in any area he needed. After a full day, almost 9-10 hours at this person’s house, we finally got all the shots we needed. Most importantly, we got the clients approval on all of them. Just when you thought it was all over, remember, we were in a random person’s house. So, on came the cleaning process as we had to make this house presentable for the family that was coming back to it. After a 30 minute cleaning session, it was finally over. We did it.

Overall, my time at the photoshoot provided me with a variety of emotions, but in the end it was extremely rewarding. There was no better feeling knowing that all the hard work we put into this would soon be showcased at every Cracker Barrel. My miniscule role played such a major part in the process and final product. Can’t wait for the next one!

 

Karim Pradhan, Accounts Intern

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Life as a redpepper Intern: As Told by Leslie Knope

Life as a redpepper Intern: As Told by Leslie Knope

When you walk through the doors on the first day of a new internship, it can be a little daunting. For me, embarking on the redpepper adventure meant moving to a new city where I knew next to no one, working for my first ever agency, and quite frankly, having no idea what to expect. But I remembered that I wouldn’t be given the incredible rp opportunity if I didn’t at least know partially what I was doing, so I gave myself a little pep talk before I walked in the door.

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On my first day as a production services intern, I met my mentors Katie B and Sarah P. I didn’t know much about what I wanted to do with my life, let alone anything about project management, but let me tell ya, I was so excited to get to learn from these two. Long story short, they’re amazing. Sarah wears dresses with ice cream cones on them (incredible, I know), has the most iconic cackle you’ve ever heard and can make every stressful meeting seem a bit less hectic. Katie is the glue that keeps everyone in line and can somehow manage 29 projects and 87 Slack message requests simultaneously with ease. (Speaking of Slack, we did an incredible campaign for them full of rainbows and unicorns and all kinds of good stuff. You should check it out here.) In other words, basically from day one I knew I was in good hands.

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As an intern, you get out of your experience what you put into it. Which means you’ve gotta be a go-getter and take initiative if you want to maximize your growth. This also means that even though it can be awkward throwing yourself out there, it’s to your benefit to introduce yourself to colleagues in other departments and make friendly connections across the agency. redpepper is unique in the sense that it provides the opportunity for you to access anyone, even the CEO, on a daily basis. Quick tip: go to coffee and questions. Seriously. All of them, if you can. Essentially, coffee and questions is time that redpepper so graciously sets aside for you to sit down and chat one-on-one with people from every different department, learn about what they do, and ask all the crazy questions you want. If you’re anything like me, you’re clueless about what agency positions suit you best, and this helps to provide some insight. And believe me, the people here are so smart and talented at so many things that everyone has something valuable for you to learn. Don’t be afraid to Slack someone a question, ask to sit in on a meeting, a client call or ask to work on part of a new project. The agency is busy, but these people are here to encourage and support your growth--take advantage of them (in a nice way, of course).

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In your first couple of weeks as an intern, you’ll witness just how much the culture serves as the engine that powers redpepper. Sure, the space is fun... who wouldn’t love an office with ping pong, a golfing green, its own coffee brand, unlimited amounts of said coffee, a basketball hoop and dogs roaming galore? But culture isn’t just about the space, contrary to what some might think. Culture at redpepper is a unique mixture of tangibles and intangibles that is embodied by each individual from the top down, as well as every piece of work that leaves the office. I can’t really describe to you exactly what the culture is like, you gotta be there, but just know it’s real... and it’s epic. The best part of all is that it’s always evolving, and as an intern you get the opportunity to add a li'l spice of your own to the redpepper culture. Pretty darn cool if I do say so myself.

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Perhaps the most exciting (and rewarding) part of being a fall intern is getting the chance to participate in CreateAthon. In a nutshell, CreateAthon is a day each year where redpepper shuts down client work and dedicates 24 sleepless and coffee-ful (yet wonderful) hours to creating free marketing services for nonprofits. If I’m being real, seeing CreateAthon on the rp website was a big reason I applied for this internship in the first place. Over the last couple of months I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the process of choosing the organizations we work with this year, and hold your britches, kids, because we’ve got some good ones. (Oh, and it’s finally happening next week!) BRING ON CREATEATHON.

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Summing up my experience as a redpepper intern is hard for two reasons: one, because it’s not over yet, and two, because it really is that great. What you learn from this place and the incredible humans that make it up are things you can take with you wherever you go. You might think that interning post-grad is weird, unproductive, or maybe even invaluable. But I’m here to tell you that taking a detour with redpepper has been the most worthwhile journey for my future I could’ve imagined, and I’ve still got quite a ways to go.

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End note: If this blog doesn’t make you want to work at redpepper, then:

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Riley Collins, Production Services Intern, Melbourne Beach, FL

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The Dog Days Aren’t Over

The Dog Days Aren’t Over

During my first day at redpepper, I was greeted by tons of lovely coworkers. Some of them happened to have four legs, floppy ears, and constantly-wagging tails.

A few of the “regulars” at redpepper: Winnie, Max, and Sawyer.
Shout out to one of our wonderful Design Services interns, Erqing, for making them especially stylish.

Across the nation, more and more workplaces are opening their doors to their employees’ furry friends. Dogs have the power to make humans healthier and happier - and that’s true inside of the office too. Here’s a few ways the dogs at redpepper, and at any workplace, can make the work day that much more enjoyable.

1. They are the ideal coworkers.
They have some serious people skills - they’re friends with everyone in the office. They’re never the source of office gossip. They get their work done, but know when to have fun too. They’re don’t even need a cup of coffee to get them out of that morning funk. Everyday, I’m inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of the dogs at redpepper.

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2. They decrease stress.
Dogs make people less stressed out. How do I know this? SCIENCE. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University compared employees with pups at the office to employees without pups at the office. The study found that employees who brought their dogs to work reported the lowest stress levels. So, basically, dogs should be at work be at work because science says so.

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3. They act as tiny vacuum cleaners.
While some may think that dogs could make a workplace messier, I’d argue the opposite. Drop a crumb of your delicious, healthy lunch on the floor? Have no fear, a dog will be there in no time to make sure the redpepper floors are spotless.

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4. They increase cooperation between coworkers.
Who wouldn’t want to work with someone who comes with a furry plus-one? Dogs in the office connect everyone together. Workplaces with dogs tend to see more team cohesion and trust between coworkers.

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5. They encourage you to get up from your desk and get active.
With dogs in the office, people are way more likely to venture outside during the workday. At redpepper, coworkers can always bond over a walk with a dog around Germantown or a puppy playtime break on the putting green.

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My days at redpepper don’t feel complete without seeing some of my coworkers’ pups wandering around the office. But in all honesty, the dogs at redpepper are just a small part of what makes interning her exceptionally wonderful. While the dog-friendly workplace is definitely a selling point for interning at redpepper, the real action is in between the puppy playtime breaks, when you can see the cast of amazingly hard-working redpeppers creating and innovating every single day.
 

Katherine McGee, rp Marketing Intern, Weston, FL

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Why You Should Intern at redpepper the Semester You Graduate

Why You Should Intern at redpepper the Semester You Graduate

Interning is hard. It’s something I wasn’t warned about before college. I knew I had to take classes, and I knew getting into a club would benefit me, but not one of my high school teachers told me it would be a good idea to get real world work experience…weird.

Now before I go into more detail, this isn’t going to be some sappy post about how much interning has changed my life, this is very much a panic-driven sentiment about how the people and environment of redpepper made my stress riddled last semester enjoyable.

A little backstory…I interned at three different places before I achieved my ultimate goal of redpepper. I started off interning for a company that was all online, and there were only two employees, so there wasn’t much of a support system or collaboration that happened. Then I took my talents to the music industry. Apparently small companies were drawn to hire me, because my next two internships were small companies where they had one person departments. And I’m getting my business degree, so it was hard to go to my internship for eight hours, three days a week, and not really get the interaction that I craved. Nonetheless, I picked up valuable marketing, social media, and general office skills that gave me the clout to be able to apply at redpepper, where I accepted a role as rp marketing intern. This is a cool position, because we are working on branding and marketing redpepper as a company to potential clients.

Another thing I was told about college is that your last semester at college would be easy. I was pretty busy throughout my semesters at Belmont, as their business program is pretty demanding, but the thing that got me through it was knowing my last semester would be easy. Maybe I could just take Clay 1 and skate by class-wise my last semester and devote all my time to my internship. Nope. I am currently in the thick of the busiest semester of my life. I am not a fan of group projects and I am currently juggling four, along with tests and papers, so I am basically living in a perpetual state of stress.

That being said, redpepper is my saving grace. I have never interned somewhere where the people cared so much about making sure you have a good experience. They care so much about making sure not only that you’re getting a great experience but also that you have the time and the mental capability to graduate. We are more than just the “fall interns,” we are people and we are friends who care about each other.

The fact that redpepper has an open dog policy really helps my stress levels as well. There are five dogs here on any given day which only contributes to the unique culture that redpepper has.  If I need a break from work or an escape from projects, I can play with the dogs, play ping pong, or practice my putting on the golf green. It’s a great environment which I think fosters better work because the work turns into something you want to do, not something that is shoved down your throat.

Finally, redpepper is in what has become my favorite area in Nashville: Germantown. Germantown has this really cool vibe that transports you from the south into a New England style red brick road. Red Bicycle is my go-to coffee place (their macaroon latte is to die for), and they have a sandwich that is literally just egg, bacon, cheese, and hashbrowns…what else would a stressed-out college student want? Right next door, there’s a cute little restaurant called Lulu’s (which I struggled to read because of the unique font) which is perfect for those days when you just need to cry into baked goods and their double chocolate chip gluten free cookie is the best thing for that.

College is hard. Interning is hard. Working is hard. But if you can find the right place that makes interning enjoyable, jump on it, and that place for me is redpepper. In a last semester that is filled with work, where the motto which I find myself saying at least once a day is “I’m just trying to graduate,” you need to surround yourself with supportive people, supportive dogs, and comfort food. Thanks to redpepper, for at least two days a week, I don’t feel like a struggling college student, I feel like a working girl with the best colleagues in the world.

 

Nikki Blais, rp Marketing Intern, Boston, MA

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