It’s 9:20 AM…

and I roll into the parking lot, hop out of my car, and step into the office. I sit down at the long, window-facing table: a mecca of smiling interns starting their days. Then, promptly realizing I forgot to lock my car, I turn back around, head out to the parking lot, and leave behind my now snickering comrades. Clearly, I haven’t had my coffee yet. 

It’s 9:30 AM….

And I head up the gorgeous red and white staircase and into wonderland. Wonderland is a family space consisting of hand-made wooden tables, chairs, and a shiny kitchen. Perhaps my favorite part of Wonderland is the coffee bar with the 5 types of coffee I can choose from to start my day with. Created by redpepper itself, this line of coffee contains different flavors and strengths, and I start today with Drive since I have much to do.  I run into a few designers enjoying their coffee and talking about the last funny commercial they saw. With a smile, I turn and head towards the studio group section of offices, where I start my workday. 

It’s mid-morning …

And I have been helping with CreateAthon planning, a 24-hour creative blitz where we do advertising for four local nonprofits. This is my favorite project I’ve been working on—the clients are so cool and the event itself is a sleepless blast. One of my favorite tasks was reaching out to local restaurants to ask for their participation. I called, emailed, and showed up in person to explain that we would be donating our services to four non-profits, and were hoping to be fed in the process. So many gracious vendors stepped up to the plate, including some of my favorites: Bread and Co, Mitchell’s Deli, and Edley’s BBQ.

Today, the team is revealing the final round of contenders for our four nonprofits. I’m designing a survey to send out on preferences, and the presentation layout. Gina and I are working at her desk- a beautifully decorated office space with her favorite books, hanging paper cutouts, and of course her trusty planner. As traffic manager here, you can always count on her to be super organized. I stop by my supervisor Caroline’s office, which is also beautifully decorated and contains a huge window that she writes on in expo marker as she plans the projects redpeppers are working on. She’s head of studio- so her walls are filled with new ideas and strategies. We talk about my intern project and development goals. 

As I walk out of the office, Chrissy, a very inclusive project manager, grabs me and asks if some of the interns and I have time to help her with a client project. We jump onboard and she enthusiastically explains the needs to us, and we set off. 

It’s lunchtime…

And a bunch of the interns eat together in Wonderland café. In such a short time we are already great friends and spend the whole time laughing. We catch up on our intern projects and daily pursuits, and “casually” bring up each other’s football teams. After we finish eating, we set off for our usual place of work- the long ground-floor table, and continue to hustle & grow. 

It’s mid-afternoon…

And the interns are working on various “tankfilling” (research) projects, client requests, and design/video pieces, and attending daily project meetings. Usually, between 2 and 3 PM, someone will spill water or coffee all over the intern table, and we’ll have to make the mad dash to save our papers. I take the opportunity to gather my things and head to the library upstairs- my favorite place in the office- to continue reading Drive by Daniel Pink. redpepper embodies his “autonomy, mastery, purpose” model for motivation, and Victoria from New Biz recommended this one to me. 

It's 4:15 PM…

And peppers start to gather for alignment—a weekly company-wide meeting for updates, passion shares, and celebrations. Each Wednesday at 4:30, a pepper talks about something they do outside of work, different departments share accomplishments and highlights for the week, and interns share a little about themselves. Alignment is always filled with laugher, and Amy usually fills transitions with her jokes. Wednesday afternoon is a time for relaxation and reflection, and by the time alignment is over, I’ve gained even more clarity on what each person contributes here. 

It’s 5:30 PM …

And I say goodbye to everyone, walk out to my car with a few interns, and head home happy.  I am so lucky to have this internship experience, and continue to “Hustle & Grow” each and every day. 

Kate Sorensen, Studio Group Intern, Clarksburg, Maryland (DC metro area)

 

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