Down the Rabbit Hole
Interning at redpepper is a bit like falling down the rabbit hole and ending up in Wonderland, literally, because that’s the name of the café ( And it's called that because of Alice in Wonderland if ya weren't already familiar with the story!).
But also metaphorically, because redpepper is a wondrous place where creativity and quirk are embraced.
Even walking in for my interview was a completely different experience.
I had become accustomed to the standardized process when it comes to interviews. You know, walk into a small lobby space with a couple of please-have-a-seat chairs, the room dominated by a large desk where an attentive receptionist greets all who enter with a general, “How can I help you today?”
Entering the front doors of redpepper, you are greeted with a completely open space filled with chairs, couches, movable meeting rooms and a grand staircase ascending into Wonderland (the café not the fictional land).
No stuffy chairs, no giant desk acting as a barrier between you and your dreams, and no chipper receptionist reciting her daily how-can-I-assist-you mantra for all who enter her domain.
In fact, you’ll probably walk in to find one of redpepper’s many talented team members eating their morning snack (sorry again for disturbing your breakfast, Sarah) while hustling to make something great.
But fret not, there is an iPad check-in at the front door that alerts everyone via Slack that you are here and possibly lost in the lobby. Once the notification is sent, a bright and shiny redpepper face will be down to greet you in a jiffy!
I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast
One thing you learn quickly as an intern at redpepper is how important culture is to the company.
From the immaculate space and weekly alignment meetings to maker time and fresh brewed coffee all day everyday, everything at redpepper is just so…redpepper! And as an intern you become completely engrossed in that culture which is an experience unto itself.
Growth is a big, actually, a huge concept at redpepper. In fact, one of the core values is We actively support personal growth.
This was super apparent to me during pitch week (A crazy week in which a lot of ish has to get done in a short amount of time).
All hands were on deck; teams were formed, tasks were owned and ideas were flying, but most importantly everyone (including interns) was working together to help redpepper grow.
If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!
Good things come to those who hustle and the harder you hustle the more you’ll grow!
In the short time i’ve been at redpepper I have had the opportunity to assist with photo shoot prototyping, create daily traffic reports, set up for team meetings, participate in coffee and questions (where you can get up close and personal with some of redpepper’s finest!), tankfill (time dedicated to research on a specific topic) for upcoming projects and design templates for redpepper processes; just to name a few.
There is actually so much opportunity to get my hands dirty (both in a literal and proverbial sense) that I often find myself staring at my calendar trying to bend time and space so I can do it all!
Where’s Doc Brown when you need him?
Although opportunities are everywhere at redpepper, It can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. Self-motivation and ingenuity are key elements in making your internship a success.
I’ve learned if you want to be a part of something be ready to throw up your hands and shout pick me pick me! Or more appropriately, send out a Slack message shouting the same and throw in a raised hands icon.
I find the more involved I am, the more motivated I feel to effectively contribute my time and creativity.
We’re All Mad Here
Starting a new job (or internship in my case) can be intimidating and you may find yourself questioning whether you’re creative enough, bold enough or know your strengths enough to do it (I know I did.)
Admittedly, the fact that I am a bit older than most interns and a mom (which sucks any bit of hip coolness you might have had right out of you) made me fear that I might be in over my head when I decided to quit my day job to become a Production Services intern at redpepper.
Fortunately, redpepper believes everyone is uniquely creative, and the longer I’m here the more I see this in action.
I am constantly amazed at the way everyone’s brain works and even cooler, I’ve noticed my own brain following suit.
I had no idea what I was in for or just how awesome it would be. redpepper truly is a place to hustle and grow. I can’t wait to see what’s in store!
Heather Howell, Nashville, TN, Production Services Intern