A SNAPshot of redpepper - How to Make Your Time Count

Since arriving in Nashville, my internship at redpepper has been at the center of my life and thus, naturally, the subject of most of my Snapchat Stories.

And, although puppies roaming and piñatas flying may just be another normal day at the office for me….my Stories have been greeted with their fair share of scrutiny and skepticism from my friends back home.

“Where the heck do you work?”

and

“Do you do anything besides eat at your internship?”   have been some of the inquiries I received in response to the content that I posted.

And, despite the way it may look, I would just like to assure these skeptics (and my parents!) that I am, in fact, doing work and learning a lot here at redpepper.

Although it might seem like it is all fun and games interning at rp, getting the most out of any internship requires being intentional about how you take on everyday.

So, with the help of a random assortment of snapchat screen-grabs I have collected over the past month, I’m going to share a few tips for getting the absolute most out of your internship experience whether it be at redpepper or anywhere you may find yourself.

1.     Caffeinate

redpepper takes its coffee intake very seriously. It went as far as to create its own line of custom coffee blends for the office.

But if right now you’re thinking, “but, Sarah, I don’t even like coffee?” that’s ok! Just interpret “caffeinate” as whatever it takes for you to get your gears turning and your mind and body energized. Whether it be meditation, exercise, or Mountain Dew, part of your overall preparedness as an intern should be being ready and willing to jump in at any point and help out. Attack each day with zeal! (and a venti mocha latte?)

2.     Ask Questions

I have found that there is no better excuse for seeming young and inexperienced than in fact being young and inexperienced!

Since being at redpepper, I have had the pleasure of sitting in on many meetings, client workshops, and strategy sessions. On my first day, I came to the rapid and startling realization that I had no idea what the heck anyone was talking about. After that, I kept a running list of all of the terminology that I didn’t recognize and started asking for a recap from the meeting leads when the session was over.

You aren’t expected to know everything right off the bat!

3. Smile

Whether you are sitting in on an important client meeting or picking up smoothies for the team, attitude is everything! Take pride in every task you do and do it to the best of your ability and with a smile on your face. If you complete small tasks with excellence, you will be entrusted with larger responsibilities.

I was given the task of doing some research on a potential new client. My research must have been well received because I was then asked to create an informational display for the client when they came to visit the office. It felt great knowing that I had helped secure new business for the agency.

4. Seek Focus

Distractions at redpepper come in many forms…

Sometimes, however, you will be asked to do detailed work that requires solitude and focus.

My advice to you would be to separate yourself from the action and knock it out ASAP.

redpepper has many cozy nooks as well as zone rooms that are specifically there for uninterrupted work.

Some tasks that I work on lend themselves well to collaboration and conversation. But when I’m asked to work on a detailed traffic spreadsheet or a presentation deck, I use a zone room to really focus on the work at hand.

5. Get Wrapped Up

Get wrapped up in what you’re doing. Many times an internship will only last for a few short months, make them count! Engage with what is going on around you and take initiative.

Our intern photo project has been a great way for me to get immersed in a new field of work and see a large scale project through from start to finish. We could have just done the bare minimum and checked the task off our lists, but I have long believed that anything worth doing is worth overdoing. So in that case, why would you just take a normal group photo when you could splatter paint the entire room?

6. Don’t be a wallflower…..

Make your presence known!

Sometimes it will feel like people are speaking another language when they are using industry jargon and business speak. But, believe it or not, a time will come when you actually understand what is going on and have an opinion on it!

There have been many times at redpepper that I have been hesitant to speak up, but after I did I felt like I was actually able to contribute something helpful to the team. As an intern, you offer a unique perspective; don’t be afraid to voice it.

7. Take your work home with you

Read up and do some research on your own time! Just because you leave the office doesn’t mean you can’t keep learning and informing questions to bring back with you on Monday. Stay attuned to the industry you are working in and how it operates within the real world around you.

One of my personal goals for the summer was to stay on top of digital and social media marketing trends. Being around digitally savvy people everyday inspired me to create my own tech blog. Creating content for my own blog was a great way to both learn through doing and stay up to date on cool things happening in the ad world.

7. Say Hello!

Internships are a great networking opportunity. When else are you going to get to interface every single day with people already working in the industry that you want to be a part of?  

Say hello in the hallways, invite colleagues to coffee, ask questions and offer to help. Observe great relationship builders around you and do as they do!

I have met many new people at redpepper with varying work experiences and career paths. From them I have been able to get insight and advice that will be invaluable as I prepare to graduate college and enter the “real world” in just a few short months.

Reaching out to others is a great way to challenge your comfort zone as well as form professional relationships and maybe even new friendships.

 Well that’s all I got, folks. Just remember, your internship will be over in a *snap*. Make the most of every minute!

Sarah Whitmore, Charlotte, North Carolina, Production Services Intern

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