redpepper - I choose you!

Maybe you’ve heard of Pokémon Go, or maybe you’ve just seen an abnormally large amount of people on their phones walking aimlessly around parks. Either way, there’s no doubt the game has taken over the world. It’s my job as the marketing intern to stay on top of tech and trends and learn what makes the world tick – clearly, that means immersing myself in the Pokémon universe. Believe me, I’ve taken that responsibility very seriously.

As a further sign of how the game has infiltrated my life, I’m going to explain my redpepper experience through the lens of Pokémon. Haters, this is your last chance to leave.

It’s inherently social

Until a few weeks ago, asking your friend “Hey, wanna go to the park to catch Pokémon?” would have gotten you a lot of mockery. Now, it gets you a mix of mockery and excited nods. Hey, I’ll take it. Nonetheless, Pokémon Go is bringing people together. The game has succeeded in getting people out of the house, interacting, and building common ground. Yes, you can play the game alone. But it’s a lot more fun and a lot more rewarding when you have friends to support you and continue your improvement.

redpepper is the same way. Being a redpepper intern gives you an instant social network of people your age that are interested and invested in the same things as you are. redpepper is intentionally structured that way. The office is a social environment that is designed for interaction and collaboration. The internship program has projects like the intern website cover photos to bring interns together from all departments to create and implement their ideas. The benefits of this are not limited to collaborative projects; oftentimes, conversation with interns in other departments sparked new ideas for my own research. And hey, you make some great friends in the process.

It takes sweat

You have to put the work in. Some Pokémon will come to you, but if you live that way you’ll only catch the Pidgey and Rattatas. If you want Charizard or the legendary Mewtwo, you have to put in the effort. You have to explore and go far out of your way. You have to look in places that no one else will. Similarly, your experience at redpepper is what you make it. If you go out of your way to challenge yourself, take on big projects, and prove yourself to your department, you will be richly rewarded. This summer’s marketing interns came in during an awkward transition period. Just a couple weeks into the internship, our manager accepted a job with a startup in New York and it took several weeks for us to get adjusted to this change. We knew it was up to us to make sure we got the full experience out of our summer, so we had to put ourselves out there, have honest conversations with our new manager, and fully immerse ourselves in the shifting department to understand the new needs. This internship is for the go-getters and the self-starters, and if you’re not willing to go the (literal) extra mile, you’re only limiting yourself.

It takes repetition to evolve

For the non-Pokémon-Go-educated, every time you catch a Pokémon of a particular species, you’ll receive candy for that species which can be put toward its evolution. Evolution requires a different amount of candy for each species. It may be annoying stumbling upon the same Pokémon time after time, but eventually you can turn it into an even better version of itself. It relates to phrase I’ve heard around the office several times – practice doesn’t make perfect,  perfect practice makes perfect. By repeating tasks consistently and correctly, you can become the master of it. The first few weeks of this internship have a steep learning curve. You’re suddenly surrounded by terms like tankfilling, pink/gold, and zoning, and it can honestly be pretty overwhelming. But by allowing yourself to absorb new concepts and learning from those around you, you’ll not only understand these tasks but begin to lead them yourself.

The better you get the more opportunities you’ll be given

In Pokémon Go, you can’t just create your account and expect to be a Pokémon master and take down gyms on your first day. You’ll catch your fair share of low-powered Pokémon at the start. But as you progress and improve, you’ll find increasingly powerful ones to add to your collection. At redpepper, you have to work up to the big projects. It’s easy to come into the internship with expectations for the big assignments you’ll be given on day one, but in reality, you have to work up to the important tasks. You have to establish yourself as a competent, confident adult with a killer work ethic by tackling those smaller tasks. By the end of your time here, you’ll find yourself in charge of projects and presentations and you can be satisfied knowing that you earned that role.

To wrapidash it up, your internship will be a Poliwhirl-wind, so don’t be a Slowpoke. Make sure to Exeggcute your projects well and open your Meowth and say hello. Remember, hustle and grow - or in this case, hustle and evolve.

Liza Upton, Los Angeles, California, Marketing Intern