5 Things Interning at redpepper Taught Me About Being an Adult

1. You don’t have to have it all figured out right out of college.

My journey to Nashville was a spontaneous one. Less than an a month after graduating from Auburn University, I found myself sitting at my mom's house looking for jobs, internships, basically any opportunity I could find; The problem was they were all out of state. redpepper stood out the most. I felt like the atmosphere was perfectly conducive for endless creativity and professional growth. I immediately applied and three days later was told I had missed the deadline. So, back to my mom’s couch? Nah, not this time. I packed up my car, my dog, and some clothes and drove to Nashville. I rented out a room at a friend’s place, worked on my resume, found a part time job, and when it was time, applied again. Since you are reading this, I clearly got the position. However I didn’t know that would be the case at the time. In a way, I had nothing figured out when I came here. All I knew was I had to be responsible for getting out and working towards something rather sitting on the couch and waiting for something to come to me.

2. “You combine hard work, creativity, and self-determination, and things start to happen.” -Sophia Amoruso

Just because you’re done with school doesn’t mean your education is over. When I arrived at rp, I was immediately absorbed into projects. They started out small and became more in-depth and extensive over time. But time really had nothing to do with taking on larger assignment; Rather it was the result of being mentored and learning what it took to be a successful designer from those around you. At the start of your internship, you are assigned a mentor who is there to help and support you along your internship; but they aren’t your babysitter, they are your encouragement. They are there to teach, support, motivate, and sometimes play Pokemon Go with you on coffee breaks.

3. Live well, Do good.

Culture at redpepper is huge. I cannot prepare you for how often you will hear the phrase “Hustle & Grow” during your time here. But it sticks and that’s a good thing. The culture at redpepper promotes a healthy lifestyle, growth (obviously), hard work, hard play, and doing good by others. Non-profit organizations like Nashville Food Project & Rooftops are just two of the names that redpepper clients put their time and positive work into. Here, always holding yourself accountable for being an awesome human being is inevitable, and it works!

4. Dogs make everything better.

I really don’t need to explain this one, I’m simply lucky enough to intern at an office filled with pups.

5. You’re still young and that’s awesome.

My time at redpepper has taught me many things regarding the ins and outs of a successful marketing agency, but the most important lesson it has taught me is that I don’t have to have it all figured out yet. I am learning, I am hustling, and I am growing. But I’m only 23, and my life is ahead of me. My amazing time here has created a monumental stepping stone in the path of life. So, through all this summer’s teachings, this is my advice to you: work hard, open your mind, celebrate your accomplishments, learn from every opportunity, don't take everything so seriously, and when all else fails, try not to grow up so fast.   

Taylor Abate, Ormond Beach, Florida, Design Team