Qualities I Notice in Peppers

Well… I’m back! The name’s Sarah, former accounting intern (Spring 2016), but this time around I get to develop that into the Team and Culture Development internship. I get to jump in headfirst - forget about the initial easing into assignments to get the swing of things – and just start off kicking some booty, hustlin’, and growin’ some more (because I can never seem to get enough). Plus, it goes to show how great it is here at redpepper, considering I am back for a second round.

Now that I got that introduction out of the way, the other day I was reading an article (yes, I sometimes still read stuff longer than 140 characters) titled “’Only Connect…’ The Goals of a Liberal Education” by William Cronon. Like the tittle suggests, it lists qualities of a liberally educated individual, or “one that celebrates and nurtures human freedom.” While going through the list, I realized that every quality describes the people at redpepper, the company as a whole, and the core values that the culture is built around. So, I decided to share these qualities and reflect on what I’ve experienced during my time here, what I hope to improve on here, and even how I can incorporate these core values into my daily life. Okay, enough chitchat, but if you want to read the original article, you can do so here.

Listed qualities of a liberal arts education, (and of fellow peppers):

1. Listen and they hear.

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Yeah, yeah, whatever you say…just kidding. One aspect I’ve noticed is it is essential to listen to others and it’s apparent that this happens constantly at redpepper. They collaborate and listen to everyone for inputs, instructions, and encouragement. Plus, they have to listen to clients… because if they’re not happy, we’re not happy.

2. They read and they understand.

I won’t ramble on this one because it’s similar to listening. Reading and understanding is like listening and hearing for the eyes (so deep, I know).

3. They can talk with anyone.

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If you’ve been to an alignment meeting, or even popped in on any of the other meetings, you can see that people here know how to talk. I’ve been in meetings that were more impressive and engaging than most of my course lectures. I could only hope to grow into the type of presenter that I’ve seen and heard during my time here. It’s something I aspire to, but understand it takes practice so I don’t freeze up or start sweating beforehand.

4. They can write clearly and persuasively and movingly.

Part of marketing and advertising is delivering a message, or telling a story in a picture or short video. I’m no writer, and would always be up

5. They can solve a wide variety of puzzles and problems.

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From Lindsey G. in finance, to Jake in tech – everyone has a talent for problem solving and knows how to break situations into manageable pieces so they can kick butt and get stuff done.

6. They respect rigor not so much for its own sake but as a way of seeking truth.

One of the company’s values, “we actively support personal growth” shows this passion for continued learning and us interns show a passion for learning outside of the classroom as a result also.

7. They practice humility, tolerance, and self-criticism.

Everyone is open to each others’ perspectives, even if that means challenging their own perspective, because having a team is so much more fun and rewarding in the end. Oh what was that? Another company value fits here too? You’re right! “If we aren’t changing, we’re dying” gets the message across that being open allows us to learn, adapt, hustle, and grow.

8. They understand how to get things done in the world.

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Well, it is a business after all. At redpepper we have a value “we provide creativity with provable benefits,” which means all of the fun we have makes sense in the real world…it provides results. But “the world” for them doesn’t end in money, they also give back.

9. They nurture and empower the people around them.

Everyone is always encouraging one another and showing appreciation for the hard work that they do. The slack channel #appreciation-station is a great example of this. The value “we engage each others strengths and passions” fits right into this quality, just saying.

10. They follow “Only connect”

“More than anything else, being an educated person means being able to see connections that allow one to make sense of the world and act within it in creative ways” (Cronon). Again, a company value “we believe everyone is uniquely creative” fits so well. The vibe here is one that combines everyone’s unique and creative talents together to provide a greater sum of its parts (woah, did I just describe synergy? My strategic management professor would be proud).

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Overall, I have realized that it is not common to run across a company like redpepper, let a lone a company that provides such a learning environment for us interns. I’m glad to be back, and excited to strengthen a few of these qualities within myself in the meantime.

Sarah Raisian, San Jose, CA, Team and Culture Development intern

Source: Cronon, William . "'Only Connect...' The Goals of a Liberal Education.” The American Scholar Volume 67, No. 4, 1998. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.

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