Taking a Detour with redpepper
I recently graduated in May from Chapman University as a graphic design major, yet my job search began long before this. March arrived and I began scouring the internet’s many platforms (LinkedIn, Indeed, you name it...) looking for just the right fit. And to be honest, I never imagined that an internship would fulfill what I was looking for. I discovered redpepper through a friend, and after spending a couple hours browsing their various social media platforms and website, I was pretty sold. Initially I reached out to redpepper’s talent manager who let me know that while there were no open positions, they were accepting summer intern applications. I was a bit skeptical of this, only because it didn’t fit into my perfect post-grad plan and it likely meant spending a summer living at home with my parents... not exactly the glamorous future I had planned for myself. Pushing my concerns aside, I eventually decided to go for it. I applied, got an interview, and then waited. You know when you go on a first date with someone and then you keep thinking about them? Maybe a little online stalking? Yeah, redpepper was kinda like that for me.
A couple weeks passed by before hearing that I was accepted. While I was still a bit hesitant about an internship, I was so sure about redpepper, its values, and the people I had interacted with so far, so ultimately it was an easy decision. Exactly a month later, I walked into redpepper for my first day, curious as to how my experience would shape this post-grad life of mine. After almost two full months of spending time at this fine establishment each week, I can honestly say this internship has exceeded my expectations and any post graduate would be smart to take advantage of this amazing experience. So, let me bestow a little wisdom upon you…
1. Real life experience.
redpepper truly takes this to the next level. Each intern is given at least one mentor that gives you direction and guidance during your time at redpepper. I had two mentors, Sara and Caitlyn, and the insight I gained from them throughout the internship was worth my time alone. I spent most of my days tagging along to various client meetings with the creative team, brainstorming concepts, and creating content that was actually presented to clients. Ideas from interns are considered with as much gravity as if they were coming from an art director - there’s none of this superiority crap going on. So that’s pretty dang cool.
2. New friends!
Starting life somewhere new is intimidating, and it’s quite different than college where you’re placed in an ideal situation to make new friends. redpepper, however, practically hands you 13 new talented, driven, and freakin’ awesome pals. It surprised me immensely how close the group of us became. Whether you’re moving back home or looking to experience a new city, it’s the perfect opportunity to build new friendships.
3. A little break before “real life” begins
Life after college may sound fun and glamorous, but I actually cherished this little bit of time I was able to dedicate fully to focus on my design skills, meet stellar humans, and learn more about myself. The work at redpepper is no joke; it’s challenging and often intimidating. It does, however, allow you to grow in ways that a “real job” wouldn’t. You can experiment more and really get out of your comfort zone.
“Connections are the most important part of getting a job.” I’ve heard that phrase countless times and have admittedly underestimated its true value. Everyone at redpepper has been in the creative industry for a bit, and with this comes connections in many areas. This can be extremely beneficial for the future, and if you kick some butt during your internship, you never know where those connections could lead you!
Two of the close friends I’ve made during these past couple of months had similar feelings about their decision, so I asked them for a bit of insight as well. Here’s what they had to say...
“I felt like I wanted to be sure of what I wanted to do. This helped me realize that I really wanted to go into advertising.” -McKenzie Dorris
“I wanted to find a new location to live, and now I know that I love Nashville! It’s intimidating to take a job and not know whether or not you like the city, so it was the perfect solution.” - Meredith Queen
So, to all you post-grads perusing this page and questioning whether or not this is the right path to take, I pose the question: why the heck not? Learn from new colleagues, strengthen your skillsets, make connections, and spend some time in the beautiful city of Nashville as a redpepper for the summer (or a semester). You really can’t go wrong.
Molly Peach, Design intern, Nashville, TN