CALM DOWN: You’re more prepared than you think
Tips and tricks for nailing the first week.

As the hunt for an internship begins, you may find yourself asking a great deal of questions about how to best prepare. Little do you know, you’re more prepared than you thought. How, you might ask? Well, take a look back on your time in college. Whether you’ve been in school for 6 months or 4 years, you’ve picked up on a variety of skills and lessons that run parallel with what you need in order to succeed at redpepper. Beginning with your first steps on campus to your last few exams of the semester, each day counts. Each day brings different interactions, all of which contribute to your ability to succeed not only on campus, but in the workplace as well.

1. College orientation / first day at redpepper:
We can all remember that overwhelming feeling after stepping onto campus the first time. You’re hit with that “here we go” moment as you take your first tour around. As you become aware of your surroundings and take in your home for the next few years, you begin thinking about all of the things you will try to accomplish as you begin to experience your first time as an independent teenager.

That same feeling presents itself when you take your first steps through the double doors of redpepper. As you look around and take in all of your surroundings, it’s hard not to feel a sense of accomplishment. You did it, you went through the application process, and were chosen to be one of the valuable interns added to the redpepper team. Plus, who doesn’t love playing ping pong and darts during your lunch break?

2. Schedule building / redpepper Calendar integrating
After arriving to school, you’re given the exciting task of building your first ever class
schedule. This is typically the first time you’ve done anything remotely organized since the last school year, so of course it can take some time. Creating your schedule to fit your personal needs, whether you’re a morning person or someone who can’t seem to get up before 11 am, is always a vital part of your collegiate success.

The same can be said about getting set up with your brand new redpepper calendar. Client meetings, weekly 1 on 1’s with your mentor, and a variety of other things makeup your weekly schedule. Your calendar is something that you rely on each day as you take on your role as an intern. Some may even call it a lifeline, as it keeps you on track and helps manage your time while you’re here. Always be sure to treat your calendar like your class schedule: Be on time. Attend every meeting. Take good notes.

3. First week of class jitters / First week of the internship jitters
As you woke up for the first day of classes, you probably couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement and anticipation for what lies ahead. Although this feeling most likely doesn’t last all year long, there’s just something special about getting new professors and meeting new classmates. This is the week that you get to start anew, feeling out how the rest of your semester might play out, so it’s important to take extra time to capture all of your surroundings. Each day this week will present a new challenge, whether it’s adjusting to a new teaching style or even finding the right place to sit in class, so overcoming these obstacles are nothing short of important.

The same feelings will emerge on the first day of your internship. Shortly, you will be entering redpepper is a new intern, with nothing but weeks of learning and opportunities ahead. The exposure to new experiences is endless, and during the first week you will understand how important it is to stay active, meet your fellow interns/mentors, and watch how the redpepper employees operate on a daily basis. The first week is your baseline for the rest of the internship, so the way you present yourself and pay attention to the little details, such as getting to meetings on time and keeping your workspace clean, are essential.

4. Building relationships with students and professors / Building relationships with fellow interns and mentors
Throughout your collegiate experience, you probably built many relationships. These relationships laid the platform down for the rest of your time at school, and will even carry over into the rest of your life beyond your university. Time and time again, you have relied on a friend or two to help you catch up on an assignment, study for an exam or give you a ride to class. The truth is, without having those people around you, college would be a lot more difficult, which is why maintaining those relationships can help you further down the road.

At redpepper, you are constantly surrounded by a whole slew of intelligent people. From creative minds to the tech-geniuses, there is no short of talented and charismatic interns and employees. This is another reason why building those relationships among your fellow coworkers is so important, because one day you could be in need of a job, a mentor, or just someone to talk to, and having so many caring people here makes that much more compelling. No one knows what the future holds, which is a perfect reason to constantly meet new people. You just never know when your paths may cross again.

5. The fun stuff
Everyone knows that college is filled with exciting things to do, whether you participate in intramurals, clubs and organizations, greek life, etc. There is always something to do when you’re wanting to get out of your room for the day/night. In school, socializing becomes a daily thing, whether you like it or not. These interactions can fuel your desire to meet up with friends for a drink, go catch a movie or do the other 1,000+ things that college students have the opportunity to do. This is what makes college so great. You have the freedom to participate in activities while meeting new people and having a blast.

At redpepper, you will find that there is no shortage of things to do in and outside of the office. As a former member of the sand volleyball team, (and yes, redpepper has two sand volleyball teams that play in the Nashville competitive co-ed league) my eyes were opened to how fun and competitive fellow redpepper employees can be. And this was just the start. There are bowling tournaments, happy hours, canoeing trips and more. And if none of that sounds like something you’d be interested in, there’s a pretty impressive book club as well.

The moral of the story here is that at redpepper, you get to be yourself. The excitement and anxiety you’re feeling as you begin to take that next step in your life while applying for internships is something that we’ve all been through, so don’t you worry. The 5 topics I’ve discussed above are just the beginning. You are more prepared than you think, and if you have the confidence and determination to make your internship dreams a reality, you’ll do just fine.


Avery Jankowski, Client Services intern, Nashville, TN