How has this experience (Internship) made you consider your college path that will ultimately lead to your career?
I feel that this has led me to find more interest in a major directed less specifically towards photography and journalism, and more towards marketing, advertising, business, and communications, as well as art or graphic design. I think these majors would all be more suitable in the area I would like to go into, which would be media marketing and management. Although these majors would target the specific career I would like to go into, there are also a lot of employees here who didn't necessarily go right into those specific careers, but since their majors gave them skills and understanding that still assisted them in this job field, they were able to make a career out of it. I still do have the motivation to find a college where I would also like to start my career.
Consider what you have observed and learned about your mentor or other employees at your site, and reflect on your own academic & professional preparation.
I've learned a lot from everyone around me, and I know all of it will assist me in school and any new experiences I face. Some skills and qualities that I noticed in my mentor and colleagues that I want to mirror are focus, collaborative understanding, and humor as well as a lighthearted attitude while working. I think all of these skills would not only shape me into a more determined student, but also a more enjoyable individual to work with. Some knowledge that I learned was both new terminology and new programs. I used Agorapulse, a social media program, and Trello, a scheduling, planning, and assignment tracking program for the office. I also used Dropbox, a file storing application, and learned a bit about Whatagraph, a media analytics program, but never had to personally use it. All of these programs were pretty simple once I knew how to use them, and I feel they will help me in the future.
Why was the project important?
My project was important to the company because it gave them new content to use for both their company and their clients. The mission statement will give Social Supply Company a stronger and even more clear voice, and sums up the majority of their website in a few sentences. It is also company created, and wasn't a single draft crafted only by me - an intern who has been present in the business for approximately a month. My flat lays for Chuao Chocolatier are now being used as examples of ideas for their content creation, and although they most likely won't be used as a final content piece for their social media, it still offers the brand a clear view of the possibilities that there are for their content. My vocabulary list will hopefully be able to help any incoming employees or interns, and as Reis said, "You could sell this online," it's definitely useful and a great tool to be utilized in the future by someone who is learning about marketing, advertising, and the company.
What was the process you went through to complete the project?
To create the Mission Statement, I first examined the Social Supply Company website to understand further what their purpose and angle is as a brand. Not only do they help with content, but do analysis to help the client find what works and what doesn't. They also use a full-funnel marketing strategy, and are constantly learning to understand more. After I brainstormed and wrote three drafts, I had a team meeting to discuss the mission and get feedback on it. Since I had only worked there for three weeks at this point, I felt I didn't have the qualifications or understanding to write it completely on my own, and either way there was more than just me working in the office. The mission statement represents everyone, so I wanted everyone to have a voice on it. Reis then assisted to write the final copy, which will be presented on their company website.
For the portfolio, I reached out to Tali and asked if there was anything I could do under the umbrella of content creation. She then responded with the Chuao Chocolatier flat lay project. She was so thoughtful and give a scene idea for me on a sticky note, allowing me to then tangibly create it. I was able to grab any props or backdrops I needed, and really began to understand the effort and time it takes to create a flat lay or any content for that matter. I ended up taking about an hour on each design, in which I would first set it up a few different ways, pick my favorite, snap it on my phone to see if it looks good, and then set up lights and the camera, and shoot. I would then let Tali know I finished that one and she would upload the photos for me, crop them, and sharpen them to give a more finished and professional look.
Lastly, for the Internship Vocabulary List, it was actually an idea I came up with during my work day. As I kept hearing people talking, I realized how many words and terms I didn't understand, and there were quite a few I had even already asked about. I decided it would be a good idea to record the terms and words and their definition to make sure I could remember them and learn effectively. This soon turned into a product as the list grew longer and longer, and I decided it made sense to share. As there are new interns coming in for the summer, I think this will be an effective list that will help get them on their feet even quicker. They may know these terms considering they're older, but it's never a bad idea to share knowledge.
Links to my final products, photos of my products, and the presentation slides from my on-site POL can all be found below.
How did you make a meaningful contribution to your workplace?
During my time so far at internship, I feel I have contributed when it comes to outreach for brands, and given a more youthful insight on certain topics, although they're all young themselves. I feel like more than anything, my colleagues have taught me much more and contributed to my education than I could ever do towards the business or the brands they work with. I feel that the different pieces of my internship project also benefits the business.
How did your project go from an idea or inspiration to a final product?
Firstly, I knew I wanted to work on some sort of content creation, but was also open to learning new things about the business, which meant taking on tasks that I didn't expect prior. I ended up doing a lot of community management and outreach, learning the voice and tone of a brand to display to a public audience through comments, likes, and overall recognition. As I began at internship, I realized how many terms and words I didn't understand. At first I would simply ask, log it in my mind, and move on. Then I came up with the simple idea of creating a vocabulary list for all of the terms and words I learned from internship. This ended up being one of four of my products. My next product is the mission statement for Social Supply Company. During my mentor interview, I learned that they didn't previously have a mission statement and offered my assistance in facilitating the discussion around it and helping to create it. We ended up having a team meeting where I presented different drafts, got feedback, and got the final statement from Reis. I am hoping for it to soon be displayed on their website as a finalization of the product. My third product is an analytics report which will be conducted for the month of May on a specific brand. I will be shadowing Katie and working alongside her in creating the report and sending it out to the brand. This product is not yet completed. Lastly, for my fourth and final product, I will be creating a small portfolio containing product photography in different styles and forms. I will be working with Tali to complete this product, and will hopefully be completed with this specific product by Monday of next week at the latest.
What did you learn about your own work from your internship project?
I learned that I am prone towards procrastination, that my work can fall short very easily, and that consistency is difficult for me. I am aware these are all things I need to improve on, and feel that the improvement would furthermore have a large impact on my learning and working experience. It can be difficult for me to find pride in my work sometimes because it can so easily seem unimportant and mundane in my mind, but I think my optimism and positive thinking has began to control the negative attitude that could be developed towards the work that is done. However, I also learned good things, such as that I'm a very well rounded person and am interested in multiple facets of a business, not just one set task.
What new appreciations did you develop while working as an intern? Why?
I learned how to appreciate what you learn while you are surrounded by people older and more experienced than you. I think I take this for granted at school because it's such a common atmosphere, but once I was placed into a temporary position where I had a month to learn all I could, I took advantage of the opportunity and soaked it all up. I pushed to get to know every side of the business, and ended up making multiple products surrounding those different sides. I think through paying attention, asking questions, and advocating for yourself to want to learn, you can be so successful through internship.
What qualities or characteristics did you see in the people around you that you want to develop in yourself? Why?
I could see how many of my colleagues were very relaxed and still focused on their work, getting what had to get done accomplished, while still being able to joke around and have fun. I love the idea that there is so much humor and laughter exuding from my colleagues. They are positive yet real, not holding back if something bugs them or isn't working.
How did your view of life beyond high school change or develop during your time as an intern? How might internship influence the direction of your life?
I feel like I was able to understand more of what led Reis and others to where they are now, both through them explaining their education and experience. I now know that you don't need to major in the exact topic you plan to work in later on, as long as you have something that can be applied to it if needed. I think a lot of my goals will stay the same, but I also have a clearer idea of what tangible work needs to go into creating a small business, doing content creation, being a part of this type of business, and growing a brand or business.
5 photos that convey emotions/messages through visual representation.
Photo #1: A shot of both a Yerba Mate and an Igloo cooler, two of Social Supply Co's clients. One aspect of what they do is product photography, so I thought I'd give it a quick try.
Photo #2: A view of one of the walls, showing both a plant and their company logo. It not only shows the office, but because it also represents the minimalist experience. There aren't a bunch of papers floating around or a large array of desks, but instead a small group of desks and a line-up of desktop computers.
Photo #3: This shot is of the rows of Yerba Mate they have in their office. This was something I was so excited about since I had never tried it before. My favorite flavor is the Passion Terere, which is one of the sweeter flavors they have.
Photo #4: This is a photo of Reis working through the reflection of one of their large desktop computers. It gives a perfect view of the office and what working here looks like.
Photo #5: This photo is a flatlay of the table that sits by the couches. It shows how relaxed the work environment is, and taking flatlay shots is another portion of what they do as content creators, so I tried my hand at it.
How have you advocated for yourself during your internship, or seen advocacy demonstrated in other situations?
I have advocated for myself during internship in one very important way: asking questions. I feel that every time I advocate for myself, it has been through a question, whether it be asking about how to respond to a customer or asking one of my co-workers to help me learn something. One example would be when I asked Katie, one of my co-workers, if she could explain to me the analytics reports that she and other office members do for the clients they work with. It was very eye-opening and allowed me to learn more about the company as well as general analytics reports and data collection. Since I was able to speak up and ask about it, I will soon be learning from her and helping her with the next analytics report for May. This will just be one facet of my internship project, as I will be doing multiple mini-projects to present.
I have also seen advocacy demonstrated in the weekly meetings that the office has. We will speak about whatever the upcoming week has in store for us, as well as if anyone needs help or collaboration on anything. We will also talk about what knowledge can be shared, and I was able to talk about an app that they wanted me to research about. Other office members also shared what they were learning or doing, and there was collaboration to help Madison find meme ideas for a client.
Are you following the advice in "How to be an intern everyone remembers"? If so, how is it working out? If not, what are you going to start doing?
I completely forgot that existed, so I haven't been going directly to it for advice or direction. I might as well start looking at it, as it might have valuable tips I didn't think of by myself. However, I think I've been doing a decent job without the help of the advice (although I'm sure a bit of advice wouldn't hurt to make me a better intern). I have been asking a lot of questions, self-advocating, have written professional notes and emails, have been kind to everyone I am working with, and have diligently done whatever work was handed over to me.
After a quick look at the document, I feel I've done a good job at always doing something, bringing a computer or some type of note-taking tool into meetings and check-ins, and showing up on time or early. I think some tips I can work on or begin doing would be to get to know my colleagues better by knowing what they are responsible for and how I can help, even writing it in a notebook or document to remember. I can also begin dressing more professionally, as I fell into the general dress code of the office, which is pretty relaxed. Since I am a teenager, it can make me personally look less professional, so I will begin upping my style and professionalism for the workplace.
What you plan on doing/creating.
I plan on creating both a data analysis and survey for a brand, and my own portfolio of photographic/design work. For the data analysis, I will most likely need to work closely with Katie and anyone else in the office who does or knows analysis. For the portfolio, I will need to work with Tali, the Creative Director, to help out with and do product photography and design. This might be a challenge as she already has an intern who is directly working with her, but I hope to work with her for about a week or two to gain more understanding about her job, as well as create my product.
What skills you will need in order for it to be awesome.
I will need to self-advocate well: asking questions, sharing what I need to help me, and asking for collaboration in the projects. I will also need to continue improving my photography skills, which I'm hoping that the portfolio will help me with. Lastly, I will need specific skills to give both a good survey with important results, and an analytic report that is relevant to the company. I will probably need help in the analytics section as I haven't really done that before, especially within this company.
What support you will need, and who you will need it from.
As stated before, I will probably need extra help when it comes to the analytics. I will most likely need help specifically from Katie for analytics, Tali for the photography portfolio, and Lexxi for the survey.
For the internship journal, write about what strikes you.
I just can't get over how relaxed the place is, and how much everyone does. As I get more comfortable around everyone and in the work space, I gradually gain more and more tasks and clients to do community management and outreach for. I greatly appreciate every addition to my schedule, but I'm beginning to realize how important time management and having a plan is towards getting work done in a timely and calm manner. I've also realized how procrastination can NOT exist in the workplace, which makes sense because people are paying you to get your work done. However, it's also very much encouraged to be a no-stress environment. They have couches, coloring books, comfortable chairs, a kitchen and conference room to do separate calls, and overall a really comforting and relaxed personality in the office. There is no hovering, and they instead follow the motto of "as long as you get your work done I won't be annoying you."
What questions do you have about your internship?
I have very few questions about my internship, and the only one I can think of would be, "How much do you guys make?" However, I know it's extremely rude to blatantly ask someone how much money they get from their job, especially when they're literally on the job.
What connections can you make between this internship and what you've done in school?
I've realized that a lot of the bad habits I have in school will really affect me in the workplace. Procrastination and laziness are constantly biting at my ankles, but because I want to be a viable intern and not fall behind on important work, and it isn't just my name on the line, I keep pushing and do the work I need to get done. I also thought there would be no homework, but I think I'm sadly wrong. It's very similar to our school however, where you don't always have specific worksheets to finish at home, but if you start a project and it needs to get done before the next day, you have to work at home to complete it. That's very similar to what my job is becoming, since I can only stay until 3:00 pm most days and have a lot to get done.
Has anything happened that's worth telling us about? Funny stories?
On Wednesday, the office was a little bit hyper and less productive -- either that or they all just got work done early, which is more likely the case -- and everyone was talking, making jokes, and throwing around roasts. Eventually, it turned into a figurative King of The Rock situation where everyone would give their best roast to someone and they would fight back. It was all obviously a joke, nothing rude was said, and everyone was so giddy with laughter. I couldn't help but stop and watch this all go down. Then one of the women working here jumped on her chair -- which is about the same height as her when she's standing -- and somehow managed to sit in the opposite direction that you usually would for a chair. Basically the same pose as Ariana Grande's My Everything album cover, but on a really tall office chair facing the back of the chair, feet dangling off of the front. Anyway, she begins spinning around, and at this point I think the whole office is in a weird Friday mood on a Wednesday, but I couldn't care less. This joking and giddy mannerism lasted for the rest of the day, and although it isn't an everyday thing, it was super funny and gave a lightened mood to the office.
What have you learned about your organization's mission and purpose?
The interesting thing about this company is that they actually don't have a mission statement of their own. They work with other brands so much, and a large part of their goal is expanding the brand's identity so it's recognizable and memorable, but they don't have their own mission statement for their own brand. However, when I interviewed Reis -- as you can see if you click the button below -- he seemed keen to the idea of letting me create their mission statement, and it seemed that he had a mission statement in his head that explained what the company's purpose and job is, and who they are for.
What new skills are you developing (or will you need to develop) for this internship?
I think I am becoming more personable and even more social, but am also learning when it's time to be social and when it's time for work. I have also been working hard on self advocacy because if I don't ask a question or get stuck on something, it's my duty to reach out to someone and ask or get help. I have pushed myself to speak up when the room is quiet to ask a question, and not to shy away from a challenge.
How are you getting to and from internship? What is it like to be commuting?
My commute is actually very easy considering my internship is just ten minutes away from my house, and is right off of the freeway. Basically, I take the 78 West, then the I-5 South. It's right in the heart of Carlsbad, so it's a really fun place too. There's never too bad of traffic, and I can drive myself with my own car, so it's not difficult or out of the way for anyone else. I also don't have to set up a carpool or anything which is nice. It gives me a new sense of independence when commuting from home to work to then play practice or college class because I really am in charge of my life and don't have to depend on anyone else to get me places. It's really freeing and makes this whole experience even more of a growing one.
What strikes you most about your workplace?
I think the thing that strikes me most would have to be how relaxed they all are, and how comfortable everyone is in the space and around each other. There are no business suits or large conference rooms or sad assistants. Instead, there's a total of approximately seven people populating a small office space with creaking couches and a small cozy meeting room. There is art hung up on the walls, and an Apple TV radio station playing throughout the day with calm pop music as the main genre. In fact, today the radio station kept playing Khalid and they kept trying to switch it, but it just wouldn't budge from his album.
What strikes you most about your colleagues?
My colleagues are all so kind and relaxed. None are in tight suits or have uptight personalities, but instead are warm and greet you in the space when you arrive. It feels as if I'm already surrounded by people who care about me, even if they don't. I feel very comfortable around all of them, and they like to make jokes and mess around with each other throughout the day which makes it even easier to restful and at ease. I don't feel as though I must constantly be stressed to stay on top of my work, and they in fact ask me if the work I have is too much or too little. They are very considerate and work well in each other's company.
What strikes you most about the job you're doing?
I didn't know how much went into social media management, and how real people truly were working on it. I always assumed that either the CEO or whoever was in charge of the brand took care of the social media platforms, or hired one person to do it. Instead, a whole third party company is hired, and the brand is considered a client. It's odd to now know how automated and artificial it could be, but isn't. Everyone has a few clients that they work closest with, and they seem to manage their social media platforms. There's also software that allows us to check what we need to respond to or address. I also didn't realize how mundane it can be if you don't have fun with it. Honestly, what you're doing is responding to comments, liking posts, following up on marketing strategies, and checking in on different social platforms for the brand - at least those are my main tasks as an intern.
What are you excited about?
I am most excited to continue to work here and gain relationship with the people around me. I'm also looking forward to getting more responsibilities as I keep working here, and being able to provide more for the company by contributing more ideas, research, and content.
What are you worried about?
I am worried that I won't lean in as easy and will have a hard time fitting into the atmosphere here. I don't think I will, as I already feel more and more comfortable with every passing minute, but I think I still have the fear of being an outsider through this whole thing as a background thought. Overall, the only thing I feel I should be nervous about is my internship project, as I'm still not positive what I want to focus on.
Your Name: Sydney Lorton
Name of Business: Social Supply Co.
Profession: Creative Director/Community Management Intern
Describe your first impressions of the place.
I drive down the welcoming roads, where there isn’t nearly as much traffic as when I first exited the freeway. As my GPS decides I need to turn right, I instead go straight, confusing myself as I swallow my new surroundings. This location is so close to home and yet it feels as though I haven't been there in a lifetime. I have to turn left and then right, making u-turns and abrupt stops. This is all so that I can arrive in a timely manner, although I have quite a few minutes to spare. As I pull into one of the four possible spots, I sit outside of the small building of suites, examining its structure and what surrounds it. I remember seeing a small smoothie shop with a view of the ocean from the parking lot and decide in my head that it will be one of the few stops I make for lunch on select days for internship. I forget that time is of special significance today, and quickly apply makeup to convince myself I’m awake enough to get through this day. As I apply the chunky mascara that is partially dried up, I smudge a few small black dots underneath my lower lashes, creating an inward panic. Luckily, with a few swipes of a finger and reapplying of concealer, the smudges disappeared with the momentary horror. The car clock switches quickly to read 8:25, and I check my phone to make sure the times match. I build up what confidence and strength I can muster, and get out of the car with a smile. As I grab my bag and lunch, I set my phone on my car roof to allow my hands to grip something else. As my mind races I put on my jacket, regrip my bags, and head into the building. I was here once before for an interview, so it isn’t challenging to find the sturdy black door with a lock set on it that allows the whole office to hear an entrance. I recall my teacher’s voice prodding at my mind to send a photo for attendance, and scan my body for my phone. Another moment of panic, and then a flash of memory which reminds me where I set it. I rush in the most professional way possible, scared my mentor could pull up any time simply to see me rushing towards the origin of another instance of irresponsibility. Although a man sees me as he sits in his car, it is a stranger, which allows me to care less about how he perceives me. I snatch the phone off of the roof and shove it into my purse, as if burying it deep within another one of my personal possessions makes it untouchable to forgetfulness. I repeat the same process, but this time with familiarity, letting it become a subconscious habit in process. when I arrive to the door for the second time, I completely forget about taking any photo to check in with, and instead am solely focused on how I plan to enter. Do I knock? Can I just walk in? Who will greet me? At first I attempt to turn the door open, but as I press down on the handle, it doesn’t budge. It becomes clear a knock will suffice. A young woman greets me at the door, someone I haven’t met yet. She is caught off guard that I showed up early, and sits me down on the couch, offering a coloring book as my pastime while waiting for my mentor to arrive. I scan the room as I sit waiting. Minimalistic white walls and tall desks on the sides of the room. A waiting area that I currently inhabit, also used as a more relaxing work space, perfectly able to fit the total of those employed on its surface. It’s very creaky, but that noise gives it character. The room shares its close proximity to the ocean with surfboards sitting next to a desk and decorated skateboard decks hanging in the hallway. There is a smaller black table with four desk spaces in the middle of the room where they work. I decide in this moment that if I were to work there, I would most likely pick one of the tall desk spaces, as for some odd reason it felt more comfortable for me. I move to help the Creative Director, who, at nine in the morning, is already bright on her toes and beginning her work for the day. She encourages me to watch her set up a flatlay, which I do with glee. I examine her small corner setup and realize how much she utilizes the otherwise cramped space. She has a table covered by a large stretch of white plastic material, used as a background for flatlays. There are large lights set up that flash whenever she takes a photo, illuminating the scene she created. As I help where I can, I begin to see more of the small office the team works in.The kitchen becomes a place of interest as my water begins to empty. I walk in searching for a site of fresh water, and one girl directs me to the water tank setup above the fridge. I thank her and fill my cup, as though I have worked there for weeks already. The kitchen is petite, and they have teas and coffees and all of the accessories to go along with it as well. Lastly, they have a small room with nearly no decor and a large whiteboard, which can be viewed from comfortable white chairs sitting around a long white table. Although the room sounds cold, I can assure you it was much warmer than this description allows. maybe it was the tightness of the room which allowed for such a warm feeling, but it was not a corporate desk with chills surrounding it.
Describe what you think a typical work day is like at this site. How big is the site? How many people work there? What is the atmosphere?
The work day was extremely casual. At multiple points, people would pull out food, start up conversations about new trends, and check in with their colleagues. People would excuse themselves from their desks to go color for a bit and relax on the couches. others would simply be one their phones, searching through Instagram, Snapchat, or Pinterest either for clients or for personal use and research. I did the majority of work assigned on my phone, and it would be on the computer if I had brought mine, which I will be doing for internship. All of the employees did work on their desktops, which shows just how much the business is very technologically run and dependent. The office is small with only three or four rooms in total, which gives it a local and homelike feel. All of the employees are extremely relaxed, and get their work done in a calm and collaborative manner. There was no rushing around to different levels or getting dragged into the bosses office, because the boss worked right next to everyone else, and there was only one floor of rooms.
What do you think the business's general work policies are (tardiness, absence, etc.)?
The employees all seemed to arrive sometime between 8:45 and 9:30, and time of arrival seemed very relaxed. There was no card to clock in and out with, or a sign in sheet to prove arrival times. Instead there seemed to be an honor system in place. You show up and get your work done, and then you can leave. There of course is also a document which was shared with me in the morning of what the Employee expectations are. They expect employees to be present at all meetings, and they can’t have work from home days on days with meetings. They have weekly staff meetings as well where employees can learn and share with one another. It states that paid and unpaid vacation time and work from home days must be approved by your supervisor. They also encourage an open flow of communication and want people who are passionate and willing to learn and participate in discussions. The document doesn’t list anything about general attendance or coming late, or leaving early. I would assume that is on a situational basis.
Describe the dress code. What does that mean to you?
Their dress code is very casual. Most of the women showed up in jeans and a sweater. They still looked professional, but not suit and tie or a pencil skirt. It’s such a small business and a relaxed company that their dress code matches their attitude. A work day is calm and productive, and it is done in comfort and with style. Their outfits reflected how they perceived the day, and the work they had to get done for that dy. They were able to get hands on if they needed to with their work, but still presented themselves in a modest and professional light. That comfortability is really important to me because I know I work better when I’m comfortable and able to better focus on what I need to get done than if I need to touch up or make sure everything is fitting right where it should be.
Please write a reflection about your Career Day experience. What do you expect the professional world there to be like?
Overall, it was a pretty good day. I first helped one he creative director with flatlays, and then after about an hour I went with another woman named Lexi, who gave me an orientation and connected me to their documents and programs that they used. For the rest of the time, I worked on community management, which basically means reaching out to followers and responding to comments, as well as using some of their business strategies to upkeep the accounts. After a few hours, it became to be somewhat mundane work, so I created a spreadsheet with the different accounts I would be working with and set up a sort of system, organizing my thoughts so that it wouldn’t be so chaotic next time I worked on it. I would take small breaks and ate at my desk, although I was allowed to take a lunch break and leave the office if I wanted. Many people brought food, so I didn't feel too weird eating out of my lunch box. it was a very relaxed work environment with low pressure work for me specifically. When someone had a problem, they would simply ask someone to help them, and when there was something to talk about, it was brought up. Although there were many points where everyone was quietly working, it was never awkward silence, but simply busy silence.
In what ways do you expect your high school classes and the skills you have learned to apply to this profession?
SKILLS: Writing, reading, leadership, communication, organization, group collaboration, creativity
APPLICATION: Community management, responding to followers, creating internship project, organizing documents and progress, working with team members, creating ideas at team meetings
SKILLS: Time management, math skills
APPLICATION: Work time management, balancing tasks for internship, possibly using math
SKILLS: Researching, understanding complex subjects, asking questions
APPLICATION: Researching community management tools ($1.80 rule), taking time to understand software used, asking Lexi things I was uncertain about
SKILLS: Learning new language, studying tactics, asking questions, challenging self
APPLICATION: Understanding software and voices and tones of different brands, researching community management tactics, challenging myself in different activities
A month long course that allows the student intern to gain experience in the work environment of their choice, as well as complete a project while collaborating with their mentor.