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.