I was never a summer camp kid, but I always envied that friendly, cultish hypnosis that camp kids lapsed into with a gleam in their eye when they spoke of their summer adventures. The rest of us had no idea what the hell they were talking about, but get two camp kids together on the playground and the rest of us would sit back and watch in amusement. Everything else disappeared for them and they’d break into secret handshakes, loud chants, and stories that left the other kids bewildered.
Bonfires, bunk beds, mosquito bites, swimming in filthy lakes, and songs that made no sense to anyone but other campers– growing up, I always felt like I was missing out on something by not being privy to this childhood portal that opened up sometime in May and spit kids back out on the schoolyard in mid-August.
It’s not exactly the same (although the reaktr does have a rustic screen door!) but this summer at redpepper we had the biggest flock of interns to date, and it has felt like a little taste of camp that I never got. I must say, I’m beginning to have some insight on the quirky mentality of the camp cult.
There was our cabin (the west side conference room was quickly dubbed “the intern lair”),
chant sing-a-longs (the intern lair never stopped blaring “We Can’t Stop.” I can assure you, it was enough to drive even the soundest of mind insane):
weird inside jokes: (please don’t ask)
and a bittersweet farewell party that ended in an all-hands-in cheer. Yes, there really was a group cheer. In public. At Dave & Buster’s. By a bunch of 20-something’s in matching shirts. The dorkiness does not escape me. One thing I have learned about camp psychology is that looking like an ass doesn’t stop you from participating, and further, that looking like an ass is often the point.
Let the summer of 2013 be the summer of interns, and may we all meet again sometime when the weather’s hot and there are ghost stories to be told with the dramatic aid of a flashlight.
-Stephanie, summer 2013 design intern
Hey there fellow earthlings! My name is Mindy Nguyen. I’m from Miami Beach, FL and I major in Graphic Design at Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Fl. I’m going into my Junior year, so I decided that doing an internship this summer would be a good chance to learn more about the creative industry from a more hands-on standpoint. At first, I was solely looking for internships in Boston or Atlanta. While searching for places in Atlanta, I came across redpepper, however, soon discovered that the internship was only held in Nashville. So for a while, I ruled redpepper off my list since I didn’t know anyone in Nashville and would’ve been completely by myself in a new city. But after a month, I decided, why not take that chance to really put myself out there in the open and do something I’ve never done before. What I loved about the internship was the opportunity to learn something more about an area that I was interested in and do a project revolving around that topic.
So for my project, I set out to create a quilling piece. It’s an art that’s been around for over 200 years and is essentially strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create a design. In the past couple of years, it has been revived by modern graphic designers and incorporated into typographic pieces. I was inspired by this art to tear myself away from the computer and make something with my hands.
A while back, I met with April, our in-house interior designer, and figured out an area that could use something like that, so we decided on using the space that’s above the mocking station’s cabinets in the west side. This space measured out to be 10’6” by 2’4”. Then it was time to plan and figure out exactly what I wanted to say, so I looked to Leslie for her copywriting skills, and she came up with “Practice makes perfect, so make practice and practice making.” This message was supposed to emphasize how the mocking station is a place where we can practice making things with our hands until it’s essentially perfect.
From there, I went to planning and trying to figure out what my base for the piece was, what materials and tools I needed, and how it was all going to happen. I settled on using foam core boards and using spackle to cover up the seam of where the two boards were connected. At first, I thought about using a roll of paper, doing the design on there, and then gluing that onto the board. However, I soon realized that it wasn’t going to work since the paper didn’t look too good when it was glued onto the board. Unfortunately, I came to this realization after I had spent an entire weekend tracing and measuring the kerning from my Illustrator file and laying out the whole message on the paper. So I had to go back to the drawing board and figured that I could cut out each individual letter from card stock and attach the quilling paper to that. However, time was running thin once I had finally come to that break through. Thankfully Ben, my trusty and amazing accountabilabuddy, was there to save the day by letting me use a Silhouette Cameo cutter.
Once I had all the letters prepared, I measured out where each of the letters would be placed and finally glued all the letters to the board. I saw a glimpse light at the end of the tunnel, but then realized I hadn’t even done the quilling part yet, so my nightmare continued and I raced to begin it. And then I realized that I couldn’t stay all night and of course the 10 foot board wouldn’t fit in my sedan. I mean, I could’ve laid it across the windows and let my car be buzz lightyear for a quick minute, but other cars probably would’ve been too jealous. So I accepted my defeat and experienced that cliche pathetic fallacy where the weather matched my mood.
And then after a while of sulking, I realized that practice does make perfect. And as a student, I still have so much yet to learn and need to practice the art of quilling much more before taking on such a large piece. As a wise woman once said (Hannah Montana), “Nobody’s perfect. I gotta work it again and again till I get it right.” So I’m going to take this as a learning experience to set aside enough time to really practice an art in order to perfect it, or at least, plan to make something that is easily portable.
Even though I won’t have the chance to complete the quilling piece, I am going to let fellow peppers have the chance to let their creativity flow since after all, it is the making station! Hopefully once I leave, this will become an interactive piece that everyone can say they’ve put a piece of themselves into. I’ve had such an amazing experience here at redpepper and learned so much about the industry and about myself over the past couple of months. I am so thankful for all the people I’ve met and worked with here. This will truly be a summer I won’t forget.
My name is Lauren Gregg, and I am a senior at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. I had the wonderful experience of interning with redpepper this summer as an account management intern. Throughout the application and interview process, redpepper’s CreateAthon perked my interest. CreateAthon is a 24-hour creative blitz where the redpepper crew stays up all night to create advertising and marketing materials for nonprofits in the Nashville and Atlanta areas. This innovative slumber party led me to my intern project’s focus. Enter Land of Cause.
Land of Cause is redpepper’s nonprofit for nonprofits, existing as a resource for deserving nonprofits. (CreateAthon is under the Land of Cause umbrella.) Land of Cause works throughout the year to raise funds for these deserving nonprofits to create marketing tools to grow. When I delved further into redpepper’s Land of Cause, I discovered it needed some help, particularly in the social media department.
Throughout my internship, I reinvigorated Land of Cause’s Facebook page. Boosting the page’s likes, adding photo albums, and creating content proved to be a success. Aside from the fun festivities of social media, I also did research. With a list of about 40 charitable foundations and United Way Donors from the Nashville Business Journal, I created an excel document with a smorgasbord of information. From grant deadlines to contact information to application links, the document will prove to be a helpful source in augmenting Land of Cause’s funds.
And last but not least, I conducted an interview with one of the past CreateAthon participants and Land of Cause grant recipient. Lu Sipos, founder of Gabe’s My Heart, provided an update, valuable insight, and inspiring advice about her nonprofit’s experiences with redpepper. “It was a dream,” said Lu in reference to her CreateAthon experience. With the interview transcript I created a brief news update to be utilized in promotions of Land of Cause and CreateAthon activities.
Watering Land of Cause proved to be a multi-faceted intern project, dabbling in social media, research, and journalism. I look forward to watching Land of Cause continue to grow and flourish. I have learned so much from redpepper. From client meetings to redbits to intern outings, summer ‘13 got all its cool points from rp.
Peace, love & advertising,
What’s in a name? That which we call an analytics system by any other word would be as confusing.
Alas, one daring intern decided to dive into the unknown and unravel the mystery of Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. That daring intern, was me.
I started my intern project – analyzing and summarizing the information found in these super-programs – with absolutely no previous knowledge of what I was doing. There had been no precedent set for me, I had nothing to add to and I only had a few notes to consult before starting.
Needless to say, in the beginning, I panicked that I had started too late, that I was in over my head, and that this project was just too big for me to handle. But I dove in anyway, and found that, not only could I handle this, but it was interesting and (surprisingly) fun to do.
It only took about a week to gather all the information, but its value is timeless. I learned about website visits, traffic sources, the quality of visitors to the site and so much more, all just from Google. I learned which pages on the website were successful and which had only a few visitors.
Google was great. The system broke it down and made data easy to access, so I was prepared and ready for Facebook Insights. Then I opened Facebook Insights.
Graphs were created to show all of the interesting data points and I was able to draw conclusions about which posts on Facebook were successful for redpepper.
But the most beneficial thing I learned was that redpepper’s engagement rate for Facebook posts is five times better than what is generally accepted as “good”.
Overall, my intern project taught me important, marketable skills. I’m leaving redpepper far more equipped to analyze and help any company make a digital and social impact on their audience. At the same time, I was able to help rp learn more about the job they do reaching their audience. Now redpepper can create an even better strategy based off the information I was able to provide and I can create a better skill set to help benefit myself and my future employers down the road.
My name is Laura Henni and I am a senior at Vanderbilt University, majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Corporate Strategy. For the past two months, I’ve had the awesome privilege of interning with the account management team at redpepper, and in that time I have grown and learned so much.
One aspect of this internship that really helped me to do that was the intern project. For the project, we are asked to work on something that interests us and helps redpepper at the same time.
I have always been interested in helping people connect and communicate with one another (hence the Comm Studies major). Because of that, I decided to create something that would give redpepper an easy and fun way to share ideas, updates, and insights with each other on a weekly basis.
…the place where anyone at redpepper can share whatever’s on their mind and where they can come to feel more connected to what’s going on in the agency. Future interns will be responsible for collecting shares and posting a new newsletter every Friday morning.
It was so rewarding to see all my hard work come to life and to create something that will continue long after I’m gone.
Thanks for everything redpepper! I’m going to miss you all.
Eight of our eleven summer interns gettin’ down on Gatsby Day: Chris, Stephanie, Mindy, Anna Claire, Josh, Lauren, Laura & Allie Brooke.