Things I Learned In My Cubicle.

Honestly, I never pictured myself sitting front row to a desktop computer in a sea of beige, but after this summer, I can proudly say it’s not as bad as the movies make it out to be. I spend an absurd amount of time imagining myself sitting city side, latte in hand, working to create the next big thing in an office that gets bagels regularly delivered. So, when I was handed a non-Mac and a desk chair I was definitely brought back to reality.

My summer internship has been insane. Aside from a team of the smartest people I’ve ever met, I’ve grown from Googling what SEO (Search Engine Optimization*) stands for to an amateur, asks a million questions to make sure she’s doing it right, crawler.

Here are some other things I’ve learned along the road to 40 hours a week x 10 weeks.

1. Business Casual(ly missing wearing chokers everyday)

A huge adjustment was swapping body suits for blazers and getting into the professional mindset stylistically. But no worries guys, I found ways to incorporate my favorites into corporate life. Enter silver platform sandals, big hoop earrings, and plenty of denim on denim. What once required a separate shopping trip to “Mom Stores,” is now about creativity, subtleness, and compromise. Not going to lie though, I’m happy to be back in the land of the fashionably free.

2. The Question Game.

A huge skill I’ve cultivated this summer is called “The Informational Interview.” It’s when you sit down, one on one, and play Vogue 73 Questions. People love to talk about themselves and being young, eager, and work force un-ready, it’s been really helpful to hear their stories and tips. It’s mostly about tuning in and asking the right questions to get the most out of every discussion. For me, I always try to lead back to creativity, career growth, and the culture of a company.

3. Making the First Move.

Being the youngest intern of 63 was a little daunting. Even though there were plenty of rising juniors, it was scary to know that I’m the only one walking into work with that “I just experienced college for the first time” vibe. But over time, and through a cross-department intern project, I came to realize it’s just about reaching out and being open. Basically that whole turning off the resting bitch face and making friends thing. And a lot of the interns had interesting experiences and stories that I could learn from.

So, while I still might be Baby, I’m definitely not in a corner. What a nice, little taste of the real world. Now, let’s go back to tailgates and late-night pizza. 


Stuck in my Head: Faded Heart // BORNS
Snap it: Internship HQ

Search Engine Optimization is optimizing/changing/manipulating a website to help it perform better on Search Engines. The goal is to get your site to the top of the page after a search (aka: to rank well in the results). It’s basically a language I’m still trying to learn to speak. Thank god for Google.

And if you’re curious, my site is not very optimized. Don’t blame the blogger, blame the world she blogs in. 

Saying Goodbye to SuperGreens.

If you even relatively know me, you would know that every other word out of my mouth is a praise for CAVA. From their genius social strategy to having hummus so delicious I drool at the thought of it, I have such a huge appreciation for the company. As the semester winds down, I want to reflect on the most valuable things I’ve learned being part of the CAVA marketing team.

  1. Your incredibly energized when you love what you do. Sure I only worked 12 hours a week this semester, but there was never a morning I couldn’t wait to get into the office. No  matter the task, it’s always easier knowing you’re doing it for a brand you believe in with people who believe in you.
  2. There’s no shame in double Crazy Feta. Never have I thought twice about grabbing a snack or going in for another bite of Harissa Nachos. The culture and appreciation for food at CAVA runs deep and it’s taught me to savor each bite, but also each memory. Food is more than being full, it’s a relationship builder and a uniter. I mean, how can you not make a friend over a side of falafel?
  3. Being surrounded by creative people is inspiringI can’t lie, the creativity from CAVA’s marketing team often leaves me speechless or rambling “I love it” like I’ve just found the perfect prom dress. But, seeing so much originality has opened me to the concept that there are no bad ideas and you shouldn’t be scared to speak up. And while some suggestions will inevitably get shot down, it’s about getting back up, tapping into your inspiration networks, and brainstorming again. It’s a challenge not to settle for simple, but I’m excited to start better utilizing my resources (aka Pinterest & Instagram Influencers) and break out of the mold years of school have built. It’s time to get out of the box.
  4. Everything I’ve done with the team has made me more dedicated to finding my professional edge. Each person is so talented and it’s inspiring to watch them all change the fast-casual industry with each new project. Between photo/video,  graphics,  customer service, and social content, it’s impossible to choose one avenue to praise above another. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about my professional specialty. Sure, dedication and enthusiasm are noteworthy, but their not the driving forces of my future career. I’m scared to try new things, but I’m excited to explore more aspects of marketing and try to find my niche. Social content feels like it will always have my heart, but there are so many other sides of the field that I haven’t even begun to explore. Hiking boots on, this is going to be one long journey.
  5. Giving and receiving gratitude feels goodAfter every project, big or small, hour long or month long, someone was on the other side of it making sure my efforts were appreciated. And it always felt good to know that my hard work was giving someone else a little lighter of a load. I will never be able to write enough thank you notes for all the amazing projects I’ve done and things I’ve eaten this past semester, but the biggest one I want to express is for making me feel like part of the family. The Hummus to your Harissa. A snacktime soulmate.

So here’s to a bright future, exploring for the summer, and a semester that was so full of CAVA bowls I had to change my order 4 times.

Thank you endlessly.

Stuck in my head: My Body // Young the Giant
Snap it: Chinatown Cava

Calling More Cooks to the Kitchen

Take one look at my Instagram and based on the Cava recipes I’ve posted you would think I’m genius with a knife and some mircogreens. Fact: I don’t even know the difference between a “clove” of garlic and a garlic.

One of my favorite parts of my internship is working with Marissa (think intern friend turned boss/mentor) to film Snapchat and Instagram stories. Besides living out my modeling dreams & getting to pretend to have my own cooking show, it’s been a really great opportunity to experience something so foreign and strange to me. I mean, I know what a whisk is, but why would I ever actually use it? Also, I’ve learned a little about what I like, don’t like, and never want to touch again in the kitchen.

Each recipe is it’s own adventure complete with a learning curve. Our first endevour that made a splash was the Harissa Avocado Grilled Cheese, which set the cooking difficulty bar a little low and the flavor wow factor way high for recipes to come. With each new Toast Tuesday & Hummus Hacks segment I’ve gotten way out of my kitchen comfort zone, which previously consisted of scrambling eggs and baking broccoli. And the best part of all of it is that when things get a little too Top Chef for us, there are so many experienced friends in the office volunteering to help the culinarily-challenged. Leave no hummus lover behind. 

Things I like: Drizzling pomegranate molasses on roasted eggplant & spreading hummus on things.

Things I don’t like: Really hot kitchens with not enough counter space, the smell of turmeric, & how onions actually do make you cry.

Things I never want to touch again: Smoked salmon.

I don’t see myself becoming a star with a stove, but there’s definitely something to be said about becoming more comfortable in the kitchen the more time you spend in it. Besides learning how to sprinkle paprika without it clumping and knead pizza dough, flexibility is a big complement to cooking. Sometimes a little substitution can competely change the chemistry of a meal, and sometimes it adds that little hint of what was missing in the first place. Life can basically be like running out of a spice and having to think and substitute in the moment. Better hope you don’t ruin the dish. 

Catch some of my favorite Cava recipes here. And watch their Instagram stories here to see my hand modeling in action.

Do you ever love your job more than Crazy Feta? Because I definitely do.


Stuck in my head: New Man // Ed Sheeran
Snap it: Loaded Avo Toast (it was so good I cried a little), Cava HQ

 

The Age Dilemma.

While my mom may still write some of my important emails, there’s nothing I love more than getting dressed up & hopping on the metro to intern. Cava is an absolute dream to me- great people, great projects, great (free) food. And I’m so excited to see what next semester of hummus and harissa will bring.

But see, there’s this other phenomenon that has been swirling around my head for a couple months now… the summer intership. Somehow, even as a freshman, the pressure to find the next big resume builder is always lingering in the shadows. Call it a craving for success or a flaw in the whole college thing. You decide.

Now, for me, I think internships are different. I’ve only ever worked in positions I loved (I mean, hello, who doesn’t want to monitor Instagram and Pinterest all day), and because of it I think I have a strange perception of working where everyone loves their job more than their children and finding your ~dream~ job is just a matter of working hard enough to get it. 

Here’s a little context- if you know me, you know I am extremely ambitous. Some would call it overzealous. I call it determined. I’ve known the path I want to follow (career wise) for a while, which has led me to connect other passions to the same purpose. During my not-so-brief Taylor Swift stalker days I researched where her marketing team was HQed so I knew where I would have to move after college (side note: the internet seems to think she’s her own marketing genius, but there’s obviously a team behind her…I mean really… come on, Google). From there my love for food, fashion, and fitness have sparked interests in other companies, most of which don’t necessarily need an 18 year old running around their office in a over-the-knee boots and retro Ray Bans. 

But here’s the thing, I love to work. I find putting fingers to keyboard and putting together work I’m proud of the most satisfying part of a day. Sure getting As is great, I mean I’m the spokesperson for them, I love them more than a perfectly poached egg, I feel as though I could potentially die without them, but completing a task in *the real world* gives me the triumph of feeling one step closer to a DC apartment and an inbox full of emails. & I don’t work to finish, most every project I do I aim to exceed expectations. You want the names of 10 local businesses, I’ll give you 20. You want the project by Friday, I’ll have it on your desk in an hour. I’m not your average college student. I work to kill & I still get 9 hours of sleep a night. 

So, now on to my frustration with the whole work world. With an attitude like mine, it’s still impossible to be a candidate on paper when you’re this young. A couple work experiences, one semester of college, zero business school classes. I mean come on, I might as well just sleep my way through summer.

But hey, that’s never been my style. So I guess I’ll just try twice as hard, work twice as fast, and write twice as many cover letters. Yeah, that’s more like it.

I mean, it’s Summer, who needs the ocean when you can have an office. 


Stuck in my head: Shape of You // Ed Sheeran
Snap it: Adams Morgan

I have some internship leads. I’m working on it. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.