If you know me at all, even on some tiny minuscule “hi I’m jordan” level, then you have probably heard me talk about this thing called Cava. Well, I’m not only a dedicated enthusiast of the DC startup but I am also a social media intern at the brands HQ in DC (such a formal little introduction there).
I’m not just bragging about the fact that I work in the marketing department at the best food place in the world, but I wanted to take the chance to share a little about my experience as an intern and how I got started. I realize that most people who read my blog are already in the working world (hi family members & friends) but this ones for all the high schoolers and college freshmen out there #represent.
I got involved in Cava through my dad, but once the meeting was set it was on me to bring my A game. Being young in a setting of professionals is extremely intimidating, like I probably didn’t speak outside of asking questions for a month, but showing your personal capabilities are so important and, honestly, so fun.
I remember on first day at Cava I worked with the community manager, Justin, to get familiar with the brand image. Little did he know I had been doing this for months to prep (Advice #1: know your stuff going in- the more credible and informed you are, the more impressed they are). During our meeting I started talking about the contrast in colors the company uses in their brand book to symbolize their dedication to seasonal foods and about my interest in how they locally source their ingredients and he just looked at me, amazed, and said “woah, you’re like actually so smart.” And that moment has driven my entire interning career since. (Granted its only been a year, but cut me a break, it was moving stuff.)
It’s not about what you already know, it’s about what you bring and what you do about it. Advice #2: be vocal. If you want an internship or job or position, chase it. You may not get it because odds are there is someone more prepared and more perfect than you, but at the chance you’re what they want, you would’ve never known if you didn’t try. Be the most passionate. Share your ideas. Put things on the table. Always.
One thing I never let myself forget is that every experience is a learning one. Yes- Every. Single. Experience. And every task you do takes you closer to something you could potentially be more passionate about.
“What do you do at Cava?” is one of my favorite questions ever. The answer is not as glamorous as expected- I send packages, fill donation requests, maintain and create outreach spreadsheets for new locations, take inventory, & a bunch of other clerical things. And I would not trade any bit of that for anything. My role there is to make other people’s jobs easier and I start each task with a smile and end with 100% completion and enthusiasm. After about a year now, I’m starting to get into projects more tailored to my interests- visual media and content creation. I’ve started updating the company’s seasonal Pinterest boards and am getting more assignments as we speak. Advice #3: Work your way up & invest in yourself. You can never say thank you enough, because every job you tackle is just another thing that sets you apart and better prepares you for the future. But don’t stop there. This summer I taught myself illustrator (okay, fine, I had a little help) and Google programs (spreadsheets, maps, etc) to improve my skill set and become more versatile in the workplace. Have I even taken a business class yet? Not really. Do I know the power of innovating and marketing myself? Totally- it’s indispensable.
Lastly, advice #4: find your passion. Cava puts a lot of emphasis on cooking and the power of food, and while I ashamedly say I barely know a pot from a pan, my connection with food is more than just eating (more on this later…). The mentality of the company is something I stand behind whole-platedly and I am so honored to be a part of the team.
Cava is “for those who savor,” and I definitely savor every nanosecond of my time there. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me this semester- I know it won’t disappoint.
More to come on my Cava chronicles & the road to real life.
Stuck in my head: Past Lives // Borns
Snap it: Cava DuPont
Get this Cava Bowl: Mesclun mix. Half Chicken, Half Falafel. 1 scoop Traditional Hummus & 1 scoop Red Pepper Hummus. Pita crisps. Tomato & cucumber. Pickled Cabbage. Double quinoa. Feta. Greek Vinegarette. Green Harissa. (& Vanilla Bean Limeaide)