What each and every intern told us this year was that they were amazed that they did REAL work! No simple or “grunt” work at Frieda’s. Nope, we have so many projects that it’s all hands on deck!
I met with the group of interns when they started at Frieda’s and each week they had to write a report of “what they learned.” Then last week, I met with them all together to get their impressions of their internship experience. What amazed me the most? They told me it changed their lives! Each of them related that their career choice would probably change now that they have worked at Frieda’s. Here is what they learned in their own words.
Our first intern only worked for us for 12 days. Through a program at a local high school, we were thrilled to bring a high school senior into the office to learn what it is like. Mitchell was a referral from one of our employees.
“This past week I sat in on the creative design meeting and was able to see the new website design layouts. It’s interesting to see how important conference calls and communication really are especially when working collaboratively. A highlight of the week was being able to go to the produce market. Even though I had to wake up early (4 a.m.) it was a great experience. I feel like the work I am doing is helpful to the company.”
We were so slammed with work in early May (and none of our college interns were ready to start work) so I contacted one of the high school seniors I know and asked her if she wanted a part time internship. With no work experience, Rachael jumped in without hesitation.
“Being an intern at Frieda’s Inc. has taught me so much, starting from just learning how to punch in the time I come and leave, to publicizing the Hatch Chile Roasting Events on every possible form of media, and learning so many helpful hints and tips from everyone who works here. This company is like one big family who is passionate and beyond welcoming and I thank you for letting me be a part of it.”
“During my internship at Frieda’s, I learned the importance of food safety and about all the official documentation that companies need in order to do business with a company like Frieda’s. I was working independently on a food safety project, and I learned how to handle confusing situations and make confident decisions. Also, being part of the Frieda’s Street Team, I learned how to be flexible in a crunch as well as the effectiveness of in-person marketing, which creates a fresh and unique experience for customers.”
I met Danielle at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo when I did a guest lecture in April of this year. She was one of many students who contacted us about an internship. Interestingly, her uncle’s family is in the produce business which gave her a different perspective on our industry.
“Not only have I learned so much about marketing from my internship, but I have also gained a lot of self esteem and confidence in my work abilities. I was able to be a part of a team that came together to implement a brand new idea for Frieda’s and be a part of its success. Having the ability to see the accomplishments of the Street Team and be a part of something successful has made this internship so rewarding. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and know that the lessons I have learned while at Frieda’s will benefit me throughout my future internships and career.”
Anika contacted us earlier this year. She lives locally in Southern California but graduated from Bentley College in Massachusetts. She is going back to start her MBA in the fall.
“One of the best things about working at Frieda’s was being a part of a team and seeing direct results of my hard work. The wide range of projects I was assigned allowed me to integrate fully in the company and feel like an important member at Frieda’s, rather than just a summer intern. I also learned a lot about structure and flexibility in the workplace. The office isn’t a classroom with a syllabus and specific assignments. Things change, especially in the produce industry, and the ability to adapt to these changes quickly and efficiently is crucial to one’s success. This summer was such a great opportunity. Thank you, Frieda’s!”
I highly recommend offering internships. It’s a great way to give back, and you can get a lot of work done if you plan properly.
|Frieda’s Street Team! From Left: Anika, Rebecca, Danielle and Alex (my daughter)