Over the past few months, I have had the amazing experience of interning at The Taco Bell Corporate office in Irvine as an Intern for the Taco Bell Foundation. The Taco Bell Foundation, or TBF, is Taco Bell’s 501c3 non-profit sector of the company. TBF’s mission is to invest in America’s youth, ages 14-24, and help them pursue their educational goals and career aspirations – no matter their unique passion. The Foundation provides the Live Más Scholarship, a program aimed at empowering the nation’s next generation of dreamers, innovators, and creators – those whose passions don’t fall into the conventional “academic” or athletic” qualifying categories of traditional scholarship programs. Applicants submit two-minute videos as their entries for the scholarship, and this year we received over 6,900 applications.

Taco Bell branding is everywhere throughout the building!

My main responsibility as an intern was watching and scoring these video entries. After we finished reviewing all the videos, we held a week of Scholarship Scouts, during which employees from throughout the office attended viewing sessions of the top 500 entries and helped us narrow down our scholarship finalists. This week took lots of work as we needed to coordinate the room schedules, organize which videos would be viewed in which sessions, create a system for scholarship scouts to score videos, and moderate each of the 57 sessions. Before this week, we held a scholarship scouts rally to give employees more information, and I filmed, edited, and produced a video for the event that informed employees about the scholarship and how to score the videos. Throughout my internship I also managed the Taco Bell Foundation email inbox, and helped with any and all tasks that needed to be completed around the department. This team is all hands on deck so everyone jumped on to projects whenever they were needed. I learned a lot about networking and professionalism, office and corporate culture, and organizational skills, too.

Scholarship Scouts kick off rally!

Speaking of culture, working at Taco Bell is incredible. Not only is there a Taco Bell restaurant on the first floor (so yes, I ate burritos multiple times a week), but there are also super fun events for employees! There are scavenger hunts, basketball competitions, taste test panels for employees to try new dishes, and a wonderful environment that supports employees and their goals. I am so grateful for the time I have had so far at Taco Bell and am so happy I have learned here how to embrace every day and Live Más!