Recently, Katie Page (BA/PRA ’18) was an intern as Brand Journalist/Blogger on the Storytelling Team at Kashi Co. Below she answers questions about her experience.
How did you find your internship?
I found my internship by chance, honestly. The office is walking distance from my house in San Diego and one day when I was home my mom told me where Kashi’s office was which piqued my interest. As a student-athlete, I grew up eating Kashi bars and cereal so the thought of working for a company that made great food and advocated for sustainable farming practices sounded like the dream. I walked into the office with a copy of my resume and cover letter and asked if there was someone in the marketing department I could talk to about an internship. After the initial and unofficial meet and greet, I applied online, scheduled a formal interview, and got the internship!
What is a typical day at your internship?
A typical day involves working on different individual projects, attending marketing meetings and working with the other interns on team projects. My individual projects usually include working on back of pack copy, which are the stories that you see on our packaging. The first one I really owned was the Cinnamon French Toast cereal. It was almost surreal to read something I wrote on the back of a nationally distributed cereal box–I couldn’t stop smiling the first time I saw it on the shelf!
I also own the blog strategy and write the majority of the posts for it ranging from a correlating back of pack story to our natural flavors policy.
As a team, the other interns and I primarily focus on how to best meet our customers’ wants and needs through our social channels, which is not only exciting and creative, but also challenging. Also, we’re fortunate enough to have a yoga instructor come to the office twice a week – it’s a great way to take a mental break and enjoy some quiet time.
What is the highlight of your internship?
I would say the highlight of my internship has been working on packaging copy. With the Cinnamon French Toast cereal, I was lucky enough to travel with my boss and another intern to Nebraska to interview our Certified Transitional corn farmer, which was an incredible experience.
I’ve also been able to create a recipe from scratch with one of our cereals and write the package copy. That was fun because I was able to play around in the kitchen and find a recipe that would taste great and appeal to our target audience.
Honestly, seeing projects from start to finish has been incredibly rewarding—every time I go through that process I learn more and how to improve for next time. Everything I do at Kashi is hands-on and contributing to a larger cause, which I think is amazing for someone still in school.
What courses, professors or skills learned at Dodge are most helpful in your internship?
I would say Writing for PR, with Veston Rowe, was a huge help. It taught me how to write with grammatical accuracy and find the right balance between being concise and sharing the whole story, which is something I use every day, not just at my internship.
I also think Business Presentations taught by Ed Gillow was extremely valuable. I already had the internship when I took his class, but he gave me the confidence and tools to really excel during presentations and strategy sessions which has been extremely useful.
I think overall the hands-on teaching style of Dodge has helped me immensely. In almost all of my classes, I’ve actually done the projects we’ve learned from versus looking at examples or reading a textbook and I think that’s invaluable.
What advice would you offer your fellow students?
I would tell students to look for a company or type of organization that does something they’re passionate about and pursue that avenue. I’m passionate about the environment, food, and sustainability and working for a company that encompasses all those things had never crossed my mind, but it’s been the perfect fit and I hope to have a career in the natural-organic food and beverage industry. I think if students can find a way to use what they’re good at, whether it be film, marketing, screenwriting, graphic design, etc., at a company that is aligned with their personal values, then everything else will just fall into place.
This article originally appeared in the 2018 spring issue of In Production Magazine. Find the full issue and past issues here.