Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

During May 2014...

Week 1: Pepper On!

Friday, May 30, 2014 11:43 pm

Hello friends!

I’ve just completed my first week as an intern with Peppercorn Children’s Theatre in Winston Salem. It’s been a busy week, and I’ve just started delving into the projects I’ll be working on this summer. We started the week off with a Memorial Day cookout to meet and greet most of the people we’d be working with. It seems like there will be an open and accepting work environment, as well as a strong sense of connection and collaboration to propel us through the summer. The nature of my position as “intern” is doing any and everything to help the Managing Director and Producing Director.

Peppercorn Family Selfie

My first long term project is assistant directing a play written by the Producing Director, called “Fantasic Endeavour.” It’s a play about the first black astronaut to go into space. This is a traveling show, which will be performed in several libraries and venues all around Winston Salem and surrounding communities throughout the month of June.We’ve just started devising the piece this week in evening rehearsals. My job is to take notes, add ideas and manage the actors’ equity breaks. Since I’m fairly new to theatre, I’m jumping in and learning as I go, which is exciting and a little nerve wracking, don’t wanna make any mistakes! I’ve also been doing some follow up research and fact checking for the play.

When not in rehearsals this week, I ran errands for the Producing Director, picking up flyers and dropping them off at various elementary schools. I’ve also been learning about how to write press releases, with a little help from “The PR Style Guide” by Barbara Diggs-Brown, as I’ll be working on several of them for our four shows.

The last thing I worked on this week was working on writing up little synopses of our summer plays to submit to parenting blog sites so we get some more exposure for a good turnout at each of the plays. I’m learning that exposure is key, and we have to do most of the footwork ourselves to make sure that Peppercorn becomes known and supported throughout the Winston Salem community; it’s only in it’s fourth season.

So far, I’m off to a good start. I’ll keep you all posted. Happy summer!

 

-Nina O.

 

First Week of Transformation

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 1:18 am

And, so begins my first week as an intern for Transformed Minds. Founded by Bob Mills, former associate vice president of University Advancement at Wake, Transformed Minds acts a consortium of resources for people dealing with mental illnesses directly or indirectly using a “Christ-like” approach. I say “Christ-like” and not “Christian” because there’s a general notion that although many people do not relate to or agree completely with Christian ideals, Christ as an individual and moral figurehead is generally well liked, especially because of He encompasses an unconditional love and sacrifice. This type of unconditional love is the what the world needs in many situations, not the least of which is in the acceptance of mental illness as something that is normal.

This is the first internship I can truthfully and completely say aligns perfectly with my personal experiences, beliefs and goals. Mental illness as a social concern has been on the rise in light of events over the last few years that have spurred debates about both gun control and how we as a society handle mental illnesses. Aside from these questions, there still remains a search for the most effective manners by which to de-stigmatize mental illnesses and to make mental health as much a topic of discussion as physical health is. My work this summer at Transformed Minds can be summarized as the “Justice Project.” While mostly conceptual, it will involve a wide-ranging exploration of the resources available to certain marginalized groups in society, all of which experience high incidences of mental illnesses.

These groups are explored from a theologically Christian standpoint, as the Bible implores Christians to watch after the widows, the imprisoned, the orphans and the homeless. In the modern world, these subpopulations could be seen as single parents/widows/widowers, prisoners, orphans/foster children/runaways, and the homeless, respectively. My work aims to expose the mental illnesses that each of these marginalized groups experience the most, the resources currently available to them, and the potential role that Transformed Minds and other components of the national mental health “system” could have in improving these resources.

I am confident this journey will be rewarding and enlightening for everyone involved.

My First Week on the Pier

Monday, May 26, 2014 9:27 pm

I arrived at the office on Navy Pier in Chicago and was quickly informed I would be given the full orientation tomorrow, but today was going to be crazy and I needed to get prepped very quickly. My first day as the casting intern for Chicago Shakespeare Theater was indeed kind of crazy. There were two different rounds of auditions that day, for entirely different shows, and I had to learn quickly how to organize and introduce the actors. It was not too difficult a task, but the pace was quick, and I was anxious to do it all right.

Everything I did not know about Chicago theatre became wildly apparent to me on this first day. The reader for the audition and my supervisor discussed recent shows they had seen, a conversation I could only observe, and I announced an extremely well-known and established actor in Chicago as if the room had never met her before. But I had expected these hiccups and this awkwardness. I had sold myself as a competent, responsible, completely qualified candidate to get the job, and now, I just feared I would not be able to live up to my pitch. But the artistic suite, my new home for the summer, was filled with the kindest, warmest individuals. The Artistic Director, Barbara Gaines was the first to stop by the office to come welcome me and introduce herself. I was immediately at ease and found it was not difficult to anticipate needs and figure out what needed to be done. Most of my anxieties dissipated on that first day, and I was able to relax into my job.

The rest of the week was far less hectic. I went to see the theatre’s production of Henry V on Thursday night. That day, Bob, the casting director, and Laura, the associate casting director and my supervisor, had both suggested they felt some specific way about the production and were interested to hear my response. I brought my mother with me that night, and sat in my amazing and free seat, praying that I would see and feel whatever it was that I was supposed to see and feel. I wanted them to approve of my artistic taste and agree with my diagnosis. But art is so subjective and I feared I wouldn’t get it right. By the end of the play, I confided in my mother, and said, “Mom, I hated Henry, the lead of the entire show. What am I supposed to say to the casting directors?!” The next day, I trotted carefully, but honestly, and came to find that both Laura and Bob hated Henry too. It was a huge relief and confidence boost that we had all agreed. It was a reassuring way to end my first week, knowing that maybe I could be good at this. I’m excited to go back after my first week of working as a full-time intern, so I think that’s a good sign! I am also pretty excited about this view.

Why Fresh Food Network?

Sunday, May 25, 2014 10:44 pm
Four months old weighing in at 20 lb. Food isn't new for me.
Four months old weighing in at 20 lb. Food isn’t new for me.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jake Teitelbaum, I’m ambitious, I love food (as you can clearly tell from the picture above), and I’m also the founder of Fresh Food Network. With only 20 years to my name, I’m a college student chasing my passion that is the result of some damn good parenting. You see, for me, processed foods didn’t exist until I was about 10-I can vividly remember visiting a friend’s house and being offered an unidentifiable foreign object, fluff. Instead of the complex system of labels we see in the grocery store today (organic, all natural, etc…), my mother had two amazingly straightforward labels: crap and not crap. As you can imagine, fluff and its processed relatives belonged under the crap department and were strictly forbidden from our household under penalty of intense “what the hell are you eating” stares and immediate disposal. On the contrary, instead of vilifying the vegetable as a tasteless but mandatory element of a diet, my mother cleverly incorporated vegetables into every meal. To some extent, my siblings and I were spoiled-we had healthy meals prepared for us day in and day out, and as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that was exactly my mother’s goal. As a pediatrician, she was well aware thatthe single most important decision an individual makes each and every day with respect to his physical well-being is the food he eats. Whether I knew it or not, food was dominating my life in the best way possible.

My brother Eric taking advantage of an exception to the processed food rule with Newman's Own Rice Cakes
(My siblings–Sarah on left and Eric on right) Eric taking advantage of an exception to the processed food rule with Newman’s Own Rice Cakes during a picnic at Lyman’s Orchards

Around my 13th birthday the notion of food as an inconspicuous but prominent actor in my life evaporated along with my preconceived ideas of where our food came from. Sure our family had a small garden and I understood that food at the grocery store originated from a farm, but for me, all farms were created equal. Having grown up in the pristine cow-town of Durham, Connecticut, I simply transposed the beautiful rolling hills and green grass that I saw within my town onto every farm in America. During a trip into the city to visit my older sister, a motherly figure and recent vegetarian convert, my sheltered interpretation of our food system was shattered.

Sarah & I
Sarah has been looking out for me for a long time.

Recounting bits and pieces of some piece of investigative journalism, my sister Sarah blew my mind with horrific stories of slaughterhouse practices and gruesome tales of inhumanity. In all honesty, the news was so staggering that I had trouble believing it; and as a result, I took some initiative of my own and purchasedSlaughterhouse The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, And Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry. Intrigued and captivated by this seemingly hidden and unexplored aspect of food, something that I was beginning to recognize as a fundamental element of my life, I sped through the book and even took the liberty of trying to convince some of my friend’s parents to stop buying their meat at Walmart. I couldn’t fathom why something that had such a profoundly negative impact on the quality of life of humans, animals, and the planet as a whole, hadn’t been abolished.

For the next 7 years I continued to explore this seemingly neglected topic of where our food was coming from and the more I learned, the more disheartened I became. And then, like a beacon in a world of CAFOs, corruption, and monoculture, I began to uncover what millions had already discovered as a viable alternative, the local food system. The benefits for eating locally are immense (feel free to check them outhere) and there are plenty of sensational farms, restaurants, and other food businesses throughout each and every community, but for my family and many others, obtaining this awesome high quality food has been frustratingly inconvenient. Farmers markets and CSAs are marvelous, but what happens when everyone in your family is simply too busy to make it to the market or swing by the farm and pick up the weekly CSA share? If our family wants to celebrate a special occasion or simply spend some quality time together outside of the house, how can we be sure that the restaurant we are going to sources its ingredients from responsible farms within our community instead of some distant industrial farm loading our food with dangerous pesticides or jam-packing 20,000-30,000 chickens into a pathogen ridden 10,000 square foot concrete building?

So why Fresh Food Network? Food is part of who I am both in a very physical sense (as it is for all of us) and as a defining element of who I am as an individual. I firmly believe thatobtaining the best food in the world (which is likely just miles from your house) should be as easy as checking your email or opening your front door and I’m dedicated to making this a reality.

 

Week 1

Friday, May 23, 2014 9:41 pm

This summer, I will be interning at Augustus & Argyle, LLC. Augustus & Argyle is an e-commerce website founded in October 2013 that provides high quality, classic appliqué and monogrammed clothing for children and women, fine linens, and a limited line of gifts and accessories. Since the company is made up of one individual, the president and owner of the company, I will be working within all aspects of the company, allowing me to experience a wide range of entrepreneurial projects. I will be helping run the company, giving me a true first-hand experience in the entrepreneurial world. Along with managing day-to-day operations of the e-commerce shop, I have been given several specific responsibilities under my position as Project Director of Social Media and Blog Development Intern. I will be working to monitor and build a larger audience and increase followers on social media sights such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
I will be using Augustus & Argyle’s e-commerce sight run through Shopify to add products, manage orders, and monitor inventory. Managing the e-commerce website will give me a valuable experience that can help in any online business that I may be a part of in the future.
I will be going to Atlanta, Georgia where I will attend a two day conference and trade show. At the Everything Appliqué Conference, I will attend classes on website development, make or break marketing, photo editing programs and tools, and starting and growing businesses in this industry. While at the conference, I will also be assisting in purchasing from wholesale vendors and networking with professionals in the industry.
Furthermore, while interning at Augustus & Argyle, I am going to be working with the Carolina Textile District to take on a large entrepreneurial project. Augustus & Argyle is currently starting the process of developing and launching a small line of children’s clothing for the fall of 2014. I will be working completely with companies in North Carolina to source material, create clothing patterns, and help implement the production of sample outfits that Augustus & Argyle will launch this fall.
I am so excited to be starting my internship! Working for Augustus & Argyle will be a valuable learning experience that will help grow my entrepreneurial skills greatly.

My First Week

Friday, May 23, 2014 5:35 pm

My role as an intern at EquityZen, a company that has created a platform for employees at start-ups to sell their equity to accredited investors, consists of a variety of tasks spanning across various fields. These fields include business development, law, and finance. By juggling various responsibilities amongst these different, yet complementary, fields, I can certainly say that there’s never a dull moment since the start of this internship. I personally enjoy the fast-paced nature of this working experience as it is showing me that a start-up requires its employees to be prepared for anything that is thrown at them. In addition, these different roles forces oneself to explore areas and topics beyond their comfort zone, allowing them to become a better-rounded individual. Looking into the near future, I expect to expand my knowledge in topics in which I don’t have much experience, including law and finance. For example, one day, I was given the task of researching the financials of various technology companies prior to their initial public offering (IPO) by analyzing their S-1 filings. Prior to this internship, that previous sentence would have sounded extremely foreign to me. However, after learning about S-1 filings (an SEC filing used by companies planning on going public) and their intricacies, I have been able to expand my knowledge in new areas that may help me in the future. All in all, through projects like the one I described above, I look forward to learning more about whatever is thrown at me. I can’t wait to see what the future of this internship holds!

Week 1

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 5:42 pm

What is the nature of your internship and the responsibilities you have? What are your expectations for the summer? What do you expect to learn?

As an intern of The Samaritan Women, I am held to a high level of confidentiality. This is to ensure that the individuals residing at their institution remain respected and feel protected during their stay. On their website, it states that “TSW Residence program serves women who have endured trauma, including veterans and victims of human trafficking. Our program emphasizes the restoration of women’s lives in the areas of academics, vocation, spirituality, relationships, and self-care. Our unique vocational program is integrates horticulture, culinary arts and entrepreneurship.” As an intern under supervision of the Deputy Communications Coordinator, my job is to aid her in whatever I can. This may include event planning, volunteer coordination, and event support. I will also be tasked with research projects and help to secure media connections. I am eager and excited to have been able to have this opportunity. My first day surpassed any expectations I held. I was introduced to a warm and welcoming community, not to mention enthusiastic and passionate towards their mission of combatting human trafficking. On my first day, I helped set up a fundraising dinner they were hosting. It really highlighted the family dynamic they have created here. Residents, employees and staff all pitched in a helping hand to get the job done and it turned out beautifully. My next day of work, I went with my supervisor to a high school to see how a presentation on anti-human trafficking is coordinated. I was thrilled to have been working with youth, and hope to one day be able to give a similar presentation like that of my supervisor. The kids were simultaneously fascinated and repelled by the presentation given: my same response when I began learning about the horrors of modern day slavery. I have already learned so much about how a non-profit restoration facility is run and the work they set out to do, and I expect to learn a great deal more in these upcoming 9 weeks. Can’t wait to see what’s in store!

Hello Fellows!

Monday, May 19, 2014 6:51 pm

Hello Summer Entrepreneurial Internship Fellows! Please begin posting your blog entries as laid out in the email you relieved this week. We look forward to hearing about your experiences!

Melissa & the CICE Faculty and Staff

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