A day in the life of a RIPT Apparel Intern- Nathaniel Cartwright

Beep! “Nate Cartwright has successfully clocked in.” This is the message I’m greeted with every day when I arrive at RIPT Apparel at 10amand clock in through the fingerprint system. It makes you feel like a secret agent scanning your finger every day before work. The first floor features the break room, the warehouse, and the order fulfillment center. I head upstairs to where the RIPT offices are located. I use my FOB to unlock the door to the office. I pass one of my three bosses who’s in charge of art selection as I make my way to my desk in the middle of the room. The office environment is cozy, welcoming, and usually pretty quiet in the morning. My desk is in the center of the room and from it I can see the artists working on new designs, the designer working on graphics, and my fellow interns handling social media. Down a hallway my other two bosses have offices, as does the director of operations. Together, along with the production and fulfillment crew downstairs, we comprise RIPT Apparel, and online apparel business that sells pop-culture t-shirts.

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I hold the title of marketing assistant at RIPT Apparel. Once upon a time, over a year and three months ago, I was hired as a marketing intern. After three months of work I interviewed to become a marketing assistant. While it didn’t come with a pay raise, it did come with added responsibilities and no end-date to my time at RIPT. My day-to-day activities at RIPT have ranged widely during my time at the company. I’ve been involved in photo shoots, written blog posts, designed marketing graphics, performed search engine optimization, and worked at conventions running our marketing booth among other things.

But what do I do on a daily basis these days? Well, for one I schedule marketing graphics on social media platforms. We release new designs every day so it’s important that every social media platform is posting about them at midnight when they’re released. Onlypult, Viraltag, Hootsuite, and Facebook are all platforms used in scheduling social media content. I also create social media content, whether that involves taking product shots or creating engagement posts. On top of that, I track and analyze key metrics across platforms to see how well they’re performing. I hold giveaways on Instagram to increase engagement and followers. I’m also involved in email marketing. I use a platform called Klaviyo to build and schedule emails. This is a very important part of our selling process, as email generates around 40% of the company’s revenue. I have to choose which segments receive the emails and I also A/B test emails to find the best open rates.

The company is very small, less than 20 total employees, but it makes it feel like you’re a part of a family. They’re all super friendly and easy to talk to, and multiple people bring their dogs into work. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the day is seeing my boss’s dog, Nellie. She’s an adorable golden retriever who wants nothing more than to be your best friend and get pets. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can never give Nellie enough pets. But in all seriousness, I’ve learned a lot there. Not only about social media scheduling, email marketing, or blog writing, but about personal responsibility, time management, self confidence, and getting things done on schedule. If something is late, there’s no extension at RIPT Apparel, and it teaches you to stay on top of your work so nothing slips through the cracks. All in all, it’s been a fantastic experience and I strongly recommend working here, particularly if you’re looking for a friendly yet educational environment where you can push yourself while having a support network to help you grow.

 

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A day in the life of a Blackhawks Intern- Zoe Schmerin

1They always say that no two days are the same and that is exactly true when you’re on the street team for the Chicago Blackhawks Hockey Club. Things change during the year, hockey season comes and goes, but the street team is ongoing. Events all around Chicago want to feature the Blackhawks and the Blackhawks want to get their name out into the public for the sake of their fans. That’s where I come in, my coworkers and I are the ones at these events, the ones people see as the face of the Blackhawks and sometimes the first experience people have with the organization. The job is broken into two parts; game day staff and event staff. Let’s discuss them both.

Game day staff is the best part, the time everyone looks forward to. If you aren’t into being at hockey games and taking in that atmosphere maybe this isn’t the right position for you. Games are exciting, so much can happen and it can happen quickly. The positions are chosen at random and range from helping silent auction, manning a sign creation station, getting people excited about the kid’s club, and T-shirts. If I had to choose my favorite I would pick T-shirts every time. This season, the club implemented t-shirt Sunday where every period shirts were thrown and dropped from the parachutes.

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What most people don’t know is that someone needs to actually fill the machine that drops those parachutes all the way up in the rafters. These games were filled with heading up to the rafters, filling the machines and then heading back down to help the Ice Girls throw shirts to fans and repeating. It might seem like a routine but during the games anything can change and you might find yourself delivering presents to season ticket holders for a ticket sales representative. Words of advice, take charge and think on your feet. As I said things change and sometimes you might need to handle a situation meant for someone with higher rank than you.

3Now we go to event staff, these events range from those put on for sponsors and those put on outside of the United Center at festivals and events throughout the Chicagoland area. Generally, only 5 people go to these and there is no “higher up” heading out with you. You load up the cruiser, read the event description on the way, put a smile on your face and make sure these fans have the times of their lives. Questions come from all angles and sometimes you might not know the answer, ITS OKAY TO TELL THEM THAT. The last thing you want is to tell someone something wrong and disappoint them. Let them know that you will ask your supervisor and have them check back for the answer. Events can be long, and people can get annoying but that’s all part of the day and of the job. Over all it’s exciting, it’s fun, and it’s an unforgettable experience.  For someone interested in sports and finding a way in, this is the way to go. Join the street team, make your connections, and keep them for as long as you may need. Most of all, HAVE FUN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Corporate to Startup: The Benefits of Interning for a Startup Company

By: Paul Schwarz, DePaul University Marketing Student August 2017 Graduate

1What is Rent Like A Champion?
Three Notre Dame college students listed a vacant apartment on Craigslist and eBay, promoting it as a weekend rental for a football game. Dedicated fans quickly rented the space, grateful to stay somewhere more affordable, and closer, to the stadium.

The immediate success Derrick, Drew, and Jordan experienced evolved into a big game event renting platform, Rent Like A Champion. The company now offer home rentals in over twenty college towns nationwide. Rent Like A Champion is stationed out of Catapult Chicago, the well-known incubator for startup companies whose sales promise to scale quickly.

Rent Like A Champion was featured on the popular television show, Shark Tank, inevitably soaring recognition and sales for the young company after signing a contract with “Sharks,” Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca. The startup team, however, remains small with only seven members: Mike (CEO), Denise, Betty, Hank, Claire, Dave, and Tim.

Day One: Rent Like A Champion2

Gratefully, I was given the opportunity to intern for Rent Like A Champion. A phone
interview was followed by an in-person meeting with the CEO, Mike Doyle. I was anxious to learn I was the new intern for this becoming company. I’ve always felt a passion in entrepreneurship, so I was eager to observe the processes involved in a newer company. However, I have had several other internships prior to this experience, all of which were for large, corporate organizations.

The small, intimate environment, however, created a smooth and comfortable transition into this less familiar atmosphere. The team gave me a company branded t-shirt, coffee mug, and office supplies. After a brief introduction, Mike organized for me to individually meet with each member of the team to better understand their personal role as well as their background before working at Rent Like A Champion.

My experiences working for companies with thousands of employees made it impossible to know everyone. This smaller environment allowed me to personally engage with every member

of the team so that not only was I learning and gaining skills within my own role but I was learning of all the tasks required to operate the company as a whole. Ultimately, this unique company culture created a personable, intimate environment to work in and it highlighted the value of everyone involved in creating a single company.

Daily Tasks

My role at Rent Like A Champion was Business Development. This required me to call on past renters to drive demand during top sport events at the biggest marketed universities, maximize a city’s potential by finding prospective partners within youth sports and other events, and to maintain exceptional customer experience for current consumers.

Unlike interning for a corporation where your title determines your role within the company, startups aren’t limited by labels. To keep strong against competitors, new companies require constant creativity and innovation, skills encouraged by everyone belonging to the company. This unique aspect of younger companies allows you to expand beyond any single role.

Personal Reflection

My experiences prior to interning for Rent Like A Champion at large, corporate companies offered me insight into two different business cultures. There are distinct pros and cons between each setting and, ultimately, understanding your personality as well as your personal and professional goals can help determine where you will find the greatest success.

I recommend to anyone who values interpersonal skills and the ability to learn the processes of the beginning of a company to intern for a startup. I recommend to anyone who dreams of owning their own business one day to intern for a startup. I recommend to anyone who enjoys working within the corporate world but wants to experience a laid-back, welcoming environment to intern for a startup. My experience at Rent Like A Champion is invaluable and I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside men and women who valued the unique skills I could offer the team and encouraged me to think critically, creatively, and innovatively. I left the internship confirming my true passion: to start up my own company.