Archive for Q&A

Today we are going to get to know Peppercomm intern Kevin Castaneda!

kevinTell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm? 

I’m from North Plainfield and went to Kean University, where I studied PR.

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

I think anyone that has had a conversation with me knows I’m a huge sneaker collector and reseller. I own over 60-70 pairs (which isn’t that bad) and I buy, trade, and sell sneakers. It’s one of my passions. I also dedicate a lot of my time to music, specifically hip-hop and rap. There’s a whole world within the music you listen to and it’s amazing. I believe music says a lot about one’s personality. I plan to drop my mixtape on SoundCloud in July (just kidding). OH! I’m a huge sports fan. I love to play basketball and catching up on sports news. I’m a fan of the Brooklyn Nets, Minnesota Timberwolves, OKC Thunder, New England Patriots, and the Yankees.

What area of the industry do you find the most interesting and why?

I like consumer account work. Although it may seem more straight-forward than B2B, the thought process, strategy, and detail that the industry requires behind the scenes has been completely fascinating to me.

Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?

I came to Peppercomm thinking, “I studied PR for 4 years, how much more can I learn?” but I realized right away I haven’t even scratched the surface. Peppercomm has been by far one of the best working experiences I’ve had. I think everyone should want to work here. The environment has just been amazing and I’ve never been more encouraged to learn.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

It’s so hard with the PR world changing and evolving every single day to be certain of exactly where I see myself going in the industry. Every day I become more intrigued by the role social media plays in almost everything in our lives.  I am fascinated by how “integrated” communications is. I want to learn from all those different sides in the industry and find what seems to be the best fit for my skillset.

Intern Lightning Round Questions:  

  • Netflix or Hulu?Definitely Netflix because my cousin let me use his login for free and if it’s for free… it’s for me.
  • Text or Call?Depending on what the matter is but overall texting. I like calls if I don’t have much time to chat
  • Coffee or Tea? Coffee has a horrible aftertaste
  • Dogs or Cats? Dogs
  • NYC or San Francisco?New York… haven’t been to San Francisco yet
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars because I haven’t watched Star Trek yet.
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? I don’t know why, but I love crunchy.
  • Mac or PC?Mac, I’m an Apple geek.
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? I don’t trust those who like unsweetened… I may or may not be kidding.
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Cartoon Network if we’re talking about the classics.
  • Chocolate or Vanilla?This one’s tough, but vanilla.
  • Seltzer or Water?Water
  • Cake or Pie?Cake
  • Tacos or Pizza?Wow, I’m torn… Pizza?
  • Hogwarts House? ACCORDING to some of my colleagues I am a combination of Slytherin and Hufflepuff? Whatever that means.
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Apr
06

The Intern Spotlight: Riya Sherchan

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Today we are going to get to know Peppercomm intern Riya Sherchan!

royaTell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm? 

Hi everyone, my name is Riya. I am the new Analytics intern here. I graduated from Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York and I did a double major in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, and Economics. My home is more or less 23 hours by flight (Yeah you read it right the first time) in a city called Kathmandu in Nepal. I came to Peppercomm knowing little to nothing about the industry. People with a major like mine typically go for IT and/or Finance industries but I wanted to join a happy place to kick start my career. I didn’t want the pressure of my first job to scar me for life, and after watching Peppercomm’s harlem shake video online, this just felt like the right place to start.

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

I start panicking mid-week when I don’t have plans for the weekend. I’d hate to waste Fridays at home just because there is SO much to do in this city. Weekdays, I like to get enough rest for work so I commute from home to work and back. I tend to save my excitement for the weekends. Fridays are for catching up with friends for drinks, or attending events they feature on TimeOut that stand out to me. Then Saturdays are for spending quality time with family and cleaning home. Fun fact (Ok this is not fun but it’s a fact): I have cleanliness OCDs. I wouldn’t be caught dead not washing my hands after I touch a pair of shoes. It’s like a reflex action- touch shoes, wash hands. Moving on to Sundays, well Sundays I don’t like to be bothered (ha!). I love my ME-time whether it is doing my nails, going shopping, watching a movie or doing nothing at all. Need me some ME-time.

What area of the industry do you find the most appealing and why?

The power of media. POTUS’s tweets about North Korea are all fun and games until Kim Jong Un responds.

Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?

You know how when you hand an iPad to a kid for the first time, he just finds his way around it because it is so new and exciting. Well I am the kid and the whole PR industry is my iPad. Everything is new, everything is surprising, everything is exciting.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

Like I said, PR is a whole new thing to me so for now I am testing my waters.

Intern Lightning Round Questions:  

  • Netflix or Hulu?  Netflix
  • Text or Call? Call
  • Coffee or Tea? On days I start my day without coffee, I have to check if I’m still there on the inside. Starbucks is my second home, coffee indefinitely.
  • Dogs or Cats? Dogs. The chubby ones.
  • NYC or San Francisco?  NYC. I wouldn’t trade this place for the world.
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? Neither
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? I don’t like peanut butter
  • Mac or PC? Mac any day
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? Sweetened Tea. Unsweetened Coffee.
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Cartoon Network but only because they had that ONE show I used to watch-The Powerpuff Girls. I spent most of my childhood playing with Barbie dolls or playing dress up.
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
  • Seltzer or Water? Water
  • Cake or Pie? Cake
  • Tacos or Pizza? Artichoke pizzas are on a whole other level
  • Hogwarts House? I know this is from Harry Potter but this is as far as I can get hehe.
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Mar
23

The Intern Spotlight: Emily White

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Today we are going to get to know Peppercomm intern Emily White!

IMG_0902Tell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm? 

 I was born and raised in Houston, TX and moved to Boston to attend Northeastern University. I’m still currently a student but I’ll be graduating May of 2018 (during my Peppercomm internship) with a B.A. in Communications and International Affairs. Northeastern has a co-op program that allows students to take a semester off and complete a 6 month internship in a field they are interested in, which is how I learned about Peppercomm. I have previously done co-ops doing communications and marketing for non-profit organizations, but was really interested in learning more about traditional PR before I graduated, which led me to Peppercomm.

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

I just moved to San Francisco for my internship, so lately I’ve been spending all of my free time exploring this incredible city. I love being outdoors and hiking, so San Francisco has been a perfect match for me. Beyond that, I love playing golf and I’m trying to get back into photography again. My real passion is watching reality TV – the trashier the better – but I felt like I should lead in with my more productive interests first.

What area of the industry do you find the most appealing and why?

I’ve been surprised by how much I have enjoyed working in crisis management here at Peppercomm. In the past, the majority of my PR experience was working on social media and press releases, so this is a completely new area of the industry for me to learn about. I’m excited to get as much experience with it as I can during my internship!

Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?

I think what has surprised me the most thus far is how non-stop this industry is. At my past jobs working for small non-profit organizations, the companies operated from 9-5. Here at Peppercomm, it’s so interesting to see how constant the work is, even with offices around the world. The employees at Peppercomm are so dedicated and really understand that in order to be successful in this industry, you have to be prepared for anything at any time.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

Going forward, I would really like to find a balance between my Communications and International Affairs degrees. I would love to continue in the PR/ marketing industry with the skills that I have learned from Peppercomm and apply them to companies such as Charity: Water or Comic Relief – large non-profit organizations that are really making a difference in human rights work around the world.

Intern Lightning Round Questions:  

  • Netflix or Hulu?  Netflix… until Handmaid’s Tale comes back, then I’m pledging my allegiance to Hulu
  • Text or Call? Call
  • Coffee or Tea? Am I allowed to say neither without every adult human scowling at me?
  • Dogs or Cats? Dogs
  • NYC or San Francisco?  San Francisco! It’s 70 degrees in March – New York can’t compete with that
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? I haven’t watched either
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Smooth
  • Mac or PC? PC
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? I’m from the South so I’m obliged to say sweetened
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Nickelodeon (but I was a Disney kid first and foremost)
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
  • Seltzer or Water? Just plain H2O for me
  • Cake or Pie? Cake
  • Tacos or Pizza? Pizza
  • Hogwarts House? Slytherin
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Mar
09

The Intern Spotlight: Kayla Vieten

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Today we are going to get to know Peppercomm intern Kayla Vieten!

KaylaTell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm?

I grew up in New Hampshire near to beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. I have my boating license and back home I spend ALL of my free time swimming, boating, tubing and jet-skiing. Although I can water-ski, I am quite horrendous at it, so that’s a work in progress I suppose.

I am currently a Junior at Ithaca College, studying Integrated Marketing Communications with a minor in sports studies. I am spending this semester as a “study abroad” in NYC. I put in the quotations because Interning at Peppercomm is my focus this semester and I am taking barley enough credits to be considered a student. That being said I take an art in NYC class on Saturdays where we visit different museums and art installations. I will return to Ithaca for my senior year in the fall.

I found Peppercomm when looking for internships online. Upon further research, I found many references speaking highly of Peppercomm and the humorous atmosphere it provides. As important is it is to love what you do, I believe the people you work with make all the difference in how much you enjoy your job. To see that Peppercomm focuses on company culture and an engaging workplace environment was so enticing to me. After being here for over a month now, I am happy to report Peppercomm and exceeded those expectations

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

I am currently living in Brooklyn were there are an abundance of restaurants, bars and concerts. I’m not going to lie, the accessibility of delicious food has become a problem. My roommate and I has started doing adventure Friday food nights. We would try different restaurants you can only find in NYC and we have since had to replace them with Friday gym nights. As for NYC I like to walk around the city exploring and avoid being pooped on by pigeons.

What area of the industry do you find the most appealing and why?

I am most interested in Social media, marketing research and creative. Social media is intriguing because it is constantly changing, as trends developed and disintegrate. As for marketing research, I have been lucky enough to work on tasks that involve following consumer habits and media trends. Lastly I like anything involving creative, between campaign brainstorms to Photoshop, I’ll always take an opportunity to be original and creative.

Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?

I am pleasantly surprised by the encouraging and collaborative environment here at Peppercomm. Coming directly from a college, where group projects are rarely composed of motivated and efficient team members. Transitioning  to Peppercomm has been delightful, the teams here consist of those who have a passion and dedication for the work they are producing as well as a desire to help those around them. I believe this supportive environment has directly improved my quality of work.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

PR is an adaptive industry and a profession that can keep me challenged. As I am beginning my career I can’t imagine what direction I would take within the many facets of PR. At some point I’d like to incorporate my sports studies minor and maybe help with sporting event media coverage and preparation.

Intern Lightning Round Questions: 

  • Netflix or Hulu?  Hulu. Most shows on Netflix that I like, I’ve already seen.
  • Text or Call? Text.
  • Coffee or Tea? Tea.
  • Dogs or Cats? Dogs! My sister is allergic to cats so I haven’t met many cats.
  • NYC or San Francisco? NYC, I have never been to San Francisco but it looks beautiful.
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars. I own a shirt of Chewbacca holding a skateboard. I got peer-pressured into buying it for twin day in high school.
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Smooth.
  • Mac or PC? MAC!
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? Sweetened, bring on the sugar.
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Nickelodeon, although Scooby-Doo was an all-time favorite back in the day.
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla, but chocolate is always a good option.
  • Seltzer or Water? Water.
  • Cake or Pie? Cake, specifically cupcakes.
  • Tacos or Pizza? Pizza, always pizza.
  • Hogwarts House? HufflePuff, I’ve never watched the movies or read the books, I have no idea if that is even accurate. My friend made me take online house sorting test in exchange for Ben and Jerrys. I think I got the better end of the deal.
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Dec
08

The Intern Spotlight: Corey Law

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Today we are going to get to know, Peppercomm intern Corey Law!

10400095_583973445584_585099_n (002)Tell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm? 

I am originally from Columbia, SC. I graduated in May from College of Charleston in beautiful, historic Charleston (it’s like going to school in a postcard). The College has an incredible program for communication majors/minors called the Department of Communication Advisory Council – and Ted Birkhahn and Steve Cody just happen to be members. The Council holds events each semester where members speak about industry trends, making the leap from college to career, and other important topics. I attended Ted’s speech (a TED Talk, if you will) about the importance of humor, honesty and empathy in organizational culture. When I visited Peppercomm on the annual Department of Communication spring break trip, I could see the evidence of everything Ted spoke of. I knew I had to pursue an opportunity to come and work here.

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

New York has some of the greatest museums in the world – so you’ll probably find me wandering around one of them. My personal favorite is The Met. If I’m not at a museum, you might be able to catch me at a random hole-in-the-wall bookstore of some kind. If you still can’t find me, then I’m probably just wandering around the city in circles because I have a terrible sense of direction.

What area of the industry do you find the most appealing and why?

The unknown. Our industry is in flux and things are changing at a rapid pace. It’s complicated. It’s challenging. It’s disruptive. But I think more than anything, it’s exciting.

Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?

I didn’t realize how many metaphorical hats communication professionals have to wear for their clients. You’re a scholar, a communicator, a researcher, a therapist, a friend, a writer and a data scientist all in one day. You have to constantly stretch your professional and interpersonal muscles because our industry will only be asked to do more in an increasingly complicated communication landscape.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

As far as I possibly can. PR is changing rapidly and I don’t know what the industry will look like in five, 15 or 25 years’ time. What I do know is that I want to keep challenging myself and learning from my coworkers. I want to feel like my talents create value for my teams and I want to wake up in the morning excited to go to work. I want to pursue opportunities that satisfy those needs. The industry will change, but my desires (probably) won’t.

Intern Lightning Round Questions:  

  • Netflix or Hulu? Netflix. Reasons? 1. The Christmas Prince. 2. Animaniacs. 3. Orange Is the New Black. 4. The Christmas Prince.
  • Text or Call? You’re more than welcome to do both. I can’t tell you how to live your life. I’m 90% sure I’ll ignore your call and text you back, but you’re free to do whatever you want to do.
  • Coffee or Tea? Coffee, but only if it doesn’t TASTE like coffee.
  • Dogs or Cats? If you search the internet for “dog saves life,” you will find thousands of videos of heroic pooches jumping into raging rivers to save the lives of people they’ve never even sniffed before. I once saw a cat bat a menorah off a mantle and almost set a house on fire. Case closed. Woof.
  • NYC or San Francisco? Tony Bennett sang a song called “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” He then proceeded to never move there and lives in New York City to this day. I’ll just leave it at that.
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? 100% Star Wars. Star Trek is like cinematic NyQuil to me. Zzzzzz.
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Smooth. I feel like crunchy peanut butter is some sort of agonizing torture for the intact peanuts. Making these nuts be suspended in a liquefied paste made entirely out of their friends and family? No thank you – I’ll take the humane jar, please.
  • Mac or PC? I was a devoted PC user throughout college. And then Windows crashed in the middle of a 12-page paper on the history of insane asylums. No autosave. No recovery. It was as if I had watched Bill Gates kick a puppy. I now have a Macbook and I am thoroughly satisfied.
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? I lived in South Carolina for practically my whole life. I didn’t even know unsweetened tea was a thing until I came to New York.
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Cartoon Network. Johnny Bravo. Cow and Chicken. Courage the Cowardly Dog. And not to mention all the Adult Swim content. I was thoroughly entertained and permanently scarred.
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla ice cream. Chocolate milk.
  • Seltzer or Water? Peppercomm has converted me to the seltzer dark side.
  • Cake or Pie? Some questions are just too offensive to answer. I’m going to protest this type of binary thinking by continuing to eat both.
  • Tacos or Pizza? https://www.thrillist.com/eat/new-york/taco-tuesday-pizza-tony-boloneys-hoboken-nj
  • Hogwarts House? I’m 80% sure that the sorting hat would say that I’m a Hufflepuff. I’m also 20% sure that the sorting hat would say “You don’t even go here” because I got on the wrong train at King’s Cross Station.
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