“Young man, are you listening to me?
I said, young man, what do you want to be?
I said, young man, you can make real your dreams.
But you got to know this one thing!”

If you’ve ever been to a Peppercomm event, seen their social media posts, or even been to the office, the culture that Peppercomm prides itself on is obvious. Yesterday we had our joint New York and San Francisco (via Skype) Halloween gathering, which included a costume contest among other things.

The interns felt we needed to go in and blow everyone’s socks off during the costume contest, and we did just that. We won the gold medal! Well actually there wasn’t a medal. It was just the gratification that we came out on top.

The PeppSquad as the Village People.

The PeppSquad as the Village People.

As you might be able to tell from the photo, we were the Village People.

“Collectively, we agreed to be The Village People, because we got a nice laugh at the music video,” said Leandra Abreu. When we were talking about exactly what we wanted to do for the costume contest, we knew we wanted to do a group costume. Although we’re all on different accounts, we sit next to each other all day long. We’re there for each other when others need help, an afternoon pick-me-up or just a laugh because something funny happened.

“We are free to engage in fun and play at Peppercomm. This kind of culture means costume contests, witch hunts, candy (everyday) and most importantly, represents the value of employees here. As our friends the Village People would say, “many ways to have a good time… It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A (and Peppercomm),” added Kristiana Monterosso.

“At Peppercomm, I feel like we’re encouraged to be ourselves. I appreciate that in a company,” said Sidney Encarnacion.

“It honestly makes you look forward to coming to work,” replied Ashwin Mallya.

The culture that Peppercomm has was something we knew we needed to get in on. If you ask us, we think we did just that.

For Carly Sylvester, “It means getting to wear an awesome headlamp to work and do the YMCA in a judgment free zone.”


*This post was written by the PeppSquad.
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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Ashwin Mallya. 

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

I went to New York University for college, where I majored in Economic Theory, while grabbing minors in Mathematics and Philosophy on the way. I’m originally from India, where I did my primary and secondary schooling before coming to The States to attend NYU. After graduating college, I realized I wanted an Internship that will help me gain some valuable real world experience, while still being fulfilling in the process. While fishing, I came across Peppercomm’s Business Outcomes Internship, and I realized that it would be a great place to begin. I applied for the post, got called in for the interview, and here I am!

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

As an intern in the Business Outcomes Group, there isn’t much difference in the sort of projects I am required to work on, industry-wise. However, in general, I am interested in the intersection between the technology and the financial sector. I believe that the finance industry’s most interesting work is being done on behalf of the tech industry, which is forcing it to adapt and innovate as new kinds of technologies and products are entering (or desire to enter) the marketplace.

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

I didn’t really know much about PR prior to joining Peppercomm, so almost everything I learn about the industry comes as a surprise. However, I think the most interesting thing I’ve learnt is the importance of social media in managing companies’ public images. I never thought about that prior to joining Peppercomm though I was being constantly bombarded by social media alerts/advertisements on the internet. I guess Peppercomm offers me a way of thinking about social media which I had never conceived of prior to coming here.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I’m not really sure, your guess is as good as mine!

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In this week’s Meet the Intern Committee post, we are introducing Peppercomm’s biggest fan of college football (Go Clemson Tigers!), Broadway, Disney and all things Shonda Rhimes, Chris Piedmont (@cpiedmo), the onboarding coordinator of the internship program at Peppercomm. Along with our San Francisco Coordinator, David Jolly, whom you’ll meet in the coming weeks, Chris was one of the brains behind the internship’s PeppSquad branding that their intern class spearheaded.

Each Friday, we will post a Q&A with different members of the Intern Committee. We will answer questions that we frequently hear from intern candidates and would love to hear any other questions you have for us in the comments section.

chris2  Ok, let’s get the basics out of the way. Where are you from and where did you go to school?

CP: I was born in Charleston, South Carolina (hi, y’all!) and graduated from the best college in the #1 tourist destination in the world, the College of Charleston. I’m a Charleston guy through and through – my bowties can attest.

  How did you get into PR and Peppercomm?

CP: I’m one of the rare birds who found their career via…an online personality test. Shocking, I know. I was originally        studying to go into education while a freshman at Clemson University, but decided I didn’t want a degree I could only use    to teach. After taking a career survey, I got matched with PR and realized I was already doing many of the core elements  of social media and event planning. After taking a few intro courses, I knew I’d found the career for me and have been  enjoying it since.

When I was a sophomore in college after transferring to the College of Charleston because of its stellar Communication  Department and esteemed Communications Advisory Council, I heard our founder and Co-CEO, Steve Cody, speak at a    Student Forum about “Building the Brand of You.” Steve is a member of the Advisory Council and spoke about the unique  and comedic culture at Peppercomm that empowers employees to push boundaries and nurture their entrepreneurial  spirits. From that talk, I was hooked and was lucky enough to work as an intern and then be hired full time after graduation.

What are the main things you look for when reviewing resumes?

CP: Previous experience in PR and communication is always a big plus. I also look at how active an applicant is at his/her college. If you’re participating in organizations like the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) or have communication leadership roles in Greek life or other on-campus organizations, I’m very likely to want to learn more. Creativity and humor in an application also go a long way. If you’re able to make me laugh, you’re well on your way.

What makes a great intern?chris1

CP: Interns who succeed here come each day and give the internship their all. They don’t just take the work they’re assigned, but look for additional opportunities to go further and be bigger assets to their teams. They also embrace an entrepreneurial spirit by seizing opportunities to make the agency a better place to work.

What is the best account that you’ve worked on?

CP: This is tough as there really are so many options, but one of the best accounts I’ve worked on is Steelcase, Peppercomm’s longest standing client. We’ve gotten to do some pretty cool (and successful) product launches since I started on the account as an intern. It’s fascinating learning about the impact of space on how you work and a company’s culture.

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This video is an oldie-but-goodie from the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) about what it’s like to have a career in public relations.

Working in public relations, especially at an agency, you’re able to learn a lot about different industries. You are given the opportunity to develop a brands image, through various strategies and tactics. No two days are the same!

See what others in the industry have to say. 

Be sure explore the PRSSA website for more career and education resources. 

What questions or advice do you have about working in public relations? 

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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Michael Pellessier.

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

Hello PRiscope readers! My name is Michael Pellessier, but in the office Co-Founder and CEO, Steve Cody, has given me the name “Drew Guy”. I’m a west coaster from Washington (state that is), that now lives in New Jersey and works in NYC. I’m a lover of traveling as I’ve traveled to; all 50 states, London, Brussels and Japan, and am always looking for another adventure to take.

As a recent graduate from Drew University with a major in Business Studies and a minor in Photography, I immersed myself into all that Drew had to offer. Throughout my four years at Drew I was involved with the university program board, orientation committee, student government and was the office manager for the office of student activities. If I wasn’t planning an event, or studying (yeah I found time for that as well), you could more than likely find me in our schools darkroom where I would be developing, exposing and creating film prints for my photography classes.

During my senior spring semester at Drew I participated in the first semester of our media and communications semester in New York City, where we traveled into NYC twice a week for class. As part of the course we spent the afternoons visiting agencies citywide. The first agency that we visited was Peppercomm, and from there it was the agency that I wanted to intern and potentially work at. The office atmosphere, intelligent employees, and small agency size was something that attracted me to Peppercomm, and yes, Co-Founder and CEO Ed Moed being an alumni of Drew was another reason. I enjoy that you’re given the ability to grow within the agency, and are given the lessons you need to learn while also being tasked with challenging projects for the accounts you’re on.

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

I enjoy that I’m able to work across seven different accounts and learn from the challenges and opportunities that arise in each of the accounts. During my internship here at Peppercomm, the knowledge that I’ve gained through pitching to the media, creating social media posts, interacting with clients, and creating briefing books are all beneficial and appealing to me as I know the skills I’ve got here are going to help me down the road.

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

What surprised me the most was that on the day I started I was given so much responsibility for the accounts I was on. It really made me feel like I wasn’t an intern, but was a trusted member on my accounts. Being able to complete the tasks, but also learning that I was able to ask for help when needed, helped me learn even more about it takes to work in the PR world.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

Gosh that’s a hard question. The skills that I’ve gained during my internship have helped me understand the PR world even more. The industry is filled with so many different areas that I feel are all interesting and would eventually like to dip my toes in to get some experience in them, but I feel that because of my background with running events at Drew, getting involved with culture events would be an area that highly interests me. What’s to say that also spending time on the digital teams, creating content and visuals would be intriguing to me as well?

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Intern Video

To find out more about life as a Peppercom intern, check out this YouTube video produced by former Peppercomm interns who share their experiences. Click Here