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Exploring Natural Wonders Around Las Vegas

One of the best parts about interning at Zappos has to be living in Las Vegas. Prior to coming here this summer, I had visited Las Vegas countless times; however, like most tourists, my experience with the city was solely confined to The Strip. Don’t get me wrong, I still find The Strip to be a really fun and lively place to be. But since living here, I have definitely expanded my horizons, and took the chance to really explore the city and its surroundings on the weekends.

Las Vegas is surrounded by a natural playground. The city is within a few hours of multiple major national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon), and has amazing hiking trails in its backyard. My roommates and I have had a lot of fun going on hikes on the weekends.

Our first hike was to Red Rock Canyon, located 45 minutes from Henderson, near the city of Summerlin. I, along with my roommates, Misty and Patrice, and fellow interns Josh and Kevin, hiked through the Calico Tanks trail. The hike was a new, fun experience for me because it was full of a lot of “firsts:” Foremost, it was my first time hiking through a desert in the crazy desert heat; it was also my first time seeing wild cactus, and the other native species in the area; and it was the first time that I had ever seen such colossal red rocks. The hike itself was a perfect mix of adventure and  challenge. Let’s just say that somehow we ended up venturing off the trail, and ended our hike because we came to face a giant rock wall. Regardless, this hike was a lot of fun, and a great way to become closer to my fellow interns!

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This past weekend we went a little farther from Las Vegas, and went hiking at Zion National Park. This hike was hands down my favorite hike ever! Zion is a 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas, so it was perfect for a day trip. Misty, Patrice and I planned to hike The Narrows, so we rented some aqua gear from the Zion Adventure Company. We got to wear some stylish aqua socks and shoes, and use a walking stick that became our savior through the slippery hike. This hike was really cool because we ventured through two miles of water that, at times, came up to our ribs! The best part about the hike was being able to swim whenever we got too hot! Fortunately, this time we did not get lost, and we made it to the Wall Street junction where we took a lot of fun pictures.

Going hiking on the weekends has been some of the most amazing things that I have done since being here. Aside from hiking, there are numerous things to do when you have spare time. Las Vegas really has something for everyone, and I have enjoyed exploring many of the natural activities that the city has to offer this summer!

 

--Danielle Yun

Non-Trade Purchasing Intern

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Zapponian Spotlight: Emily K.

Zapponian Spotlight, Zappos CLT, ZCLT, Zappos Customer Service, Zappos Culture, Zappos Employees, graveyard team, Say hello to one of our resident Zapponians from the ZCLT Team, Emily K. who’s been rocking out with Zappos since October 2012! She loves chatting with customers and is known around Zappos as being a fashion diva with one of the best laughs.

If you call our customer service number during the wee hours of the night, you just might get Emily on the other line!

We asked Emily a couple of questions to get to know her better:

What is your favorite part about working at Zappos?

E: I feel like I'm a part of something special. I think the work we do, the environment we have created and the people on our team are truly special. Sometimes I look around and think I'm so lucky to be a part of this experience. I'm proud of what we do!

 

What is your favorite  core value and why?

E: "Build a Positive Team and Family Sprit". It makes any journey more fun! No matter the task, having people who want to work as a team and value positivity makes what we do great.

 

I see that you played soccer when you were younger, do you have a favorite professional soccer player?

E: I do not and where did you get that fact? That was so so long ago, hehehe!

 

What is your idea of fun? If given a chance to skip work for a day, how would you spend the entire day?

E: With friends and family laughing. Making memories, relaxing, EATING.

 

What kind of job did you do before coming to Zappos?

E: Retail. I was a sales associate for a high-end brand.

 

If you had a plane ticket to go anywhere in the world where would you go?

E: Bora Bora. It's one of the many places on my list that I'm just not sure I will ever afford.

 

What cartoon character best describes you?

E: Dori from "Finding Nemo" positive and a bit forgetful.

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Meet Zappos New Hire Amy S.

For our culture project, we want to better embody Core Value #7: Build a positive and family spirit. That's why we're introducing the Zappos Alumni Program (ZAP) which features a blog series that will highlight Zapponians from different departments and showcase their jobs.

This series will consist of interviews with Zappos employees and members of the new hire class. We hope to inspire college students to connect with Zappos and all it has to offer, in addition to encouraging interdepartmental alumni relations by bragging about our amazing graduates' success!

First up is Amy S., a Zappos new hire from our Merch. Planning team:

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Name:

Amy S.

What is your current position at Zappos?

Merchandise Planner

What school did you go to?

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

What was your major while you were at school?

Business administration and Human Resources

How did you discover your job at Zappos?

I was referred by a Zappos employee

What experiences do you think was particularly helpful to get you where you are today?

I think the in-store retail experience was huge. I worked in retail throughout college and then in store management. It really helped me to get the knowledge needed for merchandise buying and planning

Today is your first day at new hire training, could you give us a brief recap of what your day was like?

It was both fun and crazy. We had 70 people in my new hire training class! We learned a lot about the company culture, and I think my favorite core value is “Pursue Growth and Learning”. Zappos really embodies that by encouraging employees’ personal development.

Do you have any advice for recent graduates?

Be yourself and be open. Give it a 100% and you will succeed!

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My Most Memorable Moment So Far…

These first six weeks of my internship have flown by faster than ever, and it is already a huge task to pin point one moment that is the most memorable to me. I feel like every day I have been so lucky to experience something amazing while interning as a Merchandising Assistant Intern with Fashion Footwear at Zappos.

After day two of work, I was feeling super homesick and a little nervous in a new city. Fortunately, this feeling didn’t last long due to the wonderful people on my team, and the relationship-building tactics that Zappos lives by. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and encouraging. By the end of day two, I was invited to my first vendor dinner, and had no idea what to expect. So as nervous (and excited) as I could possibly be, I got ready, and went on my way to dine with the vendor and representative from Kork-Ease along with my two managers.

Zappos Interns, Zappos Internship Program, Zappos Intern, Zappos Campus, Zappos Merchandising Inc., Las Vegas StripOur dinner was located at SHe in Crystals at City Center, a restaurant right in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. It was unbelievably fancy, yet the dinner felt so relaxed; my nerves were alleviated almost immediately once it began. The meeting felt more like a social gathering with friends rather than any type of work gathering. The vendor and his rep were personable, and interested in who I was and what my dreams were. I didn’t even think I was going to get the chance speak! At the end of the meal, our guests even proposed a toast to my success here at Zappos.

It is extremely rewarding to be part of a company that focuses so much on building relationships with both their consumers and vendors. It takes relationships and experiences like mine to maintain such strong bonds with all of the amazing vendors that are working with us at Zappos. It was amazing to be a part of this experience, and I don’t think I could ever find another company that will care nearly as much about their employees or the partnerships. I will also never forget my first vendor dinner!

 

--Kelsey Ferrentino

Merchandise Assistant Intern--Fashion Footwear

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The Piggy Back Ride

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So, yeah. That happened. 

Let me give you some context: My Zappos mentor, Thomas has me and my fellow “mentees” write down 10 weekly goals every Monday; 5 job-related, 5 culture-related. When the week of our Q&A with MAFT (our internal acronym for  our top execs: Mike, Arun, Fred, and Tony) came up, Thomas challenged me to think of especially difficult goals. Hmm, what could be stranger than taking a photo of myself giving Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh a piggyback ride? 

So, while all the interns were waiting to grill MAFT with a ton of questions Tony entered the room and I knew this is my chance! I had been thinking of a smooth way to ask a man that's worth millions of dollars to hop onto my back for a picture and, this is how it went: 

Me: Hey Tony, nice to meet you. I'm Josh, an intern in the Strategic Planning department.

Tony: Hey.

Me: Do you think we could take a picture together?

Tony: Sure…

Me: Wait, I have a weird request. Can we take the picture with you on my back?

Tony: Uhhh. Sure… I guess so. I don't want to hurt you though.

Me: Don't worry, just jump on!


Super smooth, I know. But there you have it! My most memorable moment at Zappos: when my net worth skyrocketed for about 30 seconds.

Shout out to everyone who made this happen: Tony, Thomas, Raphi, AGB, and “Ting Jung” (iPad Mini).

--Josh Kim

Corporate Strategy Intern

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Two Ten and Zappos Team Up!

Two Ten Footwear Foundation has supported the footwear industry and their families for over 70 years by providing financial relief, social services, scholarships and so much more. To support Two Ten, we are launching Zappos 4-210, a fundraiser to help their relief efforts. Almost 100 of our brands are participating and have pledged to donate to Two Ten. Some brands are making a flat donation, while others will donate $1 per item from all or a portion of their sales on Zappos.com during the month of August.

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About Two Ten:

Two Ten Footwear Foundation began as a community of footwear people helping each other at 210 Lincoln Street in Boston, MA.  Now, nearly 75 years later, Two Ten continues its mission to provide services and programs to shoe people in need.  The Foundation is funded solely by companies and individuals within the footwear industry. Two Ten is one of a kind -- in any industry.

Relief Services

  • In 2012, Two Ten fielded more than 1800 calls for help;
  • Last year, $1.74 million was given in financial assistance to more than 1,400 footwear families;
  • Staff responds to calls for help within 48 hours, often as soon as within 24 hours;
  • Financial assistance is provided for housing, utilities, car repairs and medical assistance during times of crisis
  • Counseling services and community resource referrals are also provided.

Scholarships

  • Started in 1969, over $18 million in higher education scholarships has been awarded to about 7,000 students;
  • Footwear Design Scholarships are awarded to those students studying footwear design.

Two Ten fosters community building and volunteerism within the industry, such as:

  • Women In Footwear Industry (WIFI) – With the mission to inspire, support, mentor and educate women in footwear, Two Ten WIFI looks to advance emerging and established women leaders;
  • Young Professionals for 210 (YP210) – Offers social networking opportunities and events to engage the next generation of footwear professionals;
  • #footwearcares – an entire month of community service activities for the footwear industry designed to provide positive impact through neighborhoods and communities across the country.
  • HR Leadership Committee – Two Ten creates networking for Human Resources Professionals that work to strengthen the footwear community.
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Community Day with Boys Town Nevada and the UFC

Community Day with Boys Town Nevada and the UFC

On July 3, Zappos joined Boys Town Nevada and the UFC for the community day that kicked off the UFC’s International Fight Week—an annual event that included a two-day fan expo and culminated in UFC 162. Volunteers helped 100 at-risk boys and girls select a new pair of Nike, Converse, adidas, Vans, DC, or Stride Rite shoes from Zappos.com.

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Once their shoes were chosen, the kids and their families enjoyed a provided lunch at the recently opened The Learning Village in downtown Las Vegas. There was even a Sno Cone truck on hand to provide some relief from 115-degree heat!

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UFC fighters Phil Davis, Luke Rockhold, Forrest Griffin, Benson Henderson, Carlos Condit, Urijah Faber, Joseph Benavidez and Daniel Cormier were on hand to answer questions, take pictures and sign autographs.

Despite going a few rounds with the heat, it’s safe to say this bout resulted in a huge win for the kids!

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9th Annual Zappos Bald and Blue Event

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It’s a Zappos Family tradition that from the outside may look a bit, well, weird. Every year, just when the Las Vegas weather starts to ramp up for summer, we here at the Zappos HQ celebrate our fun (and yes, sometimes weird) company culture with Bald and Blue.

A Zappos tradition that started in our first Las Vegas office back in the summer of 2005, Bald and Blue has grown into a great charity event where guys and gals can get their heads shaved, and Zappos in turn donates money to a charity—this year being PROJECT WE. We upped the ante this time around by adding leg shaving and chest/back waxing for the guys, and even eyebrow shaving for some really brave souls!

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For Zapponians who are really attached to their hair (including yours truly), we still got participate in the fun and team spirit with blue hair spray and temporary Zappos tattoos.

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To make this awesome event even more memorable, we had some very special guest stop by—The Blue Man Group! They’re bald and very blue, so they definitely fit right in. These guys are a little on the weird side, so they didn’t think anything at all of people shaving their heads and painting themselves blue at the office.

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photo credit: Jia Tse

In total, 22 guys shaved their heads for Bald & Blue, which totaled $2,200 donated to PROJECT WE. 12 brave ladies got their heads shaved for a total of $3,000 donated. The total amount donated from the event was a little under $10,000!

All in all, it was another fun and successful Zappos Bald & Blue event, and a few good Zapponians can start the summer off with a light, breezy hairdo for a great cause!