Recruiter Spotlight: Lauren, This Week's @InsideZappos Social VIP

Once upon a time, in a faraway land called South Carolina, a college senior was researching potential summer internship opportunities. She searched and searched and nothing seemed to catch her eye or offer exactly what she was looking for. She was about to give up all hope of finding that perfect internship. That was until she stumbled upon the Zappos Family Interns website while shopping for shoes. At that moment everything seemed to click. An awesome company culture, jobs that make you want to get out of bed each morning, and the opportunity to get involved in the Las Vegas community-- It was the perfect opportunity. She knew Zappos was exactly where she belonged.

#InsideZappos, inside zappos, zapponian spotlight, zapponians, Zappos Careers, zappos core values,zappos culture,zappos employees,Zappos Family,Zappos HR,zappos jobs,Zappos Recruiter Spotlight,Zappos Recruiters,Zappos Recruiting, Zappos Interns, Zappos Internship Program, Summer Interns, Zappos Summer Interns    So now you may be wondering – did it all work out? Did she live happily ever after? Well, I will let you in on a little secret – that girl is me. It took some passion, determination and maybe even a weird video cover letter, but here I am nine months later at the new Zappos HQ in sunny Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada!

This summer I am lucky enough to be a part of the incredible Zappos HR Team as the Recruiting College Intern. This is the third year of the internship program here at Zappos and we have a total of 42 fun and slightly weird individuals from all over the world! That makes us the largest intern class the company has ever had – woohoo!

As the recruiting intern I have had some amazing opportunities to shadow and assist the recruiters and recruiting coordinators with their daily tasks as well as take on individual projects. Every day I learn something new and grow more passionate about my work. One of the things I love most about my internship is that I’m given challenging, meaningful assignments.  No filing papers, making copies, or coffee runs for this girl! I have already taken on a variety of daily tasks as well as joining in on projects with members of my team. I am also encouraged to pursue growth and learning by coming up with new, creative ideas that will help my team and Zappos grow. I have never felt so supported by a company or team before.

Speaking of team, the recruiting team at Zappos defines what it means to have a positive team and family spirit (Core Value #7). Zappos believes in integrating your work and personal life which means I do not just think of my team as coworkers but also as amazing friends. What more can you ask for than having a group of people who you can collaborate with in the office and grab dinner with after work? The recruiting team has truly have become my family here in Vegas!

It is so hard for me to believe that I am starting week five of my nine week internship here. Not only have I had the time of my life but I have grown both personally and professionally. Working for Zappos has truly been my “happily ever after” and I don’t want it to come to an end. Going into my last couple weeks of this amazing internship, one thing is for certain: I can’t wait to see what else I learn and what the future holds!

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Trading Places: "West Coast Meets Southern Style"

This internship has gone by so fast! I can’t believe I only have a couple weeks left with the other interns! One of my favorite components of the internship has been the mentor program. A group of three to four interns are assigned to a single mentor, who operates not as a manager or direct report, but as someone to go to with questions about work, Zappos culture, or any other concerns. The mentor also acts as a guide for the intern culture project.

My mentor Thomas has met with me and his other interns weekly to create personal weekly goals, and discuss any concerns with the internship. Although I have never been one to regularly set and update personal goals, I have found that doing so has helped me see my progress.

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One of my favorite bonding moments with Thomas happened a couple weeks ago. He and I were talking about men’s style after grabbing some beverages from the ZCafé. Off the cuff, I commented that I thought his style was very “West Coast.” He took offense, and we spent the rest of the day going around asking random Zapponians whether or not he dressed in a “West Coast” fashion.

I myself am from the South, and I consider my style to be rather preppy. So we came up with the idea to switch styles for a day. I would dress like him, and he would dress like me. I didn’t have a lot of West-Coast attire in my wardrobe, so Thomas let me borrow some of his clothes, and I went out and bought the rest. The next day, Thomas dressed as preppy as possible, while I tried to go for the most stereotypical West-Coast outfit. We proceeded to go around the office (once again) and figure out who impersonated the other’s style better. I think it’s pretty clear who won. Hint: it’s the guy wearing the hat and Dickies shorts!

--Raphael Fix

Market Research Analyst Intern

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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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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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Culture Project: Azzazinz

Upon acceptance of the Zappos Intern position, we were forced to sign, in blood, an agreement to create a culture project. It may have just been some cherry syrup, but that’s beside the point. We were forced – against our will – to…to… CREATE FUN AND A LITTLE WEIRDNESS ( Core Value #3)!!!! Ghastly, I know. But really, right between “don’t suck” and “work your little butt off” in job requirements, there is a bit about creating a company-wide project embodying the ten core values.

This project may encompass anything as long as no bodily harm is involved (cross off Zappos MMA), it doesn’t cost boatloads of cash (#8 - Do more with less, people), and wasn’t Barbara Streisand karaoke. Okay, the last part was my stipulation, but then again, who doesn’t agree with me?! We all broke into groups and worked our little butts off to come up with something equal parts fun and creative.

Zappos Interns, Zappos Internship Program, Zappos Summer Interns, zombies, Zappos Core Values, Zapponians, Zappos Employees, create fun and a little weirdnessThese were the fruits of our labor: a paper plane contest, a secret admirer initiative involving clues and gifts, and a Merch/Tech lovefest with positive affirmations. My team came up with Azzazinz. This game, like the typical Assassins or Zombies and Humans you may remember from college, involves stalking, staking out, and acting like a total sketch in order to get the target assigned by yours truly. To make it more Zapponian and to Build Open and Honest Relationships Through Communication (#6), we required the hunters to take from their target a picture of their attack and a random factoid. We had a total of 88 people sign up – way more than we had hoped! It was such a success (and still is, as the game is still going) we have been asked to make this an ongoing game. Hoo-rah!

Unfortunately, your captain this evening has been slain. Go look at the website chronicling the attacks as I nurse my wound…

--Taylor

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Three-Week Recap from the Zappos Interns

Hey everyone!

It’s been over three weeks since the last blog post from the Zappos Interns, so here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve been up to lately:

1. Our first All-Hands meeting: On June 22, we participated in a Tech All Hands with all the other tech employees at Zappos. The afternoon included the usual briefings from top company officials, the CTO doing a ridiculous dance, and even a spoof video made right here at Zappos called “Sh*t Developers Say”. After that, we all enjoyed a Happy Hour poolside at Green Valley Ranch, which had been booked out specially for Zappos employees. Pretty sweet. But the highlight of the afternoon was definitely the surprise appearance of the legendary Steve Wozniak, who indulged us with a half-hour Q&A about his time at Apple, his thoughts on the future of technology, and some funny stories. That was surreal.

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Ravi R. and Yong L. with Steve Wozniak 

2. A volunteer day at the local Animal Shelter: Zappos is really involved in the Vegas community, and it trickles down all the way to the interns. All of us spent a day learning about the great animal shelter here, as well as walking and playing with dogs. It was ridiculously hot outside, but hanging out with dogs usually makes things much more bearable!

3. General craziness around the Zappos campus: Probably the best part is the frequent table tennis sessions all around the office. Zappos even has a unique 3-on-3 version of ping-pong, aptly named “Zing-Zong”. It’s a bit ridiculous to outline all the rules (basically because when you watch it seems as if there are no rules, and when you play you learn a new rule every time). Suffice to say that it’s a cross between regular ping-pong and volleyball, with each team setting up teammates and the ball not being dead till it hits the ground. It’s sick.

4. July 4th week(end): My superhero Christina had a July 4th pool party, and that night we all walked to a nearby parking lot to watch fireworks. The display here in Vegas was definitely better than what I’ve seen in most other places. Then, on July 6th, for another day outside the office, all of us hiked up the nearby Mt. Charleston. The weather was beautiful, about 20 degrees cooler than in Las Vegas, and the views were fantastic.

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Left to right: Adrian T., Nick HS, Jessica C., Alex H., Kiersten S., Kim H., Michelle V., Luke Z., Ravi R., Yong L., Irene P., Tylan C., Anya E., Tony G., Taylor S.

5. A trip to the Grand Canyon: One of the best things about working in Vegas is the proximity to so much nature (e.g: California beaches, Zion, Grand Canyon, etc.). Three of us decided to make an impromptu trip to the Grand Canyon a couple weekends ago, and were there within two hours. We spent all day taking in the sights and climbing to as many treacherous places as possible. Good times.

All in all it’s amazing how quickly the time has gone – we’re already starting our eighth week here at Zappos! I’m pretty bummed that summer is over in a month. But up to this point, I couldn’t have asked for more. As interns, we’re always involved and in the middle of things here, it’s never lonely, and there’s a great work-life balance – all things that I’d heard thrown around at the beginning of the summer, but that I’d never truly understood until now. It’s a great feeling.

Till next time,

Ravi

The One and Only HR Intern

WOW! Zappos’ culture is unparalleled. I’m still trying to take everything in while finding my place in the HR dynamic, yet I feel like I’ve been here forever. It’s a strange sense of belonging you only get after years of dedicated relationship building at a “normal” company.

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On the first day of work, our trainer Kelly knew all of our names and the individuals in the class soon became a close-knit group. As we finished on-boarding and started in our respective departments, it was bittersweet not seeing my new friends all the time. However, it didn’t take long before I was fully immersed in my department and now I cannot imagine myself working anywhere else. Where else do you receive a Shakeweight™ on the first day??

Now I’m sure you are jealous and wondering “What department gives their employees amazing Shakeweights?” Well, I am the first HR intern! During the course of the next 11 weeks I will rotate through each department, starting with the P.E.A.C.E. team. Each day is filled with wish-granting adventures, decorating and event planning.

My overarching project is to pitch two charities for the fall season representing men’s and women’s cancer advocacy and resources. On the surface, the team looks fun and spirited—although this is true, working on this team showed me the hard work and dedication the team puts forth in making the best events possible for Zapponians. The biggest challenge I am currently facing is balancing the projects I am working on and all the fun activities going on in the company. For instance, I am working on developing a visual for the employees of the office to see the progress Zapponians are making in raising money for a charity project. But I’m getting distracted with things like blog posts, decorating desks, throwing Jolly Ranchers at people and sitting in on meetings. Zappos has a crazy way of making life easier and yet more challenging at the same time.

Challenge accepted!

--Michelle V.

The One and Only HR Intern