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Recruiter Spotlight: Kiersten, This Week on @InsideZappos

Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world, she took the midnight train going anywhere…


 #InsideZappos, @InsideZappos, @zappos, inside zappos, summer internship program, Zappos Careers, zappos core values, zappos culture, zappos employees, zappos family, Zappos interns, Zappos Internships, zappos merchandising, Zappos on Twitter, Zappos Recruiters, Zappos Recruiting

Okay, the small town part is true! BUT I am not lonely and it was a 2004 Honda Accord to Las Vegas, Nevada. Ten years ago, this small town girl packed up her bags and headed out west to the glitz and glamour of Vegas. So many stories and such limited writing space but let’s flashback four years ago when my life drastically changed with the introduction of a small, start-up company called Zappos. (Okay, maybe not so small!)

 

I started with this great company in the Customer Loyalty Team (call center). I then had the amazing opportunity to do a Z’apprenticeship (internal internship) with the recruiting team. To my surprise, they offered me a full-time position after my internship ended. Since then, I’ve had the craziest progression path EVER!

 

I had the opportunity to work as an assistant and recruiter for numerous departments. Then one day I was asked to join and help build the amazing summer internship program on the college recruiting team. I jumped at the chance and it has forever changed my life. I have always considered myself a hard worker and I enjoyed my job but I never knew I could fall in love with a program and be so passionate about something as much as I have with our College Internship Program. It has been absolutely awesome working with amazing, eager and passionate college students.

#InsideZappos, @InsideZappos, @zappos, inside zappos, summer internship program, Zappos Careers, zappos core values, zappos culture, zappos employees, zappos family, Zappos interns, Zappos Internships, zappos merchandising, Zappos on Twitter, Zappos Recruiters, Zappos Recruiting

We started with 19 amazing interns for the first official internship program in the Summer of 2011 (#zinterns). The program then grew to 30 last summer (#zpc13) and we are looking to have 42 summer interns this year! (We are in the final stages of filling all of our positions as we speak!) This year, we did things a little differently than in years past… okay, completely different. We actually didn’t travel to a single college to recruit interns… say what?!?! Yep, no career fairs, no information sessions and no onsite interviews.

 

With this new recruiting strategy, every candidate that applies has the chance to complete a virtual interview and technical challenge (in relation to the position they applied for). They are given a couple of weeks to complete both. Once they do, that’s when we kick it into high gear and review their challenges and virtual interviews. Each team narrows their selection down to 3-4 finalists. Those finalists are flown to Las Vegas for a fun and activity-filled two days. They do technical challenges, tour the office, team-building activities and, of course, interview!  And it just wouldn’t be Zappos if there wasn’t a happy hour afterward where we can get to know everyone outside of the office setting!

 

I will be the #InsideZappos Social VIP this week and the voice of our Twitter Careers page - @InsideZappos. Thankfully, Twitter limits me to 140 characters or I would ramble ridiculously. (I tend to do that!) Thankfully, I will have Jessica Chiu (@ahhchiuuu) as my co-pilot. Jess was part of our very first official internship program (#zinterns), starting as a Merchandising Assistant intern with our Casual Lifestyle team. She is a rockstar and has since received numerous promotions, most recently to Assistant Buyer. Get it girl!

 

Super excited to represent @InsideZappos and you can also find me at @kiersten34!!

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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.

Zappos Interns, Zappos Internship Program, Zappos Internships, Zappos intern, Zappos Market Research, Zapponians, Zappos Culture, Zappos fun, office fun, Zappos campus, create fun and a little weirdness

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!

hiking trails near las vegas, Red Rock National Park, zappos culture, Zappos interns, Zappos Internship Program, Zappos Internships, Zion National Park

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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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:

Inc., new Zappos Employees, zapponian spotlight, zapponians, zappos employees, Zappos interns, zappos merchandising, Zappos new hire training, Zappos new hires, Zappos Alumni Program,

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

Zappos interns, Zappos Internship program, college interns, Zappos campus, Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

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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I Got it FO' FREEEEEEE!

Upon arrival to work, Joe heads directly to the Zcafe– Zappos' own, internal version of Starbucks. Here, Joe can, for free, order anything he wants–ranging anywhere from Lemonade to Joe's personal favorite: Double Blended Half-Soy Nonfat Decaf Organic Chocolate Brownie Iced Vanilla Double-Shot Gingerbread Frappuccino Extra Hot With Foam Whipped Cream. While Joe waits for his drink to be ready, he is free to grab a scone or other breakfasty pastry.
On the way to his desk, Joe stops by one of the many break rooms and gets a few drinks from the refrigerator to get him through the day. Joe then heads over to his desk to catch up on his email. Joe sees that he can get free tickets to Carrot Top that night. Having always wanted to see Carrot Top, he responds to the email. Soon after, he gets a response saying his tickets have been reserved and he can pick them up from the Luxor box office at 8.
So let's recap. Not more than 10 minutes after getting to work, Joe has already received a multitude of free beverages as well as free tickets to see Carrot Top.
As an intern, my experience has been similar. So far I've been to: Reggae in the Desert, Carrot Top, Las Vegas Film Festival, a Las Vegas 51s game, a screening of 'Monsters Inc.' in a park, as well as a pre-release screening of 'The Naked Brand', I have also acquired the following books: The Lean Startup, Comedy Writing, Triumph of the City, and Delivering Happiness. Additionally Zappos has paid for many-a-lunch and dinner for me, as well as *breaks out into song and dance* shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, EVERYBODY!!!!! Yesterday, as part of a team meeting, we played glow in the dark putt putt golf… on the clock!
By providing such benefits, Zappos has encouraged me to experience more of Las Vegas than I would have on my own. In doing so, they have provided me with tons of fun experiences which will turn into lasting memories and I think we can all agree that both of those things make for happier people.

On any given day, you will hear "I got it FO' FREEEEEEE", a reference to a line from the movie Bridesmaids resonate through the halls of the Zappos Interns' hotel. That's because on any given day, you can almost rest assured that someone got something for free while at work. On their quest to deliver happiness, Zappos goes out of their way to provide its employees with tons of free, life-enhancing benefits. To further examine this idea, let's follow a typical morning of a Zappos employee, Joe:

Upon arrival to work, Joe heads directly to the Zcafe– Zappos' own, internal version of Starbucks. Here, Joe can, for free, order anything he wants–ranging anywhere from lemonade to Joe's personal favorite: Double Blended Half-Soy Nonfat Decaf Organic Chocolate Brownie Iced Vanilla Double-Shot Gingerbread Frappuccino Extra Hot With Foam Whipped Cream. While Joe waits for his drink to be ready, he is free to grab a complementary breakfasty pastry.

On the way to his desk, Joe stops by one of the many break rooms and gets a few drinks from the refrigerator to get him through the day. Joe then heads over to his desk to catch up on his email. Joe sees that he can get free tickets to Carrot Top that night. Having always wanted to see Carrot Top, he responds to the email. Soon after, he gets a response saying his tickets have been reserved and he can pick them up from the Luxor box office at 8.

So let's recap. Not more than 10 minutes after getting to work, Joe has already received a multitude of free beverages as well as free tickets to see Carrot Top.

delivering happiness, las vegas, office life, zapponians, zappos culture, zappos hq, Zappos interns, Zappos Las Vegas HQ, zappos office, Zappos Summer Interns, Zappos Summer Internship ProgramAs an intern, my experience has been similar. So far I've been to: Reggae in the Desert, Carrot Top, Las Vegas Film Festival, a Las Vegas 51s game, a screening of 'Monsters Inc.' in a park, as well as a pre-release screening of 'The Naked Brand', I have also acquired the following books: The Lean Startup, Comedy Writing, Triumph of the City, and Delivering Happiness. Additionally Zappos has paid for many-a-lunch and dinner for me, as well as *breaks out into song and dance* shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, EVERYBODY!!!!! Last week, as part of a team meeting, we played glow in the dark putt putt golf… on the clock!

By providing such benefits, Zappos has encouraged me to experience more of Las Vegas than I would have on my own. In doing so, they have provided me with tons of fun experiences which will turn into lasting memories and I think we can all agree that both of those things make for happier employees!

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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