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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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

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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

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Photo Shoot Shadow Session

We are already in our fourth week of summer internship at Zappos, but it feels like no time at has passed at all! This, I suppose, is a good thing, as no one wants to dread their job so much that it crawls like a paraplegic snail. If these few weeks are any indication, the end is going to jump out of nowhere and surprise us all!

I am the intern on the 6pm side of things, so here is my spiel: 6pm.com is the sister site to Zappos, selling items at deep discounts (this equals lots of shiny new shoes for not a lot of shiny dough). Think of it as an online Marshall’s. Great deals, people!

One of the great attributes of Zappos is the fact that EVERYONE (not generalizing in the least) is open to mentoring me. The best example of this was this past Tuesday. I reached out to the Style Editing Team about a possible day of shadowing so I could see how the department operated. Marie, one of our style editors, proceeded to invite me to a photo shoot soon after. I was on that like orange on a carrot!

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Behind the scenes of a Zappos studio photo shoot with model Julianna.

Most of Marie’s job as a stylist happens prior to the shoot: picking the outfits, coordinating with our photo team, and lots more. It involves lots of planning. The day of the shoot, however, is all about the model and achieving the desired look. Marie and her team are really great at their jobs, and the model Julianna was a total pro. Just being able to watch it all in action set my heart aflutter!

During the shoot, I helped with a few things like hanging up clothes and operating the fan (to achieve the windblown look), but mostly, I talked to anyone and everyone and took in as much as I could.

Working at Zappos sometimes feels like a little slice o’ Heaven. If this is what work is like, I may never want to leave!

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

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Zappos Culture Through the Eyes of an Intern

I'm in a bit of a dilemma as I write this post because we were asked to keep these blog posts brief, but we were also asked to discuss the Zappos culture, and if my two weeks here has taught me anything, it's that those are conflicting requests. Why, you ask? Because the culture is unlike that of any other company I have encountered. In our culture class yesterday–a course taken by new hires here at Zappos, we were asked to write a single word to describe the culture. My first reaction to this request was disappointment, because I knew that of all of the words in the dictionary, any single one would not be able to do the culture justice. I considered inventing a word; something like "AwesomeFunWelcomingJoytastic" may have worked, but in the spirit of the exercise, I set out to find a word that exists in real life.

Imagine a work environment where you feel like you are getting to know the people that you work with, and not just their drone-like at-work counterparts. That's Zappos, which is why the word I chose to describe the culture is "ORGANIC". Not only because the employees are encouraged to bring their personality, quirks and all, to work, but also because the culture itself evolved organically from the bottom-up. Since getting to Zappos, I have been trying to figure out how they managed to scale the start-up feel to a company of more than 5000 employees, but the answer is simple; it all comes from the employees being themselves, not being forced to conform to their environment, but rather allowing, and helping their environment to conform to them.

After onboarding last week, everyone was excited to branch off and see what they would be doing with their respective teams. I'm on the Zeta team for the summer here at Zappos. I'll spare you the details of the multi-page, diagramificated email that my superhero, Patrick sent me, but simply put, my team manages tons of code that keeps the website's gears in motion. Because continuing to write in paragraph form is frustrating me, I'll leave you with a list of totally awesome things I have experienced in my short two weeks here that I don't think I would have experienced at any other company:

1. The other tech interns and I had lunch with the CTO, Arun Rajan yesterday.

2. I have been encouraged, on multiple occasions to stop everything I am doing and play a game of Zing Zong–a super intense game that can only be described as a hybrid of ping pong, volleyball, and soccer (or fútbol, if that's your thing).

3. Every so often, in the middle of working, music begins to play and the search team, Patrick and I do push-ups.

4. As I was writing this post, Tony, the intern on the search team, turned on a laser machine he brought from home causing everyone to leap up in excitement telling him he can never turn it off.

5. We already experienced one of Tony Hsieh's legendary email messages that he talks about in Delivering Happiness.

6. Because I indicated that I like Swedish fish on a personality survey, I had 8 bags of Swedish fish waiting for me at my desk on my first day.

7. Last but not least....this:

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Until next time,

-Luke