How do I begin to describe my last 7 weeks as an intern at the Coffee Culture Head Office? Well, imagine a life where when you walk into all our stores, trumpets play to announce your entrance and everyone greets you by name. A life where you’re always treated with respect in the office and never teased, and where everyone loves you and appreciates the work you do. Now throw that thought out the window because this was nothing like that. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my time it’s that the Head Office life isn’t what you’d think. It’s not driving fancy cars, lounging around, sipping coffee, while you’re fed delicious new bagels (Try them today at any of our stores!). It’s full of under-appreciated people who work tirelessly to deliver the best possible experience for you, all while maintaining their smile.
Words that come to mind when I think about my time here are: crazy, weird, but so much fun. But if I’m being honest no words really do it justice, it was just…wowee. Literally every second was exciting and enjoyable (except maybe when I had a wee setback when backing a company car, but hey, it’s not an internship unless you’ve messed up right?) If you don’t believe me, just have a read of this excerpt from my diary:
Day 7 (Week 1: Friday)-It’s been a whole week since I’ve been cooped up in this prison with the franchise team. They call it “the fun room” but it ain’t fun. I’m feeling my tolerance for bad chat slowly wearing away. I don’t think I can survive here much longer. If these are my final words I just wanna say…I love you mum, sorry that I couldn’t always be there for you (mostly because we live in different cities now).
See? Great fun! From the very first moment I was treated as part of the team (including taking all the stick a team member would) with my first day involving sitting in on a planning meeting and my second getting trusted to be alone in the office. After that, it was straight into the deep end with plenty of big responsibilities, from contacting key partners, to designing and photographing whole promotions, to testing and coming up with new products, to even being given control of our social media pages, website, and our new online shop. The team were so focussed on letting me try everything and learn as much as possible that it got to the point where I almost enjoyed doing the tedious, mediocre jobs because then I felt like I was doing a real internship!
I was also lucky enough to work in all departments at the head office: admin, wholesale, and franchise/marketing. On top that, during my internship I continued my part time work at the Lincoln store (s/o to the Lincoln crew!). All of this meant that I got to see how all the parts worked together to create the well-oil coffee-producing machine that is Coffee Culture. But being me, I wanted to see how this machine preformed in reality, through the eyes of a guest, and so Tour de Coffee Culture: James Edition was born! (pretty much just driving around, drinking coffee and eating food instead of biking and being fit) And here’s what I learnt:
Addington: Friendly bunch of staff, quality coffee and food. Nothing to SUBTRACTington points for really!
But all jokes aside, though every store had a different vibe which was tailored to its location, I did feel a sense of similarity across all stores, the culture. I felt like I was walking home when I stepped into each store and I think this is a feeling I’ll hold onto for a while.
(Also, because I didn’t space out these visits very well I ended up having 5 banana loaves in one day so I can confidently answer the age-old question in everyone’s hearts…yes they do taste exactly the same across all stores. You’re welcome)
To sum up, I will seriously miss being at the head office. From the prank calls, to sick dance moves and raps it’s been an unreal experience full of uncontrollable laughter and love (almost too much, though it’s mostly been coming from me hugging people who don’t want to be hugged). I’ve learnt so many lessons, not just about business but also about life. I made a list of them as I went along but I won’t bore you guys with it so here are the main lessons: always moisturize, don’t whistle when you go to the toilet, prioritise work, prepare for everything you can, change is hard for people, define: dingleberry, work smarter not harder, back yourself in decisions, Goldie Lookin Chain is absolute fire, always under promise and over deliver, people find odd numbers of things more visually appealing, and that this is probably one of the greatest workplaces I will ever be a part of. 10/10 would do again.
This is Intern James signing off.