Commentary / Kiyo Rauchwerger

Intern Chat with Lauren and Caitlin

Before our summer interns — Lauren and Caitlin — departed, I sat down with them to chat about their goals, what they’ve learned during their internship, and things that surprised them about Taproot (hint: it involves food). Here’s a transcript of our conversation.

I’ll start it off with the basics. What year are you and what’s your major?

Caitlin: I’m a senior in the public relations major at FSU.

Lauren: I’m also a senior, but at UF, and I’m studying marketing.

What would be your dream job?

Caitlin: My dream job, that’s hard… Probably to be a travel blogger.

Lauren: Hmmm. Yeah, that’s kind of hard because I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do. But right now, I’m thinking a lot about corporate retail or event planning.

Those both sound like fun. Caitlin, what’s at the top of your list of places you want to go?

Caitlin: Domestic or international?


Caitlin: Definitely the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. The photos look unreal.

Nice! Lauren, what kind of events would you want to plan?

Lauren: Well, I think what appeals to me most about the industry is that every event is so different! So anything from conferences to weddings to product launches. I think I would have to experience it all to have a better idea.

Very true! That sounds like a lot of fun. Okay, so our readers can get a better idea of who you are, can you describe yourself in five words?

Lauren: I’d probably say mine would be driven, kind, strong, caring and focused.

Caitlin: Charismatic, sociable, logical, organized, explorer.

Those attributes are good ones to have in this industry.

So, how did you both come to be interns here at Taproot?

Caitlin: I applied and interviewed for the Spring semester, but didn’t get the internship. So I reached out again for the summer and ended up getting it!

Lauren: I found Taproot just through personal research. I go to UF but I’m from Tallahassee, so I knew I wanted to find a marketing firm here to intern with for the summer but I didn’t know too much about where to start. I just reached out through the contact on the website, set up an interview and here we are!

Remind me, when did you start your internship? May, right?

Lauren: The first week of May!

Caitlin: Yep, same here.

Where has the summer gone?! That was rhetorical. Actual question:

What has your experience here been like?

Lauren: I know, it’s gone by so fast. My experience here has been so unexpected but in a great way. This is my first internship so I kind of anticipated doing those typical “intern tasks,” but we’ve both been welcomed in to Taproot as another member of the team and have been able to produce work that is actually directly used in projects. I’ve learned a lot, that’s for sure!

Caitlin: I’ve really enjoyed my time here as an intern because of the whole team. From the first day I felt like I was a part of the team and not “just an intern.” I’ve also gotten the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, from research to writing to brainstorming sessions (my favorite). The laid back atmosphere is also something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I love that I can wear a t-shirt to work and that everyone always has their doors open to answer questions or just talk about life.

Definitely. All of that was really pleasant surprise for me, too, when I was an intern.

Everybody kept emphasizing that I should never be afraid to stick my head in the door and ask for help. And the option to wear fuzzy socks instead of shoes is pretty cool.

Caitlin: Agreed.

Other than that, were there any surprises?

Caitlin: How much food and coffee we get. Basically the best surprise.

Best way to start the morning: hearing “There’s a growler of Lucky Goat cold brew coffee in the kitchen.”

Caitlin: You are not wrong.

Lauren: Music to my ears. Work-wise, though, I think one thing that surprised me was how different every project is from client to client, even if they are for the same type of service, like a brand rollout. So that makes it fun.

Yeah, the variety was one of the things that drew me to Taproot. I love having a few different things to work on throughout the day.

Lauren: Definitely.

Is there anything that stands out in your mind as a big lesson you’ve learned from your internship?

Or lessons, plural?

Caitlin: Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your thoughts, and always ask people if they need help with anything if you have free time. And don’t take life too seriously.

Lauren: I think I’ve realized how important and helpful personal research is to truly understand each project. And definitely the importance of speaking up and asking questions!

Definitely! All good ones. Lauren, can you give an example of the research you’ve done that’s helped you?

Lauren: Mostly, my research is to just understand the client and their missions. It’s hard to come up with recommendations or language for documents when you don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish.

Yeah, that’s so true. It ties back into the whole “function, feeling, compatibility, cost” thing too.

Any last thoughts before we wrap up?

Caitlin: I think we’ve both had a really great experience interning here and I can’t believe it’s almost over! I’ll miss you guys.

Lauren: I’ll be sad when the summer is over! I’m definitely going to miss everyone.

You’ve both contributed a lot to brainstorming sessions, projects and just the general atmosphere. We’ll miss you too! Be sure to come back and visit sometime. For the coffee or doughnuts or bagels.

Lauren: Absolutely!

Interview conducted by Kiyo Kawaguchi, who interned at Taproot in Fall 2015 after graduating from FSU. Read her bio here.