By Sarah Wicka
When I started as an intern at Ooze, I admit that I thought I had made a mistake.
I smoked a bit in college, and every once in awhile after, but my philosophy has been always a very passive one. The combination of a strict upbringing and a rebellious nature left me what could probably be called “420-ambivalent:” accept if offered, but don’t go out of your way. While I enjoyed the effects and experience, smoking just wasn’t a big deal to me, and for every one of my friends that did partake, there were even less who vaped. Vaporizers weren’t a part of my personal sphere.
So yes, when I started with Ooze, I had doubts.
But still, I persisted. And now, leaving Ooze, I can reflect and say that my time spent was worthwhile, and impart wisdom onto those who will follow.
Lesson One: Research
The lesson of research is two-fold. First, and maybe most obvious, research the company you’re applying for. With the number of interviews and jobs that I’ve had, it should seem natural to look up an employer before contacting them, but this was not the case. When a Craigslist ad comes up for a role that seems perfect, it can be tempting to fire off a resume and wish for the best. It was only after I had sent a hopeful email that I had learned about Ooze and their products. Would things have gone differently had I known beforehand? Most likely not, but when you’re speaking for a brand, it’s imperative to know their products and their industry.
With that said, there is a second part to this lesson: there is nothing that research can’t solve. If, like me, you were not actively involved in the vaping community, Google is your best friend. Your credibility, and Ooze’s, is on the line, so if you don’t know something, learn it. Read articles, watch videos, look at other brands and see what they’re talking about. Soon you’ll be knowledgeable enough to contribute to the conversation, or perhaps even lead it.
Lesson Two: Information
When it comes to conversations, what you say is as important as being able to say it. In teaching myself about the industry, I noticed one very interesting thing: many companies will plagiarize other blogs. DO NOT do this.
Ooze prides itself on its uniqueness, and rarely, if ever, rebranding items. The same should apply to your content. Because of the informality of the online medium, you may find it easy to copy other companies, especially when everyone else is doing it too. Despite this, your content should be original and engaging, and if you must quote someone, give them credit. Cite every article, study, or website, and put your personal spin on each picture that you take. Even if other brands are throwing journalistic integrity out the window, you don’t have to.
Lesson Three: Professionalism
Finally, prospective interns need to know that this is a job. With a lifestyle brand like Ooze, it can be easy to fall into a trap of casualness, but professionalism should underscore every completed assignment and every interaction with colleagues and consumers. Follow through on commitments. Be articulate. Be respectful. Regardless of the industry or community you’re engaging with, know that the content you create will be viewed by numerous people, and they’ll base their perception of the brand on what they see and read. Never pass on quality, as the stronger a piece is, the farther it’ll take you.
My time with Ooze, however brief, has returned something that I pushed aside. Before my internship, I had often thought about blogging or writing reviews, but I was without purpose. Ooze gave me a reason to dust off my skills and an opportunity to create conversations, and being new to the vaporizer industry meant that I learned something with every assignment. Looking back, the doubts I had were nothing. I’m grateful to have been able to work on creative projects and overcome new challenges. I might not have started out familiar with the Ooze life, but I’m certainly living it now.