Summer’s ending, fall approaches, and I’m saying goodbye (or hopefully a ‘see-you-later') to my time at Impossible Foods. Trading in copywriting and Instagram-Story-planning for long nights in UC Berkeley's library feels bittersweet.
This summer, I worked as the Content Intern focusing on our social media and email channels. My days were packed drafting punchy marketing emails, writing funny tweets (yep, I’m talking about memes), and working with teams across the organization. I was given guidance and direction, but also the freedom to develop and present my own ideas. 10 weeks after starting a “Things I Learned List” on my 3rd day, it’s now filled with tips about interpersonal skills, notes about the sustainable food industry, and lessons on the best ways to work collaboratively.
Twenty-nine other interns also kept similar lists, and I wanted to know what was on each of them. Let’s take a look at what they had to say…
Alan Wo – our Flavor Integration Intern working on the Product Innovation Team – described his internship as “a lot like cooking… only much more scientific.” A recent graduate of Cornell University, he quickly became a part of the process that puts new and delicious food on our plates – conducting research, making experimental samples, and running sensory tests. But he was surprised at how many trials are needed to develop new products. “It’s a well-run organization, and everyone is incredibly talented; but when you’re working with cutting edge products that haven’t been preceded by anything before it, you have to be willing to adapt and accept dead-ends as part of the exploratory process."
Ethan Lavin is getting his MBA at Georgetown University. He joined our International Launch Team for the summer to focus on Marketing and Sales by designing a go-to-market strategy, helping build the UK website, and becoming close friends with Google Translate. Beyond all the food-related words he learned in other languages, he says what he’ll remember most is that he made a “material impact on the business, our customers, and the world at large. It sounds lofty, but interning at Impossible Foods gives you the opportunity to help chart the direction of the company and have a true impact.”
Adrien Krupenkin, our Fat Flavor Chemistry Intern (yes, that’s a real and important role!) was tasked with creating a non-animal sourced oil ingredient that helps our products look, taste, and feel like meat. “You’d be surprised,” he told me, “at how many different kinds of vegetable oils there are in the world!” He tasted spices, leafy greens, chocolate, butter and even tropical flavored candy (which was delicious, but it’s not going in our meat). "I feel like I’ve learned more here in two months than I did in four years of my undergraduate degree.”
While Adrien worked with fat properties, Jocelyn Chen – our Research Ingredient Toolkit Intern and a current Undergraduate student at Stanford University – worked with protein. “As interns, we visit the pilot plant, talk with directors of different company branches, and have direct conversations with our CEO Peter McGuinness over lunch.” What surprised her the most? How much freedom she was given in her work. “I came in expecting to just finish a project assigned by my mentors and work only with them in the lab. All of that was turned upside down once I got here. I was given the reins to discover something new.”
Saumya Agarwal and Katherine Crise joined the Product Quality and Packaging teams for the summer. Saumya remembers meeting Pat Brown on her first day, and still feels fueled by “his passion and dedication towards climate change. It amazes me how mission-driven this company is, and I feel very proud to be a part of this plant-based movement.”
Whether it’s reducing the carbon footprint of our packaging materials, deciding what goes into the ingredient formula, or even writing this blog post, interns at Impossible Foods do very real work. Jocelyn valued her freedom in her projects; Saumya loved the “fast-paced” energy; Ethan developed go-to-market strategies for international markets; Adrien learned how to use analytical equipment that honestly would take too long to even explain here. “There’s no going on coffee runs or working on busy work,” says Ethan. Interns here make a real impact on the business and, subsequently, on the world at large.
Want to be a future summer intern? Check back on our Careers page(opens in a new tab) early next year.
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