When asked what Team Smiley interns do for the summer, I can come up with an answer pretty quickly; they act as Eat’n Park’s brand ambassadors in the community. I know this, because for the 2009 summer, that was me. When asked what my time on Team Smiley taught me, I have a much harder time summing it up.
That's me on the right!
See, Team Smiley is about much more than smiling sugar cookies, community festivals, a sweet ride, sock tans, and paychecks (though those are all really nice). Plus, Team Smiley has a lot of fun, and it shows. But believe me, there’s more than meets the eye.
You learn to plan for events (as much as you can plan for an event!) and when that doesn’t work, you learn to go with the flow and be flexible. Nothing can stop us (including weather) from handing out those iconic cookies and getting to know our guests. All it takes is watching one kid decorate their own cookie (lots of icing, of course!) and take a big bite to understand why we love our jobs.
It’s probably pretty safe to say that any high school or college student has once been a part of a team. But it’s probably also safe to assume that the team wasn’t together for almost 40 hours a week. When you spend that much time together, you quickly learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and, as a team, how to use them to your advantage. That’s not to say we always did the same thing – every day our role was different. We shared the work and we shared the responsibility. I know most internships don’t offer that.
Looking back, I remember walking into my Team Smiley interview a nervous, absurdly over-energetic college student looking for a paying job that didn’t require getting people to sign up for credit cards. But after my summer with Smiley’s Cookie Cruiser, I learned how to work with new people, plan for the unexpected, use my “inside voice” in a corporate setting, and positively engage in dialogue with guests. And boy, did that come in handy! Upon graduating from the University of Pittsburgh last May, I accepted the position of Community Marketing Assistant for Eat’n Park. I now have the honor of overseeing the program that taught me so much. My passion for Eat’n Park is as strong as ever and I’m still overly energetic, but now, I’m a professional in the making.
Think you have what it takes to be on Team Smiley? Apply here.
And maybe I'll see you this summer!
Community Marketing Assistant