Becoming a Hampster: The Story of an Intern

I met Johnie Hampton just before graduating high school. I remember telling him I liked to keep a journal, and I had hopes of becoming a writer in the future. A few weeks later, I received a custom Hampton Creative journal in the mail with a note from Johnie encouraging me to run after my passion. Three years later, and I was in my junior year at Baylor University studying Professional Writing and looking for a summer internship. When I interviewed for the Marketing Intern position at Hampton I had the, “oops, this place is too cool for me” moment. I wasn’t confident that I would land the position, but I knew it was worth trying for.

Two weeks later I got an email with the subject line I had hoped for:

“Welcome to Hampton Creative.”

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Being at Hampton Creative for two months taught me a great deal about writing advertising copy, a little about bee keeping, and a lot about how to have a blast while working.

Here are a few things I learned about Hampton Creative while interning:

1. Coffee is a lifestyle, not a hobby. Every morning the smell of freshly brewed coffee languorously floats around the office enticing all members to partake in its goodness. I found it was best not to pass it up because they buy the good stuff.

2. You can expect to be welcomed into the Hampster crew. The people at Hampton have a way of making you feel comfortable. From the first day of my internship I felt like I belonged, and it was due to people actively inviting me to be a part of meetings, discussion on strategies, and letting me know they were available to answer questions. They genuinely cared about my goals and growth as an intern, and by doing so helped me far surpass my expected degree of growth.

3. If you can’t hang with 80’s pop culture references you may want to step out. This one is specific to a few members of the crew—nevertheless, be on guard for obscure references to movies or music that might fly under your radar. Catch them all, and you will definitely get bonus points.

4. The conference table doubles as a ping pong table, so you can expect each day to include at least one or two intense matches. Don’t be alarmed if you hear a deep bellow of rage. Though the battle may be fierce, all parties leave the game peaceably (if not a little sweaty).

5. Hampsters care about the work they are creating, and endeavor to produce the best quality.  Clients aren’t devalued at Hampton, but are placed as the highest priority. The heart behind Hampton is to do work that matters, and that means risking making a connection with clients on a personal level rather than a business level. Hampton taught me that clients aren’t just the face of a company: they are people with a story worth knowing and a goal worth pursuing.

6. You will be championed. I expected to be given work at my internship, but I didn’t expect to be encouraged every step of the way. Whether I nailed the task or completely blew it, I was given valuable advice without a harsh dose of criticism. Because of the kindness shown to me, I had no fear of failure and was able to perform better without worrying if my work would be inadequate. I learned that encouragement is an environment for people to grow and thrive in, and Hampton Creative demonstrated this extremely well.

I came to Hampton excited, nervous, and ready to learn. I was given new levels of opportunity and creative freedom that I didn’t expect to receive. My final week at Hampton I could only think of how I didn’t want to leave because of how much I enjoyed working there. Becoming a Hampster was one of the best experiences of my life and I was honored to be a part of this incredible group of creatives.

Special thanks to Chris Ensor and Hans Kleinschmidt for letting me into the marketing club for the summer. Thanks for teaching this copywriter a thing or two about marketing strategy.

  • On August 11, 2016
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