On The Job: Update from the Old Spice Interns
By Geoff Roth
What is it like to actually be on one of the world's best summer internships? A couple of months ago, I wrote about a summer internship with Procter & Gamble. The company was interviewing for two guys to travel to Switzerland and Fiji to promote a new line of Old Spice deodorants by competing in challenges and blogging about their experiences.
Well, the two guys who got the jobs are 26-year-old Zachary Scheel from Seattle, and 21-year-old Jonathan Ronzio from Franklin, Mass. Zachary is now soaking up the sun in Fiji while Jonathan is climbing around the Matterhorn. Both of them landed the gig after writing an essay and being interviewed, and were chosen because of their great sense of adventure and their social media skills.
I got a chance to interview them after their first couple of days on the job.
Searching out a great internship
I asked both of them how they found out about the internship.
Jonathan knew about it because of a class project at school. "While researching the Old Spice 'Smell Like A Man, Man' campaign for my advertising class, I came across this internship," he said. "After reading all the details I knew I had found what I was looking for and immediately applied. I am studying marketing at Bryant University and this trip is all about advertising, promotions, and utilizing social networking mediums."
Zachary heard about it through a friend, and after checking it out, felt he had all the qualifications and knew it could help him out in the future. "I went to the Old Spice Adventure website and after reading the description of the type of person Old Spice was looking for, I knew that I owed it to myself to put together an application," he told me.
Getting life lessons
A big part of the internship is competing against one another in several challenges, like swimming with sharks in Fiji or building an extreme snow sculpture at the base of the Matterhorn. Both guys said that the challenges are a great way to build up skills that can be useful in their lives.
"I am approaching every challenge every day with great enthusiasm, confidence, a positive attitude, and a desire to just have fun," Jonathan said. "With that, I know everything can be accomplished. There is no focus on winning, rather aspirations to succeed."
"This is a very unique competition because it is every bit as much about the daily challenges we have to complete as it is about how we capture those challenges in photo or video and project them to all of our friends, family, and coworkers," Zachary said.
Once in a lifetime opportunity
After only a couple of days on the job, both men have already had some incredible experiences.
Zachary's first challenge gave him both not only a unique experience but also a culinary treat.
"On Tuesday my challenge was to weave a palm frond hat and hit the waves with it later in the afternoon. I met up with a local villager named Savi." he told me. "We headed down the beach to look for coconuts and palm fronds. About a half-kilometer down the beach we found a perfect coconut; the only problem was that it was too high up in the tree to get down using a stick. I was determined to get the coconut so I shimmied about 30 feet up the tree to get it down. Savi helped me husk the coconut and we sat by the beach on some driftwood and drank fresh coconut milk. I can honestly say I don't think I've ever tasted something quite as delicious and refreshing."
Jonathan is getting a full-blown Swiss experience.
"Today I snowboarded alongside little Matterhorn, and sculpted my own mini Matterhorn complete with Old Spice boulders," he said. " I also decided to make this snow sculpture into a jump to give the challenge a little something extra. Later on I rode the Klein Matterhorn gondola to the highest viewing point in Europe and gazed across Switzerland, Italy, and France in one endless panoramic. Next, I walked down into the middle of the glacier through an ice tunnel of blue freshness. I finished off the day listening to some live music in the church square and eating cheese fondue. All this on Day One!"
Experiences that will help career
As with every great internship, Zachary and Jonathan realize that their experiences will help them later in life.
Jonathan wants to go into marketing and he knows this will help him. "With my concentration being marketing, I believe this internship will help immeasurably," he said. "The job market is so tough these days and everyone is looking for something unique to put on their resume. Well I think I more than found that."
Zachary has already made a contact that could help him with his future education plans: "I'll be applying to business schools in the fall to pursue a MBA/MSE dual-degree," he said. "I've always had a strong interest in brand management and advertising. One of the acquaintances that I've met at Old Spice actually graduated from one of the dual-degree programs that I will be applying to and went to work for Old Spice immediately afterward -- so who knows, maybe I could be organizing the next generation of Old Spice Adventure Internships one of these days!"
Zachary an Jonathan have started blogging about their experiences, and you can follow their adventures at http://oldspiceadventure.com.
Geoff Roth is a former TV news manager now teaching journalism at Hofstra University. He has hired hundreds of people and counseled both professionals and students as they hunt for jobs. Geoff is chronicling life after TV News at www.nomoredeadlines.com.