The often unseen workers of many a company, our latest summer interns have unfortunately said their goodbyes. They’ll be missed greatly- not just because we’re going to have to get our own coffee now (kidding!), but also because of the unusually high caliber of this summer’s crew. They’ve contributed so much to Mailman in their short time here, and so we wanted to give a special shout out to Ke Deng and Matt Freihofner. In their own words, they both reflect on their time at Mailman:
In their own words:
Ke Deng, a rising sophomore at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire:
“Spending the past two months in China has been an incredible experience, with fascinating people, a great work environment, a city I can never finish exploring, and the exciting independence that comes with living alone for the first time. Working at Mailman gave me the opportunity to be immersed in a creative, innovative, and passionate company while getting to work on actual projects that were released to the real world (aka published on the almighty Internet). Being asked to start writing blog posts with a lot of freedom and minimal instructions gave me a chance to challenge myself with writing something other than academic essays. I got to explore topics on my own time, refined my research skills and hopefully made progress in the work I published. And the crash course in Chinese culture helped me adapt, too. By reading Google alerts and weird news stories, I’ve learned about the unfamiliar nuances of the culture through my research. I’ve managed to become more knowledgeable about China than I expected to be while living here.
My goal was to get experience in the workplace that could help me figure out what kind of jobs I want in the future. Although Mailman taught me a lot about what goes on behind portraying and maintaining a brand, and makes me want to continue working in media, I’ve learned more about the type of job and company I would enjoy. The team here is supportive and fun, while my actual work with writing, social media, and research varies day to day. Having random tasks such as helping plan team events, finding and building award applications, or making beauty-pageant-esque sashes kept things interesting too.
Just as important was realizing how much I enjoyed living abroad. Shanghai was my target from the start because, although it’s an unfamiliar city, at least I’ve travelled to China multiple times before and speak the language well enough. I was proud I found my own apartment, made friends in Shanghai, went on some weekend tours, and overall took advantage of being in a huge metropolitan. I had no idea what to expect but I had such a great time working and living in Shanghai that I already plan on coming back when I have another leave term.”
Matt Freihofner, a rising senior at USC in California:
“First day at Mailman. After a good nights sleep with a full stomach, it was Monday morning. Ferg, Todd’s nephew, and I, were heading off to work and honestly I had no idea what to expect. After mazing through a few alleys and streets we arrived at the office. Upon walking in I was instantly hit with a great feeling. I could definitely work here for two weeks. The office was cool, my coworkers were nice, and they let me do work from one of the couches…Wicked. My superior who would be overseeing my time here at Mailman turned out to be from New York as well. What a breath of fresh air. I would be writing and doing research for articles posted on the Mailman blog. I’d never done something like this before but I liked writing so I was excited.
By day two I’d already produced something of sufficient enough quality to make it onto the website which felt really satisfying.
Fast forward to right now as I sit in the office for my last day at mailman and not much has changed: great food, enjoyable work, and good people. China and Mailman is something I’ll never forget. My perception of the world has changed tremendously. Shanghai is nothing like I expected. In a lot of ways it’s like New York. I realized that even though its on the opposite side of the globe, people, under the surface, are still the same. They go to work, they eat, they laugh, and I’ve never seen more smartphones. Don’t get me wrong I’ve seen some weird things in China, but the US has it’s fair share of weird things as well.”
They’ll be missed!