My internship: Sophia Month 6

Month 6: November 2014
Can't get enough - starting my second CCK internship! (Satisfaction 5 / 5)

cck team 2014 sophia month6

This month has been a busy and exciting one as I have started a second Retail Operations internship with CCK - they just can't get rid of me! I'm really looking forward to being able to learn new things by working on a very different aspect of Coffee, Cake and Kisses. However, I've found already that many of the skills I've been working on for the PR and Marketing internship are transferrable, and positive communication and PR is still a key part of my new Retail Operations internship.

It is really starting to get busy this month as we are planning to open soon, which is why it's perfect timing that we have a new lovely intern, Catherine, joining us as on a new PR & Marketing internship. This involved me preparing for a handover of everything I have been doing for the past 6 months for someone else to be able to pick up where I left off. As I had been writing guides to a good amount of what I had been learning, it was really easy for Catherine to look through these and get an overall view and some tips on the tools and systems she will be using during her internship.

Cat and I have done a few tasks together which has been a good opportunity to get to know her and it's been fun working together. We went to the Southbank together one day to film some videos, and it was interesting how much more confident and passionate I was when speaking to the public than the first time I did the same task around 4 months ago.

We were also given the task to apply the temporary vinyls to the windows of the new shop to let everyone know that CCK2 is coming soon! Applying very thinly cut strips of plastic to a window is harder than it looks, luckily we had the lovely and helpful guys who are doing our permanent signage on hand to do the first one for us and show us how it's done. We managed to get the other ones up ourselves and within two minutes of them being up and visible I was approached by at least 3 people asking what was going on. The buzz had begun and it was quite exciting to see people look at the window curiously and smile as they walked past.

Also this month the branding was finally approved and we submitted our designs to print for our cups. It has been so exciting to see the logo, colours and icons of the brand develop over the past few months and our branding team has worked really hard. We finally have a beautiful cohesive brand to be proud of and can't wait to share it with everyone. I feel that the interaction during my PR and Marketing internship with the suppliers for packaging and printing, has given me some practice and preparation for the sort of conversations and interactions I will be having with other sorts of suppliers and traders for the Retail Internship I am starting.

As I'm coming to the end of this internship and getting ready to move on to working on a different aspect of the business for retail operations, I have began to realise how much I've learnt in the last few months. I reviewed a development plan that I had written at the beginning of the internship which outlined all of the skills I wanted to gain and experiences I would like to have during my time at CCK. Looking back over them I felt such an achievement and general sense of overall growth in confidence, I had done everything on that list and much more.



My internship: Sophia Month 2

Month 2: July 2014
Brand Bliss (Satisfaction 5 / 5)

cck team 2014 sophia month2

This month has been a very busy and varied one, I have been working on lots of different tasks which have been keeping me on my toes.

The absolute highlight of month 2 has been taking part in brand design for CCK2 and the opportunity to sit in at the branding meetings with the agency which has been selected to design its visual identity. I took part in an initial meeting with the branding team, and all the follow-ups! I felt like this rare and unique experience taught me a lot about the intricacy of branding, I realised how important the communication with the design team is in order to make sure the concept and its key values are clearly defined and can be conveyed in design.

I found this useful because it opened my eyes to the in depth process of brand development, and the importance of the concept of a brand resonating cohesively through all aspects of it's design and actual atmosphere. I've realised that creating a strong brand requires a really in depth approach and even the smallest of details (such as stickers, for instance!) can make the difference between an okay brand and a fabulous, unique, eye catching brand. The experience of sitting in on these meetings has been invaluable to me and I feel very excited about being a part of it.

My internship: Sophia Month 3

Month 3: August 2014
Buzzing (Satisfaction 5 / 5)

cck team 2014 sophia month3

It has come to the end of the third month of my internship at Coffee, Cake and Kink and there are many exciting things to talk about! It has been a month of social media and PR bonanza and I have been developing my confidence with writing tweets, setting up small social media campaigns and using web tools to search and retrieve contact information for future outreach. Oh, and I baked ;)

I have been using Buzzstream software as a tool to gather, sort and rate contact information in preparation for the PR work we will need to do when the brand launches. The most interesting thing I've found is that there are so many different avenues to explore! Coffee, cake, baking, food, drink, travel and interior design to name a few!

There are also email templates for PR outreach, meaning I can create emails which automatically fill in the personalised contact information relevant to each person we want to get in touch with. It is reassuring and satisfying to do this sort of preparation prior to the brand launch, and it's good to be given right tools for the job!

I have also been corresponding with people who are helping with the new shop, and give them some social media support as one good deed definitely deserves another!

My internship: Sophia Month 4

Month 4: September 2014
Sweet (Satisfaction 5 / 5)

cck team 2014 sophia month4

It has been super busy and things really stepped up a gear, my confidence has grown with this.

I got the brilliant opportunities to attend a few different trade shows this month. By being able to attend these events I was I able to see the way in which Sonia and Alana interacted with the suppliers and stall holders there and the way in which positive relationships are formed and contacts are made for the future. I managed to talk to some designers and companies by myself and put the things I had observed into practice, it was rewarding and exciting when they responded positively to what I told them about CCK; many of them said they would definitely like to get involved.

I am also pleased to have been given the responsibility of monitoring social media and tweeting about live events that I have been at. I am enjoying checking into Hootsuite each day and responding to tweets, retweeting others and maintaining the other social media outlets. This has allowed me to develop my social media and PR outreach skills very quickly as I have been working on it so frequently, and I have learned that a lot more thought goes into a 140 character tweet than I had originally thought.

My internship: Sophia Month 5

Month 5: October 2014
YAY!!! (Satisfaction 5 / 5)

cck team 2014 sophia month5

Best news this month - we finally have the keys to the shop! Just holding the keys in my hand I felt more excited that I ever thought I would.

After the location being top secret for the past few months I felt very special and excited to be able to go and look around. It is a building site of course, but I can envision everything that I had been seeing in branding meetings and hearing from discussions with Sonia and Amanda. The space is much bigger than I had imagined and I can't wait to see it once it's decorated and furnished. I'm glad that I got to see it when it was empty and bare as it's quite exciting to be able to see and document the transformation from beginning to end.

As part of the run up to the opening of the new shop, I have been asked to put together a stakeholder analysis which will help us identify and manage the people involved and interested in CCK. This was the first time I had done anything like this and I enjoyed working on it, and the support I got. Doing this task myself helped me understand how important evaluating stakeholders is, and how each group of people (from landlords to customers) involved and interested in CCK needs to be managed and communicated with in a different way. It also made me realise how many different groups make up our stakeholders - even the local council or investors (groups I wouldn't have previously included) - need to be considered and analysed as their support and satisfaction is important to our success.

I also got press passes and attended the Transgender Film Festival at The Cinema Museum in Kennington with Amanda for Coffee, Cake and Kink. I am so glad that I was able to go as it was a fantastic event with a diverse and well presented screening programme. We were able to see a variety of award winning documentaries, shorts and feature films all touching on different aspects of life for trans people. I felt a mixture of emotions as I left the event as I found some of the films very moving to watch and felt strongly about characters and people featured in them. It was difficult to see some of the unjust struggles and discrimination which trans people face on a daily basis, however equally it was inspiring and empowering to watch some of the other films which showed people overcoming these struggles and being accepted by others for who they are.

I feel like I am becoming quite attached to CCK as I'm watching it develop and grow. I feel passionate about wanting it to succeed and making a difference to people in positive ways, I am so excited and can't wait to invite my friends and family to come for a brew!