Hi (and bye)! Since its my last day as an intern, I wanted to reflect on my time here at Hampton Sun. A little about me:
My name is Olivia and I am going into my sophomore year at Cornell University studying environmental science and public health. I live in Westchester, NY with my mom, dad, sister, brother and dog. I am not exactly sure what I want to do after school but I am thinking about the Peace Corps and after that definitely want to do something where I can help a lot of people (and the planet) at once. I think that climate change is the number one issue that we need to act on right now, because if we don’t, there isn’t any going back. When I am not at Hampton Sun, I work at a restaurant, hang out with my family, spend time with my friends outside swimming and adventuring, cook and read. I go back to school on Friday, where I’ll be leading a four day backpacking trip for sophomore transfers in the Finger Lake area.
This is my first time working in an office, which was really exciting and I was able to gain insight to what the corporate world looks like. One of the most important things I learned is having a strong foundation in interpersonal skills. I feel like this was something my parents really stressed, but I never understood the full impact that it has until this summer. As an intern and young person in general, I find that I am not always taken seriously by adults (not my coworkers of course, but adults in general). I found that a strong background in writing helped build my confidence when communicating with people outside the office. Even seemingly small factors like writing an eloquent email or speaking well over the phone made a difference, especially when corresponding with people I had never met before.
I also learned just how difficult it is to run an environmentally conscious company. The way that the product market was built does not cater to the environment. Shipping large orders forces you to release emissions and use lots of lightweight, cost efficient plastics. That being said, I appreciate that Hampton Sun strives to create products that are reef safe and biodegradable and hope that more companies will start moving their practices towards creating less of a negative impact on the environment. The ocean often gets cast off and treated as a dumping ground for the world’s garbage, so by making products that are ocean friendly, we are helping out simply by not contributing to the waste that is already there. Another brand that I really admire is the Package Free Shop. Not only are all of their products plastic free, they also don’t use any plastic (e.g. bubble wrap, plastic tape) when they ship their products.
I enjoyed my time and learned a lot while working at Hampton Sun. I look forward to seeing what their future brings and will certainly keep in touch!