It seems as though the school year has just ended, and the long days of summer have begun. But some students aren’t choosing to relax—instead, they are taking on jobs and extra responsibility to prepare for the future. Take for example, Gavin Grant, who is busy organizing the Allovus office, researching companies, and learning everything he can from our team. Gavin is the Allovus summer intern.
Gavin just finished his sophomore year in college, and was looking for an opportunity to hone his business skills.
We had the chance to sit down with him and ask him what it was like being the new kid in the office.
Allovus: How did you end up getting an internship at Allovus?
Gavin: I emailed Hayley Nichols (Founder and Principal of Allovus) and asked if she knew of any companies who might have an internship opportunity in the marketing field. She surprised me by saying she’d like to talk to me about working here.
Allovus: Which school do you attend?
Gavin: I go to the University of Oregon. I chose that school because it has a really good Chinese program.
Gavin: Yes, I’ve studied Mandarin since my freshman year of high school—I’m very passionate about the language and the culture. In fact, the last three summers I’ve traveled to China. I studied intensively in Harbin, China. It’s way up north; it gets ridiculously cold in the winter. I loved playing basketball there—I was quite a spectacle to the people.
Allovus: What have you learned from your internship so far?
Gavin: It’s been a really good experience. It’s not something you can get through college. But this year in business school has inspired me to run with my ideas and to take risks. I feel as though this is a good, young business to be exposed to—especially because it has been so successful.
Allovus: What is your typical day like this summer?
Gavin: I get up, make myself breakfast, have some tea, and then meet with Hayley to begin the hour-long commute to the office. Once I get here, I run errands, organize the office, do some research, and also competitive analysis; that’s been really fun for me.
Allovus: What is your favorite part about the internship?
Gavin: The flexibility and the people. They have really taken me in; especially the Creative Director, Steve Godfrey. He really makes an effort to show me things and teach me. I take in as much as I can. I really appreciate it—I don’t feel less significant here.
Allovus: How have you contributed to Allovus?
Gavin: I’m good at research and putting together a presentation. I really feel like it’s my time to prove myself. I put a lot of effort into it to make sure my presentation slides look good, and to give good personal analysis. And I’m not afraid to express what my thoughts are—if I just say, “Oh it looks good,” then I’m not being of any help. I like to challenge the status quo.
Allovus: What else have you learned from your experience here? Any life lessons?
Gavin: I’ve learned a lot working under Hayley’s direction. She is inspiring how she balances everything in her life. It’s a tough thing for me to do. She has shown me how she manages it all. If Hayley can do it, I can too; I can learn to handle all sorts of things in my life.
Allovus: What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Allovus: What do you plan to do after you graduate from college?
Gavin: I’d love to go back to China and teach English for a while. Maybe someday I’ll network there and build a business that incorporates the United States too. One area I think I could make a difference in is their advertising. They speak too quickly and the images are too busy. I feel like there is an opportunity to go in and clean up the clutter of their advertising. I’d like to do some research and find out if their style is effective and maybe help change it if it’s not. Their ads don’t seem to utilize storytelling, and that’s the most the effective way of advertising.
Allovus: Just for fun, what’s your favorite saying in Chinese?
Gavin: 路遥知马力，日久见人心 lù yáo zhī mǎ lì, rì jiǔ jiàn rén xīn – As distance tests a horse’s stamina, so does time reveal a person’s true heart. These phrases are sort of hard to translate. Basically it’s saying that time reveals a person’s true character, which I think goes with the development I’ve gained through college.