Riffraff in Retrospect

May 06, 2016

Last summer I started an internship in Austin, Texas and I genuinely thought that internship was going to lead me to my future profession and I’d never look back. A month into my “dream internship” my plans drastically changed. One thing led to another, and I found myself leaving that internship early and moving back to Fayetteville, Arkansas. As a prideful person, it was very hard for me to admit that I had fallen short of what I had initially planned. So rather than admitting defeat, I started a new internship search before any more time elapsed.

While sprawled out on my couch in Fayetteville, sweating bullets thanks to my faulty air conditioner giving out, I contemplated my life. Nothing was going according to my plan. Naturally, I pulled up Instagram for some mindless activity to distract me from my disastrous summer. While scrolling, a Riffraff post caught my attention. They were looking for interns for the #girlgang internship opportunity. So right then and there, at 1 a.m., I submitted my application. Within a couple of weeks, I had landed the gig. When I received the email that I was being offered the position, I was on cloud freaking 9. Obviously, if you are reading this blog post you probably have a general idea of what Riffraff is, but if you are from Fayetteville you understand just how respected Riffraff is in the surrounding community. To say the least, I was THRILLED.

A month in, I still wasn’t over just how cool this internship was. To be completely honest, I was star struck anytime Kirsten was around, which was often. There was so much to learn about shipping and logistics that I was constantly on my toes, ready to attack the next task. The work was great, but nothing was better than the atmosphere. Kirsten really sets a tone in this office. Everyone works very hard, but it never goes unnoticed and is always celebrated. There is some serious love in the office and that alone is inspiring.

Alongside the unpredictable office shenanigans, I was also tending to some budding relationships. One of the other interns, Stephanie, was fast tracking her way into the position of my best friend. Never in my life had I met someone that had a will to live like she did and still does. Her love of life made coming to work a total joy. I am so thankful that we worked the same shift, because we went from work friends to real life friends seamlessly. And the friendships didn’t stop there. I was also blessed with the big sister that I had always needed. Ashlyn, one of my internship coordinators, took me under her wing during a time in my life that I needed her more than she will ever know. She invested in me and challenged me and truly changed my definition of what I look for in my friendships.

As you can probably tell, it was really hard for me to say goodbye in January when my internship term officially ended. So I didn’t. I was referring a fabulous friend of mine to the #girlgang internship when she brought the creative/social media internship to my attention. Riffraff HQ had decided to add a new internship opportunity and I was looking for an opportunity to stay on board. So I applied. Similar to the first time I had applied for a position at Riffraff, within a week I was welcomed back for another semester at my favorite place in Northwest Arkansas.

This time around, I would work along side 4 other interns and one incredible coordinator that truly inspired me every day to strive to reach my fullest potential. All of these girls have unique qualities that go unmatched. Sometimes I struggled because they were so talented, even feeling inadequate in comparison.  Yes, they were that good at what they did and what they will continue to do. However, on a really crummy day of life, I was so surprised to come to work and see one of my blog posts had been published in the Riffraff newsletter. It was my first published piece of writing ever and I am still so honored that it was for a company as incredible as this one. That day was by far my favorite day. I had never felt more confident in my writing ability and I have Riffraff HQ to thank for that.

My time at Riffraff HQ will go unmatched, but I am ready to get out in the world and apply what I have learned. The list of life and professional lessons I have learned over the course of nine months is endless and I am SO grateful for this experience I have had. I will always have a soft spot for this incredible company, but most importantly, the incredible people that allowed me a chance to grow as a young, career driven woman. This place is packed full of independent women with goals and ambition and I can’t think of a better place to spend time during a vulnerable season of life.

Thank you Riffraff HQ for everything you have given me. I am so indebted to you for giving me one of the best years of my life. I gained so much more than a line on my resume.

XOXO,

#RiffraffFaith (no ones has ever called me that, but it seemed appropriate.)

P.S. Thanks for all the great clothes, too!!! For the first time in my life I am semi stylish!!!!

Written by Faith Tyrell, Spring ’16 Creative Intern

Filed under: HQ + YOU, Lifestyle, The Family, Uncategorized Tagged: employees, intern, interns, internship, Riffraff HQ

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