Getting an internship at BambooSk8 (as cheesy as it sounds) was an amazing twist of fate. Let me give a little bit of my story. I graduated from college in May of 2007 with a degree in English. Originally, I wanted to be a high school English/Language Arts teacher but as my schooling went on and on I suddenly realized that teaching may be a noble profession and summers off are an added bonus but it wasn’t for me. With one semester left, it was way too late to change majors to a more marketable degree, I decided to just to finish up and get it over with.
The following year was an “introspective nightmare” to quote Hunter S. Thompson. I moved back home to live with my parents for what I thought would only be a month or two. That was a culture shock in its own. I was used to having parties all of the time and just having all of my stuff around me. But moving back home that’s when the parties stopped and I had to find a…. a….JOB! Cruising monster.com and craigslist for every type of job that would pay enough for me to get out of my parents house. I eventually found one going door to door selling AT&T fiber optic cable. I hated it and failed miserably at it. I went into some serious soul searching after that. I didn’t want to live my life slaving away at some desk job and fall in line like every other corporate tool bag. I wanted to work with something I was absolutely passionate about. So began a new adventure.
I had been working for a comic book company as a warehouse guy all throughout college (I have to admit I am a geek) and I had some strings pulled for me by my old boss to meet with the editor-in-chief of Dark Horse Comics up in Portland, OR. to see if I could get an assistant editing position. Also, my best friend from college moved up to Portland after graduating college, so I stayed with him for a month with plans to live there. I was so sure that I was one of those rare lucky people that was able to live the dream. Unfortunately, Dark Horse didn’t have a position open for someone with my qualifications or should I say lack of qualifications.
I have been skating more years of my life than I haven’t and it’s always been a passion of mine. Another bonus about Portland was they have the best skateparks and one of the most active skate scenes in the world. So I spent the rest of my time in Portland patrolling the skateparks all over the Northwest with some new found friends. I had the time of my life skating places like Burnside and Battleground but I had to go back home because my funds were running out and though Oregon was fun in the summer, there was 9 months of cold and rain that a California kid like me could not handle.
I had no idea what to do with my life at that point. Here I was twenty-five years old with a pointless degree, no relevant experience and had no more options. My mind began to wander and soul search even more. I wanted to do something that was interesting and exciting, so I came up with the idea of joining the Air Force. With my degree, I could become an officer and my dad who was an staff sergeant in the Air Force during Vietnam had been trying to get me to join the “Force” for a long time. So it sounded like boot-camp would be my next stop.
The same day I had “The Talk” with my dad about joining the Air Force, I found a post on Malakye for a marketing internship for a bamboo skateboard company. So I randomly applied because I figured I had nothing to lose and gaining experience in a field I was interested and passionate about was worth more than a job Enterprise Rent-A-Car could ever be worth.
A couple days later, the same time I was looking at recruitment offices near my house, I received an email from Geoff from, then, Bamboo Buddy regarding an interview. I was so excited I actually now had a chance to get experience and perhaps find a career in something I was passionate about. I had very little to no marketing experience but I did know skateboards. I was so worried that I wasn’t qualified to get the internship.
Needless to say, I got the internship! I figured well maybe this is a sign from a higher power saving me from some terrible fate in the military. I was stoked.
My experiences at BambooSk8 have been great! Like the time we got kicked out of the X-Games for passing out fliers (trust me, it was funny) and the whole experience at ASR was fantastic. Even as an intern, I have had so much say in the company like a real employee should have. Everything from the littlest comments on the website to future product designs are taken into great consideration. I feel like I went into this internship with absolutely no experience in marketing or PR but I feel like all of the stuff I’ve learned from the other interns and Geoff has given me enough knowledge and experience that a year working at a shitty corporate company could ever teach.
Thanks to all you guys at BambooSk8!