Friday, February 7, 2014
My name is Sin Yi (Cherry) Lau and I run the MICA Ingredient Club, and I found this internship opportunity through a fellow MICA club leader, Daphne Taranto, who runs the WTB (Why The Beef?) Club here. WTB is a club that syncs RISD and MICA through a collaboratively published zine. I catered the launch party for their fourth issue. Daphne and I got to know each other better and she mentioned that her brother, Nick Taranto, cofounded Plated and they are currently looking for interns for the Summer in NYC. Seeing this as the perfect opportunity, I asked her and she gladly contacted the company to see if there was any slots open for me. Three weeks later I was on the phone with Nimmi, the chief marketing director, who would become my supervisor for this summer.
Plated delivers all the ingredients, in exact measurement, to create a chef-crafted and tested meal that you get to choose online. The menu is updated every week and delivers once a week. So for example, there could be a cookbook published chef who would do a recipe from their book and we would feature it on a certain week. The customer would pick how many plates of the dish they'd like to make and Plated will send out all the produce, spices and meats to make it happen. My responsibilities throughout the entire internship involved mainly on social media. I set up Plated's Tumblr, Flickr and StumbleUpon as means to pull traffic to the main blog, which is connected to our website. Because Plated is such a tech based company (as many start-ups are today), taking care to utilizing as many of these online outlets are possible are a very underestimated responsibility. My favorite part about this job was getting to cook with the boxes and meals I chose and experience what the customer will experience. I love cooking, and so even though it doesn't really relate with what I did at the office, trying it out at home encouraged me to explore further in my own cooking.
I feel like my biggest take-away and thing that I learned was that I really don't want to be stuck
at an office all day. I was really into the food and the photography aspects of the company, and wished I could have been doing that instead. However I lacked the experience and nothing was really open for
me to do that at the time. They already had a photographer and the test-kitchen seemed like a whole
different thing from the office work. As grateful as I am that I finally got myself involved in a food related internship, I really wanted to be on the hands-on end. I've in this way learned that for my next
internship I will definitely strive for that. Overall, working for Plated made me realize how big of a market food has in the world, how relatable, timeless and profitable it is. Working here gave me bigger confidence in seeing myself working in a career that will be food-centric in the future.