Guest Blog by Emma Olofsson
As I excitedly near my last ever week week at Vive's International Headquarters, the famous BeeVive, I've been kindly invited to provide you with an insight into my five month internship as Queen Bee (whilst maintaining the famous Vive tone of voice). Not an easy task. Here goes...
In some internships, you're thrown in the deep end but here at Vive, I was less thrown in and more picked up and catapulted into a deep ocean trench. I was first at the office in the morning, spent a day (yes, a whole day) in production and went to meet the founder of one of the biggest players in the bar game. Oh and I was also introduced to the sales game by going around London-based cafes, speculatively hoping that they'd listen to what I'd say. Then there was the small matter of Vegan Life Live, a two-day exhibition at the Olympia. All this during my first week at The BeeVive. Honestly!
Things didn't really get any slower in my second week as Ishak was busy skiing so I was again given more responsibility, including free reign on the @eatvive social media accounts. As well as the glossy images and caption creation, this unfortunately also included the more onerous task of responding to every freebie-hunter, speculative 'influencer' and customer inquiry on Instagram. Third week in and now Louis was away (also skiing) and I was given the added responsibility of sorting each day's deliveries, including the packaging and boxing of all bars (well, the ones that I wasn't eating).
As a vegan working at a start-up with a manic schedule on an Essex business park, lunch was more of a luxury than a right and at my peak, I was snacking on approximately 4.8 Vive bars per day. This was still a lower average than Louis' cups of tea and considerably lower than Ishak's daily swear count. Fuelled by Vive bars and five black coffees per day, I also attended a number of vegan trade and customer shows, did sampling sessions in our stockists and represented Vive at a few London-based health & fitness events.
As my schedule became busier, the months sped by, I was involved in a lot of strategic decision-making for NPD. This included the launch of two protein powders about halfway through my internship. Mixing fruits, powders and vegan-friendly milks in the blender, I co-created the new Peanut Butter and Smooth Natural flavour powders and helped to design the packaging. I also began working on a project (still ongoing) for a new launch that I'll be so proud to see on the market and I'm confident will be a huge success for the Vive business and brand.
As my internship hurtled along at a dramatic pace, the best was yet to come. At the start of July, I was one of six who competed for 'Vive International Corporation' in this year's UK Challenge in the beautiful Brecon Beacons. Although I was nervous that I'd let my teammates (who I barely knew beforehand) down, I needn't have worried one iota. We had a fabulous group, topped off with an Olympian star who quickly became a friend and a great team spirit that made for an unforgettable three days that were probably the highlight of my time here with the guys at Vive.
As I return to continue my studies with an exchange semester in America, I leave with a heavy heart and fond memories of my hectic, varied and challenging yet rewarding time here. There were hard days too but they were far outweighed by the good and I've learnt so much, developed as a person and gained a real insight into how a very (or should that be Vi-very?) small start up operates. I hope to return to The BeeVive one day and that by then, it really is Vive International Corporation.