By, Hayley Rawnsley
Interning with NEW Workplace Wellness was such an eye opening and enjoyable experience. I’m a junior advertising major at Chapman University, and as a part of my education during spring semester of 2018, I wanted to incorporate an internship into my course load. While searching for an internship, I really wanted to work with a company that aligned with my values of helping people live healthfully and making a difference in the world. When I met Nicole Hoperich, CEO of NEW Workplace Wellness, at my interview for the intern position, I instantly connected to her story and mission.
Besides studying advertising like me at Chapman, I related to Nicole’s perspective on business, yoga, and corporate culture. I’ve been practicing yoga for a few years now, attracted to it as a ballet dancer without even realizing there was more to it than stretching. Exploring yoga has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for my physical and mental health, and it’s not only improved strength and flexibility but has also helped me with emotional healing and coping with high school and college stress.
My outlook on life has changed because of yoga. I now understand the importance of connecting my mind and body in whatever I do and staying present throughout the day. I often feel concerned for those around me as I sense how stressed everyone has become, whether from work or school. It’s caused me to question how I’ll react when I start working at an office, and the ways this might harm my well-being.
As I shared my concern for entering a workplace in a couple years saturated with stress, Nicole responded by explaining NEW’s dedication to spreading yoga as a tool to reduce workplace stress. It was then I knew I wanted to be a part of her company and contribute to its vision. I gratefully accepted the position for marketing intern when it was offered, and Nicole and I got to work planning projects to boost NEW’s visibility and reach. I was excited to put into practice what I’d been learning in my advertising classes, but little did I know how impactful this internship would be for me.
While I worked on building a year-long social media post schedule from scratch, gathering quotes and writing affirmations, it finally clicked for me how much the teachings in yoga can influence our occupations and work. One memorable project was creating a series about mindfulness and while I’d been practicing mindfulness for a while, it was only now that I realized how applicable it can be in the office.
Writing about mindfulness through the lens of the office-place helped me process some of my fears about my career. It taught me to see beyond the stereotypical workplace culture I painted every company with, and reminded me that I can control how I react to the stresses of whatever office I end up at. I now know I have the tools to care for myself and will share them with my coworkers.
Interning with NEW Workplace Wellness gave me a new confidence in my marketing capabilities and restored my hope for my future work experiences. Working with Nicole introduced me to a new type of boss-employee relationship, one built on mutual care and respect that encouraged me to think and create independently while also collaborating. This was so refreshing, because so far I’ve never experienced this with other bosses. It’s changed how I carry myself as an employee and has already reduced my work-related stress.
This internship affirmed that I’m on the right path for my career, and reminded me that the tools to combat stress are already inside of me. I feel honored to have been a part of a company that I relate to on such a personal level, a company that strives to improve people’s’ lives holistically inside and outside of the office. I’m excited to continue to see NEW Workplace Wellness grow and thrive!