Just like any other high school junior, I was starting to feel overwhelmed with the idea of applying for colleges and entering into the “real world”. I had always had a summer job at a local restaurant but I was beginning to look into the possibility of an internship that would help my job experience stand out for those college applications. I contacted the local chamber of commerce who helped me find just what I was looking for – a paid internship with a local business, named Ogallala Comfort Company. After an interview with the owners, Herb & Karen Knudsen, I had found myself the perfect summer job!
My days with OCC consisted of a variety of tasks depending on the day. First, I had to learn about all the products and ventures of the company & familiarize myself with everything going on in the business. I had no idea the process it took to make these luxury bedding products! From picking the milkweed, to blending the Hypodown, ordering the bedding shells, hand-filling each item to fit the customers specifications, hand-sewing the tags, and packaging each order – and those were just the basics! There was much more that happened behind the scenes. Plus, at that time, the company was just beginning the process of marketing and selling their Milkweed Balm, which has since become a whole other segment of the company!
I helped conduct market research for our various products & tried to help find places or people that could help advance our sales. I also helped with our social media at the very beginning (I’m talking less than 300 likes!) and assisted our Sales Manager, Chanielle with other sales projects. I helped gather & design the elements for our booth that we were taking to trade shows that year, and also organized and cleaned the office, storage rooms, and store front. To this day I can thank the OCC for my box taping skills – as I helped package & ship items in production every day. As a high school student, I got to sit in on office meetings, listen to conference calls & learn the overall workings of a small business.
Above all, the best thing about working at OCC were the people. We had a small team back then and it was fun to work with, and get to know every one of them. They sent me off to college, kept up on Facebook, and some even came to my wedding just this last year. Bonus: luxury pillows as a wedding gift! J Also, they liked me enough to let me come back & work for them out of my home! I currently help as a social media assistant – helping with Facebook and handling daily Instagram posts.
So I may have set out to find just a summer internship, but I found much more than that. I found a company that cares about its employees & people that make you feel like you’re part of a family.
-- Blair Cissell