Like many kids, I adored ice cream and loved each and every time I could get my hands on it. And like many college students, I spent the spring semester of my sophomore year applying for internships to begin my career in the field of marketing. After many interviews and a few hundred applications, I was given offers to intern for a technology company doing public relations work, or doing marketing for an ice cream company familiar to millions around the world. After looking closely at the two different offers, I made my decision.
This summer I had the unique privilege of interning for Ben & Jerry’s, and to temporarily be part of a company that is changing the world one spoonful, and one pint, at a time.
In mid-May, after returning home from another successful semester at Marist College, I was tasked with conducting marketing elements as the official social media and marketing intern for the Ben & Jerry’s shops within my home state of Connecticut. Within marketing, I was designated to cover online elements when it came to creating content and arranging it in a timely manner.
I acquired marketing content and daily updates from the Ben & Jerry’s website as well create the “Scooper of the Month” initiative, which luckily required visiting shops to conduct taste testings to better understand the product. In addition, I used the power of Snapchat (through designed geo-filters) to spread the love—my love and everyone’s love—of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
As a corporate level intern there, I also received unusual benefits unique to working for an ice cream company.
One such benefit I received was free ice cream. From Phish food, to the beloved Cherry Garcia to their newest flavor—Empowerment Mint—I got my daily dose of ice cream from any flavor in the shop I desired. Needless to say, I also got my fair share of shop discounts and a few free pints as well.
Photo by David Zambuto
While ice cream was the main focus of my marketing efforts, another major topic I was assigned to advertise was the process and ethical business initiatives that Ben & Jerry’s takes to create the ice cream that leaves everyone’s taste buds so happy.
One ethical stance that Ben & Jerry’s has stood firm on for years is to acquire the ingredients of their ice cream in ways which ultimately support positive change in food and employment practices. For starters, the eggs—that serve as a main component of the ice cream—are cage-free and the milk is from cows on farms that support the program Caring Dairy, that aims to create sustainable farm practices.
In addition, Ben and Jerry’s supports fair trade agreements, which has world wide efforts aimed to alleviate poverty in different parts across the globe. With each spoonful of ice cream, the delicious cocoa, vanilla, coffee, bananas and sugar that come together to make the flavors we have come to love so well assist farmers of those local ingredients toward a better economic condition.
Yet another initiative taken by Ben & Jerry’s is putting effort forth to converting entirely to non-GMO ingredient sources, aiming to protect biodiversity and better environmental practices.
Beyond finding the best ingredients by the best means possible, the company has also been focusing on making a difference in communities outside of Ben & Jerry’s home base in Vermont, doing double good with its baked goods. The cookie dough, the brownie pieces and other treats that rock your taste buds come from Greystone Bakery, an social enterprise-focused organization in Yonkers, New York that employs formerly incarcerated individuals. Ben & Jerry’s tastes even better now, right?
Being a part of the Ben & Jerry’s team taught me how important it is to pursue something that you enjoy and that when an opportunity comes to you, you take it. Ben & Jerry’s is changing the world one bite at a time, and you can too, every time you pick up a pint.