KEENtern Alumni Spotlight: Lisa Holm
We have a saying in the office: Once a KEENtern, always a KEENtern. Why? Because our intern program is unlike any other, and because you get real world experience with other like-minded folks. Last year, we had interns from Montana, Michigan, Alaska, Iowa, Texas and even one who applied during her study abroad program in France! It’s 10 amazing weeks jam-packed with work and play. Not to mention, it takes place during the summer, right here at KEEN HQ, located in the heart of the Pearl District.
Every year, around the time the winter frost melts down, we open up our program for a fresh crop of applicants, and that time has come again—so we thought it’d be a good idea to interview some past KEENterns, who are now full-time employees, to hear about their experiences and to gain some insider tips and tricks. Kicking things off is Lisa Holm, a recruiter at KEEN and also a past intern!
How did you hear about the KEENtern Program?
I heard about the KEENtern Program from my Career Center at school. They would send out emails to students in the Communications department about relevant internships, and I just happened to look at the email and noticed that there was an internship opportunity in the HR department at KEEN. The KEEN brand was pretty fresh in my mind at that moment because I had just bought a pair of KEEN hiking boots for a backpacking trip I was going on. I had tried on every pair of hiking shoes in REI, and the only ones that fit me were KEENs, so I was loving the brand at that point. When I saw the opportunity to intern with KEEN, I knew it was meant to be!
What was your position like/what did it entail?
I was the Talent Acquisition and Recruiting Intern in the People and Culture department. My internship was an amazing experience mostly because I had a great supervisor who gave me meaningful projects to work on, so I felt like I was actually contributing to the future of KEEN. My day to day tasks were things like helping scheduling interviews and then I worked on some large research projects, like looking at competitor brands career sites and employee referral programs to see how they compared to ours and then determine where we could make improvements. The summer was also a huge learning opportunity for me, but a lot of skills I had developed at previous jobs and classes came in handy, from being comfortable talking on the phone to being able to research anything and make a presentation about it.
Funniest moment during your time as an intern?
I think some of my funniest memories happened outside of the office when we would all hang out after work. It’s hard to pick out one moment from summer as being the funniest, as the whole experience was a whirlwind of fun times, but by the end, I had made lasting friendships with the other interns. Some advice I would give to the next group of interns would be to be 100% present during your internship—and get to know the people you’re interning with—because these are connections and friendships that could last a lifetime.
What was that process like getting your job now at KEEN? Did you take a break and go back to school or jump right into your position?
I wasn’t really expecting my internship to turn into a job; I just felt so fortunate getting an internship at KEEN that I was focused on making my 10 weeks the best I possibly could and I wasn’t thinking past that. The last week of my internship, we had a farewell breakfast with the People and Culture team and were saying goodbye to everyone, and the next thing I knew, my supervisor was sitting me down to tell me that they wanted me to stay on the team. I was still in school, but they were flexible with my schedule, so I worked part-time as the Talent Acquisition and Recruiting Coordinator while I finished up my degree at University of Portland. A few months later, they asked me to help run the next summer’s intern program, and I of course said yes! So here I am now, going on my second year of running the intern program as the Talent Acquisition and Recruiting Coordinator at KEEN!
Any tips for applicants?
As the person who is looking through all the applications, I have two tips for applicants:
- Please, please, please do your research. Look at our company website, look at our social media platforms, look at what other people are saying about KEEN. It goes a long way when we can tell that someone has taken the time to get to know KEEN, and has an understanding of what working at KEEN and being a KEENtern is all about.
- We want to know why you’re different, so do everything you can to get your personality across when you are writing your resume/cover letter/answers to our application questions.
Best part about working here?
The people and the culture—and that you can bring your dog to the office. We get to work in the best part of Portland, the product is pretty great… as is all the food (the KEEN 15 is real).
Applications are open until April 1st!
See all the open positions and apply here.