Thanks to Lao Family Community Development (LFCD), Oaklandish was able to offer three paid summer internships to Oakland youth. LFCD strives for brighter futures for low-income and minority and refugee Oakland youth. Their mission is to help the youth by providing services such as job opportunities, internships, leadership development, and much more to help develop the youth to succeeding in the bigger picture in life. Here’s a bit more information on the individuals who took part this summer, with a recap of their experience here at Oaklandish:
Tyler Saechao, student at California State University, East Bay (Marketing Intern):
Entering college as a Junior, it’s been difficult to try and really pinpoint what exactly I want to do, especially thinking about after college. I’ve always had an interest in business since middle school and throughout college. So much so that I ran my own little business from selling candy to reselling highly coveted sneakers and apparel. Currently in college, I figured marketing was a good way to put myself out there and bring clientele in. The transition from my 2nd to 3rd year in college, I figured I needed something that’ll actually relay what I’m studying for in the real world. When I was granted the opportunity to becoming Oaklandish’s marketing intern, I thought, “Wow, this was what I was talking about. This’ll give me a jumpstart with what I want to do." While stepping onto the work environment, I was greeted by the Community Coordinator, Joco, and it's been the most dynamic work environment I’ve ever been in. And that’s just one of the things that I enjoy the most here at Oaklandish. You would figure that a business like this would be extremely tight and strict, however, the environment itself is beyond flexible and rather loosely composed. Everyone here is loose and able to have fun while still being able to work and get things done. I’m beyond grateful for being offered this position and am glad that this is something that really reinforced and supported what I’m currently pursuing. It didn’t give me any second thoughts on what I’m getting into and has given me the opportunity to get a taste of what the real world has in store for me, especially in the business aspect and what I have and aspire to do.
Thanh Nguyen, student at University of California, Davis (Design Intern):
I really want to thank Oaklandish and Lao Family for providing me the opportunity to become their design intern! The time I had at Oaklandish granted me a new set of skills that I know will continue to impact my growth as an artist. My mentors and everybody else here were so kind and welcoming. I really get the feeling that everyone is like a big family (that so happens to also run a business). I definitely have a greater feel for what working in design is like, especially in a more industrial setting. I really want to thank Martin, one of the designers, for being so patient with me and taking a lot of time to improve my skills and for guiding me through new software I have never used before. This is the first place I have ever worked at that fits into my major and future career choices that I will continue to look back on. After all, they gave me a chance and I am extremely grateful for that! This company is a great representation of the Oakland spirit and I hope more people will continue to support it.
Armon Jahmal Owens, student at Merritt College (Production Intern):
In my experience, I find working here at Oaklandish to be so interesting and fun. The environment and people here speak for themselves. Everyone here at Oaklandish is involved with each other’s work and suggestions. It’s like everyone’s department is different, but each person, including I, have a word with what’s going on. What I’ve learned so far is that these skills I’ve learned can be scaled and applied to something bigger in the future. For example, learning how manufacturing clothing. Personally, I want to design my own line of apparel, and I feel like this experience has given me a taste for that, what’s happening behind the scenes, and figuring out efficient ways to bring quality. Also, Oaklandish has shown me that all jobs are not boring, but that you can have fun while being at work. For example, during my break, there’s a mini basketball hoop in the back and I play nearly every time I clock in for work and the freedom here has made my opportunity here that much more enjoyable.