Christine Li ’17, From You Flowers

Christine-LiI had a fantastic experience with my Princeternship at I, along with one other Princeton student, Alan Du, was hosted by Mr. Spencer Lucian ’08, the VP of Business Management and Operations at From You Flowers. Coming into the office on the first day, I was not sure what to expect. Upon arrival, I was immediately welcomed by Spencer and introduced to a couple of people on the team, including another Princeton alumnus David Palms ’11 and the VP of marketing Michael Sabia, who both greeted us with warm smiles.

Spencer started off by giving us an overview of the company—I got a glimpse of what happened behind the scenes of flower delivery. I was surprised to see all the things that had to be accounted for when predicting the number of flower orders, especially during major holidays like Valentine’s Day. Spencer then showed us his own contribution to the company: a data analysis tool he had built from scratch which recorded the different trends in the flower orders over the year. The tool was an incredibly efficient and an easy way of keeping track of past orders and allowed the company to use past data to predict new trends.

We met the rest of the team during lunch, where everyone sat around a large table in the conference room and had casual conversations about their personal lives and common encounters with choosing apartments. It was nice to see how comfortable people felt around each other, and it was evident that they were all truly happy to be part of a team working toward the same goal.

Afterwards, we talked to Michael Sabia, the VP of marketing, and learned about different marketing strategies, from promoting growth in organic searches to optimizing the price per click for each adword, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each one. He also shared with us his personal experience in marketing, which happens to be a career path that I’m considering. He had worked at a larger company prior to joining From You Flowers, and gave us his perspective on why he had chosen to join a smaller company. This conversation with him really made me think about what kind of work environment I would like to be a part of in the future, and I think his views have pushed me to lean towards working for a small company or start-up.

The next day, Alan and I talked to Dave about his experience with the company. He expressed how grateful he was to have a job at From You Flowers, and how he continues to challenge himself every day. Hearing this just confirms the positive and stimulating work environment there. He talked about the personal growth he experienced while working for this company—he came in with little technical background and coding experience, but was able to quickly catch on. This solidified my inclination to work at a small company in the future.

I also got a chance to talk to Ying, one of the members on the marketing team who specializes with marketing on social media. I was particularly intrigued by the specific examples of marketing strategies she gave us, which included researching the commonalities shared by people of the same generation, and using the information to target audiences of different generations. After talking to her, I realized that even though I was a frequent user of Facebook, I hadn’t been aware of the variety of different ways that Facebook could be used for marketing.

We ended our day with a trip to a nearby bowling alley with the company—definitely a highlight of the trip. I had already loved the sense of community at From You Flowers, and the weekly bowling trips as a way of bonding and relaxing after a long day of work was just a reaffirmation of this close-knit community.

Through conversations with some of the team members, I’ve realized that I want to have a job similar to Spencer’s in the future, at a smaller company where I can see the results of my contributions. I also appreciate all the advice I’ve received during my visit, especially from Dave, regarding both college and career. Overall, I very much enjoyed my Princeternship at From You Flowers.