Michael Chiang ’17, From You Flowers

Michael-ChiangI had my winter Princeternship at FromYouFlowers.com during Reading Period. As a freshman I didn’t know what to expect. I applied for the program in the hopes that I would get some experience in the job search process. However, from start to finish the whole experience was incredible. On my first day, I I met my fellow Princetern Olamide and host Spencer Lucian (ORFE ’08) and David Palms (Econ ’11). They explained the complex nature of the flower business, the different florist networks that FYF uses. After receiving a basic understanding of the flower business, we were thrown into the team’s monthly marketing meeting. Although I was a bit out of my league with terminology and it felt like they were saying the alphabet over and over again (SEO, SEM, CPC), the meeting was a great way for me to understand what each person did for the company, and put a face to each division. Over the next two days I was given the opportunity to talk to each person, about what they did. I had the chance to ask questions ranging from work-life balance, interview advice, professional history, and daily life/responsibilities.

One of the coolest things I Chiang 2learned wasn’t about marketing or operations, but rather, about workplace dynamic and how to foster a good workplace. CEO Mike Chapin created an environment where everyone felt they had a purpose, and saw how their work impacted the company. One way he achieved this was through “mandatory fun” which consisted of bowling every Tuesday night. As someone who hadn’t bowled since elementary school (with bumpers), I was severely outmatched. Although I probably threw as many gutterballs as successful hits, I had a great time, and received this “brilliant” piece of advice from our host: “Why don’t you try throwing it down the middle?” (Complete with hand gestures)

Chiang 1Spencer and David were amazing hosts. As a perspective ORFE major, I was able to talk to Spencer about ORFE, his path, and how he felt his Princeton education helped him professionally. I came back to Princeton raving about my time at From You Flowers, and hope to participate in another Princeternship soon.

Ironically, the one thing I did not learn too much about during my time at From You Flowers was flowers.