Interning Through a Pandemic

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As an intern during my first ever “PR gig,” it’s been a time to be alive. I’ve learned quite a bit about what my future PR job may consist of, but needless to say, nothing has prepared me quite like working in the midst of a worldwide pandemic

The biggest thing I have learned to do: adapt. 

I thought I knew what this meant. You plan out all of your posts (I heart you Hootsuite) and change them a little as you go. Trending topics? You write a blog on them of course. You plan out this really cute post about how it is a beautiful day outside – and then it ends up raining on that day. Bummer but no biggie right? You exchange a few words and replace “sunny” with “rainy” and voila! 

 

Reality

But then “disaster” strikes *cue the scary sound effects* and you are forced to redo months’ worth of content. All of that hard work, all of the well thought out content and photos that you took and they are now gone. It’s another few days behind the computer rethinking everything. Canceling the event you were working so hard on and living on the internet as you now go into “crisis mode.” 

You’re now producing emails that are as compassionate but also as immediate as you can to send to clients, customers, and community members. Posting on social media constantly and updating the public on how you are taking precautions and what this means for you all as a business (even though you’re still figuring it out yourselves). 

I probably made this sound awful, but the reality? It woke me up quickly to what the PR world is really like. Did it scare me? A little. But did it send me running? Definitely not. As they say – you have to see something in its darkest moments to really love it right? Well, PR…I still love you. 

In a perfect world where I love to have everything planned out and know what to expect, this was not ideal for me but like many other things, we must ADAPT. And so I did just this. 

In fact, it kicked my but into gear. I was more motivated than ever to turn this into my opportunity to create something new and different. It presented me with a challenge and if nothing else, gave me a reason to still get out of bed early during this whole quarantine life. 

 

What it taught me

A few keywords and phrases to describe what has been proven to be the most important: 

Adapting, innovation, creativity, set yourself apart, communication and crisis communication, determination, quick on your feet, don’t give up, teamwork, ideas ideas ideas (that’s one phrase) and growth…just to name a few. 

So with all of this being said, I am choosing to turn all of this into a “good” thing…after all, that’s what we’re all trying to do right? To find the good in all of this madness? So when someone asks me how my first ever public relations internship went my answer will be – hectic. 

After a strange look, I will follow with “insightful.” I learned how to adapt, and re-evaluate and more than anything – to grow. So when I have my next interview and someone asks that dreaded “tell me a time when you had to solve a problem and how did you do it?” question, you can guarantee I will have an answer for that one! 

Who knows, this could just be my “leg up” in the world of public relations.  

Needless to say – I am currently trying to figure out how to add “Ment Cowork Digital Media Intern (and kicking butt during a pandemic)” to my resume. Subtle right? 

 

Here’s the hard part

Oh, did I mention my time at Ment Cowork has come to an end? That’s right guys, I am parting ways with my new favorite Bowling Green space and one that will always be in my heart. From creating my first official press release and campaign plan to being part of planning events, building relationships, and creating content, I am more confident moving toward a future in PR. I even reinvigorated my passion for writing through my newfound love of blogging! 

Ment Cowork and my amazing community manager Hayley Kruth inspired me to keep improving and pushing toward what I love. Our building owner JD has shown me what can happen when you truly put 110% into everything you do. My time at Ment has inspired me to better myself, my brand, my image, and everything in between! 

As I figure out what my summer (post-pandemic) looks like, I will then be finishing my last year of college to receive my double major in photojournalism and public relations, and as always, making my own opportunities as I go along. 

On the other hand, our fellow Ment Marketing intern, Sarah Tipton (round of applause for all of her amazing work this semester as well!) will be taking over for me in the following weeks as the new digital media intern this summer. Get ready for some more amazing content and keep your eyes open for what happens next. The world of work as we know it is about to change and I cannot wait to see how Ment Cowork thrives.  

 

See ya later Ment!  

 

Feel free to keep up with me via social! 
hannahvanover.com 
@_hannah_vanover_

Working {Not} from Home

As this whole pandemic thing nears an end, it’s safe to say that we all have mixed emotions about working from home… or working {not} from home.

Face it: you’re stir crazy but also comfortable. You want to get out but you don’t want everything to go back to the way it was. We’ve had a taste of this whole modern work-life practice and we’re kinda liking it. 

You’re lying if you say that you don’t enjoy your only morning commute being a walk to the living room, your work attire being PJs, and your office chair being your couch. 

But let’s also not ignore the importance of having some structure in our lives. Having a place to wake up and come to that is your own (and not the same place that’s five feet away from where you sleep) can be a good thing. 

We need a place that’s right for our physical and mental health. Perhaps a place where your kids aren’t screaming “mommy” every five seconds or your boss isn’t constantly popping in your office to ask about that deadline that you’re already well aware of. 

Welcome to coworking.

In case you forgot, we are a modern, comfortable space that gives you the freedom to work how you please. Whether it’s a temporary place to hang your hat on the weekends or a permanent fix to all your office needs, we’ve got you.

 

But how?

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of “what ifs” and “hows” surrounding the coworking industry. So what do we have to say about it? We’re gonna be alright! In fact – maybe even better than before. The important thing is that we are all using this to learn about how we can improve. 

We are coming out of a worldwide pandemic, guys – something that will be in the history books one day. Like all major life events, we must learn and adapt.

Our hopes are that the pandemic may even shape the way we all work in the coming future. 

Working full-time remotely is HARD. Working full-time in person 9-5 Monday through Friday is HARD. It’s exhausting and it leads to quickly becoming burnt out. If we want to succeed…if we want to truly provide the best work environment for our employees, we will need to make some adjustments. If we as workers want to achieve the best work-life balance, it’s going to take some adjustments. 

 

Call it a comeback

With everyone itching to get back out, host those events and workshops they missed out on, and have their meetings IN PERSON we have got a space ready for you! Some of us may be on the hunt for a new job or new connections after being secluded for so long. It’s time for new opportunities right?! 

We’ve got the hookup here with a space that lets you interact with people of all workplaces. You never know who might be in our office from day-to-day. Maybe you’ve been talking to your pets a little too much recently? Come in and talk to us! (Our beloved office Goldendoodle or Bearded Dragon may even make an appearance from time to time.) 

We’re coming at you straight out of quarantine with some even fresher ideas, a positive outlook, and a whole new level of appreciation for our community and the meaning of togetherness. 

We may not have had much of a say…but regardless, we have all tried something new lately. We weathered the storm together and now we can no longer say that we are reluctant to try this new, “unheard” of thing called coworking. Here’s to a new age of working! 

The Perfect Environment – Going Above and Beyond

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We know that environment makes all the difference in your work-life balance and that’s why it’s the second of our core values. Something that we aren’t straying from during these times. 

“So many people are getting caught up in all of the chaos and forgetting to go back to their roots,” Ment Cowork owner JD Haase enlightens us.

That’s why we are sticking true to what we know and bringing you the info that you NEED to hear. We definitely put focus into how we can make our Ment home a thriving community, but it’s also much more than that. 

Our current COVID-19 pandemic has caused many to shift their way of thinking and areas of focus in their lifestyles, workplaces and beyond. Cool hangouts and fun perks are great but now it’s also about looking at “how can this place contribute to my mental and physical health?” While many are now considering how they can effectively make their environments safer and promote healthier living, we were ahead of the game when we started here at Ment. 

The most important thing in time of crisis – preparation. While some simply see these little things as advancements, we see them as precautions and care for our members. Things like touchless lights and faucets to advanced HVAC and cleaning care routines. 

Our forward thinking building owner and real estate developer JD Haase had truly thought of it all before allowing the city’s first ever coworking environment to open its doors. Haase’ prior experience in the food industry made him more aware of the precautions that needed to be taken in the business world today. 

 

 

Going All In

Our staff discovered the potential of Ment Cowork – a true definition of a diamond in the rough, when JD said the building had spoken for itself. 

“The space let us know what it wanted…it sounds crazy but it was just wanting to come to life,” he said. 

New life was breathed into the space over a nearly two year span.

“It was a long process but we wanted to make sure that everything was up to par.” 

The renovations and additions to the building have made it modern, functional and safe and something that our staff believes will outlive us all. 

“I’ve never been one to sweep things under the rug,” said Haase. He spoke on the importance of doing something 100% or not at all.

“I don’t believe in grey. Things should be black or white, not in between.”

 

Main coworking lounge in Ment Cowork – before

 

 

 

Main coworking lounge in Ment Cowork – after

 

Location, location, location

For us, it hasn’t just about what was in our building, but what was outside as well. While many businesses are temporarily closed, we have seen a decent amount of traffic and downtown happenings here near 911 College St. Why is this? Because our area offers the best of traveling, convenience, and proximity to the square, ballparks and other walking paths as well as so many local businesses, shops and restaurants.  

If we haven’t realized by now, mental health is just as important. With Spring having arrived and going green and living healthy being a topic on everyone’s minds, many are finding their own ways to get out without “getting together.” This means taking a walk or simply getting some fresh air. That’s where a little sunlight, downtown views and location can make a world of difference.

One thing that I can almost guarantee we will all be a little more cautious about when this is all over? Distance! Call it luck but we’re not too worried about that either around here. From private office and dedicated desk options to our open coworking areas and floor plans, we’ve got this stuff down pat! *sigh of relief* 

 

Our Advice

Stay ahead of the game. Research. Find out what people are looking for in their ideal place of business.

Learn from the past. The mistakes of today will be the lessons of tomorrow…is that not a famous quote yet because I feel like I just made one?? This pandemic will change how we all operate our business models when doors are opened again. 

Stay aware. Keep your eyes and ears open to what people are talking about. Listen to what people want. Our needs and wants are shifting and will continue to do so. 

Most importantly – stay true to who you are. Are we perfect here at Ment? Well of course not but we are {ment} to adapt. We are taking notes and keeping up our usual creative flow of ideas to bring you all even more than we had before.

 

We can’t wait for you all to be back. See you on the other side! 

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Sticking True to Our Core Values

We made sure that we had a set of clearly defined core values in place for Ment Cowork before opening our doors to the public nearly two years ago. Without them where would we be? Probably still struggling to figure out exactly how we need to cater to our members and community. …ugh how awful that would be!

So in the midst of all the madness, we are reminding you that we haven’t forgotten what we are all about here.

Our Four Core

 

1. Membership: To place emphasis on people and their opportunities to interact with one another

Without our members, we wouldn’t be where we are today. As a member, you are more than just a customer, you are a part of a growing community and we aim to put value in that. We are a space that allows you to meet others, interact, work, attend and host workshops and events (and drink unlimited coffee!) all in the center of the city. Now that is a membership worth committing to (unlike my gym membership…RIP).

 

2. Environment: To harvest and focus on cultivating the totality of members surrounding conditions, friend to friend

Bringing Ment and community members together for fellowship and work spaces means they are getting a one of a kind (literally – we’re the only ones in Bowling Green!) experience. We continue to offer consistency with an eye pleasing aesthetic and office style that allows you to choose the best work area for you.

 

3. Nourishment: To provide an open space to live, create and thrive

Just like everything else in life, we need the time (and the place) to create, grow and thrive. Encouragement goes a long way, as does a smile and an uplifting atmosphere. A space that connects you with people and opportunities just might be what you need to nourish your mind, soul and career.

 

4. Commencement: To be a community where members self-select to begin each professional endeavor

At Ment, we know that you are {Ment} for great things and that’s why we started this place to begin with! Working shouldn’t have a specific set of rules – it’s all about freedom to do what you need to do in a way that best works for you. Doing so sets you on a path that allows you to make and build connections and become more productive. We can’t wait to see you succeed!

 

 

Sticking True

Not losing sight during this time is important. Make sure you know how to keep your company values inline. Here’s what we’re doing during COVID-19:

-Maintaining communication. We are staying in contact with the public and our members to keep them updated via social media, email and newsletters…did we mention virtual happy hours with our members? Yes please!

-Offering community support. It is our job to support and uplift other small businesses during this hardship. We are checking in on our local friends and even planning a virtual meet-up and collaboration session! (more details to come).

-Keeping our facilities clean. Safety is number one and that’s why we have cracked down on cleaning and reducing use of community shared products and items. One of our own members and favorite cleaning companies On Target Cleaning has been working extra hard for us lately!

-Continuing membership perks and community partnerships to allow us to keep bringing the best of Bowling Green to our Ment community (even from a distance).

-Adapting to changes and making the best of our situation with a smile on our faces and giving out tons of virtual hugs along the way.

-Most importantly, we are encouraging others to be as productive as possible while working at home and helping others realize that remote work has its perks. We know you don’t want to be stuck at home forever but also don’t want to go back to the office, so we’re reminding you that we are here when this mess clears up!

Why

Researcher and business consultant Jim Collins speaks on the topic of creating the right values. His blog talks about the importance of sticking true to your values even in the time of (for example) an economic downturn. Sound familiar? During the current COVID-19 pandemic, we want our values to reign true and be both timeless and sustainable. How do you do this? By looking at what is really important in your business and make sure that you are focusing on your audience.

“It should be about what you can do for others, not what they can do for you,” says Leona Morelock, branding specialist and our current community partner.

Core Values are important and we are not straying from them anytime soon. Remember to stay positive, stay authentic and stay educated during these times on what you can do to continue to serve your clients, customers, members, etc. during these trying times.

The Green Dream

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Our favorite color for the month? You guessed it! We’re bringing a whole new definition to the idea of “going green” this month at Ment. 

With our community partner for March being Jules with the Flowers and spring being upon us, we couldn’t think of a better time to talk about this theme. Not to mention, I am super psyched about all of the (punny) floral wordplay that is about to happen. 

So what exactly are we talking about? Going green in every aspect of your life. Yes, this means doing your part in the community to reduce, reuse and recycle, but also means thinking outside of the box and finding ways to incorporate a little more green (literally) into your life. You can do this by decorating with plants and sprucing up your work environment or maybe focusing on healthy eating habits by adding a little more green in your diet. All of these are awesome ways to consider helping yourself stay on track to be a better you. After all, we didn’t set those 3:59s at the beginning of this year for nothing right? 

Ment to be Green

I know what you’re thinking but the coworking world is no exception to the green movement. There are so many ways to be more conscious in the workplace and here are 5 we partake in:

1. Recycling. Did you know that Ment recycles? One of the easiest and most important ways to do your part was just a given for us! We also use Land Shark Shredding, Bowling Green’s leading green and confidential paper shredding company.

2. Coffee. We practically live off of it here so why not try to save on the amount of cups that we are using for this drink that we call our lifeblood. And as if you needed another reason to use your favorite mugs, but we are all about it here! Our cabinets are overflowing with a selection so take your pick or bring in your own. 3. Natural light. No, I promise not to talk about how great it is for photo ops this time, but guys it is a money saver! Research shows that you can cut down energy costs by up to 75% by using natural light. If you don’t need the artificial light don’t use it – simple as that! (But okay I mean the at-work selfies are a plus as well). 4. Going Paperless. We may not be completely paperless here at Ment, but we aren’t far from it. With our website, advertising and outreach efforts being almost solely digital, we don’t find the need to use any more trees than necessary! Not to mention our monthly newsletters are always sent out through email.

5. Lighting. Another simple energy saving practice – using energy efficient light bulbs and simply turning off lights when you leave a room. For businesses like Ment that allow 24 hour access, this can be tricky, but we try to do this as much as possible and make sure that we can educate our members and employees on how to be more conscious of their use. 

Stay tuned to see how your local florist shop (and our latest community partner) is going green in her own life and how you can take advantage of greener practices here in your community.

The Art of Coworking

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Since starting my internship, I can safely say that Ment Cowork has become a safe haven for me. A place in which I can be myself, express myself and simply “be.” Ment has mastered the art of coworking. Not a thing? We think it should be! 

The ability to bring together people from different backgrounds, companies, walks of life, and work in the same space with the same end goal in mind: to Get stuff done. It takes a special set of skills, that’s for sure. 

How we do it

Maybe it’s the awesome interns we have, the owners that first saw potential in this 130 year-old building, the ever-growing and supportive community in which we sit upon or the amazing members that have set up a “home” here at Ment. 

Not to mention, we have this whole community partner collaboration thing on lock. Didn’t know that we provide event space as well? You do now! Even more so, we are fans of local art and have nothing against housing work here at Ment. Just ask our community partner for this month – Slow as Folk!

Amenities

We know what people want and we’ve got it down to a science. Member perks, discounts, coffee, parking passes and aesthetics – just call us the masters!

We are also super in touch with the concept of hygge here at Ment – something that we believe is an art of it’s own. We have learned to incorporate this feeling and lifestyle practice into our workspace…and the feedback has been nothing short of great!

Success!

We took a chance when we started with an empty floor and created something truly inspiring. Only a few years under our belt and we have become a masterpiece standing tall in the center of downtown Bowling Green. Ment represents so much more than just a space to work, we are an integrative community that advocates for all workplaces and individuals to do what they do best in a place that allows them to reach their potential. 

At Ment, we believe in the importance of art and want to provide an atmosphere where people feel invited to work in. Whether you’re inventing the next code for NASA or creating your latest masterpiece, we support you and all of your endeavors. You are {Ment} for great things! 

Want to know more about our story? Check out our blog on how community manager Hayley knew it was Ment to be. 

Embracing the “Hygge” Lifestyle

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If you love over-sized sweaters, fuzzy socks, salt lamps and have an obsession with blankets, then you are going to be all ears for this. Our theme for the month of February – “Hygge.” 

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of this crazy Danish concept before. No? Me either. Well that is until I took an international public relations class last semester. I chose to study the country of Denmark because, well they are supposedly the happiest place and people in the world and need I say more? I kept coming across this concept so much that I just had to research it. Turns out it’s not crazy at all and most of us are actually practicing it – it’s actually pretty neat! 

HYGGE

Originating in Denmark, Hygge is a term for the all encompassing feeling of comfort and well being. 

Synonyms:  Happiness, coziness, security, simplicity, reassurance 

“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home.” 

Enjoying the little things in life, practicing self care, being present in the moment and creating a feeling of contentment are all ways in which one can practice this concept. Sounds like something you’re down for? We sure are! With all of our natural light, diffusers, lamps in every corner, (and don’t forget the couches) we are all about this way of life. 

The Danes practice this concept as a way to combat the winter and rainy day blues. Sound familiar? I ask as I am writing from the comfort of my couch, pajamas, coffee in hand and blankets in my lap on this gloomy February day. 

And now, with our newest community partner Slow as Folk, we have beautiful artwork on display all month long to help tie this whole beautiful and comfortable lifestyle practice together. Slow as Folk artist Sarah Gust is all about a simple lifestyle and incorporating comfort items into her daily routine as well as her art. 

“I want to be comfortable and I want my customers to be comfortable as well.”

We can relate to this on a spiritual level  because if you don’t have comfort, how will you be satisfied with your work, life, etc.? Our members deserve to have the space where they can work in an atmosphere that works for them – whatever that may be. With this being said, we just had to jump on board with this concept for our theme of the month. 

Ment Cowork will be here all month long helping you to bring a little Hygge into your life.

Hello Menternship

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Hi guys! You may have been reading a few of my words recently or seen a new face around here at Ment, so I just wanted to introduce myself to you all. My name is Hannah Vanover and I am the newest intern at Ment Cowork! I will be managing and assisting with all things media related. I am so excited to be getting started here and to have a change of pace this year and learn a few new things. 

I am a public relations and photojournalism major at WKU. I’m originally from Owensboro, Ky., and now currently live in Beaver Dam and commute to college in Bowling Green. Don’t let my native location fool you though…I love immersing myself into different communities! I am an avid taco lover and homebody who also loves people. My friends typically call me “supergirl,” possibly because I love keeping myself busy and tend to do the “impossible” when I take on too many things that I am passionate about. Along with my Ment internship, you can find me as a cashier at my local Walmart or freelancing as a reporter and photographer at two different publications in and near my town. If you still can’t find me, chances are I am out photographing for my business: HV Photography or in my home studio. I also may be at home hiding out and binge watching the entire series of New Girl on Netflix for the fifth time…the world may never know! 

As I hear it is tradition, it’s time to announce my ment word which is *drumroll* Encouragement. While this may seem like a simple one, it is important to me. I am a believer that kindness goes a long way. A helping hand, a smiling face or a word or two of encouragement – it never hurts. As I am writing this just one week before the new year, I encourage you all to find ways to offer support and inspiration to others. Start thinking about your own 3:59s because I know I have mine! And be sure to stay tuned for some encouraging posts in the following weeks!

Introducing Our Newest Mentern Carli

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Hi friends! My name is Carli Hughes and I’m the newest Mentern. I’m so excited to be starting my internship here at Ment where I’ll be able to explore what this exciting journey has to offer. As you’ve gotten to know all the previous interns, I am no exception and would love to share who I am with you. 

I was born and raised here in Bowling Green, KY with a background in makeup, skincare & esthetics. Through this career I’ve learned the importance of marketing and social media presence and how this can greatly impact a brand. Being from Bowling Green I enjoy connecting with the community and will often shop local; it’s just the culture here! I believe coworking is a wonderful addition to some of the things our city has to offer for our community. 

Sometimes I find talking about myself brings back flashbacks of the first day of school when you have to share with the class a few things about yourself and you’ve completely gone blank. Who am I? What defines me? What are some interesting quirks? I enjoy going to the movie theaters alone, I rewatch the same 5 shows, I can successfully knit a square & I believe the perfect date is April 25th because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket. (Shoutout to all my Miss Congeniality fans) I think it’s important in life to take every moment as it comes and find the right group of people to surround yourself with. Do what makes you happy, have some fun & just do you boo.

I like to keep things short and sweet so I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to learn a little more about me and what I value. Before I sign off, I’d like to share my -ment word with you and why I feel it’s important. I chose momentum. The law of momentum states that an object will stay in motion until it meets a resisting force. So I leave you with this – keep pushing forward because there’s nothing standing in your way.

Goodbye Menternship

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As I spend one of my last days here at 911 college street, I am able to reflect on my time spent at Ment. Coming into this internship, I was unfamiliar with the coworking industry and the community that came with it. From the inspiring space to the empowering people, my time here at Ment has been nothing short of amazing. 

 

Between content creation and management, to organizing events and keeping in touch with other professionals in the community, I feel I have gained real world insight about the public relations industry as a whole. Being a mentern has given me knowledge that I can’t learn in a classroom and I am so thankful for the experience! I want to give a special thanks to Hayley, Valerie and JD for providing me with this opportunity. 

 

In just a few short weeks, I will be graduating and making the move back to Lexington, Kentucky to pursue my photography business full-time. I plan on implementing social media and creative writing skills that I have gained here at Ment into my own business. If you want to keep up with me, feel free to follow my social accounts at @abigail.e.photography. 

 

I hope that you all have enjoyed reading my blog posts over the course of the semester. I have loved being a part of this community and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Ment Cowork! It’s not a goodbye, rather a see you later. 

 

I’m coming for you, big girl world.