Hello, my name is Zayna McNeil. I’m a Junior studying Advertising at the Klein College of Media and Communication. During the spring semester of my junior year, I was able to intern at the company REC Philly. REC Philly is a creative agency/incubator for creative individuals and its main goal is to serve creators with the right resources and tools so that they will be able to do what they love. 

During one of the earlier days at my internship, my boss, Scarlet told me to“take up space girl!” She encouraged me to be creative with my different tasks and to share my different thoughts and ideas. I believe the whole REC Philly team does an amazing job of highlighting people’s individuality and creating opportunities for them to be successful. The Co-founder of REC Philly explained to me that the culture at REC is all about ethos. REC works hard at providing all of its creatives with the best resources, educational programmings, and networking opportunities, so that they can be successful in their crafts. 

As the Member Success Assistant, I was able to see firsthand the impact that REC is making in hundreds of people’s lives. Some of my favorite moments at REC were listening to different people talk about how excited they were to have a place where they could express themselves creatively because there aren’t many places for creators to do that at. Every day at REC is different, one day a member can stop by to have a photoshoot in our visual lab, and another day someone can be stopping by to record their next album, in one of our studios. 

My advice to future interns is to first, take up space! You are in the position that you have because the team you are working with wanted you there. They saw potential in you and now it’s your time to shine! When you see an opportunity to share a valuable idea or speak up for something you believe in, you should do it. Second, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You are new to that work environment. During my internship orientations, my boss told us “to make mistakes, it’s alright to make mistakes. Just make sure you learn from them.” Please give yourself space to learn and grow. 

I think I love REC Philly for the same reason I love Madam C. J. Walker. Madam C. J. Walker was the first self-made African American millionaire. She saw a problem in the African American beauty industry and she solved it. Madam C. J. Walker is a problem-solver. REC Philly is a place that provides creative people with all the tools they need to embrace their creativity. The Co-founders saw a problem in the creative industry and they solved it. REC Philly is a problem solver. The impact that problem-solvers have on the world is timeless. The reason that Black people know how to take care of their hair today, is because of the influences of Madam C. J. Walker. In a place like REC Philly where everyone is encouraged to “stay creative, think freely, and try new things, the possibilities are endless. I believe that REC Philly will change how people view a creator’s entrepreneurial journey. I am honored that I got the opportunity to intern at such a trailblazing company.