Clocking In at Buzzfeed

Senior Interns at Viral Powerhouse for District’s COOL Week


Courtesy of Sydney Polishook

Senior Sydney Polishook stands with former student Rahul Kothari, who helped get her a spot at New York’s Buzzfeed headquarters for COOL Week in February. “I would say to anyone considering COOL Week to do it,” Polishook said. “It’s an amazing opportunity to go to job sites and get your name out there. [COOL week] is the perfect opportunity to get your name in people’s heads for the future.”

Callie Copeland, Reporter

Spend All Of Your Money At Urban Outfitters And We’ll Reveal Which Ariana Grande Song Matches Your Personality.”

How Do Your Girl Scout Cookie Opinions Compare To Others?

These questions could only come from one website: Buzzfeed.

Buzzfeed is a digital media company that creates viral videos and quizzes, reports on the news and develops merchandise. Only a select number of people are able to work and create in Buzzfeed’s New York headquarters, and this February, senior Sydney Polishook became one of them.

Through Leander ISD’s Career Opportunities On Location program, better known as COOL Week, Polishook was able to score an internship at Buzzfeed. She said that none of it would have been possible without college transition coordinator, Chriss Hexter. 

“I give all my thanks to Mrs. Hexter – she totally scored it for me,” Polishook said. “I put on my COOL Week application that my dream job was to work for Buzzfeed, but there were very limited options for what I wanted to do in communications.”

When Polishook met with her to discuss COOL Week options, Hexter mentioned a connection to former student Rahul Kothari, who works at the New York office for Buzzfeed.

Polishook went back to her class, and no more than five minutes later, she said that Hexter called her back into the office.

“She called me back in and said he’d love to have me,” Polishook said. “So I just called my dad from her office and he said ‘Of course, let’s do it.’”

Although the decision happened quickly, the preparation for her internship lasted a couple of months, Polishook said, with video calls and emails to Hexter’s Buzzfeed connection.

On Feb. 16, Polishook and her father flew to New York to begin her week at Buzzfeed, and soon enough, she was at the front steps of her dream job.

“I walked in and there was a huge Buzzfeed sign in the lobby,” Polishook said. “We went up, I got set up at my desk and we went from there.”

Polishook said she then had meetings to discuss her interests in social media management and video production, and an executive then gave her the project of writing a Buzzfeed-like article. She said that she decided to write “Things You’d Only Understand If You’re a Texan Visiting New York.

“I wrote in their style which was hard for me to do because I felt like I needed to be super impressive and formal, but that’s not what they do,” Polishook said.

She said that working as a Buzzfeed intern didn’t consist the classic coffee runs and hazing that is often seen in the movies. When she wasn’t working on her article, she got to participate in real-time meetings with people from around the country.

“I went to a really big marketing meeting with the whole Buzzfeed New York marketing team,” Polishook said. “During that meeting, we were on a conference with the Los Angeles office and the Chicago office, so it was very intimidating but so cool.”

In that meeting, Polishook said that she learned a lesson that she can take with her into her future career.

“When you go into the professional world to try to find a career, you do not have to know exactly what you’re doing,” Polishook said. “These people were in this meeting asking questions and being taught. It’s not at all like you need to be perfect. You learn as you go, and that’s acceptable.”

Her internship at Buzzfeed solidified her desire to work there in the future, Polishook said, but she realized that she wants to go more into the business and advertising side of the company.

“I would say to anyone considering COOL Week to do it,” Polishook said. “It’s an amazing opportunity to go to job sites and get your name out there. [COOL Week] is the perfect opportunity to get your name in people’s heads for the future.”