Head-first into the deep end—your father’s idea of (scarring) swimming education, not how Lemonly introduces Slice interns to the workflow.

Every summer, interns are assigned a “buddy” to help ease into client work and design studio life. Buddies are tasked with:

  • Introducing tools of the trade
  • Offering constructive criticism
  • Empowering interns to reach their 1DG

Meet the Slice 2018 buddies*: Visual Designer Brett, Project Manager Tess, and Content Manager Maddie.

(*Spoiler: They’re all former interns!)


Brett (2012), Tess (2015), and Maddie (2016) during their younger intern days.

As a former intern, what has been your experience now in a mentorship role?

Brett: I’ve enjoyed being in a mentorship role this summer. It’s great to share the things I’ve learned so far, but also there’s an opportunity for me to gain something from the interns’ fresh perspectives.

Tess: It’s been a blast to teach the interns everything that I’ve been taught! I see myself in them when I first walked into Lemonly. It makes me want to give them the awesome experience I had.

Maddie: Lemonly didn’t have any designated content employees when I was an intern, so I ended up with all kinds of buddies. Communications Director Morgan helped me with social media stuff. Developer (and sometime-copywriter) Michael helped me write copy. I teamed up with Multimedia Designer Mazoo and CEO JTM to produce “Answers to Questions.” In addition to teaching me about their various content-related tasks, each of my part-time buddies gave me insights into different mentorship styles. Super valuable.

This is my second year as a Slice Buddy, and I love seeing how each new intern makes the position their own. I hope I can help make the experience a good one.

What takeaways do you hope to instill in your intern mentee about your position?


  • Keep putting in the miles, it’s the only way to improve your skills.
  • Confidence is key, so believe in your abilities as a designer.
  • Don’t expect your work to sell itself—be prepared to back up your decisions.

Tess: Initiative and curiosity. We’re instructed for the first 18 to 22 years of our lives to show up to class, research things, and ask questions. Once you reach adulthood, it’s all on you to keep learning, showing up, and asking questions.

Maddie: Obviously I want any Lemonly content intern to learn how to write strategic copy for infographics and other contentbut more than that:

  • I want my mentee to leave Slice feeling confident about her strengths in marketing and what she can bring to an organization.
  • I want her to recognize potential employers that put their people first and invest in their development.

Wherever Hailey and her counterparts end up starting their careers, I hope their skills are recognized, appreciated, and put to good use.

“I’ll be there for you.”

What was your transition from intern to full-time Lemonhead like?

Brett: For me, it was a gradual transition. The internship ended during one of Lemonly’s early growth spurts, and I continued to work as a contracted designer for the fall and winter before becoming an official employee the following March. 

Tess: Seamlessit felt like it was exactly what was supposed to happen. At the end of my internship, I wasn’t ready to be done at Lemonly. I wanted to further explore ideas conceived over the summer and continue to learn from the super smart people surrounding me. My internship ended on a Wednesday, and I was lucky to start full-time the following Monday.

Maddie: The team did a great job of making interns feel like part of the crew, so I had a very smooth transition when I started full-time. It didn’t feel super different until a few weeks later when I went to my first Lemonly retreat and met our remote co-workers. We were all coming together to discuss the future of the company and our goals, and I had a “Woah, this is real life now!” moment.

How has the Slice program grown since your internship?

Brett: The internship program has evolved quite a bit since I was an intern in 2012. We started calling it “Slice” in 2015—before that, it was called “9 Clouds U.” The spirit of the internship has not changed, but the structure is much more defined.

Tess: So much! Morgan, our Communications Director, has taken the internship to the next level. It now has more structure. And more people! Expanding the program to include a content intern has been great for Lemonly.

Maddie: It’s been cool to watch the role of the content intern take more shape and round out the Slice team. They can take a project from kickoff to posting/promotion all on their own!

Favorite intern memory from your Slice class?

Brett: I remember working at the old MESO office. It wasn’t as nice as our current office, but it’s a great memory to remind how far we’ve come.

Tess: I think I’m supposed to say getting the team Dairy Queen blizzards for Miracle Treat Day, but I really enjoyed writing for Marriott. The research and writing wasn’t “work”—it was pure fun. Also, having Brett, one of our visual designers, anxiously wait for a phone call that his wife was in labor was a pretty exciting day. We sprung out of our seats like a jack-in-the-box every time his phone buzzed.

Maddie: I loved watching the success of our South Dakota Breweries infographic on social media!

Advice for the current interns’ last two weeks?

Brett: Take advantage of everyone while you are here. Ask questions, feedback, and advice.

Tess: Soak it up. You’re surrounded by a group of super talented individuals who excel at their craft. Talk with them as much as possible.

Maddie: Ask questions. If you want to learn something, someone here would be psyched to teach you. Even if it’s not directly related to your role.

Wait… two weeks? That’s right, folks. As the interns wrap up their projects, keep your eyes peeled for a final check-in from the Slice gals.

In the meantime, browse through a chronicle of their summer: the intern Q&A, infographic, and letters home.