Interning for STOKED w/ Josh Katz

Working for Stoked sounds like a dream. If anyone has ever been in the Stoked office, you just can’t help but notice how comfortable of an environment you are submerged in. Josh Katz, a young Skateboarder, Entrepreneur, and College Undergraduate, has recently concluded his internship with Stoked over this current summer. I recently had a chance to sit down with Josh and ask him a few questions about his involvement with Stoked. Here’s what he had to say:  

Q: So, Tell me a little bit about yourself?

A: I’m a 19-year-old skateboarder, photographer , and YouTuber. During the school year, I attend NYU Stern School of Business. Over the summer, I’ve been living out in Bushwick working as a STOKED Summer Fellow, working on some independent projects, and teaching myself how to cook. Last week I mastered sweet potatoes.

 

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Q: Why Stoked? What does STOKED mean to you?

A: STOKED is undoubtedly the coolest nonprofit I’ve ever heard of. Having grown up on skateboarding, I’ve seen all the incredible externalities skateboarding can have, from creativity to perseverance and professionalism. STOKED has found a way to hone these positive attributes and instill them in the students. When I was learning about the programs we offer, all I could think was, “WHAT?! I wish I had this in my high school!”

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Q: What was your biggest challenge as a Stoked Intern?

A: I was given a number of projects that I initially had no idea how to complete. The other day, I was asked to make a creative brief on a new program we’re launching. I’d never heard of a creative brief before. But I did some research, figured it out, and dived in. I was also constantly getting suggestions and critiques from Steve, making the process significantly more manageable. I also had to keep an open mind on whatever assignments come my way. A couple tasks have been on the outskirts of my comfort zone like modeling a STOKED temporary tattoo in a photo shoot or doing brand outreach work by walking into skate shops unannounced.

Q: Greatest accomplishment?

A: Being a professional model now [chuckles]. No, I’d say completing the more challenging projects!

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Q: What would you change about your experience?

A: I can’t say I have any complaints. Projects were always overlapping, so I could always bounce between tasks to keep things interesting.

Q: What are 3 skills you have either learned or refined as an intern?

A: I’ve learned a crazy amount on business development and culminating a small idea into something substantial. I’ve also been honing my graphic design and photography skills.

 Q: How have your views towards youth development changed since your time with Stoked?

A: I’ve always known action sports can have a tremendous impact on kids and teach them all kinds of life skills. But I used to think it was something you just pick up naturally. STOKED has done such an amazing job teaching these skills in a structured curriculum and keeping the kids hooked for years on end.

Q:  If you could hand down one piece of advice to future interns, what would it be?

A: An internship is what you make of it. There were never tight deadlines or people down my neck making sure I was being productive. It certainly takes intrinsic motivation, but the skills I’ve learned and polished have made it worthwhile.

Q: Final thoughts?

A: All my friends working internships wear suits and dress shoes to work every day. I have yet to wear anything but shorts, t-shirts, and skate shoes.

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Following his internship, Josh is continuing his studies at NYU. He is also diligently working hard on developing and maintaining his YouTube page. You can check his videos out here.