My 20% project

You are a straight-A student with a flawless resume and plenty of internships to back up your stellar education. But you only know and care about public relations. This will not get you a job at BBH Barn which looks for a little extra. They look for candidates that have interests external to public relations. Interests that make good dinner-table conversation and interesting perspectives. For the summer, they’ve hired a mixture of involved individuals including activists, dancers, activists and filmmakers.

In my  public relations courses, we don’t talk a whole lot about what makes us interesting or what our other interests are. I’m using this opportunity to discuss what Google calls a 20% project. A 20% project is simply an allotment of 20% of an employee’s time that is dedicated to exploring an extra interest.

photo credit: yksin

My 20% project was inspired bymy nutritional therapist cousin. Early this year, she taught me how to ferment and culture foods, and now this has become my passion. Every week I like to try something new. I make a different type of sauerkraut, my favorite so far has been the garlic-dill combination. They don’t always turn out as expected–carrots for example usually end up as a mushy paste upon culturing them, but that is the beauty of live food. You never know how they will turn out. Each new creation is an experiment. Sometimes the cultures deactivate, and the vegetables don’t ferment at all. Sometimes they are exposed to air and grow mold. When they do turn out; however, the result is always healthful food full of helpful digestive enzymes and probiotics.

Although my cousin inspired my interest, I soon realized the benefits of culturing foods. I’ve always had a week stomach, but with my cultured veggies, I feel like my stomach can withstand anything. I’ve also noticed an alkalizing effect that they have on my body. They give me energy and make me feel more balanced in general. I would love to be able to incorporate my 20% project into a career path working in the health food industry, but for now, my sights are still set on public relations.


~ by alisonklapper on May 26, 2010.

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