Student Stories

How To Turn A Recycling Bin Into A Job

This is a guest post by Kyle Miklasz  for InternMatch’s Student Stories. If you’re interested in getting involved with Student Stories, learn more here.


When I lost my school bus pass last January, I was so outrageously furious when I found out I had to walk 35 minutes to and from class every day. I mean, I was an athlete and I got enough exercise through basketball practice every day, right?

One day on my daily walk to class, I noticed a recycling bin in the loop of Chicago that was wrapped with an advertisement: “Honest Tea, Refreshingly Honest.” As I continued to walk, I thought to myself, “That’s a funny name for a beverage, I wonder why it’s on a recycling bin…maybe it’s meant to”— Before I could even finish my thought, there it was again wrapped on another recycling bin at the very next street corner: “Honest Tea, Refreshingly Honest.”

You guessed right, it was on the next corner, the next corner, and the next corner all the way up to the building where I had class at Roosevelt University. I tend to think about things slightly different than most people, which would make sense why I immediately sat down in class, opened up Google search on my laptop, and typed in “WHAT IS HONEST TEA?”

So you’re probably wondering how I turned that recycling bin into a job for myself, right? Well here’s a quick rundown.

After that Google search, I stumbled upon Honest Tea’s career page. They were hiring marketing interns in Chicago, which I instantly applied for. I got the internship, fell in love with the product, learned a ton about business and field marketing, worked my butt off the entire summer with amazing employees, and had a blast telling everyone how great our organic drinks were. I picked up 2 more marketing internships during the fall with Yelp and Come Recommended, while taking 6 classes. As my last semester of college was beginning, the Midwest Marketing Manager at Honest Tea, my previous manager, accepted a different role in the company and her position opened up. I eagerly applied and they offered me the gig!


Currently, I work out of Chicago as the Midwest Marketing Manager with an amazing tea-m of my own. Now every time I walk through downtown Chicago, I walk past those “Refreshingly Honest” recycling bins with a huge smile on my face and I do a little happy dance.

And that my friends, is how you turn a recycling bin into a job. 

Just kidding, that’s more so to be taken figuratively than literally. There’s a lot more that goes into being promoted within a company than just being a “hard worker.” Everyone’s a hard worker. Everyone’s out there trying to prove something. So how do you stand out from the crowd? It starts with surrounding yourself with great people, networking with as MANY people as you can, and finding your true passion. Personally, I’m very lucky to have amazing mentors in my life like my parents, coaches, and teachers who helped guide me down the right path to discover these things. On top of this, I try my very best to live by a strict code of what I call “The 5 Secrets To Life.”


 You will succeed in any given position or industry if you can be all five of these things at the same time. What these five things mean is quite simple. If you never ask, the answer is no. If you don’t adapt, you get pushed aside. If you aren’t confident, they find someone else. If you’re a naysayer, you’re doomed. And last but not least, you will never fail unless you stop trying.


AXei7oTAbout the Author:

Kyle Miklasz is a soon-to-be college graduate from Roosevelt University in Chicago, who started his professional career a little bit early. He’s recently been promoted from Marketing Intern to Marketing Manager at Honest Tea. Kyle is a former college basketball player, an unconventional thinker, and has a passion for making ideas come to life. Connect with him on LinkedIn and  Twitter .

Image 1 Credit: Honest Tea

Image 2 Credit: Kyle Miklasz


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