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Taylor Nobbe
Taylor Nobbe

MADE's 12th Annual Brandathon: A Rookie's Perspective

Taylor Nobbe

The fun thing about being the newest member of the team is getting to experience your new company's culture and traditions for the first time, and I was definitely looking forward to Brandathon. While the rest of the MADE team has participated in two, three, or maybe even 11 Brandathons, I was feeling all the jitters and excited anticipation for the (literal) day. Not knowing fully what to expect (and a little unsure of my abilities to stay awake for 24 hours), my first Brandathon was so fun and rewarding. So, what are some things I learned during my first Brandathon? 

1. 24 hours go quicker than you think.

While 24 hours sounds like a long time, it flew by. With the exception of an hour around 3 am while I was waiting for my 5th cup of tea to kick in, the day was productive and fun! We scheduled activities throughout the day to keep us active, such as going to dinner at Cob & Pen, catching some of the Sun & Fun Airshow from our front lawn, creating fun social media videos and reels, and playing Yahtzee and Uno (watch out for Michelle — she's good). Also, with incredible and passionate projects for such meaningful non-profits, it was easy to stay up (wayyyy) past our bedtimes and put our best work forward for them. 

2. Our local non-profits deserve a standing ovation. 
It's hard not to be inspired by all the great things we see happening in our community daily. Working on these projects reminded me just how fortunate we are to live in our community. I feel so much gratitude that folks like our Brandathon recipients are making an impact. This year, our projects included the following design and strategy efforts:

3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

While coffee or tea are necessary, we all made sure to stay very well hydrated throughout the day to avoid the dreaded caffeine crash or brain fog. In addition, we stocked up on all the necessary all-nighter snacks, including Twizzlers, Cheese Balls, Nutter Butters, popcorn — you name it!

4. Our community is awesome!

From posting our first video on social media at 8 am to kick off the day to a special 5:30 am champagne and orange juice delivery on Friday, we felt so much support from our Brandathon recipients, community, clients, friends, and families all throughout the day. Every social post like, text, phone call, and visit felt like someone shaking a pom pom and yelling, "Go team!" — and that definitely boosted our spirits and kept us going! 

5. The nap of a lifetime. 

Before Brandathon, I had never pulled an all-nighter. While it was surprisingly easier than I expected it to be, nothing could have prepared me for how good the nap after would feel! 

There were many lessons learned during my first Brandathon, and I'm looking forward to next year when — maybe — it's someone else's turn to be the rookie.