Welcome to The Cave

June 15, 2012

“The Cave” is where most MP&F staffers begin their careers.

It gets its name from the original location – a dark, windowless room at the end of a hall. These days, we have windows, but we still work nearly shoulder to shoulder. Naturally, the proximity fosters a lot of collaboration.

Legend says that the partners created The Cave to resemble a newsroom, a place full of creativity, energy and production. It is a perfect learning environment for steering through news releases, media pitches, clip reports and Excel spreadsheets. We gain exposure that makes us all more well-rounded professionals.

Whether it’s about Pinterest or the Predators, we all play a pivotal part in teaching each other more about something new. Through time in The Cave, we learn the importance of working as a team and being a part of the bigger company picture.

Currently, there are eight of us in The Cave. On an average day, I ask my colleagues technical, professional and, of course, flat-out-random questions. We learn to help each other, inspire each other and, most importantly, push each other. Though we all have different backgrounds and interests, we work great together while we soak up our first year in the real world.

On any given day, you could walk by The Cave and find us in complete silence, headphones on and fingers furiously typing on our keyboards or you can hear cackling laughter from viral videos and funny sites. Some may be working on a new client proposal, others may be taking a break from editing a newsletter by sharing a few laughs.

A staff associate is here for a year before formal evaluation and possible promotion to an associate account executive. After 25 years in business, there are legions of stories from former Cave dwellers about their early times at MP&F.

Because we are all hired at different times, membership in The Cave is constantly changing. I have been in The Cave since November of last year, and I know I have a lot more to learn. However, I’ve learned more in the past seven months than I ever imagined possible, thanks to this legendary place.

It seems that every class of The Cave has a special story they like to tell. Are you a past Cave member? We would love to hear your story.


17 Responses to “Welcome to The Cave”

  1. I got my start at MP&F as a “cave dweller” 20 years ago, but back then it was called “the nursery” and was located in what is now our multimedia conference room. Many things have changed about MP&F since I started, but I’m glad the camaraderie of the “cave” has remained constant. Here’s to my fellow cave dwellers Kimbrel Eubanks Arculeo, Carol Brown Enoch and Christian Taylor. Great post, Kat!

  2. I miss the Cave! My favorite story would have to be when the terrible twosome of Eric Tieles and Stacy Alcala convinced me a week before my first MP&F retreat that there is an annual triathlon every year at retreat. I immediately panicked, not knowing how I would compete in this triathlon with no training and only days from the actual event. I remember typing “How to train for a marathon in a week” into Google and then looking over to find Eric laughing hysterically in the corner. Needless to say, I got Punk’d.

  3. I was in the cave back when it was dark and windowless. Such fun memories! And such a great way to begin my career!

  4. Becca Stinson Says:

    Ah, the Cave!! I, too, got my professional start in the Cave at MP&F. What a wonderfully rich learning experience. I was there 2005-2006 with the likes of Doug Rainer, Lauren Peterson, Jessica Darden (Martin back then), Maggie Huggins (Peterson back then), Joe Burchfield, Chad Gilbert, Matt Schurk… I’m sure I’m missing someone. One question for current Cave dwellers: is the gold duck head desk art still passed around to the newest member of the Cave? Please say yes. 🙂

    • Duck head is still in the Cave, Becca.

    • Kat Neunaber Says:

      Becca, we actually just had a quacking on Monday, welcoming Maggie Bowers on her first day!

      • Anonymous Says:

        Funny story…the duck head was my husband, Chad’s. When we got married, there was no way that thing was residing in our little apartment. I brought it in as a gag gift and somehow the thing became a trophy for the senior Cave member. Totally cracks me up that it’s still back there. I just can’t get rid of that ugly thing.

      • Mary Ruth Says:

        And that anonymous comment is mine.

      • Mary Ruth Says:

        Oh, is it for the newest Cave member now? I’m going to stop commenting.

  5. I didn’t come to MP&F straight out of college, and I missed out on the classic “Cave” experience. But, my cube was as close to the Cave as you could get without actually being in the cave. So, I guess I got a “Cave-adjacent” experience.

  6. Becca Stinson Says:

    I’m so glad the duck head lives… Congrats to Maggie! (And I love “quacking”… that’s awesome.)

  7. Josh Says:

    I was like 80 (or 26) when I worked in the cave, so a bit older than most. I couldn’t wait to have my own office, and when I did, I immediately missed the constant conversations. Enjoy your time there!

  8. Elizabeth E Says:

    So many great memories from our Cave class (Holden Miller, Sarah Reed, Lauren Barrett, Elizabeth Elmore, Eric Ward, Eric Tieles, Katie Folk) that we created an entire document of good memories, inside jokes and pranks we played on each other. Evidence of a truly amazing cave: Dave Cooley having to tell the governor on the phone that the noise in the background did not mean he was at a bar, but at the office.

  9. […] a staff associate in The Cave here at MP&F, I was eager to dive into client work. Not too long after I started at the firm, I […]

  10. […] MP&F, entry-level employees (staff associates) go through training for several weeks and, after that time, are gradually brought up to speed on […]

  11. […] there was a difference – there had to be – I just couldn’t articulate it. I walked back to the Cave, home of our staff associates and interns and where the question had originated, and had a good […]

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