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Virtual Cooking Class to the Rescue!

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, much of its workforce went remote. That’s when University Programs Manager, Michele Karakas, launched the first virtual internship in ebay’s 25-year history and connected the students to a creative culture-building opportunity with a virtual cooking class delivered by Life At The Table.

Based at ebay’s headquarters in San Jose, CA, Karakas oversees interns across the US.

“Typically our 12-week internship is in person. This virtual internship gave us the opportunity to be together no matter what,” said Karakas.

Life At The Table hosted ebay’s first virtual cooking class.


Interns Break Out of Their Shell in the Kitchen

“The cooking class was a hit. It was a great way to break out of our shell and learn something new about everyone. All of the interns said it was the highlight of their summer,” said Karakas who chose the Flatbread Pizza in a Box for their virtual cooking class.

Planning for and coordinating the virtual cooking class was made simple. Life At The Table shipped the pizza ingredients and a list of equipment to the participants in advance.

The cooking experience, powered by Zoom, allowed participants to see and interact with each other and the chef. A two-camera view in the kitchen, a feature of every Life At The Table virtual cooking experience, gave participants a view of the chef and a birdseye view of the action in the kitchen.

Chef Sandra taught us how to make a simple pizza sauce, which I thought would be difficult,” said Karakas. “She also showed us how to add spice to the pizza dough which I never thought about doing before.”


Cooking Virtually Together Creates Community

Participants ended up with a delicious pizza while having fun and learned some cooking skills that will last a lifetime.

Karakas said personalities showed up in the pizzas because no pizza turned out the same. The interns proudly showed off their unique creations at the end of the virtual cooking class, some included vegan options.

“I think in this environment, community is everything. I know some people are living by themselves or with a partner. It’s a time to pick up new cooking skills and I think that opportunities like this bring people together.”

At ebay, Karakas said they talk about the importance of bringing “our whole self” to work and that virtual classes like this provide employees, especially students who are new to corporate America, an opportunity to express themselves and their personalities.

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