How Kendall Hurns’ Creative Journey Began As Part of McDonald’s 1 in 8

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What can you say about the McDonald’s you worked at and how it affected that community?

So, the first thing that comes to mind is whenever I would get McDonald’s before school in the morning, there would always be this group of older people in there having coffee, reading the paper, conversing, and you can just tell they were comfortable. It was 7:00 in the morning and they’re in McDonald’s just to start their day. And then on the flip side, my friends and I, we would grab food and hang out after school. So it was like having those two different dynamics happening in the same place, just says a lot about how it affected the community. 

As someone who’s worked at McDonald’s, how do you think programs like this can provide opportunities and skills for individuals entering the workforce? 

It’s just a place that I believe can help you on your career journey in some capacity. For me, I’ve taken away branding, learning, marketing, and customer service. Those elements have helped me in my business practice and things that I’ve created over the years. So I think it can provide great opportunities and skills to individuals.

Absolutely. I was going to ask this question, but I feel like you answered it in the previous question as well. Are there any other specific skills or experiences you’ve gained during your time at McDonald’s that you believe have been valuable in your subsequent career journey? I know you kind of touched on it already.

So, I was a cashier and it helped me develop communication and customer service skills. Those are two things that have been really instrumental in my career. And then, like I mentioned before, I learned marketing, branding, and how effective it could be. And when you think about companies that execute that at a high level, you have to think about McDonald’s, easily one of the best, if not the best. All of that stuff is just something that I kept with me, and I knew that it was important for the things that I’ve been trying to build in my career.

You’ve stated your own personal mantra is “Create, Destroy, Rebuild,” summarizing it as we all have the ability to start over and rebuild again. How did you make that transition from working at McDonald’s to building something like robotic minds? Robotics concepts?

So for me, it starts with creativity. The brand has been a huge part of my creative journey, which is why this partnership was a full-circle moment and no-brainer for me. Yeah, I’m sure it affects other people the same way. I think about being invited to view the McDonald’s archivist room at the headquarters and seeing these different design elements that have happened over the years of the brand and how they have been memorable — the colors, the vibrancy, the energy, all of that stuff has been super helpful to me. And so all of that has been a part of my transition, that creativity, that’s where it starts for me.

As someone who’s successfully navigated various career paths, what advice would you give to young individuals who are looking to break molds and explore different fields, much like you have?

I think it’s key as a parent, I put a multitude of things in front of my son to help him just simply discover. So that would truly be my advice. Try it all, see what you’re really into, because I couldn’t imagine myself just doing one thing. I would go crazy. And so yeah, man, just to simply explore.

Love it. Looking ahead, what are your aspirations for the future with your continued involvement in the worlds of art, fashion, and entertainment?

To continue to grow, continue to grow, create and be a part of things that are meaningful, things that will stand the test of time. I would love for different brands or different things that I create now to be around 20, 30 years from now, living in some capacity. If my son carries it over, or somebody that works with me now keeps it going, that would mean the world to me.