Early Lessons from the FORM Marketing Internship

  • Categories:

    Agency Life

  • Date:

    June 14, 2018

Early Lessons from the FORM Marketing Internship

Agency Life

The spring semester is over, meaning it’s time for summer school.

Well, not exactly. Luckily, I don’t have to retake Spanish or complete linear algebra problems by the pool. Instead, I’m taking a crash course in public relations by doing the real thing. For eight weeks, I'll be one of seven FORM marketing interns working with and learning from 100-plus creative marketing pros.

Wray Ward is our school for the summer, and agency life class is in session.

Between now and early August, we’ll support our respective agency departments while also working on an integrated marketing campaign for an actual client (no pressure — right?). And though some of us already have our college diplomas, after a single week at Wray Ward, it’s clear some knowledge can only be gained on the job.

Here are a few early lessons we’ve learned.

A great team works wonders for first-day jitters.

Charlotte is a new city for most of our team, so joining Wray Ward for the summer also involved a move. We’re not in kindergarten, but seeing a bunch of unfamiliar faces on Monday morning still gave some of us first-day jitters. Luckily, the staff made us feel right at home.

“I wasn’t sure how I would handle the first day,” said Kayla Kogelnik, graphic design intern. “I was afraid I’d feel like the new kid in the middle of the school year. But from the moment I walked in the door, I felt welcome. Everyone was genuinely excited to have us in the office.”

Design Director David Adams and Senior Designer Heather Dumford made sure Kayla (center) didn't feel like the new kid.

We didn’t all sweat day one.

“I wasn’t nervous about my first day at Wray Ward,” said Salomon Onyegbulem, UX and design development intern. “I knew I’d be surrounded by smart, creative, talented people who share my interests and career goals.”

Digital Designer Ian Anderson and Creative Director Josh Ashton took Salomon (center) under their wing.

It was easy for all of us to see that we’d immediately become part of the Wray Ward community.

“Every single person here is extremely approachable, friendly and kind,” said Hanh Nguyen, digital media intern. “Unlike at school, where I could sometimes get lost in the midst of 20,000 students, at Wray Ward I already feel like an essential part of the family.”

Associate Media Director Lani Wiles and Digital Advertising Operations Manager Brandon Croce made Hanh (center) feel like part of the family.

The interns found a natural bond, too. Initial small talk quickly morphed into Snapchat streaks and group messages. We already have a weekly lunch date (with a designated lunch table) and joint weekend plans. It’s clear we’ll spend much of the summer together, whether meeting for our group project or working silently alongside one another for hours in the agency’s sunroom.

“I expected it to take at least a little time for the interns to bond and get to know each other, but that wasn’t the case,” said Jess Rapfogel, video intern.

This internship is all about teamwork: from our fellow interns to mentors and supervisors and all of the pros in our respective departments, we can count on plenty of people to help guide us throughout our time here. Even better, Wray Ward encourages us to bring our own talents and ideas to the table, because their staff does the same each and every day. We’re motivated — not pressured — to be ourselves and strive to produce work that makes us proud.

We won’t receive grades, but the work is just as important.

If the first week is any indication, it’s clear we’ll have plenty of hard work to do between all of the fun that comes with meeting new people in a new city — including real projects for real clients. In fact, I’ll attend a client lunch and tour this week, and I’m also making a social media calendar for our FORM Instagram. I’ve jumped into projects for the public relations and content team, and the pros are teaching me the writing, social media and communication strategies I’ll need to succeed.

Director Heather Tamol and Account Manager Christy Marion helped me dive right into PR and content.

“We’re already working hard in our respective departments,” said Jason Colliton, copywriting intern. “I immediately received existing projects to study and new copy to write.”

Jason (center) is taking cues from Copy Director Scott Ellmaker and Senior Writer Katie Moore.

This internship experience is completely hands-on. For example, our video intern, Jess, assisted on video and photo shoots in week one. She also had the chance to work alongside her mentor and help with every step of production for an upcoming video.

Senior Motion Content Developer Laura Tice and Creative Director Chris Williams made sure Jess (center) got on set her first week on the job.

Madison, our client engagement intern, quickly became the mastermind behind our summer-long group project, planning and color-coding our schedule to make sure we deliver assignments on time and that we nail it every step of the way.

Project Manager Becca Mackey and Account Lead Dana Williams love Madison's (center) attention to detail.

Wray Ward gives its interns a ton of opportunities, and I’m excited about all that I’ll be able to take part in and observe this summer. No one on our team will have to sit around waiting for something to happen.

Any jitters we experienced at first are long gone, and we’re focused on the weeks to come. No matter what other lessons we learn this summer, one thing is for sure — they don’t teach this stuff in school.

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