FORMing a Path: Turning My Dream Internship Into a Reality

  • Categories:

    Agency Life, Inspiration, Public Relations

  • Date:

    June 13, 2024

FORMing a Path: Turning My Dream Internship Into a Reality

Agency Life Inspiration Public Relations

Junior year, spring semester. That stressful point in most students’ college careers when friends and family ask: “Where are you working this summer?” or “What are your plans after college?” When it’s easy to feel more anxious with each “I’m thrilled to announce” post by a peer on LinkedIn. When it can feel as if everyone else has it all figured out.

  • How does everyone know what they want to do?

  • Is it truly possible to love your job?

  • How do I find a company that pushes me yet supports me?

Luckily, when I reached this seminal moment in early 2024, I already had a plan.

Love at First Sight

I’m a rising senior studying advertising and public relations with a double major in communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I’m a creator and writer, and I love doing different things every day. I’ve often struggled to imagine reaching peak creativity in a hushed office building that lacks human interaction and collaboration.

But when, as a sophomore, I stepped inside Wray Ward on a UNC–Chapel Hill Advertising Club field trip touring Charlotte marketing agencies, I felt at home.

It wasn’t only Wray Ward’s Charlotte office, flooded with natural light and dotted with a foosball table, massage chair and break room snack rack, but also the invisible energy that radiated throughout the office. Everyone was smiling and collaborating. Their work spaces were decorated, the furniture brightly colored. I even learned Wray Ward has a chief joy officer.

It was my first time feeling jealous of people working in an office building (so much so that I immediately texted my mom a picture of the office captioned, “I am going to work here one day”).

Taking the Leap

True to my word, I applied to the agency’s FORM internship program for summer 2024. I mulled over my application and cover letter detailing why I was a fit for the program’s public relations/content/social position. I read, reread and edited my materials more times than I can count.

Eventually, I worked up the courage to hit “submit.” A few weeks later, I practically squealed in the middle of class after receiving an email with the subject line: Schedule Your Interview. It was only the first step, but I had a chance.

I was going to give it my best shot.

The morning of the interview, I attempted to calm my nerves, reminding myself to be confident in my experience and work ethic. Despite my initial fears, I felt comfortable the second the interview started. The two interviewers were kind and easy to talk to, making the call feel like a conversation instead of a test.

I said goodbye, wanting the job more than ever. Then, a few days later, I received another email, this time with the subject line: Congratulations!

When you really want something, accomplishing that goal is one of the best feelings in the world.

So Far, So Good

I’m barely a week into FORM, but the feeling I got after that 2023 Ad Club visit remains true. From day one, I have felt welcomed and supported by everyone in the company, ranging from my team members and fellow interns to the CEO and other executives.

I can already tell that I am going to grow exponentially during this eight-week program. I have the opportunity to work with real clients, gain agency experience and learn from the creative individuals around the office. Every day will be different. I will be pushed yet supported. Better yet, I feel encouraged to speak up and ask questions.

Meet the Team

I am privileged to work alongside two talented fellow interns: Megan Johnson (copywriting intern, University of Alabama) and John Marernic (graphic design intern, Penn State University). I was curious about how and why they were drawn to Wray Ward, so I asked them a few questions to see how our stories compared.

How did you first hear about Wray Ward, and what made you want to apply for a FORM internship? What makes the agency or program stand out?

Megan: I first heard about Wray Ward from a former intern who went to UA with me. We had a mutual friend, and she recommended I reach out to him about his time in Charlotte. He had nothing but great things to say about the agency!

I think Wray Ward is different from other companies because of its culture. I’ve only had three days of in-person work so far, and everyone has been absolutely lovely. There’s a huge emphasis on a healthy work-life balance.

What do you think makes Wray Ward different from other companies? What do you hope to gain from this internship experience?

John: I think the culture here is unbeatable. The people are super friendly. I hope to learn more about agency life and see how it functions as well as meet more great people around the office.

I could not be more thrilled or thankful for this opportunity, and I cannot wait to see how much I learn and grow over the summer.

Stay tuned to hear more about my experience in FORM. In the meantime, visit the FORM website to learn more about this incredible internship program.

Explore more articles from Wray Ward.