Internship Reflections and Aspirations: Week One, Done!

  • Categories:

    Agency Life

  • Date:

    June 20, 2019

Internship Reflections and Aspirations: Week One, Done!

Agency Life

Monday mornings signal the end of the weekend, but one Monday morning in June also marked the start of something new: Wray Ward’s FORM marketing internship for seven students and recent grads.

As we made our way to the agency’s entrance, we experienced a whirlwind of emotions, spanning from excitement to uncertainty and nearly everything in between.

“I didn’t know the tenor of the environment, which made it difficult to be as talkative and engaging as I normally am,” said Graphic Design Intern Parks Sadler. “Nonetheless, I was really excited to get started.”

Digital Media Intern Kyle Geiger similarly recalled feeling unsure: “I felt like I was walking into the adult world in kids’ shoes.”

While we all felt the jitters that are typical for any first day on the job, at first glance, we did not seem to have much else in common.

Some of us are new to Charlotte, having moved from other parts of North Carolina or from out of state, while others are commuting from their home base each morning.

We come from different schools, situated throughout the country and ranging in size from 2,400 undergraduate students to nearly 30,000. Some of us will return to school in the fall, while others are recent grads.

Additionally, we are engaged in different aspects of our school communities, from playing sports as student-athletes to participating in other on-campus organizations. We have an assortment of interests, from cryptocurrency to musicals and analog photography.

So, can this unique collection of interns mesh as a team?

Despite being on time, I was the final intern to arrive on our first day. After checking in with the front desk, I was ushered into the bright, colorful room that serves as the workspace for all the FORM interns.

Appropriately named The Sunroom, the space features an entire wall of windows that wash the room with light, plus comfortable chairs in Wray Ward’s staple orange, large desks and plenty of open space to move around and collaborate.

I was excited to get to work. Soon after the other interns and I talked for a bit with our mentors, we went to The Big, a large conference room with a lengthy table that has obviously hosted a bunch of important meetings.

Seated around the sweeping table, we laughed nervously and exchanged smiles as we introduced ourselves to one another.

In the words of Copywriting Intern Payton Cianfarano, “The first few hours of our first day mainly consisted of awkward small talk, excessive nodding and repeatedly reminding ourselves of our names and majors.”

UX Design and Development Intern Matthew Ball also remembered the experience with some humor: “Lunch was a little awkward on the first day, but I’m glad they provided garlic knots and pizza.”

While we may have been relatively quiet and shy at first, the accommodating and friendly culture at Wray Ward, paired with ample opportunities to get acquainted, made each of us far more comfortable. Client Engagement and Project Management Intern Hudson Hausmann said that “for a group of people that had just met, we got to know one another really well by the end of the week.”

Along the way, I realized we have far more in common than I initially expected. In fact, if you asked Video Intern Eliza Robinson, she’d tell you we already had a bunch of inside jokes by the second day.

Our team has since become fast friends. Whether we are brainstorming ideas, going to lunch together or making plans to try a new restaurant over the weekend, it is clear that the seven of us will only grow closer.

Looking forward

From being quiet and shy on our first day to feeling at home by the end of our first week, our FORM class has a lot to look forward to.

Our ability to collaborate will help us provide unique insights and ideas for a real-life client project. This assignment will require us to form a holistic, integrated, effective marketing campaign that taps into everything from community ideation to video integration and social strategy.

Of course, each of us also has individual goals outside of building our resume and seeing the inner workings of agency life.

Personally, I am excited to:

  • Work alongside the Public Relations (PR) team and see the variety of hats PR professionals wear
  • Expand on my writing skills and learn about which styles are most effective to use for different platforms and formats
  • Develop professional skills and connections that will aid in future career endeavors

Hudson aims to:

  • Dive deeper into the connection between clients and internal teams and how to best facilitate those relationships

Kyle wants to:

  • Gain clarity by learning the fundamentals of paid social media marketing and targeted advertising — the perfect way to feed his passion for quantitative data mining and data-integrated, creative strategy

Payton hopes to:

  • Engage with industry professionals and receive their feedback
  • Learn to trust where her creativity takes her

Eliza’s main goals are to:

  • Learn about all aspects of videography
  • Understand the life cycle of advertising for a client
  • Discover which aspect of advertising excites her the most for career development

Parks aspires to:

  • Learn about agency roles and client relationships
  • Gain valuable real-world experience that will prepare him to enter a career in the industry

Matt wants to:

  • Learn as much from as many people as possible

With such high aspirations and equally high expectations from the Wray Ward staff, this summer is sure to be an unforgettable one for the FORM class of 2019.

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