The FORM interns have made it.
Well, not really. But we are at the halfway point of our time here at Wray Ward, and we have the work to show it. We’ve spent the past four weeks settling into our departments and working on projects for real clients.
We’ve also worked on our group project, a fully integrated marketing campaign that we will develop over the course of the summer.
These first four weeks have been inspiring and intimidating, a chance to show what we know and learn what we don’t. After we got our first creative brief, we started to combine our skillsets and create a project from the ground up.
The group project isn’t just a looming deadline or a vague idea. It’s part of our day-to-day lives, along with morning cups of coffee and intern huddles by the creative sofas.
So, you might be wondering…
What is a typical day in a Wray Ward FORM intern’s life?
The six of us start our days in the office at 8:30 a.m. at our desks as we check emails and sip our coffee. But after that, our lives here at Wray Ward diverge. The truth is, there really isn’t an average day for a FORM intern. The jobs we work on vary week-to-week and day-to-day.
I might spend my morning working on a blog or a social media calendar, but Maddy, the graphic design intern, might be working on brand manuals, billboards or banner ads.
“I work on a lot of editorial layouts,” said Maddy. “I’m really grateful that Heather, a senior designer, trusted me enough to let me take the reins on a few spreads. She helped me along the way, but in the end I got to present what I’d done to the Executive Creative Director, John Roberts. It really makes me feel like I’m a part of the Wray Ward team.”
We all have unique opportunities to grow our different skill sets and build our portfolios. Ruijia, the video intern, has worked multiple shoots with the Motion department.
“Thanks to the Motion team, I was able to participate on a team shoot and help edit the video,” she said.
When we aren’t creating new content or planning group meetings, we are working on our intern group project.
What is the FORM intern marketing project?
The short story is: the FORM intern summer project is a fully developed, integrated marketing campaign created by six young adults with little to no direct experience.
Sounds daunting, right?
Even though we were nervous at first, Wray Ward gave us the tools to take on the project head first. Our mentors guided us through the first steps and helped us learn from each new experience.
“It’s everyone’s first time doing a project like this,” said User Design and Development Intern HwangHah. “So sometimes, we aren’t sure if our ideas are on the right track, but that’s the fun part. We only get this first experience once, and we’re learning all we can.”
We spent the first half of our internship coming up with three different campaign directions. At the beginning, we had so many ideas that we had trouble narrowing them down.
“Each one of us has different points of view and ideas,” Ruijia said. “It was fun to see how those thoughts worked together. During the first ideation process, we wrote out all our random little thoughts on sticky notes and pinned them to the wall to see how they could be combined to form a bigger project.”
But that process was only the start. Next, we turned our ideas into three detailed, feasible campaigns.
“The biggest challenge of the group project, as always with group projects, is that everyone has a different way of going about accomplishing an overall goal,” Laura said. “At the same time though, that’s what makes the project so fun and interesting. Because we think differently, everyone brings something to the table and points out a new perspective. All the different viewpoints combine to create out-of-the-box ideas.”
Throughout the group project, we keep discovering how the six of us can work as a team. When we get stumped, we have an office of mentors to step in and offer guidance and advice.
We are also learning how to approach the project by shadowing our mentors in the Wray Ward office to see how it’s done.
What does shadowing look like in a creative marketing office?
You’ve probably heard shadowing used as a verb in the context of premed students or in Peter Pan. We aren’t watching open heart surgeries or flying around Neverland, but we’re learning from the best in our respective fields.
As FORM interns, we get to see how a marketing agency works. We get to sit in on meetings as talented creative professionals from all departments work together to ideate new concepts. We get to watch those pros present their ideas to clients.
“When I sit in on client meetings, it’s great to see how Wray Ward’s work can make a huge impact on a business and in the community,” said Laura, account lead intern.
Shadowing not only helps us discover how marketing works in practice, it also helps us improve our own skills. While we watch our mentors work, we discover how to implement their techniques in our own projects. Copywriting Intern Khari said shadowing meetings has fundamentally changed his writing process.
“The coolest experience I’ve had has been sitting in on meetings,” said Khari. “Since coming to Wray Ward, I’ve learned to get from one big idea to several concepts and headlines, which has been eye-opening.”
So that’s it? That’s what you do in a day?
Yes, and no.
There are also the informal intern get-togethers in the sunroom or on the sofas by the window to brainstorm. There are the goofy ideas that make us laugh. There are lunches outside at the picnic tables and trips to Charlotte restaurants and food trucks. There are moments of doubt and moments of, “A-ha! It works!”
Over the second half of our internship, we will continue our individual department work and hone our group project. We will choose one of the three campaign directions we developed and go deeper with it, making it bigger, bolder and more detailed until it is a finished product ready to present to the client.
At Wray Ward, our goals and focus can change within a minute’s notice. Each day offers new challenges, surprises and projects to tackle. Even though every day is different, we walk out of the office knowing we’ve learned something new.
And that, for the FORM interns, is all in a day’s work.