This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.
Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.
Jones: As a UX Design intern, I primarily assist in collecting and compiling research on pharmaceutical companies, edit and revise surveys, and design sitemaps and wireframes.
Wunderman Thompson is a large, international creative agency; therefore, I attend many meetings. As Wunderman Thompson slowly transitions into in-office work, we primarily have virtual meetings. I have weekly meetings with the UX team, Creative team, and D.C. office meetings — as well as NextGen Leaders meetings with interns around the world! I also meet bi-weekly with the founder of Cultivate, Raegan Burden (MA ’01) and other Cultivate interns — along with Julia Sheinbaum, Wunderman Thompson’s Talent Acquisition Coordinator.
I am in constant contact with my supervisor, Josh Gravholt, Associate Director of User Experience. I work closely with Ponja Ocumarez, UX Designer. I assist them in designing site maps and collecting data for pharmaceutical companies. We collaborate through Microsoft Teams.
Wong: As an account management intern, my main duty is to be the account supervisor’s right hand and help in any way I can,
whether it’s small tasks or more time-consuming ones. Our clients are pharmaceutical clients in prostate cancer. My typical administrative responsibilities include taking minutes at client meetings and updating promo/client status reports, creating set-up forms, drop-shipment forms, EDGE submissions and Gannt chart updates.
What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?
Jones: I have always been a self-starter. I dislike micromanagement and hovering. As I began working with WT, I learned to depend on my team members — which is a good thing. As a journalist, I always completed all of my work alone. With WT, I can work with multiple people within various offices. I feel less burnt out and proud of the team effort.
How is your internship affecting the ideas you have about your future? Is it confirming your desired career path or making you re-evaluate what you want to do in the future?
Wong: By participating in this internship, I have confirmed that my desired career path is in advertising because I enjoy every aspect of it. I am learning a lot in the account management position and doing things I had never done before such as working with real clients. However, in the future I would consider switching to a graphic design position within the company because that is where my heart truly is and what my professional background is about.
How do you feel that Grady has prepared you for tackling the job?
Jones: The New Media Institute and the Emerging Media path provided the foundation for User Experience design. Along with my team members, I designed and coded an app for my Capstone Project. The Capstone Project was probably my hardest project ever! If I can conquer that project, I can do anything.
What is the most valuable lesson or skill you have learned during your internship?
Wong: When you start an internship it’s clear to everyone that you want to impress. All eyes are on you, so you want to show everyone how good you are. There have been some instances where I pretended to know something I actually didn’t that much so that my boss would think I am capable of handling a certain task. What would actually happen is that I would stay late trying to figure out how to do it and wear myself out. That is neither efficient nor effective. It’s okay to say you don’t know or that you need help with something. It’s not a weakness and it shows you want to learn.
What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role?
Jones: I’m going to steal advice from the founder of Cultivate: Don’t be a wallflower! Put yourself out there. I used to be so afraid to even apply for internships. Don’t worry. The worst thing they can say is no.