This is the blog of the MWW Interns. Here you can observe our experiences and exciting projects. Interns in every department from Visual Branding to Financial Relations will be updating and documenting our experiences on a weekly basis. Follow us to get an inside look at what a true interning experience is like at MWW!

Mastering the Art of Commuting

Posted by: Taryn Ottaunick
January 20, 2015

TarynOttaunickWhen I told my friends I would be interning in New York City this summer, the first thing I was warned about was the commute. It can’t be that bad, I naively thought. Needless to say, on my first day home from work I took the wrong train on the subway and got lost in Port Authority.

“Don’t worry,” my mother said. “Eventually, you’ll get really good at commuting.”

After experiencing several weeks of the Lincoln Tunnel Lifestyle ™, I realized my mother was right. Now that I’ve become something of an expert, I’m graciously sharing my tips and tricks for conquering the commuter bus – and beyond.

1. Assert Yourself
Some might deem it impossible to make the 6:20 p.m. bus when work ends at 6 p.m., but trust me, anything is possible if you just believe make it a mission to get to the bus stop. I find it most effective to eschew walking altogether and simply jog through the underground connection path. This can be difficult, particularly due to the fact that these walkways are often crowded with lost tourists, or groups of teenage girls who feel it necessary to walk in a horizontal line, creating a human wall. Although this creates an issue, I remember being one of this breed long ago (or last year). One day they too will be commuters, and they will understand.

2. Come Prepared
Since a bus ride can last up to two hours due to traffic circumstances, I find it crucial to pack accordingly. My Commuter Survival Kit includes noise-eliminating headphones, a good playlist on Spotify, gum and large, dark-framed sunglasses.

3. Make Friends
I feel it is wise to spread a little good karma through the rows of bus seats. This is where making friends comes in. Often, there is congestion in the bus garage that causes my bus to be late. Although this can be annoying, one veteran commuter, a UPS guy, is never afraid to push into the garage and shout our bus number at the dispatchers until it arrives. Offering him a supportive high five ensures that he will continue this practice in the future. Another friend is the sassy lady who somehow managed to collect the cellphone numbers of several of our route’s bus drivers. Becoming friends with this lady has proven advantageous, because we can always figure out where our bus is if it’s running late. These friendships not only make for a more collegial wait, but a shorter one as well.
Although nothing can make the bus move faster once it’s on the road, these strategies have allowed me to whittle my evening arrival to a much more manageable 7:20, thus expanding my time for socializing Netflix. Follow my expertise, and anyone can master the art of commuting.

Posted by Taryn Ottaunick at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

Summer in D.C.

Posted by: Jacquline Tauberman
January 20, 2015

JackieTaubermanHaving lived in Potomac, Maryland for my high school career, I am no stranger to D.C. I have toured the national museums, walked up and down the mall, and experienced lots of different cultures’ cuisines through the District’s array of restaurants. However, there is something to be said about spending the summer in D.C.

Most people focus on the sweltering heat and humidity that plagues the District in the summer but now that I go to school at the University of Vermont in Burlington, I have a new appreciation for the warm weather. There’s something very refreshing about not having to bundle up simply to walk down the street.

Besides the weather, I really enjoy all the events that the District has to offer in the summer. One of my favorites is Jazz in the Garden at the Sculpture Garden. I love sitting around the reflecting pool with my toes in the water and listening to the smooth sound of jazz and people chatting around me. I often venture to Jazz in the Garden a few Fridays of the summer with a couple friends to enjoy the summer afternoons and the music.

There are many other fun events that I have yet to explore such as the Folklife Festival. This year they are showcasing Kenya and China. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to experience the festival this summer.

Posted by Jacquline Tauberman at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

Rwanda University

Posted by: Stanley Usovicz
January 15, 2015

StanleyUsoviczAs a 19 year-old boy standing in Kigali Airport with my over-stuffed military duffle bag, I could never have conceived how greatly one summer would alter the way I saw and thought about the world. Though I was booked to fly to Rwanda months in advance, took all of those nightmare-inducing malaria pills, and learned a few basic phrases in Swahili and Kinyarwanda, I had forgotten the plain fact that adventures and epiphanies can’t be planned.

As part of a group of five students from St. Andrews University in Scotland, we were the first unpaid volunteers that had been in the country since the Rwandan Genocide in the early 90s. For a little over a month we would be living in the southern Nyamagabe region and teaching classes in the Kigeme UNHCR refugee camp. The people living in the camp had escaped the violence between the rebel group M23 and Congolese government forces, and were simply looking for a place to live in peace and safety. Though they had established a school in a nice brick building for the camp’s children, the school only taught students until the age of 16-17. There were many in the camp whom had left the brick school behind, but had not yet quenched their thirst for knowledge. At the top of the biggest hill, these 18-25 year old learners had constructed a shelter of wood and blue Unicef tarp to teach and learn from one another and from refugees whom had been teachers back in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They were students unlike any I had encountered in my life. In America and in the UK, school – for many people – is a process of trying to achieve the highest grades, a way to gain entry to famed and prestigious schools, and a name to type proudly atop a resume for job interviews. In Kigeme, however, school was a personal journey of learning about the greater world around them. There were no parents nagging them to get to class, no true grades, and – sadly – a very slim and distant chance of ever attending university. They were there because they were curious enough to learn for learning’s sake, and nothing more.

This inspired me as I went back to university, and even now in NYC, to challenge and appreciate the world of privilege that surrounds me. No one chooses the circumstances of life that they inherit; I had no more choice in being born an American than they did of being children of Lake Kivu, yet our worlds are completely different as a result.

Though our lives are so separate, there is something so common and bonding between us, which I had naively neglected to consider before my trip. We all grapple with the same questions, laugh at the same jokes, and smile on a sunny day. Though my title was “teacher,” I learned more in just over a month than much of my life as a student.

Posted by Stanley Usovicz at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

Sailing in the Tunnel

Posted by: Songlan (Susan) Ouyang
December 23, 2014

SusanOuyangExactly a year and three months ago, I wanted to explore the so-called real world and graduated a semester early from University of California, Berkeley.

My parents questioned my decision and they had every reason to do so. I was officially off the rosters for scholarships and student insurance, and I insisted on staying in the Bay Area, one of the most expensive places in the nation.

Much to their delight, I started my first paid internship right after graduation. Four months later, it was all over. My job-searching journey turned into a two-month hiatus. Every day I would send out numerous resumes and wait for responses.

I kept applying to entry-level positions that drew my interest until I had finally received an offer letter from a boutique communications firm that inspired my interest in PR and eventually led me to MWW.

Looking back, would I have chosen differently and take my time in school? Maybe. Without the help of counselors and career advisors, finding one’s footing in society can be quite frightening. Do I regret the effort I devoted to find my place in it? Not for a second. My first internship had not only given me lifelong friendships, but also the experiences of working in a team under constantly changing priorities. And even during my darkest hours, I trained myself to persevere and keep going.

After all, there is light at the end of the tunnel and I owe everything I have right now to all the different turns made along the way.

Posted by Songlan (Susan) Ouyang at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

How Can You Not Be Romantic About Baseball

Posted by: Zachary Tanne
December 18, 2014

ZacharyTanneBefore I ever had my first crush, I was already in love; the game of baseball had stolen my heart and has had it ever since. From the time the three-year-old version of myself was taking some of my first swings with a whiffle ball bat, no one could have predicted all of the amazing memories baseball would one day provide and where it would take me, least of all, taking my last swing on a field just outside of Paris, France.

Living in Wading River, Long Island at the time, my dad introduced me to the greatest game in the world along with the greatest organization in American sports history, the New York Yankees. While he covered that aspect of my baseball education, when he was at work, my mom would take me out into the back yard to practice hitting balls with one of those jumbo-sized plastic bats. From those early years going forward, I’ve had pinstripes in my blood, which has been a defining factor about me, especially because I grew up in Red Sox Nation.

Growing up in Amherst, MA, provided me a place to really learn and grow in the sport. Playing in numerous leagues and forming unbreakable bonds with teammates, including my best friend, Matt, culminated in what can only be described as a storybook ending. After playing together for close to a decade, the 10 other seniors of the 2010 Amherst Regional High School team and I walked off the field together for the final time as Division I State Champions – the first in our school’s history.

Fast forward to one year later. I was boarding a plane out of New York to meet nine other baseball players from around the country in Amsterdam to begin our tour of exhibition games that would stretch for almost three weeks across the Netherlands, Belgium, and ending in Paris, France. This experience was truly special, and even furthered my love of the game, which I didn’t know was possible. Waking up early to play a double-header and then travel around the city we were in that day was beyond fun, but what I might’ve enjoyed the most was talking with the players from the other teams we faced. Even with the language barrier, we traded stories of exciting moments, our favorite teams and players, and what it was like growing up where we did.

Throughout the course of my 22 years, baseball has become more than just a game for me, it has embedded itself as a cornerstone to who I am and always will be. To quote former Yankees manager and Hall of Famer, Joe Torre, “Baseball is a game of life. It’s not perfect, but it feels like it is. That’s the magic of it.” Here’s to hoping that magic never wears off.

Posted by Zachary Tanne at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

The Decision 3.0

Posted by: Richard Foster
December 9, 2014

RichardFosterThe stress of the decision made me feel as if I were LeBron James; a senior in high school, choosing between two completely separate paths and in a minimal amount of time. The decision deadline for most schools was approaching, and I was still left clueless. Do I attend a university and focus on academics, or do I pursue the game that I have played every day throughout my entire life – baseball?

After a draining decision process, I realized that although I would have been able to play in college, the game would not turn into a career for me. So I decided to “take my talents,” up to Kingston, Rhode Island, and join the student body at the University of Rhode Island. Deciding to leave a high school with a graduating class of 124 kids and attend a university with almost 18,000 students was a major change and a huge leap out of my comfort zone.

When I arrived in Rhode Island, I felt as if I were right at home, and finding out the school was almost 30% New Jersey students made it feel even more like home. Making friends that were similar to my friends in high school was a very comfortable feeling, and I still felt as if the major change that I expected would never come. But then, during the spring semester of my Junior year, I got a call with an offer to a Summer internship at MWW’s New York City office. I was beyond excited, but nervous. I had never taken a train alone in my life; I didn’t even know how to get to Penn Station, which later I figured out that all I needed to do was get on the train and wait until the last stop. So far, it’s been quite the experience. At least once a day, I catch myself thinking about how diverse New York City is. It’s been nice to get a completely new view on different people and cultures and to see how others live from day-to-day.

Since I’ve started working at MWW, I’ve gone into the city on multiple weekends with my friends from home, with confidence of being able to get around without concern. I had not realized this until I started typing this all up, but the internship has helped me grow up much more than I had ever anticipated.

Posted by Richard Foster at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

Greatest Day Touchdown

Posted by: Rebecca Vignali
December 4, 2014

RebeccaVignaliI come from an intense football family, so when my father did not have any son’s he made sure that my sister and I knew everything about football and went to colleges that had big time football.

My sister goes to Auburn University in Alabama. Football is life in Alabama and anyone who knows a tiny bit about football knows that the biggest rivalry in college is Auburn vs. Alabama. This rivalry is unlike anything I have ever seen before. These schools absolutely despise each other and will do anything to bring the other school down. For example, in 2011 an Alabama fan—who named his children Bear Bryant and Crimson Tyde—decided to poison the historic trees on Auburn’s campus on Toomers Corner because Auburn won the National Championship. If that is not a crazy rivalry, I don’t know what is.

These two teams play each other every year at the Iron Bowl game. It takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Last football season leading up to the Iron Bowl, Auburn had only lost one game and was ranked fourth. Alabama was undefeated and was ranked first. Everyone predicted that Alabama was going to conquer Auburn. It was the most anticipated game of the year and my sister and I had to go.

We sat in the student section, five rows back from the end zone. The score kept going back and forth all game. Alabama was up for most of the fourth quarter and it looked like they were going to defeat Auburn for the third time in a row. My sister turned to me and asked if I wanted to leave the game and I told her “No! Auburn could still win. There are 5 minutes left.” So we stayed and thank goodness we did.

The score was tied at 28 with seven seconds left in the game. T.J. Yeldon, from Alabama, made a long run and the time ran out. Every Auburn fan had a look of sadness on their face with the thought that Alabama had won, but the play was reviewed and Yeldon had gone out of bounds. One second was put back on the clock and Alabama attempted a game-winning 57 yard field goal, but missed. Auburn player, Chris Davis, caught it.

My sister and I were in disbelief. We looked at each other and just started cheering. We were jumping up and down watching Chris Davis run all the way down the field dodging every lineman that came his way. He scored and Auburn won the Iron Bowl 34-28. It was absolutely incredible. I had never seen anything like it in my life. Every Auburn fan was going crazy and many of them were crying. The entire student section rushed the field, jumping over thorn bushes to get on. People were tearing grass off the field and tearing off branches from the bushes to keep as a remembrance of the game.

While on the field, I had never been so happy and excited in my entire life. I had grown up watching and learning about football from my father. I had just witnessed the greatest play to ever happen in college football and I was on the field cheering with every student and player. This particular game also taught me a great lesson: never give up. Auburn did not give up during the last second of the football game. They played their hardest until the game was over. My sister wanted to give up and leave the game once Auburn was losing, but I made us stay because giving up and leaving was not the right thing to do. This lesson can be used in any aspect of life, but especially in a work setting. During my internship thus far, I have used this lesson when times have gotten tough. Not giving up and prevailing through the tough times at work has made some of my worst days become some of my best days. But nothing will compare to that game. I am only 23, so I am sure I will have many more great days to come, but as of now that was the greatest day of my life and I will never forget it.

Posted by Rebecca Vignali at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

$100 bucks, a Saturday, and Some Driving

Posted by: Quentin Ong
November 27, 2014

Quentin OngLegs burning and arms spent, this is bad news. I’m only halfway done and I’m already dragging my feet. Before I can think about my aches and pains anymore, my friend calls out to me, “Yo, Q! Look, it’s your favorite obstacle!” Great! Just what I needed. There’s only 3 things in this world I hate; Spiders, heights, and cold water. I really hate cold water and when I say I hate cold water, I really really hate cold water.

Up ahead was the Arctic Enema, which was basically a glorified ice-bucket. It was a garbage dumpster filled with ice and water with a strategically placed vertical board in the middle that forced each runner to dunk their entire body into the frigid ice water in order to go under the board and get out. This was already a cold 55 degree November day and it had been raining the entire time, promising no warmth when we get out of the water. We three fools, Steve, Eric, and I, lined up across the edge of the dumpster. We gave each other a hopeful look, praying that one of us would skip this obstacle and then we could follow suit keeping our pride intact. Instead we agreed that on the count of 3 we’d all jump- in. My friend Steve led the count and, as I listened, I closed my eyes preparing myself for what was to come.




Two years ago, I was sitting on my high school friend’s couch. My friend Mackenzie went to the same high school as me and as we were catching up, trading crazy freshmen college stories, he asked if I wanted to do a Spartan Race. I naively asked what he was talking about. He showed me YouTube videos of guys and girls, all muddy struggling through obstacles designed to inflict pain on anyone who dared to attempt them. I looked at him and said, “Are you crazy?! Why would I ever pay close to $100 bucks to go through a day of pain and torment?” Mackenzie tried to persuade me with all of the “perseverance, moral lesson” bologna, but I had made up my mind that only crazy people would do this.

After I left his house and got back to mine, it continued to peak my interest. I spent the next several hours researching everything I could about it. I watched every YouTube video and read every blog post I could. The more I looked, the more intrigued I became. To me, it wasn’t just a run on a mountain with some ropes, sandbags, and mud; it was a challenge. It looked at me and said, “You can’t conquer me. I dare you to try.” I called Mackenzie the next day and signed up for my first Spartan Race, a Spartan Sprint, 3-5 miles and 15+ obstacles on Blue Mountain Ski Resort. I had no idea that those 10 simple words, “Do you want to do a Spartan Race with me?”, would lead me to an obstacle racing addiction. An addiction that has lead me to complete a Spartan Sprint, Super Spartan, Warrior Dash, and Tough Mudder in the past two years. An addiction that has made me loathe the words, “I can’t”. An addiction that pushes me to seek out the next challenge, the next mountain that tells me I can’t conquer it, the next test that dares me to try.

Now I find myself on the other side, convincing my friends to run these crazy races with me. I show them the YouTube videos and tell them all the “perseverance, moral lessons” bologna. At first they call me, and anyone who does them, insane, crazy, delusional, or mentally instable. Then after sometime they all come to the same realization that it’s not about the ropes, sandbags, and mud, but about the challenge; the fact that there is something out there that thinks it can beat you and break your will.
$100 bucks, a Saturday and some driving to see what I’m made of – I can do that.

Posted by Quentin Ong at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

The Time I (almost) Lived Happily Ever After with Jim from The Office

Posted by: Megan Lange
November 20, 2014

MeganLangeIn 2013, a little show called The Office came to an end. To celebrate the success of the show, they hosted “The Office Wrap Up Party” in the city that was home to the show throughout it’s time on the air (Scranton, PA). The Wrap Up Party was a weekend long event that drew thousands of people to Scranton for the different events. The company I was working for at the time sold the tickets to all of these events. We were asked to volunteer and help scan the tickets at the different events, and of course I immediately jumped at the opportunity to be involved with the entire weekend.

I was thrilled to be helping out at such a large and exciting event. About half way through the day on Saturday, to thank us for all of our help with the chaos of the tickets and floods of people, we were invited to the small, private after party at the hotel the cast was staying at in Scranton. Needless to say, I was beyond excited. I was going to be in the same room as Michael Scott, Jim and Pam, Dwight, and the rest of the cast. I couldn’t believe I was getting such an opportunity!

Fast forward a few hours, and I’m sitting in a small banquet hall at a table directly next to Steve Carell. We were given strict instructions not to take any pictures or ask for any with the cast, which was probably the hardest part of the night (I constantly wanted to take over the shoulder selfies with them in the background), but I was just excited to be there. I got in line for food, and was right behind Oscar Nuñez; we exchanged some awkward eye contact as I leaned over to see what there was to eat, and naturally I froze and missed my opportunity to compliment the show. Walking away with my food, I passed Rainn Wilson and Kevin Malone having a private conversation – more awkward eye contact ensued. I had never been more enthusiastic about that many awkward encounters.

I was the most excited to be in the same room as John Krasisnki. Along with so many other females, I, of course, think he’s very attractive. This was the moment every average girl waits for – her chance of meeting a handsome celebrity where the two just naturally click, and he instantly falls in love with her. It’s the stuff you see in movies, and c’mon, his life is a movie so it could totally happen, right? Oh, he’s married to that beautiful actress Emily Blunt? No problem, he just hasn’t met me yet.

After what seemed like far too short of a time at the hotel, they were ushering the cast out for a night out at one of Scranton’s bars. I hadn’t gotten a chance to stage my “accidental” bump into John Krasisnki yet, and was suddenly realizing my time was coming to an end. We then were invited to go to the bar with the cast and all of the other people that helped orchestrate the event. I was all for it, ready to get another shot, until I suddenly remembered the one unfortunate fact that would keep me from my fate. I was 20 years old at the time… about a month shy of my 21st birthday. I was faced with the decision to either try to deceive everyone, and see if I could be let in, or I could tell the truth and maybe they’d make an exception. I knew immediately I wasn’t going to put my boss or myself into that type of legal situation. So, I told the truth and reminded everyone that I was not of age. As expected, no exceptions would be made, and not even the promise to not consume any alcoholic drinks would help my case. And that is where my almost-date with destiny ends.

And as I watched the cast head to their next destination, out walked my chance to live happily ever after with John Krasinski (I know, you definitely didn’t see that coming, right?).

Posted by Megan Lange at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

How Gaming Changed Your Life (and Everyone Else’s)

Posted by: Max Jay
November 11, 2014

MaxJayWhen I inevitably reveal my boundless passion for gaming, I’m often met with a sort of awkward gaze. Questions generally follow, “Like Pac Man?” they’ll ask, with sincerity.

“Not really,” I’ll respond. “Pac Man totally holds up though,” I’ll tell them.

Once upon a time video games conjured the image of a pimple faced thirty-something comfortably nestled in his mother’s basement rocking an AC/DC shirt and cramming some Hot Pocket equivalent into his face. This is an image that has stuck with gaming culture – perpetually shimmying us into the corner next to the D&D kids. But not anymore: Gamers that once stacked quarters on arcade machines, eagerly awaiting their turn, now own companies, lead countries and create art. We’re household names now – and it didn’t happen by accident – it happened because modern games are the culmination of decades of business expertise, artistic innovation and technological advancements.

Bungie, the developers behind the first few Halo games, have an upcoming venture called Destiny, which is costing publisher Activision $500,000,000 to develop and market. But why in the name of all that is holy would anyone spend that much money? Because it’ll eventually make far more than that. Gaming has become more than a hobby – it’s a cultural phenomenon that has seeped into nearly every corner of our previously mundane lives and assimilated into the super-mega-ultimate life we live now. From the media we consume on a daily basis to the time we spend at our jobs, the principles of game design are there.

Gamification: Gaming in Real Life
Within more recent business strategies is a concept called gamification, which boils down to applying elements of game design to real life situations. Being that the concept is still in its relative infancy, there is no magic 8 ball to dictate how to use gamification, but the goal is to breed a collaborative and interactive employee experience. The rewards for such practices are generally intrinsic – the assumption being that an employee will work harder if he or she is given a clear goal, which is framed as a reward.

Marketing: A Game that Works on Us Every Day
Many consumer-facing businesses know that they can’t plaster an image on a park bench and pray someone buys a product. We’ve become too dedicated to participation – businesses need to sell us a product. For example, many blockbuster films now include a dedicated budget for mobile companion games. These are designed to be easily digestible, heavily rewarding experiences that appeal to the widest possible swath of human persons. The games act as a Pavlovian system that will trick the player into associating an entire brand with success – often eliciting a jolt of serotonin when mentioned. When all is said and done the mobile games cost relatively little to develop, and end up making the brand as a whole a fortune through various other channels (be it ticket sales, merchandising, etc.).

Games: The Natural Culmination of All Art
The easiest and possibly most meaningful comparison many draw to gaming is the relation to film (and by extension the arts as a whole). At one point society didn’t believe film could deliver a convincing story or fair amount of entertainment value – which is a current parallel to gaming’s current image. The invention 3D games also injected adrenaline into the special effects and animation industries; let’s not forget that many animators work in film and gaming, as many of the principles of continuity and mise en scene (or a visual theme) applies to both.

I could go on for ages about how the evolution of gaming has changed our day-to-day lives – but more than anything, the take away is the experience. Chances are we’ll never have the ability to shoot fireballs out of our hands or infiltrate a top-secret Soviet facility during the Cold War, but we can do that in games. We can actively participate in a universe that changes depending upon our decisions. This, in turn, translates to the real world: Do you want to save the world like that character did? Look at any of the charities started by gaming communities who were inspired to emulate a digital hero.

We’re not in the basement anymore. We’ve influenced art, politics and society as a whole. We’ve organized dedicated social communities that number in the tens of millions. We’ve made and destroyed businesses. We’ve created universes and sometimes managed to better our own.

Posted by Max Jay at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)