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!

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)

Travel Bug

Posted by: Erika Rich
November 4, 2014

One thing I have always loved to do is travel. As soon as my friends and I were old enough to go on adventures, our first stop was New York City. We used to take the bus into New York City on the weekends and explore all of what the city had to offer. Once we became familiar with the East Coast, we were ready to take on the West Coast. Los Angeles was our next stop. My friends and I ended up going out to LA 3 summers in a row! Then, during my senior year in high school, I found out that my school was offering a trip to Europe. This was next on my travel to-do list, and I signed up immediately. A group of thirty of my high school class mates were able to embark on this crazy adventure! We had the best times venturing through Italy, Germany, Austria, and the Czech-Republic.

My travel bug has continued throughout college. My sophomore year, a group of my close friends and I were able to sign up on our school’s spring break trip to London. I immediately fell in love with London. London was a place I had always wanted to go and it was even better than I had imagined.

While I was here, I would go and take dance classes at Pineapple Studios during my free time, and after I got home, I knew that I had to go back. A few months later, I came back to London to do a dance summer school program at Laban, and was able to spend a month in London with one of my close friends. After I got home, I wanted to figure out another way to get back to London again, and that is how I ended up with this internship! Once I am done with the internship, I will be taking the same dance summer school program that I did last summer. My summer in London is full of many new and exciting adventures!

Posted by Erika Rich at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

Michalewski: The Next Generation

Posted by: Katrina Michalewski
October 23, 2014

KatrinaMichalewskiIn my family, my mother and her sisters have always been their own little club. Weddings? There they were sitting at a table in the corner laughing harder than anyone in the room. Large family parties? They say their ‘hellos,’ yet they’d each gradually gravitate toward each other, like planets coming into sync with the sun, or, in their case, a bond they share. All four of them are on their own orbit, having gone their own ways, living their own separate lives, yet this sun keeps them within each other’s range at all times – never faltering, always burning brighter.

I remember being a little girl and wanting nothing more than to be a part of this not-so-secret society. I would sit next to my father and watch the four of them practically blind the crowd with their smiles. All I wanted was to know what was behind those smiles, what inside jokes are shared with only a glance. I would prepare comments and hold onto them, waiting for the right moment to say them to see if I could get a laugh, and gradually, I did, without even trying.

The past two summers, I’ve had the opportunity to stay with my aunt Titi in her New York City apartment. I consider this my side internship. She has not only been rigorously training me to enter the Gutierrez clan, but also, as the eldest daughter in my family, to continue the legacy of the sisterhood. My two little sisters will look to me as the beacon of hope for the future development of our faction. It is all on my shoulders. If I fail, a bond as strong as the sun will die with me and the disappointment of future generations will permeate the ozone causing mass destruction on the planet. No pressure!

Finally, my quiz day has come. After all of the instruction I have received from my aunt, it all comes down to one important question. If I get it wrong, it will be all for naught. The almighty question? What is the most important message of the sisterhood? I thought for a moment about this seemingly daunting question. How could I possibly break down all of the different components of the bond, but then I had a moment of clarity. The answer is simple, something I’ve always known. The sisterhood, you ask? Well, each sister is different, and this must be remembered as there will be moments where the bond is tested, but these differences are blessings and allow each sister to bring something unique and beautiful to the table. The sisterhood requires that each member always has the back of all other sisters no matter the time, no matter the place. Sisters will make fun of each other and no one is safe from a little bit of ridicule, but the sisterhood demands that no sister is left behind and most importantly, to be in the sisterhood, you must enjoy every second of it.

Posted by Katrina Michalewski at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

The Unexpected Side Effects of PRSSA

Posted by: John Garretson
October 9, 2014

JohnGarretsonIn making my way out to Boise, Idaho (no, it’s not just one large potato farm) for college four years ago, I had clear-cut plans to make headway in becoming the next SportsCenter anchor or Sports Illustrated senior staffer. It’s what, from what I told myself, I was meant to do and everything thing else that came with academia at Boise State University were just complimentary additions.

Fast-forward to spring 2011 of my freshman year and the dream career aspirations had deviated quite a bit. Struggling to grab one more credit for the semester, I enrolled in a Communication Activities class (COMM113) titled “PRSSA” and figured, “hey, why not?”

Public Relations Student Society of America, or PRSSA, allowed me to do something that wasn’t offered in my standard Mass Communication classes: the opportunity to get hands-on public relations experience with fellow PR peers in a local, community setting. Having the chance to work with clients in a professional and real-time setting was something wild, but I reassured myself that this was the career path for me.

Thanks to PRSSA, I’ve had the chance to meet revered industry professionals, network with countless other PR students, attend excellent events and even land stellar working opportunities (wink, wink). So here’s to you, PRSSA , in providing students like myself a “professional PR playground” to find one’s self and learn the core values of the PR field.

Posted by John Garretson at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

Country Music Transformation

Posted by: Joe DeCotiis
October 2, 2014

JoeDeCotiisFor as long as I can remember I hated country music. I thought every song and melody sounded the same. I felt that every artist was singing about the same old truck or girl and that the lyrics seemed so simple and generic. I remember commenting to my friends who enjoyed the music that country singers have zero talent. How my thoughts would change!

Being that a few of my best friends are country fans I found myself around that music quite often, especially when we would barbeque in the summer. Slowly but surely I began to recognize the songs; they didn’t all sound the same to me anymore. I even found myself remembering the lyrics and singing along. The music began to grow on me and I found myself listening and downloading country music on my own. As I began to like country music more and more my friends suggested we attend a concert. We ended up buying tickets to a Kenny Chesney concert. This is the concert that created the country fanatic I am today. After attending the concert and tailgating for the event, I was hooked.

I was so hooked on country music that the next summer three friends and I travelled all the way to Tennessee for the country music festival where every big name artist were to perform. The festival lasted three days. During the day, we would sit by the riverside stage where smaller artist who had not made it big yet would perform. There I saw the likes of Florida Georgia line, Jana Kramer, Casey James, Montgomery Gentry, and David Nail. During the night we would go to LP field and watch the big stars perform.

The trip that we took to Tennessee is full of memories that I will never forget. I have to thank my friends for being persistent and opening my world to county music, otherwise I would have never gone on the trip. My transformation to a country music fan taught me to be more open-minded and give things you may not like at first glance a second chance. You may learn to love things you never had in the past! I now listen to the country music almost every day and plan on making the trek back to Tennessee for the festival next summer.

Posted by Joe DeCotiis at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

Just a Small Town Girl

Posted by: Jessica Voss
September 25, 2014

JessicaVossKansas is exactly how you imagine it. The ground is flat, the people are exceptionally nice, and there is no shortage of farm land.

I was born in a small town west of Wichita with approximately 6,000 residents. I grew up knowing everyone and everything about them — good and bad. When I was a senior in high school, it was time to decide where to apply for college. I could have taken the safe route and stayed home, earned my associate degree and then went on to a four-year university. Instead, I realized I needed a change. I decided to attend the University of Kansas in the fall (a daring choice because the majority of my classmates committed to attend Kansas State University).

My first week at KU was rough. I only knew five people out of the 24,000 students attending. My friends and family from home encouraged me to break out of my shy personality and engage in conversations with anyone and everyone. (After all, they are in a new environment too!) Eventually I knew the majority of people in my dorm, classes and sorority. These connections helped lead me to a new passion, journalism. I took an interest in what my friends were studying and changed my major because of it.

That passion has led me to where I am now. Dallas felt close to home but far enough for me to feel independent. I packed my belongings and made the leap from Kansas to Dallas in May, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. After I put a deposit on an apartment, I received a call from MWW offering me a position as an Associate. Everything felt right and worked together. The city atmosphere was overwhelming at first, but since I’ve moved I made new friends, tried different foods and learned about cultures other than the one I grew up in.

I moved from a small town, to a large university, and now I live in a city with 1.2 million other people. It’s not always easy to leave your hometown, but if you take a chance you never know where you’ll end up.

Posted by Jessica Voss at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

New Lens, New Perspective

Posted by: Jessica Gaddis
September 18, 2014

JessicaGaddisSpring Break 2012 was probably the most eye opening experience of my life. I was chosen to travel to the Middle East to serve as an ambassador for my university at our campus in Doha, Qatar. After the initial feelings of surprise and excitement, the fear started to settle in. I had never traveled outside of the country, much less overseas. I’ve never even been to Canada and I’m from Michigan! While it has always been my dream to go to France or Greece, Qatar had never crossed my mind.

When I thought of the Middle East, I immediately pictured the images that circulated CNN and ABC regularly. But what I came to see, was a country that seemed to be doing much better than the one I had traveled from.

I had absolutely no idea the beauty I would see in the Middle East.

My group and I traveled all around the country, which is so much more than just sand and dust – although a huge dust storm had just passed a few days before we landed.

We traveled to “the giant pearl” which is basically a huge fountain that looks like a clam and has the most beautiful faux-pearl inside. Apparently, Qatar is famous for fresh water and salt water pearls. I actually got to purchase some for much cheaper than they are in the states.

I was also able to travel to a market that had a seafood shop with a fish smell so strong that I still smelled it an hour after we left. I even got to meet students at Education City, where universities like VCU and Carnegie Melon have campuses.

By far, my best experience in Qatar had to be with the food. We went to a restaurant where we thought the first course was the whole meal because it was so huge. These are just a few examples of the images of Qatar that I would have never gotten a chance to see living in the states.

I say all this to say that sometimes it takes digging your feet into the sand on the Persian Gulf to realize that everything isn’t as it seems. We all owe it to ourselves to take a look with our own eyes, whether it’s atop a Camel, thousands of miles away, or in our own backyards.

Posted by Jessica Gaddis at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

So… What Can You Eat?

Posted by: Taylor Glickman
September 15, 2014

TaylorGlickmanJust imagine being able to eat anything you want your whole life and one day having that gift taken away. Unfortunately, I can say I’ve had that experience.

Growing up, I could eat whatever I wanted without a second thought (as does most of the population); a few years ago that changed. I began noticing that often when eating, my mouth would get super itchy and red. These reactions continued for a few months – I knew something was up. My cousin has been allergic to nuts since we were young, so I know the symptoms and the possible severity of the situation. I saw a food allergist and was told that I was allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, fruits and shellfish (basically anything and everything delicious). Since then, I have become so sensitive that it is impossible to consume anything with a seed – even ketchup bothers me!

Needless to say, the results from the doctor came as a complete shock to me. I never had to think before I ate (unless I wanted to), read every label, or find out every ingredient. Now living with serious food allergies for years, I’ve noticed just how much people take little things for granted, like simply going to a restaurant. For me, ordering a meal is such an ordeal! It is always the same routine: listing my plethora of allergies to wait staff and making sure they double (really, triple) check with the chef to ensure it safe to eat. Even after I am told and told and told that I will be fine, it’s up to me whether or not trust them.

Eating is one of the greatest joys of life. While I have to calculate every bite of food that goes into my mouth, I’ve come up with my own assessment framework. It’s all in the details. My relationship with food is colored entirely by my allergies. ‘May contain…’ is a sure way of getting me wound up and I make a point of choosing these brands over others.

In public relations, it is crucial to be able to measure the effectiveness of a campaign. It also requires the ability to recognize and prepare for both positive and negative outcomes. Therefore, being able to generate a risk assessment framework, usually on demand, holds immense value as skill and service. Who would have thought that being allergic to the world would help me master risk assessment and management?

Posted by Taylor Glickman at 3:35 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

Let’s Land an Internship!

Posted by: Iman Cole
September 4, 2014

An internship is an important part in your development as a successful professional in my opinion. It allows you to learn, grow and experience the field. In college, I sought out influential people in the PR industry to shadow. Sometimes those efforts were just meetings to pick peoples brains, and others actually turned into internships. So I’ve complied some of the tips I used to land great internships, hopefully they’ll do the same for you!

So here’s my first tip: don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seek direction from people you admire and respect in the industry; they are where you want to be. When I did land those internships I worked really hard to land a job because that’s the goal right? I think so. Sometimes those efforts panned out and sometimes they didn’t, but that’s life. Everything doesn’t always go your way.

Which leads to my second tip: Work hard for you, not because someone owes you something, but because you owe it to yourself to be great. When those job efforts didn’t pan out, I tried and tried again. And one day, pretty recently, maybe even now as I’m writing this, I realized that everything happens for a reason. I feel every opportunity that I have been privy to has been an influential learning experience.
The PR industry is a hard one, and it takes preparation to be successful in. This leads to my last and final tip, tip number 3: stay present and appreciate every experience, even the bad ones. In the long run they’ll prepare you for something great.

Posted by Iman Cole at 5:00 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)