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!

There’s No Place Like Home

Posted by: Christina Luchkiw
July 16, 2015

ChristinaLuchkiw PicOn paper, I’m a Jersey girl: born in New Jersey, raised in New Jersey, and educated in New Jersey—from kindergarten all the way through college. On paper, New Jersey should be my home. But as we all learn in life, things are not always as they seem. Despite knowing nothing but a life in New Jersey throughout my entire youth, that feeling of comfort you get from your surroundings never made it much past the time I spent with family. If you asked me one year ago what it felt like to be “home,” I wouldn’t have a good answer, as I always thought home would be a physical place in which I had a sense of belonging. Today, if you asked me the same question, I would have a great answer—an answer that I found in the most unexpected of places: perspiring, fatigued and packed like a sardine inside a ramshackle train in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The commute between my university and my center-city apartment was one of the most uniquely challenging and revelatory experiences during my time studying abroad. Every day I watched the inimitable blend of the city’s vibrant culture and devastating poverty pass by through the murky windowpane, reflecting on how my sheltered beginnings had brought me to such a place. A one-legged man in tattered clothing hobbled toward me asking for spare change. A teenage mother whose eyes spoke of sorrow struggled to stay awake, praying for a better tomorrow yet rejoicing for the loving son in her arms. And although I stood alone among these different walks of life, clearly an outsider with pasty white skin, there was not a single moment that I felt lonely. I shared laughter with a toothless laborer, giving strength to his legs that wanted to buckle after a hard day’s work. I witnessed genuine gratitude when the teenage mother offered the one-legged man her seat. And although I was physically uncomfortable, shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers and my wiry figure pinned against the train’s plastic walls, I found tranquility amid chaos, and finally discovered that home might not have to be a place at all.

Now I wouldn’t say that this hectic train ride is how I define home, but it did help me realize that what I once considered a place is more of a state of mind. It’s that state where we feel comfortable not with our surroundings, but rather with ourselves—despite all differences. On this train nothing mattered; age, disability, race, and nationality were pushed to the side, replaced with genuine humanity. And although these conditions are something that can’t be reproduced everywhere, we can all do our best to bring a little bit of home to everywhere we go.

Posted by Christina Luchkiw at 10:15 am | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

How Being An Educator Has Prepared Me For PR

Posted by: Julia Di Capua
July 9, 2015

Try and get twenty-five sixteen year olds to read The Catcher in the Rye front to back. It’s more challenging than you think.

As a teacher, I practice the art of pitching every day. How else would I get my students to believe that Holden Caulfield is more than a privileged, angsty teen who can’t face reality? Better yet, how could I convince them to spend two weeks reading a novel that spans two days in the form of a flashback?

I start big with an overarching question and narrow it down – drilling into the core of the story. “Let’s talk about Holden’s opinion of institutions. According to him, they’re all “phony.” What is an institution you engage with and how do you feel about it?” School is consistently brought up. I listen and write as students call out phrases that come to mind. “Meaningless, forced labor! A jail cell! Why do I need to ask to go to the bathroom?!”

A mod mentality begins to bud. I try and redirect the discussion to a more productive (and positive) route – tying it back to the novel. From here we get to the “nitty-gritty,” including the plot, characterization, symbolization and theme – everything necessary to absorb the story’s meaning.

As both a rising senior at Boston College studying English and Education and a student teacher, I have learned to become sharp and articulate.  I rely on media to make 20th century novels more relatable to pop culture. Perhaps most importantly, I have become more concise in order to capture my audience: “hormonal, social media obsessed, bothered teens” with infinite potential and curiosity.

Similar to engaging a classroom full of students, my goal as an upcoming PR professional is to capture the attention of both media and consumers by producing compelling content. As I embark on my internship at MWW, I realize that the skills I developed as an education major are also applicable to the public relations industry. Like a lesson plan, it’s all about knowing your audience and using the right angle to reach your audience. At the end of the day, it’s all about communication.

Posted by Julia Di Capua at 6:05 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

If You Don’t Think You Can, Then You Have To

Posted by: Samantha Mcclean
June 30, 2015

BlogPostPhoto_Samantha Mcclean2Back in 2011, my senior year of high school, I didn’t think I was going to be able to go to college, mainly because I doubted myself. While I was steadily applying to schools, I still could not imagine that the next chapter in my life would be going away to college.

I knew that if I wanted to go away to school, I was going to need a little help getting there. I made it a priority to regularly sit down with my school guidance counselor and my Aunt who had just sent her son off to college. With their help and encouragement, along with some determination and hard work, eventually everything worked out.

My Aunt encouraged me to go away to school but told me to make a decision that I was comfortable with. She told me that only I could decide what was best for me. After hearing this, I pushed the doubt out of my head. I knew that I wanted to go to college to make myself and my family proud.

I got into several schools and even though I didn’t get into what I thought was my dream school at the time, I knew that when I picked Western New England University (WNE) I had found myself a new place to call home. Once I got there, I was determined to excel in college. I wanted to make my time there last.

I knew I found my niche when I decided to pursue communications. My hard work paid off and my grades showed it whenever I received letters for my placement on the Dean’s List, the President’s List and eventually membership into honor societies. But my time at WNE wasn’t just about academics. I met a lot of new people, some of whom have turned into my best friends.

I remember my Aunt telling me that it seemed like I had made the right decision. It was true; I had happily proved myself wrong.

I am truly glad that I was able to get past my negative thoughts. As it turns out, I learned a lot about myself along the way. I am now able to acknowledge that I have the tendency to second-guess myself. The experience taught me to always keep a positive mindset in order accomplish the things I know that I am fully capable of doing. My doubts have turned into my motivation.

Posted by Samantha Mcclean at 2:30 pm | Comment (0) | Trackback (0)

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)