Day in the Life: What It’s Like to Be an OCHWW Intern

Posted by Emilia Pascarella from Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide — North America on August 9, 2017

As I prepare to begin my senior year of college and think about my future career path, it looks much different than I expected it to look even just two summers ago, thanks to the exposure I’ve had at OCHWW. 

 

When I decided to major in public relations and advertising at Penn State, I pictured myself sending packages of makeup to celebrities and posting pictures on Instagram.  Clearly, I had no idea what “real” agency life was like.

 

When I was applying for internships after my sophomore year of college, I applied to Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide. I got the internship, and the summer before my junior year I found myself deep in the midst of healthcare advertising. I’m not going to lie—at first I was overwhelmed and wondered what I’d gotten myself into. I didn’t know much about healthcare and the whole thing seemed a little daunting.  About two weeks in, I realized that my preconceived notions about the healthcare world were wrong.  What I thought would solely be a scientific, buttoned-up workplace is actually a creative environment, filled with incredible people. That is why, after my first internship experience here, I decided to apply for a second summer.

 

With one internship at OCHWW under my belt, at the start of my second, I feel like an expert. Here is what a typical day looks like for me. 

8:55 AM
I arrive at the office five minutes early so I have time to get coffee before I head to my desk on the third floor. I’ve learned that giving myself a few extra minutes in the morning is vital to having a good day. I’ve heard that you can tell a lot about someone by looking at their desks, but all mine will tell you is that I call IT a lot.  I turn on my laptop and check my calendar for the day to see if I need to be anywhere before 9:30.

9:00 AM
I don’t have an early meeting, so I catch up on e-mails to see if I missed anything overnight and spend a few minutes working on the summer intern project. This summer, we are working on a campaign and fundraiser for a nonprofit organization that aims to protect the mental health of young adults. 

10:00 AM
Today I have a wellness department internal status meeting. During the status meeting, I take notes on each of the digital and print projects. I’ve realized since my first status meeting that if I take notes, it’s much easier to understand the workflow and keep myself accountable. The product I’m working on is a phosphate binder for dialysis patients. It may not sound too exciting to a person who is not in the healthcare industry, but the work we do is actually really cool. Right now the team is in the middle of developing an iPad app that explains the drug in a really visual way. 

12:00 PM
Lunch time. I stop by the other interns’ desks and post in our group chat to see what everyone else is planning on doing for lunch. We travel in a pack of 17 to the cafeteria most days, including today. Even though my work station is positioned by another intern, I feel like I’m with everyone all day because if we’re not in a meeting together or eating lunch, we are communicating via Groupme, Snapchat, or Slack. 

1:00 PM
Admittedly, I’m probably the reason the cold brew machine is always empty because by now, I’m on my third cup of coffee. I check my e-mail to see if I missed anything during lunch and then I go to the conference room for our daily intern meeting. I know it seems like I’m checking my e-mail all day, but in advertising things change so quickly that I can leave my desk for five minutes and come back to 30 new e-mails. 

2:00 PM
I don’t have any more meetings today, so I’m working on the intern project. My group chat goes off because another intern has alerted us all that there is dessert up for grabs. I’m not kidding when I say that there has not been a single day this summer where there wasn’t free food somewhere in the office. I really like working on the intern project because we work so well together. Because we all work in different departments, we are teaching each other and learning about the industry together. The creative interns come to meetings with feedback from their supervisors about how we can make our projects look better and the planning interns have access to databases that have given us really amazing insight to help us be more strategic—which all comes together and allows us to put together a multifaceted campaign and fundraising events. 

4:00 PM
Today we have an office-wide presentation from the Chief Creative Officer, Scott Watson. He and his team just got back from Cannes, and they are showing everyone some of the work that was submitted. It’s incredible to see not only the creativity behind each piece, but also the innovation and passion. Plus, the fact that Cannes is world renowned and I get a “behind-the-scenes look” at the process is really cool. 

5:00 PM
After the presentation, I get back to my desk to record my time. When I interned here last summer, it took me a while to figure out the whole time-recording process, but now it makes more sense to me. Basically, each hour I work is billable to different jobs. If I spend an hour working on the summer intern project, I need to record it using the specific intern project job number. When I said earlier that I take notes during status meetings, those notes help me figure out what time I spent on what project. Some people think that the advertising industry is really relaxed, when in reality everyone is held very accountable. I send any last-minute e-mails and then head home for the day. Tonight, a few of us are going to a spin class taught by one of the other interns. The good part about working together for so many hours each day is that we became friends really fast.

 

Interning at OCHWW for the second summer in a row has taught me so much about agency life and has put me on a career path that I know I’ll enjoy—because no two days are the same, and I’m constantly challenged and learning.