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Life Beyond the Classroom: The Cary Academy Work Experience Program with French West Vaughan


French West Vaughan recently hosted two rising high school seniors, Anjali (Lily) Velu and Daniel Brown, for a Work Experience Program through Cary Academy. For two weeks, Lily and Daniel worked in our Raleigh, N.C. office and rotated through the different agency departments like creative, digital, social and more traditional public relations accounts. Lily and Daniel were eager to share what they learned from their first experience at an integrated marketing agency, and we couldn’t be more proud of their hard work and insights. Check out what Lily and Daniel have to say about their time at FWV:

Daniel Brown:

Interning at French West Vaughan has been a really unique and valuable experience. Not many people my age ever get the chance gain this kind of work experience until much later in life, so the fact that my school and French West Vaughan were able to make this happen was pretty amazing. Going into the internship, I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t know much about PR but I had always been interested in marketing and thought that it would be really cool to observe and learn whatever I could. While I was there, I was able to see and work on a wide range of topics from graphic design to digital and social media marketing. I sat in meetings and conference calls and helped out with smaller jobs whenever I could. It was interesting being able to take a behind the scenes look at how the face of a brand is maintained and operated. Seeing how viral content and social media influencers are all coordinated to sell and promote products was fascinating, and being able to see ideas being formulated and pitches being given to clients really opened my eyes to what PR and marketing are really about. I also enjoyed taking a tour of French West Vaughan’s design department and seeing all of the amazing graphics, logos and websites they created, and the evolving process that went into each one. Overall, my time at French West Vaughan was very fun and I feel super lucky to have had the experience.

Anjali (Lily) Velu: 

During high school, very few people have the opportunity to work with a real company. Through Cary Academy’s Work Experience Program, I was very fortunate to work alongside real members of the PR and marketing communities. I’ve always been interested in design, but I’ve recently taken a liking to communications as well. Combing the two seemed like a perfect career, and after a little research, I found that French West Vaughan offered both.

French West Vaughan’s environment was one of the coolest things to me – the mixture of open spaces, collaborative areas, and independent offices represents the multifaceted nature of the company, but also its ease in transitioning between disciplines. Throughout my time at the office, I was exposed to true PR work with meetings that identified specific tactics and approaches by which FWV represents their clients. I also got to witness different creative processes such as brainstorming ideas for potential viral video content or a logo’s design process, which can have hundreds of variations before the client settles on the final version. I got to meet tons of new people, all of whom specialize in different areas and were more than happy to share their experiences.

As a high school student, I’m not really qualified to do much around the office. However, the small assignments I was given gave me a glimpse into the reality of what a career could be, and I found myself thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. From flipping through magazine editorial calendars to designing a Facebook celebratory banner, I was able to take my interests in design and communications and actually put them to use, which is an experience I will never forget!

Thank you for all of your hard work at French West Vaughan, Lily and Daniel! We enjoyed getting to know both of you and sharing our ever-changing world of integrated marketing with you. Your creativity and drive assures us that this field has a bright future!

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