Feature Stories Campus Events

A Day in the Life: Jenna Faude ’16 Day in the Life, Johnson Opportunity Grant Winner, Brand Leadership Intern in Rawle Murdy in Charleston, S.C.

“To see the brand go from an abstract idea to a concrete image was one of the coolest things.”

My favorite part about getting to the office at 8:30 in the morning is being greeted by Chandler, the official office golden retriever. He runs over and nudges me with his nose, persistent until I give him attention, and it is the best way to start a morning. I also love drinking a cup of coffee, because there’s just something to a good morning routine. The Rawle Murdy office in Charleston, South Carolin, has an open layout, so everyone sits at open desks that face each other and it is bright and airy. I generally begin my day by reading through current events, both in the industry and the country. I think this is really important to do, especially in the advertising and marketing industries, because it gives me a sense of context for each brand or campaign. Also it never hurts to study good work every day.

My position as a brand leadership intern has given me a wide array of experiences throughout the entire firm. The whole brand leadership team functions as the account managers for each client, so they really get to be involved in every step of the process — from creative to media planning to public relations. They also get to speak directly with the clients, so they are constantly the liaison between the company and Rawle Murdy. As an intern, I have been involved in tasks that are heavily research-oriented. I have researched competitors, target markets and potential clients for new business pitches, all of which have taught me a lot about the hospitality, travel and tourism industries.

One of my favorite projects I have been involved in is the branding of a new active adult, age-restricted community in the Southeast, developed by one of the nation’s leading home builders. Over the course of a few weeks, I was able to be involved in the beginning stages of creating a brand identity for the new community. First, the account executives walked me through the positioning strategy they use at Rawle Murdy to help clients launch new brands. I used their information to compile a brand positioning deck that was presented to the client, ultimately forming a comprehensive idea about the community’s future identity. We also worked with the creative team to create a selection of possible logos for the community. I loved seeing the evolution it took, from beginning fonts and images to the creation of a permanent logo (which was just recently approved by the client). To see the brand go from an abstract idea to a concrete image was one of the coolest things, especially when I think about the brand’s impending longevity and the new community which will house hundreds of families for years to come.

Overall, marketing and advertising is such an exciting field because each day changes dramatically. I never knew what to expect when I walked into the office, but I would leave at the end of each day having had a totally different experience than the day before. I know the unpredictability will keep me coming back to this industry for a long time.

Hometown: Sandpoint, Idaho

Major: Strategic Communication

Minor: Educational Policy Minor

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Mock Convention, Creative Director
  • InGeneral Magazine, Layout Editor
  • Student Recruitment Committee, tour guide
  • RUF
  • Kappa Alpha Theta sorority

Summer Experiences:

  • W&L Admissions Office Intern, Summer 2014
  • PR and Marketing Intern, Inspiring Grace Foundation, Summer 2013

Why did you apply for the Johnson Opportunity Grant? Many marketing and advertising internships are unpaid, and because I wanted to find an internship outside of my hometown in Idaho I knew I would have to pay for various living expenses. The generous grant program allows students to have experiences they might not otherwise be able to have.

How does your work under the grant apply to your studies at W&L? The new Strategic Communication major was designed to help better prepare students for the professional communications field. As part of that, students are required to complete an internship that will add tangible experiences to liberal arts studies.

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What was the most unexpected aspect of your grant experience? We had an office dog named Chandler and he was so fun to hang out with. I also didn’t know how much to expect from my relationships with the other interns, but it was so nice to get to know people of all ages who were each in different stages of their careers or education. We each were coming from different backgrounds, so we really got to learn from each other and teach each other various things.

Post-Graduation Plans: My plan is to spend senior year figuring out a plan! I’m willing to go almost anywhere and do almost anything so in some ways that makes planning more difficult.

Favorite W&L Memory: One spring term night freshman year, the library was really empty so someone brought a portable putting green in. We spent the rest of our time setting up challenging golf courses all around the main floor. Solid use of a study break!

Favorite W&L Event: I love the alumni weekends when everyone comes back to campus and there is free food everywhere. The energy is just really fun and I love hearing about what people are doing outside of the Lexington bubble.

Favorite Campus Landmark: The nature path/bridge between the parking garage and Elrod Commons. Spring and summertime when it’s leafy and you can’t really see any buildings — that’s what sold me on coming to W&L for some reason, so I will stick to that.

Advice for prospective or first-year students? Pick a few older students who are doing what you want to be doing in 3-4 years and ask them how they got there or try to get involved in the cool things they were involved in. They can be really helpful as mentors during your time at W&L, but also great professional contacts once you’ve graduated.

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