McKinney welcomes 10 amazing Mterns (nine in Durham and one in our NY office) this summer. Selected from an applicant pool of over 500, this talented group represents both sides of the Carolina–Duke rivalry (naturally), and they come to us from near and far. However, the one thing they have in common is their passion for the industry, and that’s what’s landed them here.
“We are more than coffee runs,” said McKinney Strategic Resources Coordinator Lexie Brown. “McKinney offers an introduction to full-service agency life and advertising as a whole.” As part of the program, our interns will be able to confidently participate in and create real work for clients along with a collaborative Mtern project to capstone their time with the agency. This group also features the second recipient of the Joni Madison Diversity scholarship, which was established in 2016 in honor of McKinney’s former COO to help students from underrepresented minority groups learn from working at the agency.
Here’s a guide to the new bunch:
Kayla Baker l ’17 North Carolina Central University — Planning
A small-town girl from Roxboro, North Carolina, Kayla is an upcoming graduate of North Carolina Central University, majoring in mass communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in women and gender studies. While McKinney is her first taste of the advertising industry, she aspires to bring her personal experiences from the mass-comm realm to life. The scripture she lives by is Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.” All in all, Kayla looks forward to producing great work for McKinney’s Planning team.
Sarah Wallace | ‘18 VCU Brandcenter — Art Direction
Sarah is originally from Round Hill, a small town in Virginia where her neighbors were cows and hay bales instead of people. She double-majored in marketing and communication studies at Christopher Newport University but was never enthused by those non-creative business classes. She’s been taking photos and creating videos since she was 6 years old, a passion which eventually led to her combining her creative eye and what she learned from her marketing degree to pursue a career in art direction. When she’s not photoshopping or photographing, Sarah spends her time playing with dogs, running and quoting her favorite comedian, John Mulaney.
Jonathan Titus | ’17 University of Pittsburgh — Project Management
Jonathan graduated from the University of Pittsburgh this spring, majoring in media communications and international relations. After working in web design, live television production and marketing, he is thrilled to immerse himself in the advertising industry as an Mtern at McKinney. Other than his passion for creative advertising, Jonathan has a healthy obsession with cereal and enjoys playing basketball, watching reruns of “The Office” and eating his way through new cities. Jonathan usually goes by his last name, Titus, but due to cloudy Pittsburgh winters, he’s often referred to as “Whitus” — here’s hoping this summer changes that.
Gabby Guenther| ’18 Savannah College of Art and Design — Studio
Gabby is a rising senior graphic design major at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, but she’s a North Carolina native from the small town of Apex. She has always had an intense passion for art, which, over time, has translated to a passion for design, specifically in the commercial world. She has interned on a few individual projects, including the Savannah Food Day Festival and a creative space startup called The Studio, and is now excited to work within an agency environment this summer. She enjoys paddleboarding, going to the lake with friends, and she loves finding new restaurants around the Triangle with creative and fun atmospheres.
Courtney Jacobs | ’17 UNC Chapel Hill — ATOMCK
Courtney grew up in Durham, but went to college in a land of lighter blue — she graduated from the UNC School of Media and Journalism with a specialization in advertising. Courtney chose journalism for her love of writing and advertising for her need to create. She was the copy editor of The Daily Tar Heel and is filled with interesting word and grammar facts, such as the difference between peek, peak and pique. Courtney loves to draw and, if you ask, she would be happy to show you her award-winning colored-pencil asparagus. If you believe in personality types, Courtney is an INFJ according to a Myers-Briggs test she took two years ago. But all you really need to know is she loves coffee, croissants, dogs and books, and she firmly believes you can’t have too many blankets, pillows or mugs.
John Sokolowski | ’18 VCU Brandcenter — Copywriting
John is currently a copywriting student at the VCU Brandcenter. In the course of a year in Richmond, he’s embraced change — his friends convinced him to give up drinking Soylent for dinner and instead dine at upward of four local restaurants. John played baseball for 15 years, cello for seven, and he was an account executive for three prior to ad school. He learned how to whistle at age 22 and how to ride a bike at 23. Some have described his writing style as powerful, dangerous and titillating. Well, someone probably has. If he looks like a former McKinneyite you know, don’t be fooled. That was his identical twin, Evil John. This is the good John. Though they both have all the same tattoos.
Kara Penn | ’18 Duke University — Media
Kara is a junior studying international comparative studies (feel free to ask her what THAT is), with a minor in Spanish and a markets & management certificate. A proud New Yorker with a love for traveling, she spent last fall studying in Barcelona and definitely wants to live overseas again. Kara loves sports, staying active and being outdoors, and she maintains that there is truly nothing better than drinking a cup of really good coffee (realistically, multiple cups), ideally outside, while tackling some work or a good book. In the last year or so, she has abandoned fiction and taken up a love for sociology books — she blames a sociology class that got her completely hooked — so don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations. Last summer, Kara interned at a PR and marketing consulting agency in New York, and she is excited to delve further into marketing this summer at McKinney with the Media team.
Kate Fleming | ’17 UNC Chapel Hill — Business Development
A North Carolina native, Kate grew up just an hour southeast of Durham in Smithfield, NC — a town famous for the best Eastern style barbecue around. Despite her love for North Carolina, Kate is always eager to travel and explore new cities whenever she gets the chance. Within the past two years, Kate has lived in three different cities, worked in two different countries, and took one semester away from school to work at the happiest place on earth. Kate will graduate this May with a degree in advertising from the UNC Media and Journalism School, as well as a history degree specializing in United States history. When Kate’s not on the job, you can find her rereading her tattered copy of “Pride and Prejudice” on the weekends at Atlantic Beach, and she’s always up for grabbing a cup of coffee and talking Broadway (or how she can almost recite the entire first act of “Hamilton,” word-for-word).
Barbrianna Adams | ‘18 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — Agency Communications
Hailing from Virginia, Barbrianna has called North Carolina her second home while majoring in in advertising and communications studies at UNC–Chapel Hill. After drawing perfect circles as a 1-year-old, her love for creativity has been constant ever since. Rather than pencil to paper, she found her niche in the advertising field through her passion for writing and knack for social media. A rising senior, she hopes to translate her experience and hard work to agency life while at McKinney this summer. She is the 2017 recipient of the Joni Madison Diversity Scholarship, and she will collaborate with the agency to lead diversity initiatives within the office. Barbrianna loves creating relationships and helping others, which might explain her stint as an orientation leader and her upcoming third year as a resident advisor. Outside of school, she enjoys crafting, collecting elephants and watching ‘90s sitcoms.
Eunice Pang | ’18 Syracuse University — Experiential Marketing
Eunice is a versatile art director from Los Angeles, California. She is currently attending Syracuse University and majoring in advertising at the Newhouse School of Public Communications. Eunice is a creative enthusiast and an endlessly curious human being. She has a keen eye for detail, an appreciation for aesthetics, and is insatiable when it comes to discovering new ideas. What motivates Eunice, at the core, is effective communication. Her goal is to create beautiful work through multiple channels that will inspire. Eunice strongly believes in the power of art and design, and its ability to bring storytelling to life.