OE Zara Hooley decided to take a gap year when she finished at Emanuel last summer. She undertook an internship with Wordsearch hosted by Group Managing Partner and Emanuel parent, Matt Flynn. Wordsearch creates inspired branding and marketing campaigns for real estate architecture.

With the internship ending in May, Zara is now working as an Art technician at Emanuel. She is looking forward to studying Architecture at Bath University in September. Here, she reflects on what she learnt during her internship.

“It was the midst of the corona winter and the second lockdown, so an opportunity to undertake an internship with Wordsearch could not have come at a better time. As the agreed one month came to an end, it felt as though my time at Wordsearch was only just beginning; we therefore mutually agreed to extend the opportunity. It became 4 wonderful months of working from home. However, being at home did not mean I missed out on exploring different places as I worked on projects in prime areas of London including Bond Street, Kensington, Shoreditch and Pimlico, and also had the pleasure of helping with some of Wordsearch’s international projects in Washington D.C. and Vienna.

The first team I had an opportunity to join was the Culture Crew. Amongst other tasks, I took part in weekly meetings involving discussions on how to enrich the work-life culture at Wordsearch. I was very impressed by all the initiatives organised for employees and their families such as talks, quizzes and challenges. There were also 2 weekly newsletters, a Wellness Newsletter on Wednesdays and a Weekly Digest on Fridays. I loved helping out with these and after a while I even became solely responsible for creating content and sending out the Wellness Wednesday emails. When it was observed that employees may be finding it hard to separate their work from their home life during the lockdown, I created a questionnaire that was sent out to all staff within a Wellness Wednesday email so we could analyse the results and talk about ways of addressing matters going froward.

Within the Design Team at Wordsearch I had the chance to work on projects from the initial concept, where I would research the brand, the context of the surrounding area and even go on site visits to gather primary research. My desktop publishing skills improved greatly as I produced mood boards and presentations to help steer the art direction in industry-standard InDesign. I then shadowed the designers as they created beautiful branding work for an array of architectural clients. The projects covered a new office block, retail premises, residential and mixed-use developments. It was so exciting for me to be exposed to these brand new buildings and be a part of describing their identity to various stakeholders including the general public through branding and storytelling.

The Tech Team worked closely with the Design Team to deliver bespoke apps and websites to go along with the newly created branding campaigns. I helped the Tech Team out by proof checking and tweaking models prior to a draft being shown to the client.

For any young person looking for inspiration or considering creative careers, I would highly recommend taking up suitable internship opportunities; I have learnt so much, and it has opened my eyes to so many threads that form part of a successful development project.”