Internship Spotlight – Hannah Rapp, JCPenney

Eller PDC Coordinator Student Stories

Hannah Rapp is a double major in Marketing and Entrepreneurship.  She is graduating in May of 2019.  This past summer, she interned as the Social Media Intern for JCPenney in Plano, Texas.

How did you get this internship? My journey was actually really long! For the longest time, I was pursuing going to work for other fashion companies and my dream was to intern in New York City. However, those companies ended up not offering me a position. It was crushing, but I picked myself up and knew something special would come along. I reached out to the director of the Retail School, Scott Hessell, as I figured he would have an incredible amount of contacts in the fashion industry. He connected me to Angela Swanner, the Vice President of Sephora within JCPenney. I asked her for an informational interview and I explained to her my love for fashion marketing. She then told me that they actually had a new position at JCPenney in their social marketing team, and I immediately applied. Two interviews later, I was offered the position as their first-ever social media intern!

What was a typical day like? I got to work around 8 am and had touch base appointments with my manager and the entire social team. We then had routine calls with one of our agency partners explaining our current campaigns and progress on many projects. I then had meetings with representatives from Twitter and Facebook. In the afternoon, I would have lunch with my fellow interns in the JCPenney café that had any type of food you would ever want. After my hour lunch, I went back to my desk and studied analytics on all platforms and generated reports that I later shared with the entire social team. I got to shadow other departments such as creative, graphic design, and production. Overall, I was able to expand my breadth and depth of my marketing knowledge by seeing how social media works for a corporate brand.

What was your favorite part of the experience? The people. I felt like I was part of the team and not just an intern that was going to be completing busy work. The CMO and the director of the marketing department went out of their way to say hello to me and were very interested in my ideas. I was also one of the only out of state interns, so the people from Texas were very welcoming and showed me true Southern hospitality. The people helped me find my path in life and I made some lifelong friends.

If you worked on a big project, please describe it below: I helped analyze the success of our organically run Facebook videos to see if any content or structure was better in terms of engagement rate and audience retention. I utilized Facebook analytics and was able to study JCPenney’s current audience and make recommendations to appeal to a brand new market. The team loved my recommendations and are currently utilizing them for their back to school social content on all platforms.

What did you find most challenging about your internship? The most challenging was getting accustomed to a place I had never been before and had no one that I knew. I consider myself to be a very adaptable person, but for some reason, it took me longer to adjust to corporate lifestyle and Texas as a whole. However, I am very thankful for the experience and ended up loving the corporate headquarters, the people I met, and Texas will always be special to me as the place I got my start in the industry I love.

What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar internship? The biggest advice I have to offer other students is to not compare yourself to others. When it took me longer to get an internship than my friends and what seemed like everyone, I thought I was a failure. I realized that just because my path was different than others, it didn’t make me a failure, but was another opportunity to grow. Always keep your options, mind, and heart open to new experiences and I promise something good will come out of it.

How did Eller prepare you for your internship? Eller helped me know how to market myself and have the ability to have an effective resume and cover letter. I knew how to take initiative, be proactive and learn the most from the experience. I also was confident in my presenting skills and ability to be professional in a corporate setting.

Did your internship employer provide housing or transportation assistance? My employer provided assistance for housing and transportation.