My name is Jenna Stockman, and I am a Sophomore Communication Studies major at Chapman University. At the beginning of my college career, I made it a personal goal of mine to find an internship each summer while I pursue my undergraduate degree as a way to build my resume as well as gain useful and unique experience in the professional world. However, just as I began my internship search, California began to shut down due to COVID-19. Before I knew it, I had moved out of my dorm room and back into my childhood home in San Jose, California. How was I to fulfill my goal of finding an internship under such circumstances? After a tiresome search, I reached out to my sister, a class of 2016 Chapman University Alumni, to ask if she had any openings available at the company she works for, Human Marketing. She reached out to her boss, and within days I was gearing up to begin my first internship.
Human Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Irvine, California, was quick to take me under their wing and provide me with an abundance of opportunities as a part of their content team — even when COVID-19 forced the company to function primarily through an online presence. As a company, they focus on their employees’ happiness and satisfaction before they set out to combine intelligence and marketing automation to help their clients achieve a high return on investment. Initially, I was worried that I did not know enough about marketing to fulfill an internship role at a marketing agency, but I quickly noticed that the skills I have obtained through my communication classes at Chapman were there to aid me every step of the way. One skill in particular that proved valuable was my ability to function efficiently and effectively in both interpersonal and group settings. Whether it was working one-on-one with a superior or in a group with colleagues, I used the communication skills that I have obtained throughout my Chapman career to make the most out of my time and create meaningful connections with those around me.
I learned several valuable lessons and skills throughout my time at Human Marketing. Within the first week alone, I became Inbound Marketing Certified. Inbound marketing is a technique for attracting customers that involves practices such as content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and branding. In taking this certification course, I learned how to run a successful business through marketing, sales, and services. Human Marketing encourages its clients to include blogs on their websites, as this is an important and useful tool in generating organic website traffic. As a part of my internship, I helped publish blogs for big companies such as Thompson Tee and Kwik-Hang, both of which made appearances on ABC’s Shark Tank. Once I perfected blog publishing, I moved on to writing blog prompts, where I created outlines and gathered informational resources to send to content writers, and then to writing blogs of my own. Through this process, I was able to practice my professional writing and improve my blogging skills.
In addition to writing, I familiarized myself with software such as Jira, Klaviyo, Google Analytics, InfusionSoft, Big Commerce, Hubspot, WordPress, Pinterest, and more. These programs aided me in everything from blog publishing to email reporting. As I learned how to navigate these new programs, I learned the importance of tracking campaign performance. It is simply not enough to send an email or launch a new product — instead, it is necessary to launch the campaign and pay close attention to how customers and leads respond to the campaign. For example, if a company launches a new campaign and alerts its customers by sending out an email, how many people clicked on the email? Out of those who clicked on the email, how many clicked through to the website? Out of those who clicked through, how many bought the product? There is an array of questions that must be asked and answered to create and send a campaign perfectly tailored to the target audience. Without asking these questions, it is unlikely that any business can grow or succeed.
As a Communication major, I understood the importance of effective communication — but after my time at Human Marketing, I can confidently say that I can “speak marketing.” I know how to understand an audience, how to properly target that audience as customers, and how to tailor a campaign specifically to their needs. Communication and marketing go hand in hand, and my internship has shown me a new side of communication that I am excited to bring with me throughout my professional journey. Most importantly, however, I have learned how to navigate unusual times and grow through them. This year has been scary and stressful, and I certainly did not expect to be staying home for the summer and working from my childhood bedroom — however, this has given me time to reflect on every aspect of my life, whether it be personally or professionally.
Yes, times are crazy — and I am sure we have all heard that phrase a million times by now. However, the craziest times leave the most room for growth. Whether it is by taking on an internship last minute or learning how to find happiness through staying home, there is always something new to learn.