- Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.
My Step Signature project was an internship on the Digital Marketing Team at Victoria’s Secret. Through this internship, I have been able to understand the many vehicles of advertising any learn about analyzing the success of various tactics.
- What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.
Throughout the duration of this project, my understanding of the business world and corporations has changed drastically. Prior to my experience at Victoria’s Secret, I had some preconceived notions about the business world, some of which were accurate many of which were not. I believed that departments had their very specific and secularized functions. However, I have learned a great deal about how teams within organizations work together to accomplish greater tasks. I have seen how roles and responsibilities also overlap quite often. This can promote collaboration and teamwork. However, I have also seen how job overlap can make certain processes ineffective at times. Because materials need to be passed through many hands and seen by many people, rates of change can be slow. I believed that the business world was always fast paced. I have learned that the business world can be a great deal of stop and go, especially in consumer retail corporations.
Another thing I learned a great deal about was how much customers and individuals shape business. Through understanding the way businesses function, I have been able to better understand why society functions the way it does. I have learned the ways in which businesses are structured around people, even when it may not seem like it. As a for profit company, L Brands strives to make transactions and interactions as positive as possible to generate revenue and ensure customer retention.
- What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.
One event that greatly contributed to my enhanced understanding of the business world was my end of the summer internship project. All L Brands interns are required to complete a project that has a real impact on the business. It could be solving a real problem, creating a new system or proposing a new idea. I was lucky to work with the other intern on my team to create a digital marketing proposal where we researched new marketing vehicles and potential advertising partners that could benefit Victoria’s Secret and PINK. I learned about the challenges of researching partners and proposing new ideas. One roadblock we encountered in our presentation was that when we came up with a new idea, there wasn’t any research and there was very little comprehensive data to support our ideas because our ideas were new. I was challenged to think more deeply about why I thought certain ideas would work and research the true root cause for our proposal.
Another key part of internship was the weekly cascade meetings I attended. These were meetings among the entire digital marketing team lead by our team leader, Nicole Fraley that didn’t necessarily have a specific purpose or specific goal. These were team meetings in which the different branches of the team, direct mail, email marketing, and digital media, all came together to stay updated and informed about what was going on in the other cross functional teams. This enabled growth and understanding among all parts of the digital marketing team. Through the way in which Nicole Fraley conducts these meetings, I feel like I have learned what it means to be a leader and not just a boss. She is genuinely curious about all parts of the business and wants each individual on her team to be equipped with whatever they may need to be successful.
One unique part of interning at L Brands that I have found to help me be successful has been the emphasis on informal one on one chats called touchbases internally. On my first day at Victoria’s Secret, my boss not only encouraged me to reach out to individuals, but gave me a list of people that would be beneficial to talk to. Initially, I was nervous and I felt uncomfortable emailing individuals and asking them to take time out of their day to talk to me about their job. Eventually, I became more comfortable with scheduling these touchbases as it was part of company culture and it was directly benefitting me for both my internship and future career. Through talking to these individuals, I was able to gain more insight and perspective to how systems operate at other companies and how things can play out down the road in my career.
- Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.
This change has been very significant in my professional life because I feel that this experience has given me a figurative launch pad for my career upon graduation. While having an internship with a Fortune 500 company as well-known as L Brands looks good on a resume, I feel like the skills and relationships I have gained during my time here has been significantly more valuable than the lines on my resume. For starters, the soft skills and technical skills I have gained thus far have been impactful enough for Victoria’s Secret to extend my internship into the fall. Additionally, I have been able to make connections, not only with the people I have worked with on a daily basis, but with the L Brands University relations team. Currently I am actively searching for a role within the organization and the experience in which I have had this summer has given me the confidence and technical skills to be a qualified candidate in many departments within the organization, not just the department in which I have worked in. Additionally, I feel like I have gained a great deal of skills that have set me up to be a great candidate wherever I may apply. Furthermore, I have gained great insight to the type of company culture I desire and how to look for it. Beyond just being a good candidate myself, I know how to search for jobs and potential employers that will lead me to the most happy and successful life possible