News & Stories
Abby Hilliard
September 27, 2023

Getting the Jump on Marketing Experiences before Junior Year

Abby Hilliard, a double major in marketing and management, worked for the Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) at Berry College during her sophomore year, helping businesses connect with students. In her role, she observed how students' valuable internship experiences fit their unique goals. Last May, a marketing internship experience became available with Harbin Clinic. Abby's lack of experience as a sophomore made her hesitant, but with encouragement from her CPPD work supervisor, she applied and secured the position.

“I was intimidated to apply as a sophomore only having had core business classes. I didn’t want to mess up or embarrass myself, but I also wanted to grow, and pushing past my nerves was worth it. If applying for an internship feels scary, giving it a try can build confidence,” Abby says.

As a marketing intern at Harbin Clinic, Abby collaborated with the creative services manager, taking on tasks within her expertise while exploring new areas. For example, Abby played a key role in Harbin Clinic’s summer campaign “Prescribe Outside,” which included a series of events for local families during the summer months. Abby participated in meetings where the team worked through everything from blog strategy and event coordination to prize packs and advertising. Abby wrote several posts for the campaign and was featured in advertising and videos. She has also spearheaded some of the social design, working closely with the art director.

One of Abby’s greatest challenges was learning to take constructive criticism. In her prior experience, feedback primarily stemmed from classroom assignments not meeting expectations.

Describing the marketing team’s creative dialogue, Abby says, “I had never seen so many revisions. I had to realize this wasn’t just my work. They thought through every angle. At first, I thought I was doing things wrong. Then, I realized I just didn’t have all the perspective they had. Working on a creative team is really different than doing work for a grade. I’ve enjoyed it, and it has taught me so much!”

Sarah Scarber, senior director of marketing at Harbin Clinic, says the team has also enjoyed having Abby on board: "Harbin Clinic Marketing is grateful to be a long-standing participant in Berry’s internship program. Students like Abby are a valuable resource and provide a fresh perspective. Just like the many Berry students who have worked with us, Abby brings a positive attitude, a strong work ethic and great ideas. And we consider it a privilege to play a small role in their long-term career journey.”

As Abby continues her work with Harbin Clinic, she encourages students from freshmen to seniors to connect with the CCPD so they can learn from hands-on experience outside the classroom.

“Berry gives students incredible opportunities,” she says. “As a small school, Berry faculty and staff are doing their best to help students graduate as the best version of themselves. I'm grateful Berry has encouraged me to apply my learning outside the classroom, and I have real-life experiences in my corner for the future.”

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