Each summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics acquire real-world professional skills through internships. In each installment of this series, an outstanding Lerner student will be profiled, sharing their internship experience, challenges they have overcome and what their future holds!
Grace Ibach, class of 2023, fashion merchandising and management major with the College of Arts and Sciences and minoring in advertising and business administration with the Lerner College, spent her summer as an influencer marketing intern at QVC.
Lerner: How did you find out about this internship? Why did you pursue it?
Ibach: Last summer I also interned at QVC but on a different team. Interns are encouraged to set up quick meetings with other teams or departments to learn more about areas of the business that interest them. I had a call with my now boss, and we had such a great conversation about the power of social media and TikTok. Fast forward to earlier this year, I received a DM from her saying they were hiring a summer intern for their team. I decided to apply and here I am now! It really goes to show the power of networking!
Lerner: What did you learn from this internship that you think you would not have learned elsewhere?
Ibach: I have learned so much I did not know about the influencer industry. There are so many parts that go on behind the scenes of those posts you see online, and being able to understand all those pieces is really exciting.
Lerner: What is the most exciting task or project that you have done or are currently doing in your role?
Ibach: I have enjoyed every aspect of my role but one that I have enjoyed the most is helping to assess and determine the appropriate influencers to use for an upcoming partnership campaign we are launching. It is exciting to be a part of the planning process, and as you see things unfold, knowing that you contributed to it. We also had a group internship project to create a pitch deck for a new partnership and present it to senior leadership. My group got first place which was very exciting and I met so many amazing interns along the way.
Lerner: What is an example of a time where you were able to apply what you’ve learned at Lerner to your role?
Ibach: Understanding the importance of your consumer and their desires and needs is something that I have continued to apply throughout my role. Especially when searching for new influencers to work with, it is important to keep our customer at the forefront of all our decision making.
Lerner: How do you think this internship will push you closer to your professional goals?
Ibach: I have always been fascinated by the influencer marketing industry and it is definitely an area I can see myself gravitating towards post grad. Being able to immerse myself fully in the industry this summer and upcoming semester has been so beneficial for my personal growth. I have also learned the importance of communication with team members and have gotten much more confident with my presentation skills—which are two skills that I will always need in my professional career.
Lerner: Did you face any challenges during your internship? If so, what was the issue and how did you overcome it?
Ibach: As an intern I was afforded the opportunity to weigh in many facets of the business. One of those areas was helping to make recommendations for influencers that we should work with. Because I wasn’t familiar with this space I had to get comfortable knowing that my choices may be wrong but that I was learning.
Lerner: What are your career plans once your internship ends?
Ibach: My dream has always been to move to New York City and work in marketing for a fashion company. Although, I am really enjoying my time at QVC, so we will see what the future holds!