One would think an intern’s first month at an up-and-coming digital marketing agency may only offer a mere glimpse into its many functions, but my experience at Hanapin has given me valuable exposure to all the moving parts that make Hanapin the success it is today. As a rising senior at Indiana University in Bloomington studying telecommunications and human resources, I have gained insight into a “real world” working environment that so many college students seek.

Who I See

I am lucky to report to Molly Scheller, the HR Coordinator, and work closely with Rebecca Reott, the Associate Director of HR. I have been exposed to a variety of human resource activities with greater depth than expected. From the perspective of a student looking for a better understanding of the many functions of HR, Hanapin and its size has been ideal, as the small department performs HR duties across the board.

A few of these areas include:

  • Employer/brand presence
  • Recruitment processes and platforms
  • Tracking and screening candidates
  • The interview processes
  • Social media
  • Recruitment marketing
  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Perks
  • Policy management


What I See

Equally significant has been seeing the culture of the company and its impact on the employees. It is obvious that Hanapin is an innovative and modern company in an industry that is new, fast paced, and evolving. From my first day, the company struck me as being especially supportive of employee needs as it strives to create an optimal work environment. There is always music playing in the background, natural light streaming in from huge windows that line the outside walls, open pod desk formations, standing desks, and snacks available around-the-clock. Coworkers have real friendships in and outside of the office, and consistently dedicate themselves to Hanapin’s success.

An Unforeseen Challenge

My greatest challenge thus far has been acquiring and applying my limited knowledge of the paid search industry to my work as an intern in HR focusing on recruitment efforts. In order to understand Hanapin’s recruiting process and how we find the best candidates, there is no getting around the fact that a real understanding of the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities is fairly crucial. I still feel the need to continue to learn about this young industry and how Hanapin can effectively serve its clients. I imagine many HR professionals face this hump when they join a new company, and are tasked with creating a job specification or description for a position they have never held.

In addition, I have had to absorb a lot of information with regard to recruitment strategies I was unaware of like how to manage and budget job postings and build a brand presence on social media. I have also worked to put myself in the position of a prospective candidate, so I can identify our current avenues and new opportunities to maximize the targeting of potential candidates. To meet these goals, I have learned the importance of a strong connection between HR and each department so the most qualified candidates are brought onboard. Based on my observations, the HR department at Hanapin is successful in this respect, as it continues to bring knowledgeable and talented people into the company’s expert workforce. Anyone can see why I feel privileged to intern at Hanapin and learn so much about the many essential functions of HR at a small-scale company.