Hershey Internship Expands Horizons for Milton Hershey School Alumna
As a rising junior at American University studying public relations and strategic communications, MHS alumna Susanna Compare ’18 was not going to let the challenges of the global pandemic get in the way of her next internship. She seamlessly transitioned from her web-based college courses to an online summer internship with The Hershey Company’s Corporate Communications and Public Relations department. She embraced each task and made the most out of each virtual interaction with her colleagues and mentors.
The authentic work experience provided Susanna with the opportunity to learn about project management, editorial planning, and customer relations, work to develop the company’s purpose statement, and refine her existing skills.
“Working with Susanna this summer was a true delight! She not only elevated our team by compiling our first ever ‘consumer story’ library but she brought fresh ideas, and an energetic perspective to everything we do,” said Lauren Aardewijn, Associate Manager of Corporate Communications.
The Hershey team, also including Lori Sedlmyer and Madison Schreyer, involved Susanna in projects focused on how the company would communicate internally to its staff and externally to customers about COVID-19 and racial equality.
“To see the pivots the company made in response to the current events and how they remained focused on listening to their customers is really interesting,” Susanna said. “Throughout the past five months, we’ve heard, ‘it’s such an unprecedented time.’ I keep thinking about what a time it is to be learning. I’m learning as it’s happening, not just listening to stories.”
A project that hit home for Susanna involved writing “moments of goodness” stories. She heard how Hershey makes a lasting impact on so many people when talking to customers and reflected on the influence the company has had in her own life, beginning with her time as an MHS student. Susanna sees the theme of philanthropy woven throughout everything the company does, not just in the commitment to MHS, but also on human rights and sustainable sourcing.
“At MHS, we think of our school community as a family and through the conversations I had this summer, Hershey employees are truly an extension of that family,” Susanna described. “They will do everything they can personally and professionally to make sure the kids at MHS have an amazing experience and access to so many opportunities.”
This is Susanna’s first internship in corporate communications. Her previous internships included marketing at Children’s Defense Fund in Washington D.C. and in Milton Hershey School’s Communications department. She hopes to continue sharing messages and crafting narratives through future internships and ultimately attend law school after graduation.