Recent Digital Worlds Institute alumna Hannah Luc (BADAS '19) had the opportunity to intern with major retailer Urban Outfitters this summer. After a successful summer, the company offered her a full-time job at its office in Philadelphia. We caught up with Hannah to hear about her journey after graduation.
Renee: How did you discover your love of videography?
Hannah: I actually took a class at UF called Design Production Studio 2, and it is the only class in my program that taught video production, so I got really into it through that. I then applied to the Smithsonian last year and got that internship, which was a lot of documentaries and Vice style videos. My love of videography took off after that summer, so that Design Production Studio 2 taught me all the foundations and got me going.
R: How did you receive your internship opportunity with Urban Outfitters?
H: I applied through LinkedIn, and I basically made and sent a reel and portfolio. I guess they noticed it because they invited me to interview with them in December at their special interview day where it is not just people for video but for all departments. I showed up to interview day, and there are 600 other people who are dressed like me. It was really interesting, and there were mostly women there. The interview process consisted of two rounds, and I talked to two people I would potentially be interning with on their content team. One was the art director for Urban Outfitters and the other was the video production manager. The interview felt more like a conversation, which I took as a good sign.
R: When you reached the end of your internship, did you know that you wanted to work there?
H: Yes, it was actually a really difficult process for me because they hire on a need basis, and there was not an extra opening on the team. My boss liked my content a lot and thought I was contributing a lot to the team, so he made a whole new position specifically tailored for me. He sent it to his bosses and they said to hire me, but it was a hard process. It was a rough summer because I didn't know I would get the job at all, so I went into the summer thinking that I needed to keep applying to other positions elsewhere. I didn’t want to spend the next couple of months unemployed, so every single day I would come home, and I would apply to five to ten positions. I then realized it’s about quality not quantity, so I started to apply to two a day and made them really nice. Those didn't go very far.
R: Were there any surprising moments during your internship?
H: Yeah, tons of things actually. The Smithsonian was a hard internship because I had just started getting into video, so everything was very new. But here, they expected you to know everything already, but do it quicker. I’m on their content team, which is part of their social media, and they update social media every single day. It was fast content all the time. There is an animator on our team so he taught me so much about motion graphics, and I never got into it before this summer. Now, I can whip out animations really quick. They embrace your mistakes as long as you learn from them. Obviously it's intimidating, but overall, everyone is so supportive of me and try to make sure I have a voice in the meetings.
This was Hannah’s final project as a video intern for Urban Outfitters. She presented this project to an audience of fellow interns, managers, and executives. From working with talent, location scouting, and filming under tight deadlines, she learned how to make visions from a storyboard come to life. 1 OF A KIND is a 1-minute vintage lookbook featuring the Urban Outfitters Men's Vintage Collection.
R: What are your future career goals?
H: I one day hope to become an art director for some type of fashion company, but that’s far down the line. I just try to do really well at my position right now and hopefully get promoted, but that’s a long-term dream. Hopefully by the time I’m 30 I can get to that position, but right now, I go home after work and try to do more animation stuff on the side. I can whip out animations quicker and keep a variety going.
R: What advice would you give a graduating senior or a student seeking an internship?
H: A lot of things, especially for digital arts and sciences students because the Digital Worlds Institute is great but you need to get into this mindset beyond DW and get your creative juices flowing outside of class too. Keep creating stuff no matter what. It was hard to get myself doing things besides the assignments, but I needed to push myself to go beyond the assignments. My professor would teach me something, and I would go home and try to make the same thing but better and make it more original in my own way. Add new techniques to it. Also, I didn't realize how important internship experience was. If I didn’t intern, I don’t think I would have gotten a job after graduation. Definitely just intern.
R: How do you feel UF prepared you for your current job?
H: Honestly, I think it did. I went into it thinking that I was going to be into video games and animation, but then I took that class and was like, ‘It’s too late to change my major.’ I was just gonna go for it and I feel like they helped me in building my foundation. What I did outside of my class was what got me this far, but that class was a catalyst for all of it. Overall, yes, it definitely helped me.
R: Do you have a favorite memory from UF?
H: My favorite thing about my major is that my cohort was so close. I just miss Norman Gym and where we all would meet there. We would study together, do art projects together, and talk about random stuff. It was just nice seeing everybody everyday and checking up on each other and checking up on our creative side. We all collaborated together and made stuff together in that little room. I miss them. We still talk. It’s great.