Intern Spotlight: Jessica Breckenridge – HEB Customer Insights

Jessica Breckenridge

Position: Customer Insights Intern

Majors: BHP, Marketing

Company: H-E-B Grocery Company, San Antonio, Texas

Topics: Brand Design, Virtual Platforms



What were you doing in your role?

I interned in the Customer Insights Center, H-E-B’s internal research department. I worked with the Packaging and Brand Design Manager to investigate questions around H-E-B’s Own Brand products by brainstorming research questions, fielding and documenting studies with customers, and sharing findings with key stakeholders across the company. Apart from that, my primary project this summer was to spearhead the search for digital efficiency solutions within our department. I focused on virtual platforms and recruitment strategies and had the opportunity to lead the search from early exploration to the beginning rounds of testing. I developed platform criteria, evaluated and negotiated with top market research vendors, and collaborated with teams across H-E-B to map use cases and implementation paths.

Biggest lesson you learned, or ways you grew from this internship?

I learned that I can succeed, thrive even, outside of my comfort zone. Prior to this internship, I had no knowledge about digital platforms, and yet I ended up leading the search for one. I had to embrace my learning role and ask questions constantly. Luckily, H-E-B is very welcoming to curiosity, and while many of my questions were simply for me to learn the ropes, some of them also ended up sparking some pretty important conversations in the department. I felt excited and encouraged by the amount of responsibility I was given.

What did you like most about the internship?

The people, hands down. H-E-B’s company culture is felt at every level and every interaction. My fellow interns were kind, enthusiastic peers and my management teams made incredible mentors. The Customer Insights Center valued me as a true member of the team, welcoming me into the heart of the business and challenging me to perform my best. The respect they gave me pushed me to pour my energy into my role and explore any question that crossed my mind. I was also able to learn a lot about how I work and about what types of teams and leaders best fit that work style.

Anything else you want to point out to other students about your internship experience?

Be open to opportunity. This summer took me from marketing and research (makes sense) into product management, data security, and law & privacy (never saw this coming). I followed this path with inquisitiveness and an open mind, and although it wasn’t what I expected to be doing, the breadth of exposure allowed me to really picture a defined career for myself for the first time.