I had an internship for about 6 months, was asked to interview at another company and I decided to do it to see if I was interested and was offered an internship at the other company. Around this time I was offered a job at the first company once I graduated but I declined due to finding another internship that I wanted to take to explore my opportunities.
An HR representative at the initial company told me to contact her if I was still interested in working for them after the 6 months when my new internship was supposed to end was up. I ended up getting a different internship within the same company that extended another 6 months, but it's ending now and I'm interested in going back to the initial company.
I emailed the HR rep and her automatic email response said to email someone else. I emailed them and they didn't respond. I'm assuming the first HR rep does not work there anymore and the second HR rep didn't notice or take my interest seriously.
Is it inappropriate to e-mail my former boss directly? Should I go through the online process of applying and just rely on the fact that they normally ask if anyone who's applying has worked there before? I'm not sure how much that sets me apart from other applicants.
I just want to take advantage of the fact that they have already offered me a job and that I've already worked there for 6 months so I can increase my chances of getting rehired.