Cortland Butterfield was a 2017 summer intern at SEMGeeks and worked with the SEO team. He is going into his senior year at Rider University.

SEO, infographics, blog postings, and keyword research are now everyday terms that I encounter while at SEMGeeks. If I am asked to post a blog on one of our client’s websites or brainstorm infographic topics so that we can make a clear and helpful visual for our clients, I will be able to get that done. But, let’s rewind six months ago on how I had this great experience start in the first place. As a junior in college many of us know that there is a big weight on your shoulders. In a year or so you will be entering the real world with little to no experience in the actual field your degree was in. However, there is a great solution to at least get your toes wet before taking a plunge into the real world. Internships, I believe, can have a huge impact on a student’s overall knowledge and help them get a feel of what their degree and major is all about. I also believe that in some instances an internship can be more beneficial than what a student can learn in some of their classes.

There are many ways to get lined up for an internship, students have the advantage of online resources either provided by the school or on their own from company websites. There are also career fairs that take place at schools which is when companies either from the surrounding area or even major corporations come and look for aspiring students who are interested in finding internship opportunities or even job opportunities when they graduate. This is how I came into contact with SEMGeeks. I remember handing in my resume to Martin Birdsall, who is a partner here at SEMGeeks, after speaking to him about myself and the company and it sounded like a great opportunity. A couple of months later I had a phone interview with him to set up a meeting and come in to participate in their summer internship program. Since I am a marketing major, my initial meeting was with Pete Schauer, the marketing director at SEMGeeks. To be completely honest I was a bit anxious about the internship possibility. I am a marketing major, but SEMGeeks was completely new to me. Pete started to rattle off terms that I was just hearing for the first time. Even on my first day after going over some introductory meetings I thought to myself, “Wow, this will be a fun and completely new take on marketing that you don’t hear to much of in the classroom.”

Throughout my internship, I worked with the SEO department. I really did not know how much goes into helping a company’s website and aiding them in getting their name out to the public and higher in Google’s rankings. I also learned a great deal about what actually goes into writing blogs, and how it’s much more than just writing about an interesting topic. There are a lot more components that factor into creating a blog that both grabs the viewer’s eye and benefits the client that we are helping.   Throughout this internship I have grown a huge appreciation for SEO and how it has opened a new door to marketing in general.  I have learned so much from every single person at SEMGeeks, everyone has new strategies that I can learn from and they really show me a new aspect on how to perform a certain task. I never feel like I have a silly question – everyone here is always so polite and ready to offer their help.

When you think of being an intern, you immediately think of the person the employees make go on coffee runs or scan 500,000 copies of a spreadsheet, but not here. I felt like I was part of the team. Aside from blog postings and brainstorming blog and infographic topics, I also got to sit in on team meetings, team calls, and sit in on reviewing big project ideas. The best part was that I even got to contribute in these meetings as well. The knowledge that I gained from this whole experience is more than I could have imagined when I was first searching for an internship. There were also a lot of fun perks that I really enjoyed while working here. Because the entire staff is like one big family, everyone gets a long and is very laid back. I was lucky enough to intern during the summer, so we would eat lunch outside on really nice days. Also, on breaks, we liked to explore the surrounding stores for snacks and refreshing beverages. On certain days we even were provided lunch from local restaurants. Two of my favorite things that I am glad I was able to be apart of was, first, when we had our company mini golf contest. It was a beautiful day out and everyone was laughing and having a great time. Another fun experience was a “Mix and Mingle” event with the American Marketing Association of New Jersey, where we had the opportunity to meet with other entrepreneurs and members in the marketing community.

Overall my experience at SEMGeeks was a great one. I could not have asked for a better environment to work and grow in. I am glad I was able to learn so much about this part of the marketing industry and that SEO has definitely sparked a very high interest for my future work opportunities.