Rachael Samonski was a 2017 summer intern at SEMGeeks and worked with the SEO and Social Media teams. She is going into her junior year at Rider University. See her thoughts on her SEMGeeks experience below!

Students are paying thousands of dollars to go to college to teach you how to become a professional in whatever your topic of study may be. However, classes alone are not sufficient for students to learn and grow in their future career. This is even more true if students do not put ample time and effort into their class work. I personally loved all of my marketing classes and teachers; I thought I understood marketing and how to do it. After starting my internship at SEMGeeks, I’ve realized I only understood the textbook definitions of marketing, and not what marketing really is in the workforce. On my very first day at SEMGeeks I was asked, “Do you know what SEO is?” My response was broken and unclear, and the only reason I could give an answer was because I looked up the definition the night earlier. Never in my two years at school did I ever hear the phrase “SEO.” After the staff explained to me what exactly SEO was, they told me “Don’t worry, you’ll understand it soon.” Fast forward to today, my last day at SEMGeeks, I can tell you what SEO is and how vital it is in marketing. So if you were to ask me “Did school prepare you for your internship?” I would have to say not entirely. While my classes taught me what the Five P’s of Marketing are, they never taught me how to ACTUALLY market.

From my internship I’ve learned how important the backend of marketing is, not just slogans and captions. I was fortunate enough to obtain an internship where you actually learn and participate, not just do coffee runs and make copies. I sat in on meetings, created blog topics, designed social media posts for companies, and researched keywords for SEO. My supervisors for the Social Media and SEO departments have shown me applications that I never even knew existed. I’ve heard at some internships how uncomfortable it can be to ask your boss how to do something, but it’s not like that here. Whenever I had question, whether it was about how to write something up, clients, how to work a website, or even where to eat for lunch in Belmar, someone was always here to help me.

The SEMGeeks team environment is open and comfortable, allowing for a creative flow of ideas. When you think of “offices” you tend to think about small cubicles and white walls. Yet when you first walk into the SEMGeeks office, all you see is open space. There’s music playing and absolutely no cubicles. The desks adjust so you can make yourself comfortable. Not only did SEMGeeks exceed my expectations for this internship, but it has set my standards high for every marketing opportunity I will encounter in the future.

I am absolutely grateful that I was given an opportunity to work at SEMGeeks, and I am very sad that it’s ending. While I may never hear “SEO” in college, I now have experience and knowledge that I can apply whenever the opportunity arises. Julius Caesar said, “Experience is the teacher of all things,” and from my experience here at SEMGeeks, I can say this is a universal truth. If you actually want to know HOW to do the job you’re studying, get experience in that area. The understanding and knowledge you gain from that opportunity can never be replaced.