Before I started as an intern at Semgeeks, I wasn’t sure what marketing entailed. It was a process hidden from me, but it also affected my daily life. The word “marketing” conjured up images of door-to-door salesmen or grimy flyers taped to telephone poles. But online marketing is an involved, data-driven process that has grown as an industry in our digital present. 

The Semgeeks working environment was really helpful to me as I learned about digital marketing from scratch. If I needed help, I could ask anyone around me for advice. I appreciated the casual environment: the loose dress code, the height-adjustable desks, the music and ambience—and most of all, the free snacks. It makes sense to me that people produce their best work when they’re in a comfortable environment. They wouldn’t be stressed by a stiff dress shirt or the cold and sterile environment of a more formal office space. Personally, I did not feel intimidated by Semgeeks’ environment; instead, I felt prepared to face learning challenges. 

I learned about principles of marketing, how to maintain a company’s online tone and presence, how to use social media to engage with audiences, optimal practices for writing emails and blog posts, and how to use paid ads on multiple platforms. Nothing I had learned in high school had taught me about this before. I had no idea about the process that created the ads I saw every day online. School curriculums focus so much on memorization of facts in various subjects without teaching as much how one can use these facts to do things. However, persevering through a tough high school curriculum at least taught me how to be resourceful and persistent when learning something new. 

One of my main jobs was to produce social media content for clients. These companies all sold different products and had different images to uphold so the content I created varied between clients. I learned how to organize and plan social media posts ahead of time. It was a strange, new feeling to me when I saw posts that I had worked on actually appear on a company’s social media. 

The digital industry dominates a huge part of our lives today, and companies are smart to bring their advertising online to social media platforms to address wide audiences. I come from a pre-engineering high school so I am very interested in all aspects of tech, both pure technical and scientific information or the intersection between society and technology. My experience at Semgeeks has taught me about the latter. 

We all worry about big corporations and the data they’re collecting from us. Semgeeks has taught me a bit about how the companies actually do it: take search history and identify a person’s interests, target certain demographics with ads, send targeted ads based on interests, and even track an individual’s activity on websites with services like Google Analytics. 

If I ever start my own business, I’ll understand how to use marketing online to my advantage. Semgeeks has also taught me about the value of persistence. We see so many ads every day, but how many do we actually click on? I now have a better sense of how even just the impression of the ad makes me more aware of a brand. The bigger a company’s presence in my mind, conscious or unconscious, the more effective its ads have been. 

Overall, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have this internship at Semgeeks. I know having had work experience before I even start college will be an advantage. I know how to work in a professional environment, become part of a company’s workflow, and have learned to work with many programs related to digital marketing. Thank you to everyone who made this possible and helped me along the way!