I knew my first day coming in to Semgeeks that this experience, my first internship, was going to change my view on marketing for better or worse. And after spending thousands of dollars for college, I’m glad it wasn’t the latter.

My first day, I was a wreck. Not only did I have no idea what I was walking into, this being my first internship, but I was also not comforted by the fact that had no previous experience with content marketing. However, I got over my fears pretty quickly. As soon as I walked through the doors, I realized that the environment is really relaxed and welcoming. There are no cubicles confining you to only yourself and your thoughts; this office has an open floor plan, with our desks being strategically set up into little islands: one for SEO, one for PPC, and one for content marketing. In addition to that, there’s always soothing music playing in the background, although sometimes we did put on ¡Viva Latino! to liven things up. Everyone who works there was also really nice. From helping me answer unexpected phone calls to answering all of my questions one after another, nobody ever hesitated to help. That was one of my favorite things about working at Semgeeks–the casual atmosphere is really conducive to learning and working because most of the time, it doesn’t even feel like work.

The other thing I loved about working here? I learned so much more than I expected. We’ve all sat in a classroom and had knowledge hurled at us for hours, then walked out having learned nothing. Most of us don’t truly learn something without actually experiencing it. That’s why I believe internships are a vital part of higher education and success. Without actually trying it out, how do you know you’re going to be good at a job, or even like it? Semgeeks made my experience with marketing an enjoyable and informative one. I came in knowing the textbook definition of marketing and the steps I should follow, but I’m leaving with real-world experience and the knowledge to handle different cases.

From my three months here, I learned a little bit about each aspect of marketing. I learned about time management, cross-departmental collaboration, organization, research, budgeting, writing with the purpose of marketing, and client interaction from just one campaign–the Beach Badge Giveaway. I learned the importance of being interactive, visible, and vocal with your consumers from my time spent managing social media accounts for businesses. I learned that real-life group work doesn’t have to be a source of anguish as it often is in school. When you’re working with a team that shares a common interest in achieving the same goal, it can be really productive and engaging, often leading to an outflow of creative ideas that really take the project to the next level. I learned that it’s important to take the time to learn about each client, their business, and what their marketing goals are in order to deliver results that go above and beyond. I also learned more Google shortcuts than I even realized existed.

Interning at Semgeeks was a wonderful experience, and I will happily take the memories with me wherever I go. The skills that I learned here are applicable to every job, every position, and even personal struggles I might encounter from here on out. I’m grateful that they accepted me into their little Semgeeks family, even if it was just for a little while, because it was truly one of a kind.