Full disclosure: I was anxious about turning down other great internship opportunities with larger agencies, but on my first day at Semgeeks, while attending the weekly morning meeting, I knew that I had made the right decision. I’ve been longing to gain experience in project management outside of the classroom and the Semgeeks team provided me with the perfect opportunity. Since my first day, I have sat in on every meeting, engaged with every member on the team, and found my place here in the office. I was never stuck doing busy work and my supervisor, Olivia, was always eager to provide feedback and meaningful tasks in which I could contribute.
One day, in particular, encompassed my experience at Semgeeks. Picture this: two designers, an account manager, the CEO, and myself are crammed into a 2009 copper-brown Honda CRV for three hours discussing the latest pop culture trends, cracking jokes, and learning more about each other. This car ride exemplified all that the Semgeeks employees stand for; a culture of authenticity, fun, cohesion, and dedication. During this car ride, I truly forgot that I was at work but the purpose of the trip was still business. We were headed to a client meeting at a well-established fragrance house to discuss branding initiatives for a client’s product launch. When we arrived, I, only a measly intern, was given a seat at the table. I was introduced and welcomed by every member in the room. Olivia rejected my idea of sitting on the outskirts of the table during the meeting because I belonged there. As I was able to play an active role and be included in branding discussions and candle fragrance testing, I started to believe it too. I wasn’t just “the intern along for the ride”. I couldn’t help but think all my years of coffee runs and busywork were a prerequisite to get to the end goal of a purposeful, all-encompassing internship.
I have training in communications, not a business or marketing background but I can now speak to digital marketing strategy and brand development. I relied on Semgeeks to provide me with the foundational knowledge to propel me into the digital marketing space. This type of hands-on, real-world experience was mentioned in our textbooks, but I was never able to participate and observe an actual business meeting until I arrived at Semgeeks. My site visit was no different than any other day at the office. While the daily road trips only included a 15 minute trip to the Stay Gold Cafe for a Mocha Madness Latte, the same inclusion was felt daily. I sat in on every meeting with Olivia and Rachel and was able to see them navigate project management software and internal and client communication in real-time on real accounts. I became familiar with some of the 40+ clients that they manage and I have worked on accounts in industries from fashion and recreation to paving and politics. I learned that the work an Account Manager conducts is extremely valuable to the business model and is a necessary position in a multiservice agency. Because of this active learning process, I am confident in my ability to handle most client inquiries, concerns, and crises that may arise during each phase of project execution.
The Semgeeks team accepted me with open arms; I was invited to team-wide events like hatchet throwing and happy hour, I ate lunch with the girls almost every day and Aimee even made me a Valentine (like, come on, how cute!). Semgeeks truly provides an environment like no other (with candy bins and bean bag chairs, too). I have been everywhere from big fancy city corporate offices to studio offices in small towns and the talent, dedication, and friendliness expressed at Semgeeks is unmatched. No matter where I end up after graduation, I will value the lessons I’ve learned, the work I’ve conducted, and the friends I’ve made in this building full of geeks down by the Jersey Shore.