Ah, the humble internship. It serves as a launchpad for many career-driven young professionals, eagerly looking to get a foot in the door.
It’s no secret that working at an internship propels your professional growth.
In fact, some of the world’s most prominent figures got their start as interns. Bill Gates worked as a congressional intern as a teen and Elon Musk interned at a bank before creating what would become, yup you guessed it—Paypal.
To be clear, I’m not saying that by being an intern you’re on the path to the billionaire business club. But I’m not not saying that (*cue cheeky Elon Musk grin*).
Jokes aside, internships can have tremendous benefits for professional growth.
As a marketing major at Arizona State University, I have a few internships under my belt and have picked up valuable lessons in each of them. From podcast editing to using SEO tools like Yoast and Clearscope to creating content strategies, I have been able to grow my skill set over time.
This leads me to my current role – an SEO (search engine optimization) and content writing intern at Markitors. Below, I break down my daily responsibilities and share tips for success I’ve picked up along the way. Tag along with me to get an inside look at a day in the life as an SEO intern!
8:30 am – Arrive at the office
The SEO agency I work at is situated in the middle of a beautiful park in Old Town Scottsdale. When I arrive, I take the stairs to the third floor (have to get those steps in) and enter the bright, open office.
At my desk, I usually begin by checking Asana, our project management tool, to see what my tasks are for the day. I’ll also view my inbox for updates or company memos. I’ll give you a look into my day to day tasks later on. Sneak preview: it doesn’t involve making copies or fetching coffee. I actually get to do meaningful work that impacts clients!!
Fun Fact: On my first day as an SEO intern, I arrived to a fully decorated desk complete with streamers, a t-shirt (made by one of our company’s amazing clients), and a mini piñata.
8:45 am – Share Wins and Priorities
Each morning, everyone in the office shares a win that they are excited about and then a top priority for the day. Our CEO, Brett, kicks things off with his win and priority and then it moves to every member of our 15 person team.
Wins can be professional or personal and I learn a lot about my coworkers including their interests and accomplishments through these morning meetings. I share my win—finally finishing a book I had been reading and my top priority—writing a long-form content article for a client in the education industry.
9:30 am- Content Team Meeting
Once a week, the content team meets to discuss progress on current articles, new clients that we will be writing for, and touch base as a team. As a content writer, a large part of my responsibilities revolves around creating SEO friendly articles for the wide array of clients that my company serves. I work alongside other writers and report to the Director of Content.
Internship Tip: Don’t be intimidated by those around you who are clearly more knowledgeable in the field than you are. Instead, learn from them. For instance, I ask the Director of Content questions about concepts I am still learning. I ask writers for advice when I’m crafting content. Bottom line—ask questions to learn more. It’s that simple.
10:00 am – Awakening My Inner Hemingway (aka Writing Time)
With a soft stream of music flowing over the workplace (Frank Ocean is an office pleaser) and a cup of coffee from the kitchen’s Nespresso at my side, I embark on my writing tasks for the day. These could include shorter blog posts in the 800-word range or long-form content, which is around 2000 words.
Premium content articles are like regular blog posts on steroids. They are longer and more in-depth. As such, these pieces take me longer to write. I perform research on the topic and examine the top-ranking articles for the target keyword on google to get an idea of how to make the content competitive. With my tried and true thesaurus tab open and Google Docs at the ready, I write.
Fun Fact: The Markitors office space boasts an open floor plan with large windows that bathe the workplace in natural light. Team members move about freely and can work from whatever area of the office they choose. Some people work out on the patio that overlooks the park and others work in the conference room in the back. I typically rotate between sitting at my desk and using the standing desks available around the office.
1:00 pm – Lunch
There is no set lunchtime but I gravitate towards the fridge around this time to grab my packed lunch. Barstools line the kitchen counter and team members usually eat and converse together. The office kitchen is home to snacks for everyone. Microwave popcorn and coconut water are staples that we simply cannot function without.
Fun Fact: Training Tuesdays are an office-wide gathering that allows any person on the team (interns included) to lead a teaching session on a digital marketing topic. How to Craft a Digital Content Strategy, What is Digital PR, and—for the meme lovers—How to Create a GIF are some of the Training Tuesday topics covered at Markitors.
1: 30 pm Local SEO Work
It’s fitting that at my SEO internship, I perform different Search Engine Optimization related tasks for clients. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, SEO refers to a variety of practices that can be implemented to help web pages rank higher on SERPs (search engine results pages). One aspect of SEO is Local SEO.
I spend this time helping to improve the visibility of companies to searchers who are in their local area.
3:00 pm Wellness Check
Even with a Herman Miller chair, top-notch coworkers, and furry friends at the office, an SEO intern needs a break from time to time. At Markitors, we call these much needed mental health breaks “wellness checks”. These come in many forms but they generally include a short excursion from the office. Think a refreshing stroll in the park or a trip to a nearby tea shop for a boba fueled pick me up.
Internship Tip: Your wellbeing is critical to your professional performance. So take time to step back and clear your head when needed. A brief hiatus can help to reset and actually improve your productivity.
3:15 pm Finishing Up
After a brief wellness check, it’s time to get back to business. In the last part of the day, I address any remaining duties. Often, I’ll use this time to make revisions to articles that the editor has sent back to me.
Sometimes I meet with the editor to clarify revisions and ask about client expectations. This “meeting” usually entails one of us rolling over on an office chair to the other person’s work station. Even though these chats are quick and informal, the collaborative process aids in my growth as a writer.
4:00 pm Farewell
Thanks to flexible schedules, some people begin trickling out of the office around 3 o’clock. Others stay until 5 pm or maybe onwards. I can’t say for sure because I head out at 4 o’clock after a productive day in the ever-changing SEO world.
Thanks for Coming Along
There you have it. A peek into what it’s like to intern at a digital marketing agency.
Of course, no day is exactly the same as before. This is especially true at a place like Markitors where one of our company mantras is “always fresh, always thrilling.”
However, I hope this gave you some insights into what an SEO internship entails.
With that, I wish you good luck in your professional endeavors!