The internship experience is an important part of any college student's (or recent graduate's) experience. They allow individuals to immerse themselves in a preferred field in order to help prepare themselves for a career in the "real world" post-graduation. These are valuable opportunities to learn skills that are necessary to stand out and become an asset to any company.
At Blue Fountain Media we regularly host select groups of young professionals seeking an extensive learning experience at a digital agency. From design and development, to digital marketing and human resources, our interns work alongside various levels of experts in their selected specialty areas to ensure they are gaining the most they can from their internship.
Our most recent content marketing intern, Mohit, expands on what he learned during his time at Blue Fountain Media:
I signed up for this internship because I was tired of doing petty, repetitive homework assignments. I wanted to know what a real job was like - and Blue Fountain Media taught me. I can proudly say that I’ve written blog posts, helped put together a live website, and workshopped advertisements for multi-million dollar companies. I have had the chance to get my hands dirty, and here are some of the things I learnt while doing it:
You can’t trick Google
There are no shortcuts if you want to improve your SEO. The only way you will rank in the long term is if you make your website matter. This means that content thrown together just to fool Google into making your site rank for certain keywords will work against you—copy should always be written catering to its readers first. Google’s job is to find its users the most useful, current information available. So if you give that kind of content to Google, you’ve got a better chance of finding the right audience for it.
Everything is written by someone
I don’t know who I thought wrote every article on “34 First Date Ideas!” but it never occurred to me that it could be a job, and that the job could be hard! Reading those articles after this internship, I see the form they adhere to. I see the smooth transitions used to maintain the attention of the reader, and I see what keywords they want to rank for.
Every header, every call-to-action, every page summary, every tiny message has been written by someone who put thought and effort into them. Though they may seem standard to the user, the feel of a website can really be taken to the next level by slightly changing the wording. For example, "Learn More" is a call-to-action that makes it sound like you’re signing up to put in effort, which internet readers never want to do. "Expand" on the other hand, is a call-to-action that yields immediate gratification. You click the button and the article expands so you can read the rest of the content. Much easier for the reader to engage with, and latch on to.
Address the reader’s concerns
Whether it’s an article, an email marketing strategy, or a messaging strategy, the most important thing you can do is give the reader what he or she wants! If you clicked on this article and I started yapping about how I learned to buy my own train ticket, I’d imagine you’d instinctively click the "back" button and find a different article. Tangents are only welcome if you have already given the reader what they want. For this article, that often means making fun-sized sections with bold headers you can skim through in order to find the parts that interest you the most. For a webpage it means skipping the self-description and saying how you relate to the customer in a sentence. “Here at BFM we strive to guide clients towards the most advantageous online presence possible,” is less effective than, “Website Design” in big letters. Only once the reader knows what they’re looking at can you provide the information they’ll want next – which includes apt self-description.
Sleep is King
I’ve never been a good sleeper. As a toddler it was fun to sneak out of my room and eavesdrop on my parents’ gossiping, but as a young adult, staying up late punishes me. It takes time away from my day by making me too cloudy to be creative when I want to. But only here at BFM, do my bad habits affect other people as much as they affect me. Here, other people rely on me. Here, I have to be on my A game in order to add to the team. After finally seeing how detrimental a lack of sleep was to my health, intelligence, and productivity, this internship has unexpectedly helped me regulate my sleep cycle.
Free time must be planned, not expected
At school, I often find myself dreading work. I spend so much time sulking that the work ironically takes three times as long to complete. But here, even if I’m not jumping with joy with my new assignment, I sit down, pump 90’s R&B through my headphones and I do the work without hesitation. Why?
Having a set eight hours a day to work relieves the FOMO that comes with doing work outside of the office. I have to be here (and want to), and most importantly, I know that I’m going to spend the evening doing whatever I’d like. The promise of free time lets me enjoy work and make the most of it instead of feeling trapped or overwhelmed by it. From this internship, I know that I can work for a plentiful eight hours a day if I make sure to give myself five hours of free time in the evening, which is both more work and more free time I’d earn without planning.
This internship has not only taught me workplace and digital marketing skills that will be valuable in any industry, but it has helped me ensure my success for the rest of my college career. (I sleep now!!!) The team here has been truly welcoming, allowing me to not only view but to participate in client meetings, to pipe in on any issue I think I can add to, and to hone my writing skills while working here.