Reflecting back on the last eight weeks is a bit overwhelming as there are so many things that I have learned. I do not even know where to begin! I think the most important take away I have recognized thus far is I really submerged myself in an atmosphere that I was most certainly not used to, doing things I definitely did not have much experience with previously.
Stepping out of my comfort zone is something that is not all that easy for me; I am a very routine driven person. When I get used to a routine, it is often not the actual loss that makes things difficult for me, so much as I have a hard time adjusting and adapting to change. When I was exploring different internships, I was really looking for something that would challenge me. At the same time I also had to be wary of my ability to jump in somewhere that I would not know exactly what I was doing. Nobody wants to pursue something they don’t understand, but part of that is accepting that obviously I don’t know everything, so this is an attempt to learn more.
My main goal was to close the gap between what I was learning about in school and applying it in an agency setting. I can listen to people talk about social media marketing and the digital footprint of a business all day but until I actually get my hands dirty and start drawing those conclusions myself, I personally have a hard time retaining all of the information being thrown at me. Similar to word problems in math class, they never seem to make sense until you are living the word problem and it does not identify itself as a “Critical Thinking” question on my Pre-calculus homework.
My concern going into this industry was that once I graduated I would have absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with it. Communications is such a vast (and growing) field and I enjoy a lot of the different pieces, but I do not know what I want to pursue specifically. I took two classes that continue to stand out to me among my favorite and most easily understood material: Marketing Principles and Strategic Communication. I found these to be fairly similar, but taught with a different structure and accompanied by different types of assignments. Marketing was more big business oriented and strategic communication was more tailored to a small agency environment. They meshed together very well and I always found my understanding for those classes to be deeper than that of others.
I did a lot of digital auditing and research in my time at Amplified Digital and it was something that I found very interesting. I enjoyed being able to dive into a business’s digital footprint and determine what was missing or how they improve their digital presence to achieve better results in their sales. While I would not go as far as to say it came easily to me, I would say that it was easily understood once I thought a little harder. I understood what all of the information meant when I pulled it, and I understood what could be done to make it better. The combination of all of the different pieces (reputation management, social media, website traffic, SEO, etc) and understanding how those are all connected is where it took me awhile to adjust, and probably where I learned the most. My knowledge of different industries and what digital characteristics are most helpful to those specific industries was another area that I capitalized on. Once I would pull data for any business, I would look at market research regarding where their customers are most likely to be looking for information about their business, and in my opinion you could never absorb enough of that knowledge since it is always changing.
Overall I am not sure that I could express with words how grateful I am for the opportunity I was given here at Amplified. I have acquired more knowledge than I could have ever imagined and learned more about myself that I ever thought was possible. Interning at Amplified Digital is without a doubt the most valuable investment in my future I could have made, and the impact it had on my understanding and enjoyment of digital marketing is unmatched by any other project, assignment, or class I have experienced to date. I am upset that it has drawn to a close, but now I will have time to reflect on all that I have learned and to further develop the skills I have gained this summer. Thank you so much to everyone that helped me accentuate my communications experience, I am so grateful!