Hi there! My name is Bekah Gilman, and I spent this summer as a content marketing intern for Go Local Interactive. This fall I will be finishing up my last semester of college at Kansas State University (can I hear a “Go Cats?!”) and I will be earning my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in marketing.
I learned about Go Local during the fall semester of my senior year at the Business Career Fair. I spoke with Grant Leonard, the recruiting specialist at Go Local, after which I started the interview process. Throughout this process and speaking to the team at career fairs, I immediately fell in love with the passion that the team had for this company. I was offered a content internship a few months later and accepted the position soon after.
This would be my first internship in college, and I was apprehensive about it. After starting with a different major at a different school and taking a gap semester, I felt slightly behind. I knew that I was passionate about marketing, and I had done content writing for smaller companies before, but I didn’t know if I was prepared for the “corporate world,” of it all.
I got to thinking: If most days of my last four years have consisted of two 50-minute classes, a nap in between, ramen noodles for dinner, and a healthy Netflix binge to end the night, could I possibly be prepared for a full-time job? Was I ready to tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, pouring myself a cup of ambition, every day?
Complete side note: I wish Dolly Parton was more relatable sometimes. I wish I could have said, “If Dolly can do it, so can I.” Not true. Dolly is an angel, almost everything she can do I quite literally could never do.
But, after months of research, i.e. watching TikTok videos titled “A Day In My Life as an Intern,” I was ready to start my internship.
After slipping into my finest business casual outfit (which I definitely wasn’t planning for the past month), I started my first day at the internship! We started with breakfast and brief introductions. We then moved to the conference room where we would spend the next four days learning about Go Local from Go Local employees.
We listened to presentations on the history of the company, the roles of different departments, and more. Throughout the presentations, it stuck out to me how passionate everyone was about what they do here. Everyone was proud of the work they do and excited to recap their journey with Go Local.
Orientation week was filled with a lot of good information and was set up extremely well by the company. I appreciated the chance to meet the team and get to know the company before diving into work.
I had the opportunity to be trained by and work closely with two mentors during my internship. Both mentors, Becca and Evan, welcomed me and the other interns with open arms. They had prepared weeks of in-depth training to make sure we were able to do our work to the best of our ability.
Our mentors conducted one-on-one meetings with each of us weekly, checking in on how our assignments were going and how we were enjoying the internship. I appreciated the time spent with my mentors immensely. Both Becca and Evan were so supportive during the internship, giving positive feedback and constructive criticism, enabling our growth at GLI. I felt so encouraged by the content team and my mentors this summer and was so grateful for their help.
At the beginning of each month, I was assigned several pages to work on for our partners. These assignments included blog posts, location pages, FAQ pages, and more.
Working on these pages throughout the month was one of my favorite parts of the job. It felt so rewarding to finish a page and know that it would help grow the website of one of Go Local’s partners. It was so fun to learn about how the content that we write impacts a partner’s success by optimizing their website and improving their search engine optimization.
After the first month, I was proud to notice how much faster I was writing pages and finishing assignments—and to see how my writing was improving. I began receiving less feedback and edits on each page, and while there is always room to grow, I felt good to be recognized for the hard work I was putting in.
On top of this, our managers would check in with us on how the assignments were going and what we needed from them. If we expressed interest in a certain kind of content or process, they gave us practice and assignments for experience. I appreciated how encouraging our managers were in helping us find what we enjoy doing. I really felt like I was making an impact at Go Local, and that felt awesome!
We were assigned multiple summer projects to work on throughout our internship. At the end of the summer, we will present these projects to leadership. These projects provided a great opportunity for us to apply everything we learned during the internship and share it with the company. They were also a great way to get to work with the entire intern class, something we didn’t always get to do on a regular basis.
These intern projects taught us all about the importance of collaboration when working with a team. Working together to ensure we delivered a strong presentation to the owners, whom we all hoped to impress, was hard at times. However, it was very rewarding to work on a project that had tangible value and made a real impact on the company.
As for company culture, I could write an entire blog about how amazing the culture is here at Go Local. It is rare to find a company that prioritizes culture over anything (and I mean anything) else. While there were several planned events that were a joy to be a part of, it was the everyday culture that stuck out to me.
It would be easy to welcome the interns at the beginning of summer and then leave us to learn the ropes on our own. But instead, every employee continually checked in on how the internship was going, spent time getting to know me, offered thoughtful advice, and more. This is what makes Go Local what it is.
While I looked forward to starting the internship, I never dreamed of enjoying coming to work day in and day out, but the people of GLI made that happen. I loved coming to work and getting to catch up with coworkers, going to lunch or team outings with everyone, and building friendships that will last a lifetime. Work is work, it has to be done, but it’s a lot easier when you like the people you work with and the company you work for.
Along with this, Go Local’s main goal was to make sure we found what we loved doing at the company this summer. Our managers supported and even encouraged us to spend time with different departments to learn and decide if we wanted to try something different. This was such a special part of the company because, as interns, we didn’t know exactly what we would be getting into. Having the chance to try different things and find what we enjoy and what we are best at was an amazing opportunity. (Spoiler alert: I stuck with content, and I love it!!)
I am so grateful for my time at Go Local Interactive this summer. I had so much fun making new friends, learning about content marketing, and being part of such an amazing company. I learned the importance of adaptability as projects and priorities shifted. I collaborated with diverse teams which allowed me to navigate different work styles and build on my communication and interpersonal skills. And I gained a deeper understanding of industry practices through hands-on experience.
This internship allowed me to build confidence in my abilities and career goals while also learning about areas of further growth. Overall, Go Local has taught me invaluable lessons and provided a strong foundation for my future endeavors. If you are a college student looking for an internship, choose Go Local!! You won’t regret it.