Hi! Im Mayuko, an intern at applemint.
Some of you reading this blog right now might be thinking about how to spend your time during leave of absence, or whether to study abroad in Taiwan or not.
On the first day of my internship at applemint, I wrote a blog titled “To fellow international students in Taiwan, do an internship” Now that three months have passed since I wrote that, I would like to reveal if internship at applemint was really worth it.
I’ll include my schedule, internship details, what I’ve learned, and my reflections, so if you’re thinking about interning, read on!
Because I was on a leave of absence, I was able to devote a lot of time to my internship, which I did three times a week, eight hours a day.
- Monday 9:30-17:30
- Wednesday 9:30-17:30
- Friday 9:00-17:00
The reason why we start early only on Fridays is because we have a regular meeting every week. At the regular meetings, we have workshops to improve our communication skills and research and share news about digital marketing.
Things I did during my internship can be divided into three main categories. (1) practical work, (2) other tasks, and (3) lectures. I will explain each of them.
1) Practical work related to digital marketing
At applemint, we don’t have a set internship program, but rather a set of tasks that are tailored to each intern’s abilities and goals.
For example, my goal was to “learn what it is like to work at a digital marketing startup.” Therefore, for me, the tasks that I was responsible for are as follows:
- SEO keyword searches, planning and writing blogs for leads
- Managing applemint’s LinkedIn account
- Analyzing Google Analytics
SEO・KW searches・writing blogs for leads
For applemint and clients, I made a list of keywords with high search volume and low difficulty. In addition, I was responsible for planning and even writing blogs on those keywords after receiving feedback. During my internship, I wrote six blogs, including this one. Of the six, below are the ones I translated to English.
I also wrote two more blogs for the clients to generate leads.
Managing applemnt’s LinkedIn account
With the goal of increasing the number of followers on applemint’s LinkedIn account from 17 to 100, I went through trial and error while researching LinkedIn algorithms. Since the goal was to acquire leads from overseas companies, I posted an English translation of applemint’s blog and analyzed the number of impressions and engagement rates, looking for ways to improve.
As a result, it was more difficult than I had imagined and I was only able to increase the number of followers to 31. However, the number of impressions continued to grow and increased by 582% compared to when I started.
Analyzing Google Analytics
I only did this once towards the end of internship but in order to optimize the client’s ads targeting, I searched the number of users and rate of reservation of each industry that accessed to the client’s website.
Because all the staff made time to train us during internship, we help them do other tasks for them in return. Below are the three things that I did.
- Translating Japanese blogs to English
- Scanning the receipts
- Going to the post office
Because I am bilingual, I mostly helped with translation. I also scanned receipts and saved them as images, and took care of sending mail.
③Lecture by applemint representative, Mr. Sato
I received lectures from the CEO everyday in the first few weeks and when needed towards the end. In the first half of the internship period, I was taught the knowledge necessary to do practical work (how to operate SNS, design, SEO, etc.) and how an advertising agency works.
Then, in the latter half of the internship, we were taught various things, mainly useful knowledge for job hunting. For example, tips on job interviews, how to research companies, and how to make resumes.
expectations and reality: before and after internship
In this section, I will introduce the difference between what I imagined before the internship and the reality I learned after the internship, not only about applemint but also about working at startup in general.
|Startups probably have meetings every day and discuss everyday, sharing their opinions.||There are not that many meetings. Most of the time, people are working at their own desks. If there is a meeting, it’s with two people who are directly involved in the task.|
|marketing = creative||There is more effort and time spent on analysis than there is on being creative. For example. when writing a blog, I spent more time researching keywords and competitors than I do actually writing it.|
|I’m often asked, “what can you contribute to the company?” but I don’t really understand what that means…||A digital marketing company doesn’t only have tasks to do with digital marketing. Even the seemingly irrelevant skills of “being fluent in English” can help if the company publishes English blogs, for example.|
|I can definitely trust information on any company’s official website blogs.||The content is not always correct. When I was researching competitors for my blog, I found that many of them had incorrect or outdated information. (At applemint, I was taught to do proper research and site sources.)|
|I’ve never done digital marketing before, so I don’t think I’ll be able to do much in the way of real work in a three-month internship.||If you are willing to learn, you can learn as much as you want, and if you show off your positive attitude, they will let you do as much as you can.|
I’ve learned so much, partly because I was clueless before my internship hahaha
successes and failures
Success 1) challenged myself and failed a lot
It probably doesn’t makes sense to say “failing was actually a success”. But, here is what I mean: you should fail as many times as you can while you can get away as a “student doing work experience” so that you don’t make painful mistakes during and after your job search.
That was my spirit during the internship at applemint, and I actively shared my opinions and made suggestions. I made a lot of mistakes, but I also learned a lot by challenging myself. Also, even if you fail, showing a positive attitude will give you a chance to do more work.
Success #2: Ask for feedback when you are stuck
In school, every time you submit a draft, you will be told exactly what is wrong with it, and you can clearly see your weak areas through tests. Work, however, is different. There is no report card or exams, so you have to analyze what you did poorly and what you are not good at by yourself.
That’s why it’s important to ask for feedback when you’re stuck. I turned to Mr. Sato when I couldn’t get more followers on LinkedIn no matter what I did, and he kindly gave me a lot of advice.
Failure 1) Everyone’s busy. When suggesting anything, keep it short
In Success 1), I wrote “fail as many times as you can”. So here, I will introduce one of my many failures.
At first, I was in charge of Instagram instead of LinkedIn. Although I was taught to “keep the amount of information on the post to a minimum”, I thought it would be better to put a moderate amount of information on it, so I decided to propose a plan.
To do this, I prepared a 10-minute presentation the night before and was given time to present it the next day. However, they only listened to about a quarter of it😅.
On the bright note, I got to manage LinekdIn became I made that suggestion, so in the end I am glad that I took on the challenge. However, if I have the opportunity to make some kind of suggestion like this again, I will try my best to keep it within three minutes. Also, I will prepare detailed plans with slides so that I can refer to them when I am asked a question.
I made a HUGE mistake! (Let this be a lesson to you…)
applemint’s office is a 7-minute walk from the Songjiang Nanjing MRT station, and a 1-minute walk from the bus stop. Both are convenient from where I live, but for the first week I took the bus.
I arrived at the office early on Monday and Wednesday without any problems, but on a rainy Friday, the bus was delayed and I was three minutes late. It was my first week as an intern and I was late!!!
I promised myself that day, I would never take the bus to work EVER again.
Buses in Taiwan are not always on time even if there is a timetable, especially in the morning. On the other hand, MRT is always on time and comes every 3 minutes regardless of the weather. So please, if you are considering of interning at applemint, take the MRT.
SO Is interning at applemint worth it?
Yes, it definitely is.
As you can see from “Expectations and reality: before and after internship”, I learned so much more than just about digital marketing during my internship. It would make a huge difference if I still didn’t know these things when actually looking for a job.
If I had gone into the job market thinking that startups are always developing ideas as a team by sharing opinions every day, and that digital marketing companies were all about being creative, I would have been very confused after getting a job.
At applemint, I was able to have an internship that was not just something I could put on my resume, but something I could actually learn from. If you are interested in learning more about applemint after reading this blog, click here, or if you are interested in applying for an internship, click here!
Click to contact applemint.