Ikaika Kamimoto internship at Church Headquarters in the Publishing Services Department taught him some things he doesn't want to do as well as some that he does. Learn about his great experience!
Please describe your internship opportunity.
My internship took place at the Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City. I worked in the Publishing Services Department, working with marketing, advertising, and web developing groups and individuals. Search engine optimization (SEO) crosses over into many different areas in the Church's digital presence. Specifically, I helped analyze website content of different international Church websites and helped make changes to the content to make the site easier to find and more likely to be chosen when found in a Google (or other search engine) results page. I also helped with the advisement of optimizing new content the Church will be releasing on different platforms like YouTube and other social media channels.
What are your future plans?
Full-Time Employment, Graduate School, & another Internship. I want to be self-employed, either starting my own agency or working freelance jobs and building a client portfolio. I ultimately want financial freedom and time to spend with a future family, doing the things I love.
What was the most useful thing you learned?
Interestingly enough, the most useful thing I learned from my internship is that I do not want to do specifically SEO for the rest of my life. I believe this is an important aspect of real-life work experience - discovering what you actually enjoy doing, possibly discovering new avenues and opportunities that will elevate you beyond your original plans.
What professional skills did you develop?
There are so many! The professional skills I developed mostly revolve around work and time management skills. I learned how to effectively plan and prioritize tasks based on importance and work goals. I also learned how to stay on task and get my work done in more efficient ways. When the work was tedious, one of the most important things I learned was how to work through minor burnout and make sure I am balanced (i.e. - taking breaks, finding new solutions, etc.)
My courses gave me a solid base (and then some) to be a successful and contributing worker even as an intern. I have enough knowledge of the subject for this position where I have had to correct outsourced work by companies who did not know (or not adhere to) best practices in the industry. The courses I have taken are very professional and the skills I have learned are true-to-life.
I think the intention I went with going into the internship was different than the one I stayed there with. My end was getting experience in the SEO industry and possibly working in it for a career. Now, my end is gaining experience in SEO because, even though it will be useful in the future, it is not my end goal to have a career in a strictly SEO position. I have integrated soft skills from my classes such as problem-solving, working with others, communication, etc. The hard skills I have applied from my classes have been things such has human connection, design, etc. I take time to reflect daily on how I am doing, not just with the tasks I am completing but also the skills I am learning and the lessons I am gleaning about life from this internship opportunity.
Would you recommend this internship?
I would definitely recommend this internship - although it was not exactly what I was looking for, it was still a great experience, great pay, and a great atmosphere working for a world-class employer. There are very few experiences similar to it while in college.