Hey everyone! I’m Gintarė – an open-hearted weirdo from Lithuania who absolutely adores travelling, but at the same time is madly in love with her hometown Vilnius. I’m a former intern of Spotted by Locals and here is my story (no drama included).
A year ago, I packed my stuff and hit the road to the Netherlands (Utrecht, to be precise). Why? I wanted to change my life at least a bit since my days were becoming more and more monotonous. So, I decided to take a shot and to remember, how does it feel to be a student. Again. And here I am now – a forthcoming graduate (fingers crossed!) at Utrecht University trying to conquer a Master’s degree in New media and Digital Culture. Although it’s been a really difficult and challenging journey, it is still the best decision I’ve made in my life so far.
So, how did I get to Spotted by Locals? Well, university gives us a kickin’ opportunity to enhance our experience during an Internship. We are free to choose the position as long as it matches with our study programme. I can say, it really wasn’t easy to find one – you have to undergo many interviews and oh-so-painful rejections (cry me a river). Luckily, Spotted by Locals noticed my endless enthusiasm and gave me an opportunity to become part of their family for three months. What I loved (and still love) about the company is that it introduces travellers to local places, which makes them totally different from traditional guide books.
This different point of view and the relevant position of Social Media and Content Writing position caught my attention and corresponded with my needs. Of course, I absolutely love to travel and have visited quite a nice list of countries, but I definitely can’t compare myself with those die-hard travellers who can’t last at least a week without hitting the road (I envy them, honestly!).
During the 3 months internship at Spotted by Locals, I performed various tasks: from content writing to managing social networks. One of the main tasks included writing for Spotted by Locals’ blog as well as The Huffington Post. Furthermore, I was managing the company’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn. Every week I had to analyse the metrics of social networks: review the statistics, observe ups and downs, present all results to the team and offer some new strategies for improvement. Of course, this internship definitely wasn’t the easiest road that I’ve ever taken. I had a few bumps while managing my own time since there were no strict working hours.
Furthermore, content writing needs loooots of inspiration. Sometimes I felt a lack of it, so I suppose it was hiding somewhere in the canal of Utrecht, making fun of me and my misery. BUT… No pain no gain, right? What I understood during those three months is that the most essential thing is to try to turn your weaknesses into strengths. So, when I managed to cope with them, I realized that I’m growing.
So… I spent 174 hours on research and content writing, wrote 23 articles and successfully conquered social media. During my internship, I was constantly pushing myself to the limits in order to do my best (even though endless self-criticism was constantly kicking my buttocks). The Internship at Spotted by Locals helped me entirely decide what I want to do in the future, that is to focus on writing. Needless to say, I learned how to manage my own time, even though I thought it’s practically impossible.
Last but not least… A huge round of applause goes to Bart and Laura. They were super great mentors during the whole internship period: constantly giving me constructive criticism, valuable advice and, most importantly, showing huge support. All these latter points helped me to improve and grow as a person as well as a specialist. I couldn’t be more grateful for this chance to show my skills and to express my opinion freely, which, in my opinion, is an essential feature of a successful company.
I’m sure that the Spotted by Locals family will keep growing. Bart and Sanne have already done an impressive job by creating the whole Spotters community. So, keep spreading those positive emotions and love, you’re doing it right!