I’m Xavier, a Belgrade Spotter and former social media management intern for Spotted by Locals.
I was born in India, grew up and studied in Belgrade, lived and worked in the USA for a while and am based in Belgrade at the moment, working for a start up company. I’m a psychology graduate and an enthusiastic explorer of things within and without. Mind expansion and cultural transcension are my main motivators in life.
Why did I choose to to do my internship at Spotted by Locals?
Becoming a Spotter really aligned with my interests – as an active Couchsurfer, I was familiar with the concept of experiencing cities through the eyes of locals and understood this as the only truly enriching way of traveling. I always strived for providing my guests with unique and curated content, so I viewed Spotted by Locals as a natural extension of this concept – with many different (handpicked, high quality) hosts guiding you through their favorite locations. It was, and still is, my pleasure writing about my special places, in the hopes that my recommendations can make someone’s stay in Belgrade more interesting and genuine – after all, I can’t host all the travelers who come through my city :)
At the time I started interning, I was in an intense phase of figuring out what I want to do with my life. I knew I was interested in the SaaS sphere of modern business and I also understood that my place was, at least in part, in the tourism industry. Looking for an opportunity to gain some initial experience and insight into how these businesses work, the SbL Facebook ad I came across fit in perfectly with my ambitions. Knowing how warm and genuine Bart and Sanne are, after having met them online when becoming a Spotter, I was very enthusiastic about helping out a little more in their honest cause and expected to learn a lot from the experience as well. I was not disappointed in the slightest.
What did I learn?
First of all, the well oiled and, also, very welcoming, structure of my duties that was laid out in front of me when I started Spotting was even more impressive when I took on the added responsibility of social media managing. It was awe inspiring to see that three people in total (though, for the most part, Bart) built up this extremely stable and scalable structure that wasn’t bursting at the seams anywhere, even though so many factors are involved in starting up and building a venture of such wide reach.
Second, having a look behind the curtain of different social media channels taught me so much about optimizing content and the many different means of reaching your target audience. I also learned a lot about task structuring, scheduling and prioritizing. I learned about different software that is used as gears for online channels, about measuring, tracking and reporting the relevant state of affairs and, in general, about how a business breathes and grows.
I’m really proud to have done this internship and happy that I got to interact with this exquisite group of dedicated and kind people.
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