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About my dream internship, a great city and the best roommates I could have asked for

Marie from Germany was our very own Communications and Marketing Intern. As part of her studies, International Communication in the Netherlands, she was looking for an internship abroad in Cape Town. Time flew by and her internship came to an end. How lucky have we been to have her in charge of our online communication (social media, blog). After sharing so many experiences of other interns, she is now sharing her own experience with you! 

When I started looking for internships, I was pretty stressed out. I didn’t know what I wanted besides an internship that was related to my studies. I only knew it had to be with a company which works for a good cause or follows a vision I could personally support. Then one day I saw a post in my study program’s Facebook group from a girl who did an internship with Roots as well. In her post, she wrote about her internship experience and that Roots was looking for a new Communications and Marketing intern. I immediately researched Roots Interns and sent her a message to ask about more information.

Looking for an internship as well? Here is a 6-step guide to help you find the right internship abroad!

From the beginning, I had a good feeling about the company. I loved the fact that Roots Interns’ target group are students like me who are looking for an internship in a purposeful business. So, communicating with them would be like talking to my friends. I was initially looking for a paid internship. However, I applied to the internship with Roots as the experiences I would get out of it were more important to me.

The Internship

My responsibilities as a Communications and Marketing Intern were to manage social media, write blog posts and newsletters. Additionally, I helped with other little tasks such as translating the landing page of Roots’ website into German. And of course, I had to do an assignment for my university. It was a research assignment that should lead to a content strategy for Roots Interns. Even though it was an annoying school task sometimes, I saw that my content strategy was really useful to the company. It made me proud that my own research and the final outcome of it had contributed to a more structured communication process.

On a daily basis, I got creative managing Roots’ social media channels (Instagram and Facebook mainly) which became my own little thing. Writing blogs with practical tips and tricks for internships in Africa and about other interns’ experiences as “reports from the field” was my other bigger task. I job-shadowed interns who were doing their internship with one of Roots’ partners. Besides, I met with other interns and heard about their stories. I also learn more about the amazing work of the nonprofits and social enterprises they were interning with. That’s why I think the best thing about my internship was to tell other people’s stories on social media or in blogs. I saw with my own eyes the impact they created with their work.

food security internship cape town

Social Life

As a student, you usually meet a lot of people. You have roommates, friends at university and people you meet in sororities or associations. As an intern, I feared my social life would suffer because you usually don’t meet lots of other students every day. My internship with Roots, however, was different. Next to meeting other interns for work, I also shared an office with Greenpop, one of Roots’ partners, and all their interns. The office space itself was very young, welcoming and environmentally conscious (Greenpop is an environmental NGO). So, I couldn’t have wished for a better office vibe.

Most of the interns I shared the office with, were also my roommates – literally. In the beginning, I thought sharing a room with 5 others would be hard after a while, but it wasn’t! Living in a loft with 6 to 11 people at a time was the best decision for me. I was never alone, always had someone to share an Uber with and made new friends from all over the world. Sometimes I wondered how I could not miss my privacy considering that I spent so much time with them. However, my time in Cape Town wouldn’t have been the same without all the friends I made. I’m extremely grateful for each and every one of them and for all the great moments we shared.

Marie_road trip Hiking in Africa_internship Cape Town

The Mother City

Is Cape Town safe? That’s the question I got many times. I think there is no general answer to this question. If you follow and respect some rules and regulations, you can keep yourself from dangerous situations. South Africa does have a lot of crime, but I believe as an ordinary person adapting to the situation, you are unlikely to be the victim of a crime. One of these rules is not to walk the street in the dark and not on your own in certain areas. I have to say it can be quite hard to accept these restrictions as I’m not used to them coming from Germany. I would probably never get used to it. However, Cape Town is so much more than a city with a high crime rate.

Looking back at my time in Cape Town, I really miss it. I miss the breath-taking hikes, the sun-downers at the beach, the beach in general and the AMAZING food. Cape Town seriously had some of the best restaurants I have ever been to. There is so much to do and so many things to see. Wine tours, safaris and road trips – everything just outside of the mother city. I will definitely come back!

When people back home ask me how my internship was, I don’t know how to describe it with anything else than amazing. I was able to do my dream internship in a great city with the best roommates ever. My internship with Roots Interns provided me with new insights into the non- profit world and knowledge about social media marketing I didn’t even know existed. I never would have thought that there is actually so much research and concept behind one single Instagram post. On top, I learned a whole lot about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how small businesses like Roots can use it efficiently. I’m sure that working in a young and small business you can benefit from a more flexible working environment and a diverse set of tasks. It has been a great and valuable internship experience. Thank you for everything!

If you are keen to be the next Communications intern with Roots Interns, please contact us for more information.

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