At Roots, we’re all about matching keen interns with grassroots causes around Africa. But we also love having intern on board our own team! Recently, we were lucky enough to have Laura Penninga as part of our team, when she joined us for a communications internship in Cape Town. Before she headed back home, she shared some of her experiences. Thanks a million Laura!
Well, here it is… After almost five months of interning at Roots Interns, I’m sad to say that this is my very last blog. I’m Laura, I was Roots’ Marketing and Communications intern from July until November and now, it’s time for me to say goodbye.
An internship far from home
So what got me to Roots? Well, let’s start with a little introduction. I’m from the Netherlands, a city called Groningen to be precise. That’s where I study International Communication. During the third year of this programme, we have to be abroad for the entire year; one semester for an internship, the other to do a minor.
I didn’t really know where I wanted to spend my third year. I knew I was going to do my minor in Iceland but didn’t have a clue what I wanted with my internship. I’d never really been abroad before, let alone for so long, and on my own… I was going to look closer to home, but then I realized this would be the perfect opportunity for me to look a little further. I saw an internship opportunity from Roots on my school’s Intranet, decided it’d be perfect for me, and applied!
About three months later, I arrived in South Africa. I was welcomed by a few of the most amazing roommates ever. There was no way to get too attached to them, though, as different roommates left and arrived almost every week! It’s fun to meet so many different roommates, but it sure was a bummer to say goodbye to so many people all the time.
Hectic yet exciting
My internship consisted of many different things. It was both a work experience internship and a research internship in one, which was quite hectic sometimes, but mostly a lot of fun. As for the work experience, I did Marketing and Communications, so that was mostly a lot of social media, blog writing, SEO, and more. I’d typically start my days off with looking for social media content. When that was done, I’d check my emails for any specific tasks that needed to be done urgently. Then, I’d work on another larger task, such as SEO (optimizing pages of the website so that they can be found more easily by search engines) or writing helpful blog posts for our audience.
The research part of my internship was quite possibly even more fun to me since it consisted of one really big task. It resulted in a 13,000-word report! Roots has recently started offering faculty-led trips next to their usual offering of internships. I researched what a proper way would be to put that new service on the market and wrote a design research portfolio about how I’d advise them to start communicating about it. Since I got back home, I’ve had a meeting with my university supervisor, so I already know I’ve passed the report – yay!
Exploring Cape Town
The internship gave me plenty of free time to explore Cape Town and South Africa. Together with my roommates – a bunch of internationals doing internships or traveling – I went to the botanical gardens, the many beaches, the Garden Route, the Cederberg Mountain area, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, many cafes and bars, and so many more places… We definitely made the most of our time there! The number of roommates went from 1 to 10 depending on the week, which meant I always had someone to explore with.
This internship was the best thing I could have asked for. Roots was like a second family to me, always there if I wasn’t sure about something, but also encouraging everyone to make the most of their time here. I loved every minute here and would definitely like to come back to see more of the beautiful South Africa!