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An internship that changed my personality and perspective in so many positive ways

Julia was a Marketing and Communications Intern in Cape Town for three months. She kept our social media and blog updated with many posts and adventures. The 23-year old German came to Cape Town to gain hands-on work experience. She wanted to explore Africa before her Master’s in Media Management. It was a time of new impressions, interesting insights, different perspectives, and countless happy moments. In this blog, Julia reflects on her time with Roots.

Settling in my internship abroad

When I think of how everything began, I think of the overwhelming feeling of all the new impressions during my first weeks in the office. Roots is based at the colorful Bo-Kaap area, only a 15 minutes walk from the shared flat I stayed at. I found myself in a nice space, full of creativity and open minded people. Hence, it didn’t take me long to feel comfortable in my new home for the upcoming months.

I quickly knew that going abroad again and doing something different was the right decision. I would definitely advise others to let go of the anxiety of trying new things. Let yourself step out of your comfort zone. Besides Cape Town’s magical attraction, the people were my favorite part of the first week. The positive and happy office vibes and the attitude of keeping this up, even during stressful situations, was something I never got to experience before in that way.

Sunset in Cape Town  Intern life Cape Town

Work as Roots’ Marketing and Communications Intern in Cape Town

The structure and tasks of my internship were absolutely clear. I was part of Roots’ small team as a Marketing and Communications Intern, which involves a lot of diversified and interesting tasks. Before and during the internship my supervisor asked me about any special interests and what I would prioritize to learn. Since I’m personally interested in Social Media and aimed to learn more about communications-related fields and the management of it, I was in charge of the social media communications as well as the weekly newsletter to the other interns. Further, I created several blog posts for the website, assisted with emails and outreach to potential partners, kept the media library up to date with a lot of photos I took and did research to define marketing-related processes.

My supervisor offered me great opportunities and the freedom to come up with suggestions and ideas at any time. I really enjoyed being creative and working on something I could identify myself with. I’m also really happy about the improvement of my writing skills and the knowledge about SEO-related fields I gained. I got to learn a lot of programs I didn’t know before, which is definitely useful for my further career. Besides my daily and weekly tasks, I got the chance to start my own project in order to define a Content Marketing strategy for social media and blog posts, which I found very interesting as I learned a lot about how the organization actually works. But not only my own organization is what I got to know.

Working in the Middle of a Forest

Since Roots is working together with a lot of different NGO’s that are making an impact in a worthwhile cause, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to visit and join some of them in order to interview a lot of interesting people and write about what I experienced with them. This is, for example, how I found myself in the middle of a forest, assisting one of the environmental non-profit partners during a reforestation festival, which was attended by more than 800 volunteers and during which 8,300 trees were planted. What a crazy cool experience!

Communication intern at Platbos

Joining another intern at an edible garden and becoming an urban farmer for one day is also one of the mind-broadening experiences during my time as an intern with Roots. If you’re interested in reading more about my adventures together with other interns, check out my blog posts!

Julia’s blog posts about Communication and Event Marketing Interns at the Reforest Fest and her day with Paula at Urban Harvest.

Cape Town’s magic and why I fell in love with this city

Cape Town is simply BEAUTIFUL. I’m more than happy I got to live and work here for a couple of months. What I loved most about it are all the city’s opportunities. It’s a place full of creativity and relaxed vibes. I also noticed a lot of contrasts, which made me appreciate my life and what I’ve got even more. Together with my housemates, I took any chance to explore the city. I went to live music events, pretty cool bars, and clubs, picnics in the botanical gardens, traditional food on the many food markets, art galleries during First Thursdays, and just let myself go with the flow of the charming city and the beautiful souls I was surrounded with.

Besides the busy city, you get the full-on nature experience by a quick 10 minutes to drive from the center. Hiking up Table Mountain and Lion’s Head was one of my favorite things to do. I’ve spent countless afternoons checking out all the beaches and watching stunning African sunsets together with interns that felt like family. Renting a car and going on road trips are definitely memorable highlights. There’s so incredibly much to see and to do. Every day my fascination with this city and its people became bigger and bigger. I guess it’s impossible not to fall in love with Cape Town’s magic!

Lions Head Intern life Cape Town  Table Mountain intern life

One of the best decisions I’ve made, both professionally and personally

My time as Roots’ Marketing and Communications intern in Cape Town was amazing. I still talk about it frequently with a big, happy smile on my face. It challenged me in so many ways. I participated in activities I had never considered doing, simply because I’d never heard of them before. The internship provided me with many new insights. I worked hard and earned my placement, not scared to get involved where it was appropriate. Therefore, I had the feeling of adding value to the organization with my work, which pushed my enthusiasm even more. I always recommend internships to anyone who is looking to change careers or studies. 

Doing an internship with Roots was one of the best decisions I’ve made! It has been absolutely valuable. Not just for my future career plans, but also for my personal perspective and growth. I met incredible people, got lots of insights into the work of NGO’s, and learned so much in the field of Marketing and Communications. I developed my writing skills immensely by writing blog posts, newsletters, mailers, and running social media. Besides, I learned about SEO. I also got the chance to dive into my own project, helping me to understand the organization’s strategy.

I loved the inspiring vibe in the office and being surrounded by people that included me in their group right from the beginning. This has been an amazing internship experience which I will never forget! All in all, I can look back on a time full of happy moments, great teamwork together with my supervisor and a ton of valuable experiences.

Keen to join the Roots Interns’ team as a Marketing and Communications Intern? Send us your CV and motivational letter!

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