Being an intern at Emakina: know how to walk the walk

It is my first official working day as a Copy & Content Intern at the golden Emakina office with an incredible view of the Houthavens. At 7.15 AM my doorbell rings: “Hi, this is a surprise from your employer,” says a friendly looking delivery man. He hands me a huge box filled with every breakfast option imaginable. A little note sticks out reading “Good morning, Maggie. Welcome to Emakina!”

How I got my internship at Emakina

I had started looking for internships 4 months earlier and finally applied to Emakina two months later. I focused my search on LinkedIn and the jobs websites of multiple Amsterdam based agencies. Emakina seemed like a perfect fit. The application process consisted of three rounds. I submitted a cover letter and my CV through LinkedIn and shortly after, I was invited to a phone interview.

As I was not familiar with Emakina before applying, I had a lot to catch up on. I began with the company website and worked my way from the “about” section to the blog and through every social media channel. It was important to me to reflect critically on the content the company put out, since I was applying to work with that exact content. I made sure to take notes on sections I would improve and content I had mixed feelings about. Moreover, I wrote down multiple questions related to the content and the company’s work, that came up during my research.

The interviews

Through the course of the phone interview, I was asked how I felt about the Emakina channels and I found giving honest feedback, as opposed to buttering up my future supervisor, was received very positively. In the second round, I was asked to write the copy for a client case for the blog and social channels. For inspiration, I looked at the tone of voice Emakina uses, though I made sure to be critical about previous blog posts and added improvements as I saw fit. I think it is important to be confident about your skills, and knowing that giving feedback is not negative but shows that you have really thought about the content you are working with.

Lastly, I was invited to a tour around the office. So, on a rainy day in December, I was received very warmly by a recruiter at the Emakina office. The tour ended with a quick chat and coffee with my future supervisor. I got word from my recruiter that I had gotten the job that same evening.

What a day in the office looks like for me

My day usually starts between 9:00 and 09:30 AM with a short supervisor meeting, to discuss tasks that have come up, or that I could take over. After that, I grab a tea or coffee, a cereal bar, some fruit or, on Fridays, a muffin. Usually I have a quick chat with one of my co-workers about our days and what we’re working on, or just about a funny meme we saw.

At university, I am studying communication science, especially persuasive and corporate communication are very useful subjects for this internship. I am usually tied up in long-term projects that I work on at specific times during the day, for instance, a competitor analysis, which I dedicate a certain amount of time to. Otherwise, I spent time on more time sensitive matters like writing copy for social posts that need to go live soon, coming up with content ideas or blog ideas, as well as the odd copy for invitations that are sent out to clients.

The assignments at Emakina are diverse and I can learn as I go. People are always happy to help or provide feedback. It has been great to not just learn how to write better copy but also how to give better, more useful feedback. I have now been at Emakina for some time, and I still feel very lucky to have gotten this position.

Maggie working as an intern

I do real and valued work, really!

Next to my day to day tasks, I have joined a research and development project that perfectly fits my mandatory research project. Thus I have dedicated time to conduct research, attend meetings concerning the project and participate in workshops. I enjoy the freedom of planning meetings as I wish. If I need someone, regardless of office hierarchy, I can invite them to a meeting and present my findings to them. Even as an intern, my research and my work are taken seriously: people take the time to attend a meeting I invite them to. I can confidently say that I have no issue with presenting my research to any person in the office, knowing that criticism is always constructive and feedback is given with good intentions.

From classroom to meeting room: the difference

Design Studio at Emakina

When I started at Emakina, everyone stressed that questions and suggestions are always welcome and that is still the case. No one is closed off to new ideas or trying things out to see how they go. It was a surprise to me at first, how different it is to present statistical research in a real working environment. In your classroom, everyone understands what it means if p<0.05, in the real world on the other hand, you really have to be able to explain complicated research outcomes in the most efficient, quickest, simplest terms.

While Emakina works for high-profile clients who have high expectations, such as Rituals and Intersport, I have yet to experience people whose work makes them unhappy at Emakina. The internship shows me that hard-work, success, effectiveness and satisfied clients are not the consequence of stress and overworking but a direct result of good planning and a human-oriented work environment. It is not to say that I never have to run from meeting to meeting or work on a project without a break, but it means that that’s much easier to do if you feel comfortable in your environment.

What future interns should know

While I am trying to critically evaluate my time at Emakina, the only thing I can come up with that could be considered a bigger challenge for some, is that people expect you to work independently. It forces you to come out of your comfort zone and be proactive in being part of the team. To really get the most out of your internship at Emakina, you have to leave your desk to engage in conversations with your colleagues. More often than not, putting yourself out there, leads to great opportunities.

I hope my story inspired you to become a part of the Emakina team! I am now going back to work. If I am not at my desk, find me at the yoga practice, the bootcamp class, enjoying the Emakina skitrip, with the massage therapist or enjoying the view over the IJ!

An intern at Emakina

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