I completed a 9-month remote internship with Green Global Travel in 2020 which involved writing content pieces for a WordPress site. I had been growing in my environmental activism throughout the years by educating myself on the magnitude of climate change, what’s currently being done to correct our wrongs, and what we as modern civilians can change to make the planet more healthy. I had even taken courses in university that focused on environmental sustainability issues, including my senior seminar course. This internship lined up perfectly with my views and allowed me to expand on my already existing skill sets while learning new skills at the same time. Feel free to learn more about Green Global Travel or continue scrolling to see what I worked on with them.
Project 1: Intro Image Curation
February 18, 2020
The first assignment I was given to complete involved finding images for a piece on African Culture. It required me to use my already existing skills in WordPress, photo editing, attention to detail, and my photographer’s eye. While I already had experience with finding free online photos from my prior college courses, I gained additional knowledge from this project. I learned how to effectively use Google’s advanced image search by filtering usage rights. I learned how to correctly attribute images found on Wikipedia. I learned how to manually resize images to best fit a blog post. I learned how to correctly and effectively write alt text and a description. I was asked to curate 10 images to start with, as it was only my first assignment. It took roughly three hours to find the most appropriate photos to use for each section.
Project 2: Full Image Curation
March 2, 2020
This assignment was expanding on my first assignment. I was given 10 categories to find images for in my first assignment. In my second assignment, I was given 43 more categories to find images for. It was a bit overwhelming but I didn’t mind it. I learned that finding free-use images that can be used commercially is extremely tedious. On top of that, finding decent images that make sense with the category and are of decent quality was also very difficult. I also learned how to resize the images in order to not overload the website. This assignment took me roughly 10 hours to complete over the span of 2 weeks. I ended up learning a lot about different African tribes and cultures, which was fun!
Project 3: Starting to Write Product Overviews
March 24, 2020
I decided to take on a new assignment with my internship instead of trying to focus on my part-time job and keeping myself safe from the COVID-19 pandemic happening in the United States. I was sent an email with instructions and then my actual assignment.
The instructions stated that I was required to list the 5 w’s: who the product is a good fit for, what makes the product different, when is it worth the investment, where is it best used, and why it matters/ why it is “the best”. I also was told to note if the product was men’s or women’s, color options, a hyperlink to the company’s homepage, and the specifics.
I was given two examples from their already existing posts on their website. One was about packing for a vacation where they outlined the best swimwear, shoes, sunscreen, coolers, tech, and more. This was the post that I was adding to for this project. The second example I was given from their website was about vegan boots where they outlined the best vegan boots for women and men.
Given how drastic life had been changing due to COVID-19, I started with 5 product reviews to start to see how I handled it. I was told that I did a great job and that they were very impressed and glad to have me on the team, which definitely lifted my spirits in these dark times!
Project 4: Completing Product Overviews
April 6, 2020
I was asked to finish the rest of the product overviews from the previous week, resulting in a total of 18 product overviews. Considering this was the first actual writing task I had with my internship, I was feeling pretty confident about my ability to sell a product but a little nervous since I was focused on formatting it to their requirements. Some of them were a little tricky to write about since I had to hit at least 100 words. Writing a decent-sized paragraph about a portable mister can get a little tedious but I still think I did a halfway decent job. All of my product overviews were then revised and added to the existing post about vacation packing.
This assignment took much longer than the image curation since I had to research the product in order to know what I needed to write about. Some of the links provided to me by my internship also didn’t work so it required me to find the correct website for the product in order to add a hyperlink. I took roughly 10 to 15 hours to complete all 18 product overviews but I thought it was quite enjoyable. I know it probably sounds weird that I’m doing arguably boring tasks but it’s something in my field and I will always be excited to get deeper into my field of study.
COVID-19 had a huge impact on every aspect of my life, including my internship. The two people that I intern for, Mary and Brett, were overwhelmed with their personal lives. I had attempted to email them but their inbox was full and my email was rejected. I texted their “emergency” number to notify them and to inform them I was ready for my next assignment. Mary had responded by saying that she would get back to me soon about my next assignment but I didn’t receive anything for an entire month. Given the chaos of the pandemic (and because I genuinely love my internship), I offered to intern until September of 2020 instead of August to give them a full 6 months of work as we agreed upon. COVID-19 impacted everything in such strange ways.
Assignment 5: Men’s Walking and Hiking Shoes Part 1
May 7, 2020
I wrote product overviews for 5 different companies: Florsheim, Forsake, Colombia, and Tecnica. My internship liked to start me out with small projects and add to them, which I didn’t mind. Seeing a small amount to do actually gives me the motivation to get through it quickly and efficiently. It was interesting to see so many different styles of shoes and discover some new shopping sites to visit or recommend to others.
Personal Thoughts: Part 1
May 16, 2020
I felt it necessary to include a few of my personal thoughts on this internship journey. When I was looking into internships for my major, I was fully expecting to work in some kind of office building doing random assignments for little to no money. Given that I currently work a halfway decent job, that didn’t bother me. I just wanted to have more experience under my belt to get into my field. As I write this, I still don’t know what I want to do with my degree. English majors have a lot more options than most people realize and it can be a little overwhelming at times. I took this internship to explore one side of where my degree can get me.
I had done quite a bit of content creation during my years in college, both in courses and in clubs. I actually love creating content for websites and blogs, even if it does seem a little silly to get a degree for that. This internship advertised an opportunity in content creation so of course I applied. Sadly, as of the time I write this, I have not done the type of content creation I was expecting.
When I applied for this internship, I had thought (and even been told in my interview) that I would be researching communities all over the world and even attending events in North Georgia since the creators of Green Global Travel are based in Atlanta. I was watching their website upload new, research-intensive posts that I had expected to do but I was stuck writing product overviews for vegan sunscreen and men’s shoes. Not getting to attend events in North Georgia made complete sense considering COVID-19 was still at its peak. By this point, I had been working on overviews for products I would never even come in contact with for 3 solid months and I was disheartened. I hope you can understand where I’m coming from but I digress. Back to my assignments.
Assignment 6: Men’s Walking and Hiking Shoes Part 2
May 28, 2020
This assignment was a continuation of my prior assignment where I would overview a variety of men’s shoes. The managing editor for Green Global Travel, Bret, had even said that my reviews were solid (“That’s a huge compliment!”) which was exciting. I was asked to break up my paragraphs into 2-3 sentences so that it would work best as internet content. I was also educated on SEO Keywords. I had been taught about SEO Keywords in a prior college course but I had never been asked to really delve into it. After reviewing an introductory guide to SEO, I was given a spreadsheet of keywords to work into my overviews. This started to get right up my alley and I was really excited about taking on more in my assignment. The only downside was I had to complete 11 overviews in 24 hours since I had to work the following day. I did get good news from my internship.
I overviewed shoes from Garmont, Keen, Lems, Lowa, Suavs, and Vasque. These shoes were heavy-duty hiking shoes, ranging from $100 to $200. Some were more difficult to write about than others, as some of them had a sentence or two of description and I was expected to write about 2 full paragraphs. I managed to get it done and I feel rather good about how I did.
The managing editor was actually quite impressed with my previous overviews and said “they’re solid.” Apparently, he isn’t someone who gives compliments so that was huge to hear. It boosted my self-esteem and made me want to write even better for them. I also thought that their teaching me about SEO Keywords and giving me a spreadsheet on keywords they wanted me to use as a step in them trusting me to do better assignments. I can say confidently as I type this that my fingers are double crossed that the next assignment has nothing to do with shoes.
Published Post 1
June 3, 2020
After months of work for my internship, I finally had a project of mine published on their website and I had a huge sense of accomplishment wash over me. I know it may seem silly that a project based around men’s walking and hiking shoes was published on a website but I felt on top of the world. My hard work was finally getting recognition. I noticed that it had been published on Friday, June 5th. When I noticed, it was at 61 views and 4 people had already shared it. It was small but I felt like I was getting somewhere. My name was even featured at the bottom along with the managing editor. After feeling more and more discouraged with this internship from the constant overviews and never posting any of them, this re-motivated me to work harder and better.
Assignment 7: World Travel Bucket List Pinterest
June 17, 2020
I had an hour-long FaceTime call with Mary from Green Global Travel, where she completely changed what I would be doing with my internship. She wanted me to start running their Pinterest boards and changing up old Pins to look fresh again. She explained to me that Pinterest is highly used by women in their 20’s. Pinterest has also become its own search engine and it was a great way for Green Global Travel to reach more people and grow their community. For this assignment, I was asked specifically to go through all of their posts within their World Travel Bucket List section, which was about 3 pages long and contained a lot of long posts, and freshen up their photos for Pinterest. I was also given the log-in for their Canva account, where I would be copying the original layout and putting new images on the layout to post. After I was done editing the photos, I saved them to my computer and uploaded them to their WordPress site. I then replaced the old pins on the given post with my new ones while also copying the original description for the former pin photos. Next, I was given their Pinterest log in where I would then pin my creation to their Best of Green Global Travel board. Lastly, I sent the URL for the pin to Mary. I was asked to do at least 2 posts a week, meaning I would have to edit 4 photos a week.
I have had prior experience with Canva, which can be seen from my infographic. I was very comfortable with Canva and I knew my way around Pinterest from years of personal use plus I was very comfortable with using WordPress. While I do wish I was writing more, this was better suited for me than product overviews. Photography is a hobby of mine and Mary thought that my “photographer’s eye” would do well with this assignment. For a while, I was sending the Pinterest links to Mary who then sent it to a Facebook group of 100+ people to promote the pin. Eventually, she cut herself out of that and let me post them myself to the Facebook group. The only reason she was the middle man was to have a final check to make sure I was doing it correctly.
August 3, 2020
I had been working on Pinterest posts for nearly 1 month and I was feeling frustrated. I had to stick to a very specific template layout. My internship was much more particular on posts and I had to go back to redo posts multiple times. During the pandemic, Pinterest was my internship’s main way of reaching people so it was extremely important that the posts were in top shape. It was a little overwhelming for me since I had this huge responsibility to uphold. Some things I was requested to change included sizing of the titles, renaming the titles so both posts were slightly different, the photos I chose, and more. I patiently listened to the changes that had to be made and changed posts accordingly. Unfortunately, because any sort of graphic design work is not what I studied to do, I actually ended up stopping my internship in late August- early October. This internship, as delightful as the founders for Green Global Travel are, were asking things of me that I just could not do. I’m a writer, not a graphic designer. On top of doing something I had absolutely no experience with, I was asked to post Pinterest posts at incredibly specific times during the day to a Facebook group when I was working full-time for all of the time frames they wanted me to post in. Once I realized I was in over my head, I made my leave. It certainly was a fun and interesting internship while it lasted and I hope that it opens new doors for me in the future.
As I sit here and contemplate my months spent interning for them, I realized that I learned a lot of unique skills. For example, I learned what free-use photos are and how to appropriately cite them. I was shown the importance of SEO and how to utilize it in my content creation. I learned a little about how to market content using Pinterest. I managed to complete projects within a certain timeframe. I even produced well-written, error-free content for people to read and enjoy! I am truly thankful for this opportunity and I look forward to putting what I learned to good use.