What seems like forever ago now (February 2018) my advertising professor told our class about some of the incredible things alumni have gone on to do after their time at UT. I was a junior on the search for my next summer internship when my professor mentioned Courtney Herda and Smarter Searches. Once I heard the words “agency” and “female CEO”, I was extremely intrigued and headed straight to the website. I decided to shoot my shot and send an email asking if Smarter Searches offered an internship program. Luckily, they did. Even luckier, Chris scheduled an interview within the month. I was ecstatic, to say the least.

Almost exactly a year ago, my internship with Smarter Searches began. A lot has changed in the past year – we have a new office, new faces on our team, and some exciting new clients. I have also changed since that day in May of 2018. I have learned so much about the world of digital marketing, industries I didn’t even know existed, and most importantly, what it’s like to be part of a team that treats each other like family.

Apart from the surface-level research I did before my interview, I was completely clueless when it came to the topics of SEO, Google Analytics, and to be quite honest, the vast majority of what Smarter Searches does to achieve success for our clients. But thanks to some very patient bosses, I was up to speed in no time. I can now enter my professional career with confidence and knowledge, something I would not have been able to do without a year of working under this team.

As I prepare to graduate and think about starting my post-college life, I know that I’m ready because of what Smarter Searches has done for me. This team has been essential in my transition from a student into a working professional. They have taught me so much about the digital marketing world, and I have gained a wonderful first-hand experience. The thing I will take away most from this internship is what it’s like to work on a team that is a family. Only Courtney, Chris, Mara, and Lani could make coming to work this much fun. I’ve watched them work incredibly hard and produce award-winning work, while always staying grounded and focused on the most important aspects of life – family and friends. I will be forever thankful for their leadership, my year at Smarter Searches, and the team that has treated me like family since my first day in the office.

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