Eric Ritter, owner of Digital Neighbor, helps local college students by providing internships at his company.

In this ever-changing world of technology, hands-on, practical experience remains the best way to develop and hone skills in the workplace. Eric Ritter, an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida (USF) and owner of Digital Neighbor, a full-service digital marketing firm, explained that internships provide a competitive advantage for both the students and the businesses utilizing them.

Ritter received his Master of Advertising degree from the University of Florida (UF) and quickly went to work for a traditional advertising agency. He bounced from agency to agency, learning new things at each one before finding his way into digital marketing and discovering his passion for search engine optimization (SEO).

Ritter followed his heart and started Digital Neighbor, his own SEO agency offering website creation and audits, paid media, digital strategies and solutions to help companies achieve their goals. An integral part of his business is the interns that he brings on board.

“Some of the best, most innovative ideas are coming from the interns, as they offer fresh eyes and unparalleled enthusiasm,” he said.

At USF, Ritter teaches digital media in the Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications. Many of Digital Neighbor’s interns come from the Zimmerman School, while others come from the Brandon area and beyond.

A Brandon resident off-and-on for the past decade, it is the place Ritter calls home, and he feels that giving back to the community is part of doing business.

“We pride ourselves in elevating and empowering our clients, the community and one another at Digital Neighbor,” he said. “That’s why hiring local interns and taking care of companies in our community is so vital to us.”

“As a boutique SEO agency, interns are exposed to all facets of digital marketing and SEO in a fast-paced agency environment,” said Ritter. “For many, this is their first experience in the real world, and our goal is to prepare them for whatever direction they choose by giving them a solid foundation in the world of digital media.”

Business hours are by appointment only from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To apply for an internship, send a resume and cover letter to For more information, visit or call 813-815-3444.

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