released her book “All Work No Pay” in January and runs a website
dedicated to helping students land the ultimate internship.” Photo courtesy of The Crown
Meet the Intern Queen.
As a freshman in college, Lauren Berger was told by her career center that internships were typically only offered to juniors and seniors, so she decided to take her career into her own hands. Berger completed 15 internships in college, working for big-name companies like MTV, Fox and NBC. She founded her own company in 2009, Intern Queen Inc., with the goal of providing an aggregated resource of internship postings and information.
With over 70% of college students participating in internships prior to graduation, current undergraduates need to be completing at least 2-3 internships in their undergraduate careers just to stay competitive, said Berger. Below, she offers tips on how to effectively search for opportunities and make the most of internship experiences.
Why are internships necessary for college students?
Internships provide hands-on experience and opportunity for students to build professional relationships. If you were the employer who would you hire: the student with experience or the student without?
What tips can you provide for “getting your foot in the door”? Are posted internships the only opportunities that are available?
Go after the internships you want – not just the internships that are available. In my book, I talk about the “Intern Queen Dream List” – a document that helps students identify where they want to intern and keeps their application materials organized. Keep everything in one place. The company website is the best place to start. Also, if you haven’t been to your school’s career center yet, what are you waiting for?
In your opinion, is cold calling or e-mailing a company more likely to elicit a response?
If you have someone’s personal email, I suggest reaching out and just asking what you need to do to apply for an internship with their company. Follow up a week or two later. If you cannot find any information on a company’s internship program – cold call.
Most college students have limited professional experience. What advice do you have to help highlight the skills they do have?
Before writing out your resume, do some brainstorming first. Make a list of everything you can remember doing at each internship, part-time job or on-campus activity. What are the most impressive tasks? Those are what you list on your resume.
Are unpaid internships a total waste of time? What about virtual internships?
Unpaid internships can be the best experiences of your life. They were the best experiences of my life. They should be just as valuable as paid opportunities. Remember, unpaid internships should be only 12-15 hours per week. You can manage a part-time job, internship and school at the same time.
Virtual internships can be amazing opportunities as well. A virtual internship means you work from home instead of from an actual office. Normally, virtual interns communicate with employees via Skype, texting, phone and email. Try to look for a virtual internship with structured hours.
Many students worry about being annoying or too persistent in their internship search. How can students follow-up with employers without badgering them?
Follow up 1-2 weeks after initially contacting an employer. If they still aren’t responsive, follow up again. If you still don’t hear anything you could try a phone call. After that, move on to the next. Don’t get too caught up with one company. Apply for at least 10 internships each semester to ensure you land one.
You had fifteen internships in college. Out of all these opportunities, is there a specific experience that stands out to you as being particularly valuable?
They were all extremely valuable. With each internship came a new skill set and a new group of professionals to interact with. My internships were priceless (and unpaid).
Before an interview, what are the most important ways to prepare?
In my book I call it “Rocking the Interview” – it’s important to know how to dress, hold yourself, what questions to ask, and make sure you do your homework on the company before the interview.
Do you have advice for staying in touch with a company after the internship is over?
Three times per year!
What inspired you to create InternQueen.com? How can students use the site effectively?
I wanted one destination to find, land and learn to make the most of internship opportunities. Any student with any interests can read our blog on internqueen.com. It’s written by students around the globe who are trying to make the most of each experience they have. You can also apply for internships on the site – all for free. Currently, we specialize in marketing, PR, fashion, communications, magazine and entertainment internships in LA and NYC.
If you could offer one essential piece of advice for internship seekers, what would it be?
Don’t take “no” for an answer. Go after what you want. Check out my book. It could change the course of your career!
Powered by Facebook Comments