Steps to Becoming an Intern Queen

April 8, 2011 Features

Lauren Berger’s Best Advice

Lauren Berger, once a party-hard sorority girl, transformed into a career woman after landing 15 internships over her four years of undergraduate experience.

Though that many internships seems almost unattainable to most, Berger filled the Galloway Room March 31 in hopes of educating Rollins students on how, with a few simple tips, this dream of becoming the “intern queen” is far from unattainable. Berger’s event was sponsored by the Rollins chapter of 85 Broads, an esteemed women’s global network trailblazing the success of women.

Berger’s passionate personality helped give her seminar a positive atmosphere as she touched on concepts necessary to succeed in today’s cutthroat business world. First, she stated that students must have “passion, energy and excitement” for what they love and in order to become successful.

The concept behind her overall success was becoming gutsy. Berger stressed the theory repeatedly, stating, “don’t play it safe,” go for what you want, take risks and always state what you want when applying for internships.

Internships allow students to become a part of the professional environment in a career that they potentially will pursue. Think that freshman year is too early to begin the search for the perfect internship? Think again. After all, Berger closed her presentation by stating that everyone must “start today.”

Always dress the part: Business suit always! “If you look in the mirror and you see more than your smiling face… change!”

Have a good resume: A traditional resume is always best, so make sure it is a one-page white sheet with black font. Do not include photos, spelling errors or generic verbiage. If your resume is longer than one page, tailor it to suit the internship you are applying for. The cover letter is a great way to showcase what you know about the company. Do not forget to update your resume so that you have a current copy on file.

Letters of Recommendation: Berger advises requesting letters of recommendation every semester to keep it current. For those who have already landed an internship for this summer or fall, asking your boss for one two weeks prior to leaving the internship is a great way to get a recommendation from your job source.

Write down your dreams: Make a list of your dream jobs and the companies that you would love to work for. This list should contain the names of 10-20 companies in order to ensure backup jobs in case you do not land your first few picks.

Plan ahead: Having a calendar of application deadlines when you apply for internships is also handy so you know when to follow up in case you do not hear from the companies soon.

Follow up: Two weeks is the time frame in which calling or emailing internship directors would be beneficial to find out the status of your application and if there is any additional information needed.

Nail your interview: The dreaded interview now extends beyond the traditional office interview to include phone, Skype and coffee shop interviews, and everyone needs to be prepared. Make sure that you are always available and confident when scheduling time for an interview.

Phone Interview: When being asked questions, make sure you remain “short, sweet and concise.” The challenge is keeping the interviewer interested at all times. Bring back questions to the employer and be knowledgeable on the history of the company, the work that its employees perform, etc.

“Starbucks” Interview: The coffee shop interview is becoming more mainstream. Show up overdressed, on time and ready to speak clearly and precisely to the employer. Lastly, buy your own coffee!

Post-interview: After interviewing with any company, personalized, hand-written thank you notes should be awarded to all employers for their time.

Keep in touch: Remaining connected with employers after internships is pivotal in keeping up with your contacts. Contact past colleagues and bosses three times a year so that you are not keeping in touch only when you need something, thus sustaining an “organic relationship.”

A word of caution: Beware of social media! Take down unruly pictures that you would not want potential employers to see because they do check!

Go to www.InternQueen.com to find more advice.

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