Internship Tips from Lauren Berger, the Intern Queen

With 15 internships under her belt within her college years, Lauren Berger later on gathered her experience and knowledge and founded Intern Queen Inc. in 2009 with the hope to create a platform to help steer young people in the right direction when it comes to their college and career life.

Aside from InternQueen.com, Lauren also founded CareerQueen.com, with over six million views for both of her websites. Not only did she provided database platforms for the up and rising workforce, but she also wrote books that were national best-sellers including, “All Work, No Pay: Finding an Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience," “Welcome To The Real World” and, most recently, “Get It Together: Ditch the Chaos, Do the Work, Design your Success," which came out October of 2018. As of recently, Lauren’s brand emerged into the YouTube world, with her offering advice on internship and leadership on a regular basis.

Last but not least, as if she has all the time in the world (that lady is superwomen, I swear), she speaks at different high schools, colleges and conferences all over the country regularly, inspiring countless young minds and offering advice and tips when it comes to the internship/career hunt. Below are some of the ones she shared:

THE INTERNSHIP HUNT:

1. Resume rules

Always keep your resume within one page! It’s extremely important to be concise and target your information towards the position you’re applying to. On top of that, keep your objective statement short and sweet! Your potential employer probably has tons of other applications to read through so having a long resume and having irrelevant information would just slow him/her down, possibly affect his/her impression of you. If you’re applying to become a lab technician, don’t add piano playing under your skills section. It doesn’t matter how great of a pianist you are, the employer wouldn’t care and it doesn’t make you stand out among the other applicants. Always tailor your resume to the job description!

Speaking of what and what not to add on your resume, there has been a lot of misunderstanding that students should only put paid jobs and internship experiences onto their resume, not on-campus experiences. Don’t let that rumor hold you back! Employers DO care about on-campus experiences! Whether it’s an executive board position for a club or just a regular member/contributor of an organization, put it on your resume! No, those are not paid position and aren’t professional settings, but it shows the employer what you have done and what you could possibly bring to the table with your experience and accumulated skills.

Via Giphy

2. Brand yourself and connect with others!

Create a LinkedIn profile for yourself and update your experiences and skills regularly so that potential employers can look through them aside from your resume. You can also connect with different people as well as follow different company pages so you’ll learn more about open positions and job opportunities! Perhaps even some insight into the positions!

Via Giphy

THE APPLICATION PROCESS:

3. Look up your employer online

No, not searching for their home address and food allergies (that’s creepy). Before you apply or go in for an interview, look up your potential employer on LinkedIn. Look for connections and commonalities you have with them, perhaps they’re alumni of your current college, or they used to work for a company you’ve visited before.

Via Giphy

4. Thank you notes

It is always a great gesture to send a thank-you email after the interview to thank your interview for their time and expressing how grateful you are for the opportunity. This will leave them with a positive impression of you. To stand out more, you could also mail a physical thank-you card to them. This will definitely leave an impression since not a lot of people write thank-you cards anymore. It will show your employer how dedicated you are.

Via Giphy

5. Questions for your interviewer

As we all know, interviewers would always ask whether you have any questions at the end of the interview. It is agreed that asking questions would better your chances than not asking anything, but what do you ask? Some great questions for the employer at the end of the interview can be, “Can you describe the day in the life of this position?” and “Can you describe the perfect candidate/applicant for you?” Beware though, some people like to ask the employer why they started working for this company, while this is a great question, the interview isn’t really the right time to ask those kinds of questions.

Via Giphy

6. Be timely

This can be applied to many things. For instance, you went to an internship fair, found an internship position you really like and the employer even gave you his/her business card and encourage you to apply. Don’t wait until next week or whenever you have time to apply! Apply immediately! As soon as possible! If you want to send a thank you note to your interviewer after the interview, don’t wait! Send it right away! Being timely is going to show your employer that you are genuine and eager about the position instead of just treating it as another internship application.

Via Giphy

DURING YOUR INTERNSHIP:

7. Always ask questions!

Now that you’ve got your internship, doesn’t mean you should stop asking questions! Now is your opportunity to ask even better, more insightful questions to get to know more about the job, the company, and even the industry! During the talk, Lauren mentioned how some of her interns never ask anything, so she had them ask a question every single day since it’s impossible for them to already know everything, it’s just that they weren’t asking them.

Via Giphy

AFTER YOUR INTERNSHIP:

8. Stay in touch!

Ending your internship doesn’t mean starting a new section of your life. It’s just a new chapter! Your life, later on, is very likely going to be linked back to that internship you had in various ways. When applying to other internships or jobs in the future, it is always a good idea to have former employers to write you recommendations. If you haven’t talked to your previous employer for quite a while, asking for a recommendation for a new job can be a little awkward and tricky. Thus, it’ll be a smart move to keep in touch with them! A great way to do so is through sending them holiday greeting cards or just a normal hello card to pop in and say hi. This will make it a lot easier for when you’re on a new recommendation hunt. A great way to ask them for a recommendation is by telling them how that new internship/job you’re applying for reminded you of the great internship experience you had with that former employer.

Via Giphy

OTHER USEFUL INFO:

9. Summer internships in New York

Summer internships are often really popular among college students as they have a lot of school work to focus on throughout the fall and spring semester. New York City is a great location for summer internships since many universities in the area have their residence halls open to non-local college students to live in while they complete their internship for the summer!

Via Giphy

MORE ABOUT LAUREN BERGER:

10. No such thing as too many internships

Lauren did 15 internships throughout her college years and she expressed how wonderful of a choice that was. As a lost college student back then, she didn’t have a sense of career direction, didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life and had too many ideas. So she decided to have different internships from various industries, for example, entertainment magazines, broadcasting journalism and other totally unrelated industries. She gained so many different experiences from her internships and got to experience so many industries and positions, allowing her to see what everything’s about, making it easier for her to find her true passion.

Via Giphy

11. 15-minute coffee dates

Lauren strongly believes that internships are valuable experiences for college students to learn more about the professional world. Hence, she started a tradition at her company where interns get to have 15-minute coffee dates (which she pays for) with each of their employees, giving them a chance to chat and let the intern get to know more about the employees’ experiences and the industry.

Via Giphy

Digest all these tips and information and start your internship hunt! May the odds be ever in your favor, collegiettes!