5 Internship Tips from the Queen
Lauren Berger (a.k.a. the “Intern Queen”) had the Maxwell Auditorium at Syracuse University jam-packed this Tuesday, February 2nd. With internship season around the corner, students of all ages and majors gathered eager to learn more about the competitive process. Berger encouraged her audience to get the ball rolling on the internship hunt. Dubbed royalty for holding 15 internships in college, the young entrepreneur matches thousands of students with their dream internships through her database of 500+ employers as CEO of Intern Queen Inc. Ed snagged an exclusive meet-and-greet with Berger and picked up some priceless advice about internships, networking, and professionalism.
1. Apply to 10-20 companies. The economy might be on the upturn, but jobs and internships are still hard to come by. In this competitive market, it’s important to give yourself some options. Compose a “dream list” of at least 10 companies you’d love to work for but make sure you include some smaller, local companies to be safe. Shoot big and small.
2. Network with your fellow coworkers. You’d be surprised how often people in the same industry bump into each other. It’s a small world. Your fellow interns will work their way up the totem pole (and who knows when you’ll need a favor in the future?). Also, learn from the higher executives in the company. They can offer wisdom from their years of experience in the industry. Strive to keep in touch with your network three times a year: spring, summer and fall.
3. Connect the dots for the employer. Your cover letter should be short and concise. You should answer all the employer’s questions before they have to ask. Indicate what you’re looking for, where you are from, when you are available, and what you’d like the next step to be. Your last sentence should be proactive. Ask about the internship program, to arrange an informational interview, or to show more materials.
4. Know the company. There’s nothing more embarrassing than being stumped on a question in an interview because you simply don’t know enough about the organization. Do the research: check out its website and its mission statement. Familiarize yourself to the brand as best as possible so you can connect your skills with the needs of the company.
5. Be on your best behavior. Once you land that dream internship, make a good impression the whole way through. The company is giving you the opportunity to gain valuable real world experience, so don’t waste its time texting or Facebook-ing. When you find yourself with nothing to do, reach out to your coworkers and see if you can lend them a hand. Being helpful and productive will only strengthen the bonds you have with your coworkers. Plus, you’ll get the most experience, which is why you’re there in the first place, right?
Photo credit: Intern Queen Inc.