Lauren Berger, known as the Intern Queen, spoke at the University of Indianapolis on April 9 in Lilly Science Hall Room 210. The event was sponsored by the UIndy chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America as well as the Professional Edge Center.
Berger, who graduated from the University of Central Florida, discussed the importance of internships, jobs and life after college. She completed 15 internships during her four years of college. She is also the chief executive officer of InternQueen.com, as well as the author of two books, “All Work, No Pay: Finding an Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections and Gaining Job Experience” and “Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work and Turning Your Job into Your Dream Career.”
Berger told students the important guidelines to getting internships, based on her college experiences.
“I got into Florida State, and I was excited to go to lots of football games and parties, and that was really all that I was looking for in college,” Berger said. “I was not motivated. I was not thinking about my future.”
Berger said that she had no intention of looking for internships her first year of college, until her mother called her and told her she had to. Her mom was motivated to call her and tell her that she needed an internship after watching a segment of the “Today” show.
Berger began her journey of searching for internships the second semester of her freshman year of college. The first tip that Berger gave to the audience was about how to stand out to employers.
“If you want to impress someone, when they give you a business card, when they say, ‘Hey, here is my email; send me a resume,’ you make time that night and you send over your materials,” she said.
Berger then explained that business wear and thank you cards are very important to landing an internship.
“If an employer has to choose between two candidates, they are going to choose the one who sent the thank you card,” she said. “It’s the bonus points. That’s how you close the deal.”
Taking the first steps to get a first internship or a first job can be nerve-racking, and stressful at time, and rejection is just part of the process.
“As soon as you get that ‘no,’ I want you guys to say to yourself, ‘I must be on the right track,’” Berger said. “Because you have to get a no in order to get a yes.”
Networking is something that Berger said is extremely important. She shared that while it is great to network with the executives of the companies, it is also important not to underestimate the value of the interns there as well.
Berger said that the best lesson she learned was the importance of communicating. She said she shared her goals and ideas with those she encountered, and a lot of the opportunities she got came because she communicated. Berger took questions from the audience at the end of the presentation.
Sophomore criminal justice major Taylor Kellam said the presentation was a learning experience.
“I thought it was a good thing to have her come and speak,” Kellam said, “especially for someone like me who has never had an internship at all yet. It was good to hear her perspectives about how to get internships and key tips to make the process more successful.”
More information about internships, resume building and professional development is available from the Professional Edge Center, located in the Stierwalt Alumni House.