Getting your first internship can be daunting. This is why I have collaborated with Lauren Berger, founder of the Intern Queen. Here are a few of her major points of advice for those getting their first internship.
Lauren Berger has been teaching students about internships for 8-years now. Lauren completed 15 internships while she was in college and she wants to share her tips with you! Read to the bottom to enter a giveaway for her book: All Work, No Pay.
This content was originally posted as a YouTube collaboration and is available to watch here. The transcribed Q&A is down below if you prefer to read!
Q&A with Lauren Berger Founder of the Intern Queen
Q: When should you start the internship process?
A: A great time to intern is the summer after your sophomore year. If you are really ambitious you can get internships as early as high school.
Q: Where do you start looking for an internship?
A: Start with the career center. If you are in high school go to your guidance counselor. If you are in college put yourself in a chair in the career center and tell them your interests and let them guide you.
Q: Should you choose an internship related to their major?
A: You should definitely branch out and try out things that are not tailored to your major. Sometimes as a freshman or sophomore your major is not declared anyways so that is a chance to explore your interests. An internship is your moment to discover what you do and do not like.
Q: Should you take an unpaid internship?
A: I think unpaid internships are amazing and they can be life-changing experiences. If you get an unpaid internship, you might have to get a part-time job. Typically, you get a paid internship or an unpaid internship balanced with a part-time job. Don’t make a decision on the paycheck, however, decide on what you think will be the best experience for you.
Q: What are some things to make a first-timer comfortable with the application?
A; The more you research about the company the more prepared you will be for the application and interview. Look up the mission statement, the CEO’s and leaders, and other facts. Sometimes you may find that someone was an alumni at your school and that is something that you could bring up in the interview.
Q: How do you stand out from competitors?
A: Two things come to my mind. (1) Passion: I want to hire someone who wants to be here. There is nothing worse than an intern who comes in every day with a bad passion. Lead with passion and excitement for the opportunity. (2) Connect the dots for the employer: Make sure that you are reading the job descriptions. It is like cheating; it is giving the answers to the test. Make sure you bring up important qualities in your interview and in your cover letter.
Q: What are the parts of a typical application?
A: Typically there are two parts: a resume and a cover letter. The resume is the list of professional characteristics. Check out your career center for resume information. The cover letter is the one-page document that goes along with your application that tells why you are the person for the position.
Q: How can students use your platform to get an internship?
A: Check out internshipqueen.com for internship listings. We also post weekly videos to our YouTube channel about internships and careers.
Lauren will be giving away a copy of her book All Work, No Pay to one subscriber on my YouTube channel. Please leave a comment on this blog post or on the video stating where your dream internship is. The winners will be announced on January 4, 2016, in the description box of the video. Lauren and I will contact the winner to claim their prize.