Finding an internship — the Intern Queen way

“I want to help you get pumped for your career,” Intern Queen Lauren Berger told a crowd of some 150 students in Pugh Auditorium. “Internships give you that time to be selfish and figure out what you want to do. Whether the internship is paid or non-paid, it is all about making it the best experience for your career.”

Berger squeezed 15 internships into her four years of college in Florida. After working for a Hollywood agency, she launched a website designed to match college students with internship opportunities in 2008 – and the Intern Queen was born.

Berger suggested students compile an internship dream list — all the companies that they want to work or intern for. And told them to dream big.

“When someone says no, our generation finds a way to get a yes,” she said. “We are all going to be rejected on a daily basis. Let’s take a deep breath and get over it. Never take no for an answer. “

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Berger shared her top 10 tips about how to successfully snag an internship:

  1. Be proactive and stay ahead of the pack by sending in internship materials early.
  2. Hand written “Thank You” notes mailed (not emailed) are traditional and are a must after an interview.
  3. Utilize the Career Services department on campus for mock interviews and resume sessions.
  4. Research, research, research the company.
  5. Constantly update your resume.
  6. Network not only with the company professionals, but your fellow interns as well.
  7. Keep in touch with your professional contacts three times a year, it shows you care.
  8. Make your Intern Queen Dream List with jobs and internships that interest you.
  9. Apply for a variety of internships
  10. Do not get discouraged. Rejection is more motivation for you to continue and to succeed on your internship journey.

The Office of Personal Career Development in conjunction with Student Life, Her Campus, and the PanHellenic Council, brought Lauren Berger to campus on January 31. Hannah Kay Hunt , Senior English Major, the president of Her Campus said, “ The Intern Queen’s website is a great way for college students to start and sort through their internship search. The internship listings are great, but Lauren also gives advice for women looking to make sense of the really daunting task of nabbing a summer gig.”

Berger offered advice from her own experience and from her mother’s perspective, telling the audience how her mother constantly encouraged her to seek new internship experiences each year in college. Berger says her mother had the same concerns of most parents: how is college preparing my child for success after graduation. .

Hunt says the Wake Forest community takes that preparation seriously. “One of the most powerful things I’ve discovered about the Wake Forest community is how willing and ready most people are to mentor enthusiastic younger students. Alumni are ready to support students with interviews and introductions especially given the less than stellar job market. Wake Forest is a place that pushes students to take advantage of its resources.”

Berger encouraged the crowd to strive for their dream job no matter the obstacles or circumstances that may get in the way of success. She chanted loudly to get her point across, “Don’t let anyone get in your way.”

“The Intern Queen reminded me of a few things that I tend to forget when thinking about applying for internships and now jobs,” Ellen Dicus, a Senior Communication major, who attended the event said, “There will be people that are more aggressive than me, so I should always make the extra effort to call if there are unanswered questions…and continue to keep in touch with my contacts.”

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