Are you graduating this year or thinking about your post-college career prospects? Check out these simple, effective tips from Lauren Berger, the “Intern Queen,” who completed 15 internships (!) throughout her four years of college. Berger is now CEO of www.internqueen.com, a free internship site where students can both apply for top-notch opportunities and read Lauren’s blog on how to make the most of them. Lauren is also the author of the new book, All Work, No Pay: Finding An Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience.
1. Determine what makes you tick. When I was a freshman in college, I had no clue how I wanted to spend my time after graduation. In my book, I recall printing out a list of the college majors my school had to offer. I started circling everything that interested me. When I looked over the sheet, I’d circled everything within the communications space – PR, Marketing, Entertainment, Advertising. This was my starting point.
2. Visit your career center – more than once. The career center should be one of your first stops when trying to figure out what you want to do with your life. The career center spends time every single day building relationships with local, national, and international employers in fields across the board – for you! Many students make the mistake of only going in once and expecting magic. On your first visit, meet with a counselor and formulate a plan. Determine when your next visit will be. You should visit the career center every 6-8 weeks.
3. Do your research. Going back to my freshman year, I had my list of industries I was potentially interested in – PR, Marketing, Entertainment, Advertising. I sat down at my computer and started researching. I was going to Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida at the time. I typed into the computer “PR Internships in Tallahassee, Florida” – a few companies popped up. I clicked on the first company that popped up and read as much material as I could on their website. When researching, it’s important to review the mission statement, executive bios, and the about us section.
4. Con’t be afraid to cold call. When looking for your dream company, don’t be afraid to take initiative. If you cannot find any career or internship information on the website, call the company main number, and ask to speak with the internship coordinator. Remember to be polite to whomever you speak with. The gatekeeper (receptionist) might not put you through BUT it’s worth calling and attempting to speak with the internship coordinator. You never know!
Thank you, Lauren, for the guest post!