Intern Queen Lauren Berger spoke to a full house in Burt Kahn Court on Wednesday night, giving students insight into the world of being an intern.
After completing 15 internships during her four years at the University of Central Florida, Berger was inspired by her college roommates to use her wisdom to help others struggling to do the same. This led to the creation of her website, and her newly released book, “All Work, No Pay”.
Her speech provided numerous tips for navigating the application process of internships, and what to do when you are given the opportunity. Berger stressed that an internship “should be used to your advantage. It is a time to be selfish, and figure out what you want to do.”
[media-credit name=”Katie O” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Although most students do not apply for internships until their junior year, Berger landed her first at the Zimmerman Agency her freshman year. However, she noted that because of her promptness in sending in her resume and her knowledge of the company from research, she impressed the intern coordinator.
“When researching a company, locate their website, read the mission statement, and view the executive bios,” she said. “Showing interest in the company can put you ahead of seniors who are simply applying for college credit.”
She also stressed the importance of handwritten thank you notes. After an interview, a thank you note can seal your fate at a company and is a gesture that most employers expect.
One of most critical points made by Berger was that putting yourself out there and telling people what you want to do with your future can go a long way. She attributed most of her success to being persistent and communicating with the many people she met through her internship experience about what she wanted.
Although Berger’s advice was helpful, it instilled a bit of panic in students, sophomore Bonnie Conklin said.
“I’ve been thinking about applying for an internship this summer, and although I’m happy I came, I feel a lot more stressed and pressured to get some applications in, but I also feel much more confident now,” said Conklin, who has not had an internship.