Intern Queen guides students on succeeding in ‘real’ world
Between early morning commutes, memorizing complicated coffee orders and balancing a budget that involves no steady income, college students feel internships are more detrimental than advantageous in the long run.
However, Lauren Berger, CEO of “Intern Queen, Inc.,” is solid proof that internships are the foundation to thriving in the real world. The brand provides a free website that gives young people the opportunity to apply to various internships around the country.
While a student at Florida State University, she felt she was limited in resources and guidance when it came to starting with the internship process.
“I almost always fell short. I couldn’t find anything. I would go to the bookstore, and there were no internship books. I would look online, and the only websites were CareerBuilder and Monster, [which] were overwhelming for me as a college student,” Berger said.
Upon graduating with 15 internships under her belt, Berger realized that through her past experiences, she could be the one to fill the void by creating a domain that helps people feel less hesitant toward the intimidating procedure of landing internships.
After purchasing the domain, Berger decided to take the extra step of educating herself on how to properly run a business by constantly researching and reading books on how to start a company and run a website.
By 2009, she started running InternQueen.com full time and gave it a more personal spin by posting a majority of her own content, which gleaned from her trial and error experiences as an intern.
Berger also went on to write and publish two books, “Welcome To The Real World” and “All Work, No Pay,” which encompass all the skills one needs to be successful in the internship world.
Both books focus on a broad range of topics, such as building a resume, dealing with rejection and time management, and serve as a guide for any college student looking to succeed with internships.
Berger expressed that internships are more competitive today than ever before, especially for Rutgers students competing against their peers in the major metropolitan area. She stresses a key factor to landing a dream internship is to focus on one’s resume.
“I’ve had several conversations with the most qualified students on the planet, [but] I look at their resume and … get a stomachache. It’s really important to have a resume that reflects what a great candidate you are. So I think focusing on the resume is key and is definitely a reason why people might not be commanding their dream job,” Berger said.
It’s important to start building one’s resume as soon as possible, Berger said. She particularly encourages freshmen to start thinking about the future and to get heavily involved in as many organizations as possible, in order to help them figure out what type of occupation they want after graduation.
Berger expanded on her teachings at the University on Thursday by providing students with a keynote speech as a part of the Ford College Ambassador Challenge. The challenge consists of nine universities competing against each other, in three marketing-related events, giving them a preview of how the business world works.
Brooke Sassman, captain of the Rutgers Ford Challenge team, hopes that students will walk away from the keynote speech with career advice that could help them in future internships.
“Whether you’re starting as an intern at a company or a senior in your final year, it’s always beneficial for students to continue polishing their skills,” Sassman, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said.
At the event, Berger talked about internships and branding, gave career advice and hosted a Q&A session. She also gave the first 50 people a free copy of her book “Welcome To The Real World” and even signed copies.
When asked what advice Berger would want students and aspiring entrepreneurs in general to take away from her list of experiences, she expressed that no one should discount internships.
“A lot of people say to me, ‘Well, weren’t your internships a waste if you just ended up starting your own company?’” Berger said. “And that couldn’t be further from the truth. If I didn’t intern under so many amazing executives, I would have no idea how to run a productive business.”