Press Release – University of Dreams Brings Intern Queen on Board !

25 02 2009

INTERN QUEEN ENDORSES UNIVERSITY OF DREAMS, SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

 

Silicon Valley, CA – February 23rd – University of Dreams (www.SummerInternships.com) hires Intern Queen, Lauren Berger, to help promote their Summer Internship Programs globally.  Berger currently runs The quarterlife Internship Program Powered By The Intern Queen on www.quarterlife.com/intern, a resource for students looking for internships in media, entertainment, journalism, sports, and marketing. Berger got her title of “Intern Queen” after completing 15 internships during her four years of college. Berger will serve as a spokesperson for University of Dreams and help raise awareness about the program to students internationally. Berger will host a series of weekly conference calls that inform students and parents about the program and will provide tips and tools for students to make the most of their internships.

 

“Students are signing up for this experience in droves. I didn’t have the luxury of participating in a program like this as an intern. I had to secure my own internship, housing, make new friends, pay for food, and ship my car out. Students participating in University of Dreams have their food, housing, transportation, and social activities covered, in addition to internship placement at top tier companies. They don’t have to worry about making new friends because there are so many other students in the program. I wish I knew about University of Dreams,” says Berger about the program.

University of Dreams Inc. (www.SummerInternships.com) was founded in February of 2000. That first summer, 73 participants joined us at Santa Clara University, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, California, where they had the opportunity to meet other motivated college students, grow as individuals, and pursue their dreams in their desired career field with an internship. After the initial program in the Silicon Valley, we have added programs in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Barcelona, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Sydney. This summer we will add programs in Washington D.C. and San Diego. We have also begun offering Fall and Spring Internship Programs in select cities for students who want to further their career through living, working, and earning contract academic credit for an entire semester in their dream city. Enrollment in the University of Dreams programs has grown each year, including over 1,300 participants in 2008, proof that students are having fantastic experiences and are spreading the word about University of Dreams.

 

Intern Queen Inc. was founded in 2006 by Lauren Berger after she successfully completed 15 internships during her four years of college. Berger started to author several articles about her internship experience and provide internship tips for students. Berger picked up “Best Young Entrepreneur of The Year” at the Stevie Awards for Women In Business in 2007. In August of 2008, Berger partnered with Hollywood Producer, Marshall Herskovitz (Blood Diamond, Traffic, and My So Called Life) and his website, Quarterlife.com. Herskovitz invested in her company and created, The Quarterlife Internship Program Powered by the Intern Queen, which offers internship listings and an internship advice blog, I AM INTERN. Lauren travels across the country speaking at schools and creating a strong awareness for internships.

 





Summer Internship Timeline

24 02 2009

SUMMER INTERNSHIP TIMELINE

The big question at this time of year is always, “When is the best time to apply for Summer Internships and is it too late ?” Have no fear, the Intern Queen is here and I have a timeline of my own that students can follow.  Follow my timeline below and you will get everything out just in time ! Keep in mind that my timeline does not apply to large companies or any company with a formal internship program. Most formal internship programs (NY Times, ATAS, WSJ, WashPost, Citigroup, etc) do have early application deadlines that can be found on their individual company websites. These deadlines are protocall for most of the media/entertainment/pr/marketing internships on my site. Good luck !

 

SUMMER INTERNSHIP TIMELINE

 

Friday, February 26, 2008Complete all of your internship materials. If you haven’t finished by Friday, finish up over the weekend. You should have the following materials prepared: Resume, Cover Letter, 3 Letters of Rec ( One academic reference, one professional reference, one character reference). Make copies of  these materials on a thick quality paper. I suggest using a cream colored paper (these should be avail at a Kinkos or any all-in-one shop). Make about 20 copies of each document. Try to use your school’s copy machine as those usually have cheaper rates. Copying can get pricey ! Get some clear paper protectors to slide one master copy of each document into (The clear plastic things). This is to make sure you always have your masters avail if you need more copies. You will also take these documents and a few copies of each with you to in-person interviews.

 

Monday, March 2nd 2008 – Pick Your Internships ! This is your week to research and find all of the internships you’d like to apply for. Make a Dream List of all the top companies you’d like to intern at over the summer. Do your research and make sure they offer internships in the destination you’d like to go. Next to your top ten companies, make a list of 5-10 companies that aren’t your dream company but  are similar to the companies listed. For example: If your dream magazine internship is at Us Weekly or Seventeen Magazine – your 2nd list might read “ Marie Claire Magazine or DailyCandy.com.” I encourage every student to apply for between 10-20 companies for the summer. Internships are more competitive than ever before so the more you apply to, the better chance you have of nailing down these opportunities. Also, the more competitive the internship, the more opportunities you should be applying for – keep that in mind.

 

Thursday, March 5th 2008Time to Research. Use Thursday and Friday to go through your list of companies that you are applying for and do some research. The goal here is to send your resume to an actual person and not a random website or info@blah.com. First, check my Quarterlife.com/intern site and enter the company name into the Searchbar. The company name will appear if I have contacts at that company. If I do, simply email your resume to me at internqueen@quarterlife.com and include the semester and the company name in the subject line. If I don’t work with the company than check out their website. If you don’t see a name for the Internship Coordinator (you usually will not) than call the company. Ask to speak with the internship coordinator. Get their name and email address and let them know you are applying for an internship. If  they give you a generic email, ask who you can address the email to. You want to do anything in your power to get an actual name.

Keep an Excel document to store all of your information. Make columns for Company, Contact Name, Email, Status, Follow Up.

 

Monday, March 9th 2008 –  Send your apps !  Put a good chunk of time aside to send out your materials today. Many companies will want your CL, Resume, Letters of Rec via email. Send those out and make sure they are addressed to that company and not to another. I suggest blind copying (BCC’ing) yourself on all of the emails as a reminder to follow up in 2 weeks. Any mail applications *companies that have indicated regular mail is best* should also go out today. Good luck ! Make a note in your STATUS column of your Excel document of the date you sent your materials out.

 

Tuesday, March 24th 2008 – Follow Ups Begin. I suggest calling each company (unless they specifically told you to NOT call) and asking to speak with the internship coordinator. All you say is, “Hi, This is Lauren Berger, I emailed my resume to _____two weeks ago and wanted to follow up and make sure they received it.” Be as polite as possible.

 

**** Note, if you don’t hear anything back by the 2nd week in April, I suggest applying to at least 10 more internships. Most companies will notify interns by Mid-April.

I asked my Friends on Twitter What They Thought About Applying for Summer Internships – Here is their Advice:

 “Do it NOW”; Most common msg but nobody listens because there’s too much social activity; waiting=lost opportunity-fini.” @lauratoogood, Student Coach.

 

“Friends can wait until the hunt is over; they’ll just blow past U anyway; if they’re real friends they’ll B fine w/it.” @lauratoogood, Student Coach.

 

“DO NOT put references on a resume; biggest mistake EVER; keep the list separate; AND double check the validity.” @lauratoogood, Student Coach.

 

“Letters of Reference are important.” @globalsultana, Communications Professional.

 

“I def think anyone looking for a summer internship should start looking as soon as possible. Speed to market as they say.” @geraldinemae, http://geraldinemae.blogspot.com/.

 

“Apply for summer internships now…we’ve been interviewing since late January.” @Alicia_Wells, Accountant Executive and Internship Manager.

 

“If you apply too early your resume and coverletter may be misplaced or lost and often they ask you to resend it.” @amaute, Alyssa Maute, Student at Clemson, http://amaute.wordpress.com/.

 

“The last two years in a row I’ve had mine nailed down by mid February … very reassuring 🙂 This year I’m not so lucky!” @jess_a_ca.

 

“No matter how tough it is to NOT procrastinate, get applications in EARLY. Most basic advice but always true.” @saramartinez, Student in Chicago.

 

“Don’t limit yourself to paid internships. It’s not about the money, it’s about the experience.” @DavidSpinks, Student and Blogger in New York. http://twitter.com/DavidSpinks.

 

“ABSOLUTELY NO MISTAKES IN THE COVER LETTER OR RESUME. No ifs ands or buts.” @karlastevenson.

 

 

 

 

 





Students Should Take Unpaid Internships

19 02 2009

WHY STUDENTS SHOULD DO UNPAID INTERNSHIPS

 

I was in college from 2002 – 2006 and completed 15 internships by graduation (Hence “Intern Queen”). My internships were at a variety of media, PR, marketing, and entertainment companies ranging from big names (FOX, MTV) to smaller names (Moore Public Relations, The Zimmerman Agency). NONE of these internships were Paid opportunities. I received one $100.00 stipend from Moore Public Relations and that’s it – no other monetary compensation. I did get college credit (through my university) for quite a few of my internships.  These internships were my favorite part of college and where I learned the most about myself, my future, and the workplace. I suggest every college student aim to participate in 2-3 internships by the time they graduate college. If you are lucky enough to find a paid internship opportunity, congratulations – they don’t  come around too often ! However, if the field you are interested in does not offer paid opportunities, I encourage you to take on these unpaid opportunities.

 

Why Students Should Do Unpaid Internships

 

·         EXPERIENCE. It’s a tough job market right now. You are up against even more job candidates then usual. What do these other job candidates have over you ? Experience. Earn your credibility by participating in an internship. It will stand out on your resume and show that have previously worked/interned in your field of choice.

 

·         NETWORKING. Everyone you meet during the course of your internship is now a contact. These people can help guide your career path as you make your way into the business world. These people know other people in the industry as well and can provide introductions for you. The fellow interns you meet may also become great contacts in the future.

 

Note: I still keep in contact with most of my internship coordinators (yes, all 15 of them). I also keep in touch with most of my fellow interns from over the years. Many of these people have gone off to start their own companies and several have helped get me jobs, interviews, and meetings throughout my career.

 

·         OBSERVING. Over the course of your internships you will be observing the way business professionals in your future industry conduct themselves, their lives, their work. You can really start to build an image of what your life would be like in this specific field. Many internship coordinators and employers will let interns sit in on meetings, attend brainstorms, and ask them tons of questions.

 

·         HANDS-ON. As an intern, you will be required to participate in several different tasks. Yes, you will most likely have to do the “boring work” aka making copies, making coffee, alphabetizing materials, etc. However, it is important to really learn how to do these tasks properly so that when you do enter the working world, you are already familiar with the basics of any office. Most interns also get a taste of more intricate duties depending on the field you are in.

 

Note: When I interned at the Zimmerman Agency (Public Relations/Advertising), I learned cold calling, pitching, how to write press releases, putting together press kits, etc. These are skill that should I have entered the Public Relations world, would have put me ahead of other candidates that didn’t have internship experience.

 

·         PURSUIT OR ELIMINATION. What if my internship doesn’t go well ? Many students worry that their internship experience might not be a great one. Even bad internships are beneficial to students. They help you establish what you like and what you don’t like, what you want to pursue and what you want to eliminate for your future. It’s much better to spend one semester interning at a company to determine it’s bad than to actually get a job and start a career at that company and then find out you aren’t interested.

 

I asked my Friends on Twitter What They Thought About Unpaid Internships:

“Unpaid internships are an way for students to show committment. Getting paid is easy, working hard for free takes dedication.” @nateerickson, Advertising Student at Michigan State.

 

“The benefit is def. experience. The downside is not being able to devote all of your time to it b/c you need $ to survive.” @Karahleigh, http://karahleighhancock.com/, Student at Valdosta State.

 

“I heard a PR pro say unpaid looks better on resume because it proves  the intern is willing to just do the work and take the experience as pay.” @laurgrob, http://lifeonland.wordpress.com/, Student at University of Georgia.

 

“I’m kind of torn with that. Students with relevant experience shouldn’t do unpaid. It’s like designers working on spec. But then again some student just want SOME experience. Something to put on the resume. Just make sure u dont get ripped off.” @unearthingasia, http://unearthingasia.com/.

 

“As one of 25 unpaid NPR interns, my decision revolved around: a) make contacts b) get new skills c) learn other side of biz.” @internedition, http://www.npr.org/about/nextgen/content/.

 

“The only reason I can think of for an unpaid internship is college credit. That’s what mine was for.” @jennips, http://jensorganizedwriter.wordpress.com/about/.

 

“I always took the best opportunity to learn. Sometimes that was paid, most of the time it wasn’t. Plus, you can find an org you really want to work for and offer to be an unpaid intern. Great way to get specific experience.” @PatrickEvans, http://flacker.net/.

 

“I think all internships should be paid. The main reason I didn’t do any internships in college was because I couldn’t afford to.” @stuartcfoster, http://thelostjacket.com/.

 

 

 

 

 





Internships Change In Today’s Economy

13 02 2009

Today internships are more valuable than ever before. In this economic climate, an increase in job layoffs has also signaled an increase in internship opportunities. Most internships tend to be unpaid opportunities for college students to earn credit. Employers are cutting costs left and right and providing more and more unpaid internships for students. Graduating college seniors who do not have internship experience are at an extreme disadvantage. They are not only up against their peers but also adults who have recently lost their jobs. Gen Y does have an advantage over adults in the workplace. They understand social media like no other generation and have fully integrated it with their every day lives. What do adults have over these young minds ? Experience. The best way for college students to gain experience is through internships. I am The Intern Queen and my goal is to bridge this gap between students and careers and provide them with internship listings, internship advice, and internship guidance to help them find these opportunities and make the most of them.

Ways Internships Have Changed In This Economy

  • Interns Don’t Need To Get Paid. When you can’t pay to hire more employees, why not hire interns that you do not have to pay ? For my company, the amount of employers seeking internships this summer has doubled from semesters past.

 

  • Higher Expectations. Due to the increase of layoffs, interns are expected to be responsible for more tasks than in the past. Many of my employers are including interns in brainstorm sessions, having the interns run their social networks, putting the intern in charge of several projects over the semester, and picking their brains for new marketing techniques.

 

  • They are Highly Competitive. Some internships have always been difficult to get. However, in today’s economy they are ALL hard to get. I receive about 200 resumes per day and many of them are  for the same companies, over and over again. Popular internships have almost tripled the amount of resumes they get in each semester.

 

  •  Students are Starting Young. When I was a freshman in college (2003) and had an internship, that was considered young. I get hundreds of resumes from highschool students (sophomores, juniors, seniors) that are looking for internships while they are still in school. By the time these students get to college, they already have several internships on their resume. This is the competition when college students are going out for internships.

 

  • More Internships are Turning Into Jobs. Because employers are on a tight budget, they are hiring these interns at the end of the semester. Why ? Interns can be hired at an inexpensive rate compared to someone who has already established a starting salary in the real world. Also, if a student has already interned at the company they are familiar with company employees, processes, goals, missions, etc.

 

  • Internship Awareness. Since I launched the new website in 2008, several internship companies have emerged. Career Counselors are encouraging students to check into internship opportunities, professors are speaking about them, parents are becoming more knowledgeable, and there is definitely a “buzz” about them among students.

 

  • Students Understand the Economy. Students can’t turn on the news, speak to their parents, or go to class without being constantly reminded about the state of our job market and the downturn of the economy. They understand that they are about to enter the workplace in a state of turmoil. Thanks to this knowledge, they know the importance of internships. Many students are postponing their college graduations to stay in school one more semester and participate in an internship.

 

  • Rise of Social Media. Gen Y has a complete understanding of most social media websites and networking tools. They use them to communicate to their personal friends. It is powerful for a business to take on these students as interns and be able to grow their companies via social media tools. Companies don’t need to hire anyone to run their Social Media  because they can simply pass them off as “intern tasks”. Several interns are running the social networking (Facebook, Twitter, MySpaces Pages, YouTube Pages) sites for companies.

Where can students find these internship opportunities easily ?

I created www.quarterlife.com/intern, The Quarterlife Internship Program Powered By The Intern Queen, to provide access to hard-to-reach internship opportunities. My site lists over 350 companies in the fields of marketing, media, film, public relations, finance, law, sports, government, non-profit, etc. Some of the most popular names on the site include Nascar, Sony, Universal, Seventeen, Rolling Stone, GQ, etc. I’ve also seen a surge of small business owners and entrepreneurs post both in-office and virtual internships on the site. Start-ups like handmedowns.com, How Cast Media, Resume Bucket are all using my services. Students go on the website, www.quarterlife.com/intern, click on the opportunity that interests them, and email me their resume. I take their information and forward to my specific internship coordinator/HR contact at each company. I have put a face behind a service and any student or employer can write to me with their questions and concerns. This is my way of delivering a personal and customized experience for the user.

If you have any questions about Internships in Today’s Economy feel free to email me at lauren@quarterlife.com.

I asked my Friends on Twitter About Internships In Today’s Economy:

“I hear from more students and GRADS willing to take unpaid internships than ever before…esp GRADS who didn’t expect this.”@toryjohnson, http://www.womenforhire.com/

 “Free labor.” @Devinarbiter, Katalyst Entertainment. 

“Because some people use unpaid interns.” @orlandosports, http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/.

“Because it’s cheap/free labor.”@Darren_Heitner, http://www.darrenheitner.com/

“Free labor is the only one that comes to mind.” @onustees, http://www.onustees.com/onustees-home/.

“It’s cheaper to keep and intern than to keep a full time employee. In fact is cheaper to have 2 interns than one hired.” @jjaime, http://jjaime.tumblr.com/.

“Employers raising the bar, looking for folks who know exactly how to do a job. What better way to learn than w/ internships.” @panah,  http://www.bloggingot.com/.

“Web developers, designers and other web tech people are in high demand… they just don’t get hired as interns, more freelance.” @mattwilsontv, http://www.mattwilson.tv/.

“Free/cheap labor, which saves $ in bad economy and picks up slack of laid-off workers.” @AndreaSantiago, http://healthcareers.about.com/.

“I think  employers need a more effective way to source applicants.  Market’s too saturated with good candidates.” @sweetcareers, http://sweetcareers.blogspot.com/

“Company’s are taking a low risk approach to hiring. It makes it easier to cut ties if they don’t see it working out.” @jrdbryan, PRSSA President at WSU.

“No… only social media internships have increased. Why would other internships have increased as a result of SM?” @KathleenLD, http://kathleenld.wordpress.com/.

“Maybe because agencies and corporations know that students are willing to work for free. Free labor really, in my opinion.” @heatherdamico, http://www.linkedin.com/in/prheather, PR Intern.

 





Write the Perfect Thank You Note

10 02 2009

I know that it sounds very ‘old school’ but you MUST send a Hand-Written Thank You note after each internship interview. Here are some guidelines on what to include, when to send, etc.

 

·         WRITE IT. I know it sounds corny but sending a  hand-written note is thoughtful and shows that you wanted to go the extra mile. You could easily send an email but you are NOT going to do that. You are going to send the perfect Thank You Note. This shows that you pay attention to detail and don’t mind a slight inconvenience when it comes to your job.

 

·         INVEST IN STATIONARY. You will rarely hear me tell you to invest in something but I do suggest buying a nice simple stationary set with your name written on the top. My personal stationary is on small rectangular paper. It is cream colored with a dark red border and reads Lauren Berger on the top. This sort of stationary looks more professional than picking up a box of Thank You cards at the drugstore. Remember to keep this simple – no crazy colors or wild patterns. Think sharp and sophisticated when picking out your stationary.

 

·         GREET THE EMPLOYER PROPERLY. If the employer told you to call them by their first name, put the first name on the card. If you are at all hesitant than use their last name with a Mr. Mrs. Or Ms.

 

·         4 LINER. Your Thank You Note should be approximately four lines. The first line should express your thanks for the employer taking time out of their day to sit down with you. The second line should reference your conversation. Line 3 should reiterate that you are extremely interested in the position and Line 4 should state your follow up plans. Below is a sample Thank You Note:

 

Tracy,

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me today. I really enjoyed hearing about your career path and the responsibilities of the position. I’m extremely interested in working with you and becoming a part of your team. Again, thank you so much for meeting with me and I’ll follow up with you in one week. Have a wonderful weekend.

 

Best,

Lauren Berger

 

·         SIGN IT. Make sure you sign your name and don’t forget. I always use “Best” when closing out a letter. Make sure your signature is legible !

 

·         NO FRILLIES. This means no drawing flowers, butterflies, or writing your name in pretty bubble letters. There should be no extra markings on the envelope.

 

·         GET IT OUT. If you can get out a Thank You Note, in the same day as you interviewed, that would be great. Get to the Post Office ASAP. Don’t let the employer say, “Where is that Thank You note?”

 

I aked my Tweeps in the Twitterverse if they had any Thank You Note pointers:

 

“Don’t wait – do it the SECOND you get home! ” @GinaLaGuardina, http://www.ginalaguardina.com/blog/.

 

“Tell them to keep it short and sincere.” @Klrabbit, http://klrabbit.com/wordpress/.

 

“Handwritten. Also send it within a couple days. I forgot for several days once and ended up overnighting it.” @obrienmedia, http://www.linkedin.com/in/obrienmedia.

 

 

 

 

 

Helpful Links

From Keppie Careers: http://www.keppiecareers.com/2008/04/29/seal-the-deal-with-a-postage-stamp-interview-thank-yous/

From Alison Doyle on AboutJobs:http://jobsearch.about.com/od/thankyouletters/a/samplethankyou.htm

Cliff Notes on Thank You Notes: http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/Section/Write-a-Thank-You-Note-after-an-Interview.id-305417,articleId-27783.html

 

 

 

 





Mention Social Networking in Internship or Job Interviews

5 02 2009

INTERN QUEEN KEY: Bring up social networking in Your Interview. You also might want to look at the company website and talk about the different ways they can expand via social media. Mention reaching different groups of people, getting the name out there, establishing a direct connection with their audience, adding content, etc. You are a pair of fresh eyes – take advantage of this and be creative. This sense of creativity is what many companies will want you to bring to the table. You are exposed to different trends, ideas, styles, companies on a daily basis – speak about any of these that might interest you and may be relevant to the company.

 

Gen Y has a clear advantage at this time in the workplace. They usually have a clear understanding of the way social media works, the way Facebook, MySpace, Twitter work. Gen Y wants information and they want it fast. They want it now. They have established “quick response” as a normal practice in their personal lives. They send texts, instant messages, tweets, update their facebook status, and surf the net all in matters of seconds. They hold the key to fully transform this high-tech personal lifestyle into a professional lifestyle.

When students interview for jobs/internships they should 100 percent bring up their social media capabilities. It’s not a case of bragging about all of their profiles and the amount of time they spend online. It’s a matter of knowing how to set up. control, and get feedback from these sites. Thousands of companies are still not online and haven’t expanding into blogging, social networks, etc.

Here is what my friend’s on Twitter had to say about GEN Y/Interviews:

Gen Y: brings question. As in…”why does this matter? why are we doing this?”  @JMegonigal, Editor, http://www.insideblackbox.com/?cat=10.

” Use of new media, spot new trends, understand existing trends, apart of different speech communities that gen Xers are not.” @karlasteventson.

‘Gen Y should have the ability to “mine” information from different sources (web, personal communication etc).” @JillianReading, http://thechronicleof.blogspot.com/.

*Note: Make sure to read my previous post about controlling your social networking sites !