How To Get An Internship: Fashion

31 03 2009

With the success of shows like RUNNING IN HEELS, (, and the constant obsession with everything fashion oriented – fashion internships have become more and more popular. The fashion industry is going through a rough time BUT the internships haven’t stopped – in fact, the amount of internships in the fashion girl continues to increase each day. Resumes from fashion-savvy students come across my desk each day. This  blog entry is dedicated to those students – trying to find the best of the best in the fashion world. Best of luck to you all and I’d love to hear your comments !


1.       IDENTIFY WHAT YOU LIKE. Identify the area(s) within the fashion world that you would like to work. The fashion world involves many different departments, businesses, processes. Are you into fashion publicity, event planning, manufacturing, designing, styling, photography, casting, buying, etc ? Try to narrow your selection down to two or three different parts of the fashion business.


2.       THINK BIG AND BROAD. A foot in the door is a foot in the door. Don’t be too picky when it comes down to selecting what aspect of the business you’d like to start interning within. Learning all aspects of the fashion business will make you a more well-rounded student of that industry. Students with little to no prior internship experience should think even broader about what part of the field they will try to get into. Be open to everything.


Note: I wanted to intern in the entertainment business when I was a junior in college. I interned in publicity, on-air promotions, drama development, and even radio to get a taste of each area of the business. From those experiences I was able to decide what I did want to do and what I didn’t want to do.


3.       LIST YOUR RESOURCES. It’s time to get organized and make a plan. List all of the different book, websites, and people that you can research and contact to get knowledgeable about the fashion world. Think about any individuals you may know, your family may know, your friend know that work in fashion. Find out there email and first/last name and add them to your list. Ask your professors and classmates if they know of any great resources to find fashion internships. Here are some suggestions for you fashion resource list:


·         Intern Queen’s Pages:


Note: Some cool opportunities to check out include

Essence Magazine Internship in New York,,


The Buzz Girls Public Relations Internship in Los Angeles,


Little Society Clothing Company Internship in Los Angeles,


Ports 1961 Luxury Fashion Internship in New York,

Kiva 150, LLC in Atlanta,


Interview Magazine Fashion Internship in NYC,


Headquarters Public Relations in NYC,


BOP/Tiger Beat Magazine Internship in Los  Angeles,


Seventeen Magazine Internship in New York, Internship in Los Angeles or Virtual,


Brides Magazine in New York,


Plus many more on the website !


· (WWD) – – Who better to get job advice from than the makers of WWD magazine ? This site offers internship opportunities and postings for the world’s leading design houses.


·         FREEFASHIONINTERNSHIPS.COM – The site “About Page” starts off, “FreeFashionInternships was created in March 2007 after the founder, Carla Carstens, decided that fashion internship listings should be available for everyone, not just for those who were willing to pay the membership fee most websites required. FreeFashionInternships features internships from all aspects of the industry; from design, print, production, and editorial to marketing, finance, and wholesale merchandising. With listings ranging from couture, action sports, magazines and public relations, as well as a section dedicated to relaying advice and tips to potential interns, FreeFashionInternships is the number one source for fashion internships.”


·         UNIVERSITY OF DREAMS FASHION INTERNSHIPS – If you’d like to sign up for an all-inclusive fashion internship experience U of Dreams might be the way to go. They offer amazing internships with companies like Free People, Dolce and Gabbana, Betsey Johnson, etc.


· – – This is a newsy blog-style job board that talks about openings in the fashion world and industry news in cities all over the country.


·         Global Experiences – – This program offers students the opportunity to go abroad and work at fashion companies in Italy and other countries. I don’t personally know anyone who has participated in this program but it does look interesting.



4.       COME UP WITH YOUR DREAM LIST. I always talk about “The Intern Queen’s Dream List”. This applies to every industry. Now that you have started your research and looked through your resources build you list of ten companies where you see yourself working in the future. Come up with another 10 companies for your list that are similar to your dream companies but exist on a smaller scale. Look into fashion companies that are start-ups but have received some great press. Your list should contain a good mix of large well-known companies and smaller niche brands. While going through the websites listed above, add any interesting companies and internship application information to your dream list.


5.       IDENTIFY YOUR PERSONAL TASTE. Fashion is all about expressing your personal style. It’s a bonus when the company you intern for is also a company that you are passionate about. Look in your closet, research some of the brands you wear daily and try to find out their corporate phone numbers. If you are a big fan of Target or Nordstrom, check out their websites and make note of their corporate numbers as well.


6.       FIND YOUR CONTACTS. Create a brand new Excel File on your computer for your dream list. Next to the name of each of your 20 companies you need to research the company phone number and location of their corporate office (you want to know where you are calling). Keep this information saved – you never know when contacts will be useful in the future. You will need to call each company and ask to speak with the internship coordinator. Tell that person who you are and that you would like to apply for their internship program and ask what the best way to do that is. Make note of their response.


7.       MAKE YOUR SKILLS KNOWN. Fashion student’s have often taken very specific classes in school that define what level they are at skill-wise. Make sure to mention these classes and special training that you have in your cover letter. If you don’t have too much experience on your resume feel free to create a section called “Fashion-Related Coursework” and list the specific names of your relevant fashion classes. If you have sample sketches, clothing, etc include a note at the bottom of the resume that reads “ * References and  Portfolio Materials Available Upon Request.”


8.       IT’S TIME TO REACH OUT.  Make another column in your Excel file labeled “Status”. You will enter the dates that you email or snail mail your materials to each company. I suggest mailing everything at the same time to help keep track of your timeframe. If a company will accept resumes via email – great, go for it.



I asked my friends on Twitter what they thought about Internships in the Fashion World:


romanxcandle@internqueen advice? don’t do it. miserable. totally miserable. That’s why I switched my major to graphic design.


sabrinareid@InternQueen When you get a response on tips for fashion jobs/internships…please tell us!



Advice For International Students Seeking Internships in the United States

30 03 2009

I’m constantly amazed by the amount of International students that find my site and are applying for my internships on Students in France, London, Ireland, Austria, Japan, Canada and Germany are some of the most frequent visitors to my webpages. I read tons and tons of cover letters and resumes displaying ambition and desire to come to the United States and work in the Journalism, Fashion, Publicity, and Entertainment industries. It is interesting that in a time like this we have such strong interest from students abroad to come to the United States and intern – but the numbers are there and increasing daily.

I held 15 internships when I was in college and through all of those internships, I only knew one student (a close friend) that had come from another country, Canada, to intern in New York City. Alyson Campbell (@alyamp3) and I met at NYU where we were both staying for internships during the summer of 2003. Aly was interning at Arista Records at the time (a hard-to-get internship in the music industry). Aly did tell me about the challenge of getting a VISA and coming to the US to intern – but she had a “go getter/can-do” attitude about it and she got it done. Aly loved New York so much that she ended up moving back after graduating college. She now runs a super successful start-up PR Firm called, AMP3 ( We continue to be close friends. If Aly can do it – you can all do it. So get out there and do what you need to do to come to the United States and intern. I asked Aly to explain what she went through and to get her advice for other students:

As a Canadian, interning in the United States was a valuable and life-changing experience for me, because of the industry I was pursuing (music/entertainment business). Finding an internship was no easy feat, though.  I applied to numerous opportunities, but ran into many situations where it required that I was working for college credit (at a US-based college only) or several organizations that simply weren’t willing to go through the time and effort of the due-diligence involved in hiring an international student under the proper regulations.  A word to the wise, if you’re a Canadian student looking to intern in the U.S., you’ll need either a B-1 Visa or a J-1 Visa (both of which can be attained as long as you have a legitimate job offer and you apply at least 6-8 weeks in advance).  The J-1 “trainee” visa is also a great option for recent grads who are open to taking on an internship (verses an entry-level position), as it is a relatively easy work visa to secure, as long as you are within 18 months of when you graduated.  My first internship was between my 3rd and 4th year of university, and looking back, I wish I had been doing internships all along like my girl, The Intern Queen!  My first internship at Arista Records in New York City was truly a life-changing and career-changing opportunity that I will never forget!” 







1.       GET THE INTERNSHIP. Companies will look at your resume even though you live out of the country. Send your materials in like any other student and be sure to include when you plan on coming to the US in your Cover Letter. Find out if your school can provide you with any type of internship credit or recognition. Many companies will wave their “credit only” policy if they see that you are an International student. Apply for as many internships as you can. I normally suggest that US students apply for 10-15 opportunities each semester. As an International Student, I would double that number. Make sure you are aware of the VISA process and what you will need to do to get to the US before getting on the phone with an internship coordinator for an interview. You want to be knowledgeable about the process you have ahead of you. Most internship coordinators will NOT know how to help you get to the United States. You will have to take the lead on this one.

2.       FIGURE OUT WHAT TYPE OF VISA YOU NEED. The number one problem I hear about from International students is getting the proper VISA to visit the United States. The best resource I found for this was on the US DEPARTMENT OF STATE Website, You can search by your specific country and find out what type of VISA you need. Each country has different specifications.

3.       GET YOUR PASSPORT ASAP. Students will definitely need Passports to travel internationally. This is something that can be done quickly but keep in mind it does take 2-4 weeks to get your Passport back. Do this as soon as you decide you will be traveling abroad.

4.       START THE PROCESS EARLY. Getting an International student VISA is a headache in itself. There are so many different forms to fill out and all kinds of documents that need to be prepared. Make a checklist of all of these documents to make the process run as smooth and organized as possible. Examples of documents you may need include: school transcript, any standardized testing scores, bank statements from your parents (proving that they can cover your expenses while in the US), etc. Each student will also need to contact  the local Embassy about setting up an interview. Everyone must set an interview before their VISA can be fully processed.

5.       120 DAY NOTIFICATION. International student VISAS will not be approved or denied until 120 days (or less) before your internship start date. This does cause a bit of a time crunch. Be prepared  for this and make sure to determine when that 120 day mark will be.

6.       KEEP YOUR TIMEFRAME ORGANIZED. The National Homeland Security allows International students to come into the United States only 30 days (or less) prior to the start date of the internship. When you make your travel plans keep this timeframe in mind. If this is a problem, there are several additional “special” permits students can apply for on the US Department of State Website.

7.       HAVE PATIENCE. We all know that this can be a long and drawn out process. Be as patient as you can, use your checklist, and stay calm. Be as respectful as possible to everyone you speak with at the Embassy. Speak with your professors and make sure you are doing everything in your power to help execute the process.

8.       BE FRANK WITH YOUR INTERNSHIP COORDINATOR. Make sure that your internship coordinator understands where you are traveling from and the entire process. You want to come across organized and make sure you sound confident in the process. You want your internship coordinator to feel like they can totally rely on you to be present at your start date. If they feel that you aren’t confident, they might start to feel the same way and get someone else to replace you. Stay in communication with them and let them know that you have everything under control.

9.       MINIMIZE THE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE GAP. There are going to be many challenges when interning in the US. You are dealing with a new language (sometimes), new ways of doing business, and new ways of communicating. Practice your English as frequently as possible and try to read newspaper articles, web articles, magazines, trade publications about the industry you are interning within. It’s important to try and understand the nature of the field you are going into. Conducting research will also help you identify commonly used terms in that field. You want to make the language/culture barrier as minimal as possible.

10.   BE CONFIDENT. Students come to the US everyday to Intern. This can be done. Know that it will work out, know that you will get the paperwork done, and know that you are the ULTIMATE INTERN and that any US company would be LUCKY to have you. A few obstacles never hurt anyone J Good luck !


I asked my friends on Twitter what they thought about International Internships:

Why have the number of International students coming to the US to intern increased ?

jjaime@InternQueen It gives a broader experience, a look at new industries and finally the contacts they make.

hanztarore@InternQueen Cause US is a high standard that they use to increase bargain pwr 🙂 Many still want to work there despite current crisis there.

DisneyEC@InternQueen Because the US is the LAND of OPPORTUNITY and people all over the world realize it, even when we forget at times.

AlyAMP3@InternQueen to answer your other Q about why international students come to the U.S., “It’s all about the American Dream”

katrynad@InternQueen The opportunities in film industry. There is just not the same amount of opportunity here, there never has been.

Kissandtell@InternQueen for me it offered greater opportunities.

internSHARE@InternQueen from what I’ve heard with internSHARE it has a lot to with opening the door for future employment and eventually moving there.

ericleebow@InternQueen it’s because they are not offered the same exact opportunities, and it gives them a reason to travel to the US. Why not?

nateerickson@InternQueen No clue. Do they want Americans overseas or would they rather hire their own?

rosettathurman@InternQueen well, according to all the political pundits, the whole world is having an Obama lovefest, so that may be a factor.

Jmal18@InternQueen awesome esl programs

rjjago@InternQueen The US govn’t. is opening up new internship programs like the W.E.S.T. program for Koreans.

What do you think about International Internships ?

juezou@InternQueen I want to know the answer too since I’m an international student here.

USCherie@InternQueen visa issues aside, why not? Esp for companies interested in global business and the interns have what it takes.

jaime@InternQueen Being international it’s been difficult looking for internships, even if you’re studying in the US.

ambranykol@InternQueen as a former Campus Recruiter I’d say that Int’l students will have better bets going after internships at software companies.

Helpful Links/Resources:

US Dept. of State:

University of Dreams Programs: :









How To Find Local Internships In Your City

27 03 2009



My website and other internship resources can be very helpful when it comes to internships in big cities. It is usually more difficult  to find internships in your local city (especially if it’s a smaller town). I went to school in Tallahassee, Florida for two years. I found two great companies to intern at in Tally. If I could find those places to intern as a Freshman and Sophomore in college, you all can find and grab internship in your city.


How to Find An Internship In Your City


·         IDENTIFY COMPANIES THAT EXCITE YOU. This means it’s time to create your “Intern Queen Dream List”. Part One of this list consists of ten companies (large well-known companies in any part of the world) where you see yourself working after you graduate college. This will help you identify what field you should intern within.  Just thinking about some of these companies should make you feel excited and motivatd. When I was a freshman in college, I wanted to be a magazine writer for an entertainment publication, my list read as follow:




Part 1. Dream Companies.













·         MAKE YOUR SEARCH KNOWN. This means that you (the potential intern) must make the fact that you are in search of an internships in whichever specific field clear to your professors, family, and friends. It’s a small world and you will be surprised to find how many people know people that might work in some capacity in the field of your interest. Also try to connect with your school’s alumni network. They usually have a whole database of professionals in the area. If a parent, friend, or teacher tells you about a specific company, write it down. If they know a particular person at that company, ask them if they mind sending an introductory email or asking them about the company internship application process.



·         IT’S RESEARCH TIME, BABY ! So now, it’s time to do your homework and find companies that serve the same purpose as your dream company, but exist locally. You may already have a head start by speaking to friends and family (as mentioned above). I’m a big advocate of the “” and of “”. Type your specific field into those websites and see what comes up in your area. In my case, I would Google “Tallahassee Magazines”. I would make a list of all of the companies that came up. Alongside their company name, I would look up their phone number and any email addresses I could find on their website. If the company has an internship application off the website, I would suggest filling that out. Don’t stop your research process until you have at least 15 companies on your list.


·         MAKE THE COMPANY A CLOSE  FIT. If you can’t find something in your exact field – don’t sweat it. Try to find something in a related field. For example, I had no luck finding a magazine in Tallahassee, Florida that wanted to work with me so I ended up interning at two publicity firms where I was able to work with magazine writers and build contacts and relationships that way.



·         IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET LIST. This is part two of the “Intern Queen’s Dream List”. Write down 10-15 companies where you will try to get a local internship. Include the company phone number and any relevant information.



·         CALL ‘EM UP. Ready to make some strange phone calls ? Make sure you have your confidence and a clear throat and start dialing. You are going to call every company on your list and say, “Hi, I’d like to speak with the Internship Coordinator Please ?” When you are transferred over to that person you can say, “Hi, Its (your name) from (your school) I wanted to know how I could apply for your internship program  for this coming (which semester) semester.” Make sure you have a pen in hand so you can write down whatever email address they give you.  Also, try to get their first and last name so you can personalize each letter.


·         SEND IN YOUR MATERIALS. Set aside some time to send all of your emails. You want to email each internship coordinator INDIVIDUALLY. NO GROUP EMAILS. The body of the email should have a small note referencing your conversation and stating your interest in the internship program and that your materials (Resume and Cover Letter) are attached.


·         FOLLOW UPS. When applying for local internships that aren’t formal with deadlines and a heavy number of applicants, I suggest an email follow up two weeks after you send in your materials. So mark the date on your calendar when you send the emails and then mark the date of follow-up for two weeks after. Follow-up emails should be short, sweet, and to the point. An example would be, “Hi  _____ (their name), I wanted to follow up about the internship opportunity. Hope you are having a great week. Look forward to speaking soon. Best, (your name).





Here’s What My Friends On Twitter Had to Say:

AdrienneBailey@InternQueen Find out what recent graduates in the area are doing– they usually have some good connections!

smaloy@InternQueen The most important thing is probably to be willing to do an unpaid internship. And then just call every place you can think of!


Other Helpful Links:

Employment Spot:

High School Internships Increase in Tough Economy

26 03 2009


When I graduated college in 2006, having an internship in high school was uncommon. Times are changing, and this year I received hundreds of resumes from high school students wanting to compete for high caliber internship programs. Student’s are becoming more motivated and focused due to the economic climate and the constant economy conversation. Why should high school students start to think about internships ? I’ve put together some observations that I’ve noted about high school students and why internships have a place in their academic lives.



·         THE STUDENT’S CAN GET SCHOOL RECOGNITION. If a high school student can speak with their guidance counselor about creating some sort of credit system, where the internship can be recognized in some way on the student’s transcript, high school student’s should be allowed to intern. Many high schools across the country have started to create internship programs and classes for their students to optionally participate in. High school students are always getting college credit for certain classes and different types of college recognition on their high school transcript. Internships would provide similar credit/recognition.  I do encourage companies to consider high school applicants, however, do make sure that the student is receiving some sort of school-related credit. I suggest that employers take the time to contact the student’s guidance counselor and parent (assuming they are under 18) to make sure the situation is kosher.


·         HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HAVE THE TIME. Many high school students are out from school as early as 12:30 or 1PM each day. This allows them to have time to get to the office and work for a few hours in the afternoons. I recommend high school student’s only intern 2-3 days per week and only for 2-3 hours per day. Keep the workload light. This is a first experience and a huge learning experience. It’s important to get good grades in high school so that needs to be a priority right along side your internship. If a student is juggling an internship and a job or after-school activity, try interning a few hours in the afternoon 2-3 days per week and then working in the evenings or interning on the days you have off from practice.



·         HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HAVE THE SUMMER ! Most high school l students do nothing but work and play during the summer. An internship is a very interesting element to add to the bunch. Students could intern a few days per week and then work in the late afternoon/early evenings and make time for their friends on the weekends or on their nights off. Summer is a great stretch of time to really take advantage of. Most students have about 12 weeks off for the summertime, I suggest trying to get an internship for 6-8 of those weeks. As for the other weeks, give yourself time to relax !


·         THEY HEAR ABOUT THE ECONOMY ALL DAY. Let’s face it, you can’t turn on the TV, sit down at the dinner table, walk into a store without hearing something about the state of today’s economy. High school student’s hear it all of the time and it’s forcing them to really start thinking about their personal futures. Internships are a way for them to stop talking and start participating. Starting to intern in high school is a great way for student’s to play an active part in their future.


·         A GENERATION OF DO-ERS. Studies have shown that student’s are loosing interest in the “Bad Girl” trends that covered the media in the past years. Student’s no longer want to follow the rebellious ways of celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, they want to see “pure role-models”. They want  to take actions into their own hands and really be involved and change the world. Thanks to public figures like Barack Obama, student’s have taken a large interest in Politics and the ways of our world. Internships allow students to take hold of their lives and start setting goals for themselves at a young age.


·         THEY WILL BE FRONT RUNNERS. I always talk about the importance of having internships on your resume before you graduate college. 70 percent of college students have internship experience on their resume before they graduate (NACE), can you imagine how much that number will increase over the next few years ? With student’s starting as young as high school, not only will the amount of student’s with internships increase, but the number of internships these student’s have is going to increase as well. All of these high school students are going to be prepared and one step ahead of the game. When it comes to interviewing for college internships, these student’s are going to grab them ! This will also look FANTASTIC on their college applications !


·         THEY CAN ESTABLISH GREAT CONTACTS AND LETTERS OF REC. High schoolinterns can get great letters of recommendation to use for their college applications at these internships. You never know where your internship coordinator or the head of the company went to school. Many company heads have great alumni resources and connections as far as getting into a great school and meeting great people. Making these contacts early on will help your college apps and head you in the direction of some great jobs and internships in the future.


·         HIGH SCHOOL ARE LIVING AT HOME. I think the “home” advantage is actually a big one. Most college students have to fully take care of themselves, feed themselves, transport themselves to and from their internships, etc. High school students can oftentimes rely on parents to transport them to and from their internships. They usually have dinner prepared for them by their parents so they don’t need to worry about this expense. Having parents help out with internships can have a very positive affect.


·         HIGH SCHOOL  STUDENTS CAN LEARN ABOUT THE REAL WORLD. What better way to teach students about the real world then to place them in the workplace for a few hours each week and let them help and observe what goes on. This environment provides a bit of a reality shock to the students. This opportunity allows them to really visualize their future and envision what they are constantly told they need to work so hard for. This also provides them the opportunity to identify their likes and dislikes regarding certain careers, departments in a company, office atmospheres, etc. Students are always told the importance of traits like punctuality and cooperativeness – this provides a clear understanding of why these character traits are so important.



I Asked my Friends on Twitter What They  Thought About High school Internships…


larryperry@InternQueen HS Students don’t have the resume to be successful at an internship otherwise you wouldn’t need a degree for the actual job.

dancenhance@InternQueenI think it’s a great opportunity for highschoolers to intern if they are mature enough to appreciate the opportunity.

findingurstyle@InternQueen i went to business high school, interned w a financial regulatory firm my last year or so – great idea, teaches responsibility.

staceyzur@InternQueen I think its the best thing in the world teaches them real world skills.

fashionintern@InternQueeni’ve been getting SO many requests for internships for high schoolers! is it even legal? I only know 1 person who actually did.

nateerickson@InternQueenI feel like the HS schedule & extracurrics aren’t very accommodating to most internships, but if they can find the time, great!

tiffyloob @InternQueen I interned during high school and loved it! I got more fulfillment participating in my internship than sports/ student govt.

kyenne@InternQueenI personally don’t think high schoolers should be interning.. I can understand job shadowing but they don’t have the skills yet.

StaciStringer@InternQueen it’s bound to happen, but not yet, especially in this economy, leave the jobs for those who really need them!

skimtheocean@InternQueeni’m trying to teach the appreciation of internships to my brother. it’ll raise the bar in college and ultimately the workplace!

pamasaur@InternQueenOpinion on HS interns: Emphasis should be put on community service..shifting to internships would reduce HS comm svc.

simplyann@InternQueen we’ve had 3 HS students intern for us. they’re amazing!

simplyann@InternQueen absolutely! If it were up to me, HS juniors and seniors would have mandatory internship hours.

marrazcaeta@InternQueenI know a friend of mine interned in high school through a school program and Digitas Chicago last summer had a h.s intern.

Rachel_366@internqueen I think it depends on how you define internship. I had an “internship” in high school where I shadowed someone…

MikeWilson51@InternQueendepends on whether or not that person can add value to your organization. However higher ed. is a good screener in some cases.

LaurenZahn@internqueeni think internships should be reserved for college students since they’re hard enough to find already, we dont want to compete!

JILawson@InternQueenas a small buisness owner I think it’s great that students get as much real world experience as they can.

myfirstpaycheck@InternQueen High School students should absolutely work as interns sometimes 🙂 In the end it depends on the job and responsibilities.

rileykaminer@InternQueen I’m a High School student that interns, so totally!

lizrose91@InternQueen I was an intern, and I think it is a wonderful opportunity, as long as the student is responsible.

LL_Thatch@InternQueenI believe HS-ers should participate in internships because many students have a false sense of what a specific job requires.

katieabbo@InternQueenMy hs interns are great. I work w/about 6 during the school yr and 10+ in summer (for 2 wks or so). But that’s at a teen mag.

jocelleuntalan @InternQueen I think it’s a great opportunity to intern during H.S., but I think it would be much harder to balance esp. w/child labor laws.

afmarble@internqueen It was an “intern” class in HS that led me to pursue a different degree in college. I think it is a great idea.

smaloy@InternQueen I did two internships when I was in high school and I think it was very useful, both in giving me a head start and giving me…

lauraschroeder@InternQueen there’s a high school student at my internship right now, she mainly helps the interns out.

Other Helpful Links on High school Internships:

Career Explorations has a great high school internship program run by a friend of mine: on high school internships:

Microsoft High School Internship Program:


Start An Internship Program For Your Company

24 03 2009

Attention Employers  ! This blog is written just for you. I get hundreds of employers contacting me each week and asking if they can start an internship program. The answer is, YES ! I put together a few tips for companies trying to launch internship programs.

How to Launch An Internship Program

  • PICK AN INTERNSHIP COORDINATOR. If your company is big or small you should have one person that is in charge of your internship program. I would suggest giving this responsibility to some sort of assistant or junior level position. If your receptionist or office secretary is a high turn-over job, give this responsibility to someone more permanent. This person will be in charge of collecting resumes, promoting the position, sorting resumes, coordinating interviews, and providing work and space for the interns.


  • OUTLINE YOUR PROGRAM. Ask yourself and other employees  what you want to accomplish by starting an internship program. Create a mission statement. An example could be “The Intern Queen Internship Program provides students with a hands-on experience. I show them how a start-up is run, the daily tasks that go into managing a business, and have them help out with brainstorming, necessary organizational and administrative tasks, social media, press releases, and marketing campaigns while taking their future interests into consideration and providing each student with a personal mentor and guide throughout the duration of their internship.”


  • MAKE EACH TASK BENEFICIAL FOR BOTH PARTIES. I suggest each company make a list of the types of tasks that interns should be asked. Before making this list, think about the “double-sided benefit” of each task. Each task delegated to an intern should serve two purposes: 1. The task should be of assistance/benefit to the employer. 2. The tasks should be of benefit for the intern to learn how to do.    They should be able to find this useful in some manner for their future.


  • ACCEPTABLE TASKS. Employers must assume that most interns come into the workplace with little to no prior experience. Therefore, any filing, copying, phone answering, database sorting, cold calling, pitching, sitting in on meetings, faxing, typing up reports are all acceptable tasks for intern. Internships have a bad reputation of being all about making coffee and running personal errands. Every once in a while, a personal errand or a coffee is necessary to make something in the company run smoothly. For the sake of your companies internship program and for the sake of the intern, try to keep the personal errands and coffee runs to a minimum. Interns are definitely a convenience in the office but try to assign them to tasks that are mutually beneficial. Having an outlined list of company “acceptable intern tasks” will help make sure that all employees understand what  they can and cannot ask of their interns.


  • OFFER SCHOOL CREDIT.Many internships are unpaid and that is the nature of the word. Unpaid internships are fine as long as College Credit is offered. The big misconception about college credit is that the company needs to do something about it. College Credit actually lies in the  hands of the student and their specific career center. Before interviewing a student, ask them via email if they can receive some sort of college credit or transcript recognition for their internship. The student will have to ok it with their career center at school and then will provide you with an answer. I encourage to you make sure student’s can get some sort of credit/recognition before you interview them. Once the school tells the student that they are able to receive college credit for the internship, the student will bring in papers for the company to sign. Depending on the school, the papers might consists of a company summary, biweekly evaluations for the employer or student to fill out, and usually some sort of “end of internship” evaluation for the employer to sign. This is the school’s way of keeping track of the student and making sure they are attending their internship. Companies should advertise that they are providing college credit for students interning at the company.


  • KNOW YOUR INTERN’S GOALS AND STRENGTHS.During the interview process, make sure your internship coordinator asks the student’s if they have any work-related knowledge of the internet, programs, social media networks, etc. Many students have already incorporated different social media sites into their lives. They can easily bring this knowledge and use it as an asset to your company. Many companies rely on interns to run their social media campaigns and profiles. It’s also important to know where your interns want to go. If they are really interested in PR, put them in your press department. If a student tells me they want fashion, I give them all fashion related clients and projects to work on.


  • SELECT YOUR DATES – BE SPECIFIC.To keep your company organized, and your internship program in control, set some company internship dates. I always have the internship coordinators I work with set up 3 folders in their inbox: Fall Resumes (to be looked at July 15th), Spring Resumes (to be looked at October 15th), and Summer Resumes (to be looked at March 1st – 15th). They can properly file each resume into the corresponding folder until those dates. This is so they don’t get caught up looking at resumes all day long. I suggest running Fall Internships from September 15th – December 1st, Spring Internships from January 15th – April 1st, and Summer Internships from June 1st – August 1st. These are approximations of course. I suggest always bringing interns in on a Tuesday or Wednesday for the first time, never a Monday. Things in the office tend to get crazy and the interns get ignored on Mondays.


  • BLOCK SCHEDULE YOUR INTERVIEWS. Have your internship coordinator block out 2 hours in one day to schedule a few different internship phone interviews. I always encourage people to do phone interviews first. For the summer, phone interviews are often times the only interview because many students are traveling to the locations for the summer. Phone interviews can tell you if you can really communicate with the intern. If they cannot hold a phone conversation, that is not a good sign – don’t waste your time bringing them in for as in-person interview.


I’ll be sure to write some more notes on these sorts of topics in the future. I know I get requests for information all of the time. If companies want to post internships on my site, simply email me and put POST AN INTERNSHIP in the subject line. I’ll email you back with the forms to fill out. It costs $35.00 to post with me. You can add/change/remove/edit your listing whenever you’d like.

I asked my friends on Twitter for ideas on Starting An Internship Program:

Jmal18@InternQueenthey def. need to accessible through the website and have an actual contact person instead having to track ppl down for info. (

LotusEvangelist@InternQueen define it before you hire for it. (

nateerickson@InternQueen get on twitter and let people know. i guarantee they’ll have no trouble finding lots of interest. (

NancyVanLeuven@InternQueen My 2: Come up with meaningful intern work, somebody commits to supervising folks, make it worthwhile for all. (

Helpful Links on Starting an Internship Program

UCR Career Center Blog:

Washcoll on Starting and Maintaining an Internship Program:

InternWeb on Designing an Internship Program:

How To Manage An Internship AND A Job

23 03 2009


The number one excuse I hear from students on why they cannot intern is, “I have to work over the summer. I can’t intern for no pay.” Ladies and Gentleman, I have exciting news ! It IS possible to have both a summer internship and a summer job. With the proper time management skills, you can have the best of both worlds. Income is top priority but internships are extremely important as well. With the job market in the state that it is, internships are a way to ensure that you are properly prepared to get out there in the real world.

INTERN QUEEN STORY: The summer between my Sophmore and Junior Year of college, I interned in Los Angeles. I interned Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9AM – 3PM at BWR Public Relations – a high-profile celebrity Public Relations Firm. I interned on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10AM – 4PM at Warren Cowan Public Relations – a boutique Publicity Firm. I worked at Islands (Fine Burger Joint) Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 5:30PM – 11PM and Sunday mornings from 10AM – 2PM. Anything is possible. Pick your schedule and then go make it happen.


Ways to Manage Your Job AND Your Internship

·         KNOW YOUR NEEDS. Make a list of what you NEED to do over the summer. If you need to make a certain amount of money, write that down. Also, tally up the amount of hours each day you must work in order to make that kind of money.


·         WORK AT NIGHT. If you don’t have a summer job yet I suggest looking for a “night” job like waiting tables. If you can find a job that doesn’t require you to be there until 5 or 6PM that is ideal.


·         MAKE YOUR HOURS. Look at your schedule and figure out which hours you can realistically devote to an internship. If you wait tables every night from 5PM -11PM, you could be available to intern 5 days per week from 8 or 9AM until 3 or 4PM. If you have a job that requires you to work during the day, try to block schedule. Perhaps you can work 3 days per week from 9AM – 6PM and then intern 2 days per week from 9AM – 6PM.


·         INTERNSHIPS CAN BE FLEXIBLE. Most companies will be flexible and will understand that  you need to work and support yourself. Most of my summer internships only required me to be there 2-3 days per week. Be honest and explain your situation clearly.


·         MANAGE YOUR EMPLOYER’S EXPECTATIONS. With both your employer and you internship coordinator be very specific with them about your time commitments. Don’t  say that you might be able to stay past 4PM some days at your internship if you must be at work at 5PM. Don’t over commit yourself. Decide which hours you 100 percent can commit and tell those hours to your boss.


·         BE PUNCTUAL AND ALERT. Since you will be splitting your time, it’s important to be extremely punctual. You want to show both employer’s that you can juggle two things at once and it won’t cause you to be late, procrastinate, etc. If you are tired, hide it! Make sure that you are bright eyed at your internship and at your job. Both places won’t want someone that  seems to be “dragging”.


·         BE PREPARED. If you know you have to go from one place to another quickly – be organized. I’m really big on Snack Bars (granola bars or fruit bars) or packing a sandwich to eat during your in-between time. Also, make sure you pack a bag with whatever change of clothes you will need, any information you need to bring, water bottle, snacks, etc.


·         SHOW THAT YOU CAN HANDLE IT. If you excel at both places that means double the letters of recommendation, double the experience, double the number of items to add  to your resume. Your parents, employers, co-workers, fellow interns will all be impressed.

Tips From Time Management Coach, Elizabeth Saunders (

“The key to balancing a job and internship over the summer is to find complementary matches. For instance, if you’re passionate about interior design and want to intern at an architecture firm during the day, seek out a job that values people working nights and weekends (such as a restaurant). On the other hand, if you dream of being on the nightly news and want to intern at a TV station, look at jobs like doing administrative work during the day at a temp agency.


By finding complementary positions, you can avoid conflicts and stress over scheduling everything in–you’re happy and you’re manager is happy.”




I asked my friends on Twitter what they thought about managing a summer job and a summer internship:

jocelleuntalanIcon_lock@InternQueen It’s all about priority. An internship provides the practical experience you need for the future; a job is a job, not ur career.

mzmadness@InternQueen wow! i’m desperate for that answer. i work full time & go to school so if there are any suggestions, i’d love to hear them.

AMCreations@InternQueen It helps if you have a job w/night hours, or an understanding boss that’s willing to keep you with less hours for a few months.

PRluna@InternQueen Be up front and honest with your employers from the start; tell them you appreciate their flexibility.

MNMarquez@InternQueen During the school year, I usually have a part-time internship and work around 20 hrs a week at Starbucks. It can be done.

MiaMcK@InternQueen find an internship that only requires 1-3 days so that u can work it around ur school/job schedule.

marissa_green13@InternQueen It’s about scheduling and making sure you aren’t spreading yourself too thin with either one.

katmaund@internqueen time management skills are ESSENTIAL. im managing an internship, job, community service, and 6 classes.

MashM@InternQueen time management skills!

gradspotguru@InternQueen In college, I thought the people who got library jobs were on the ball — you basically get paid to do your own work.

JillianMoss@InternQueen It takes a lot of time management. I did it last semester with ft school, a job, and an internship. Just takes a lot of focus.

Sarah_Bella@InternQueen Usually internships only require 20-30 hours so that leaves weeknights & weekends to make that money! Stinks not having a life but the internship experience is totally worth it!! What you sow so shall you reap!

jjaime@InternQueen The day has 24 hours…it’s all about what the job is about and that it is on a different time than the internship. For example: Internship from 9 to 4 and job from 6 to 10. Considering a part time job.

RazChorev@InternQueen they do as Nike told them – JUST DO IT! party less, and work more…

gonzomehum@InternQueen Intern in the mornings, work in the evenings, party on the weekends. Just replace work with school when summer ends.

theresajohnson@InternQueen If the internship was paid or if both were part-time. This takes a lot of sacrifice.







Do Interns Become Entrepreneurs ?

16 03 2009

I’m a HUGE advocate for internships. This year has been all about starting my business and creating internship awareness through my listings, blogs, advice, tweets, appearances, speeches, etc. I’ve met all kinds of individuals – mostly students, employers, other career experts, parents, and professors. One of my observations, is that many students that were interns in college have now started their own business. Are there stats on this ? Not yet. This is just a correlation that I’ve observed.

Reasons Interns Become Entrepreneurs

1. INTERNS START THEIR CAREER PATH EARLY. As an intern, you are placed in an office environment at a young age. The earlier you intern, the earlier you start thinking about your professional life. At school, students speak about weekend plans, getting “wasted”, parties, tests, homework, study groups. In the work place, people discuss their futures. The number one question I was asked at my first internship was “So where do you want to go from here ? What’s next?” I had never really been asked that before. My parents cared about me getting good grades. My friends cared about partying,  boys, and when I was available for a trip to the mall. My teachers cared about my grades and attendence. No one had asked about my future. As an entrepreneur, I’m always thinking, “What’s next ? What’s the bigger picture here?”

2. INTERNS LEARN NOT TO GIVE UP. I learned not to give up and to always try all of your options when I got rejected from several internships as a freshman. I dealt with “internship/job-related rejection” at a very young age (18). When I was ready to start my own business, I was very used to this kind of rejection. I think that rejection is what stops lots of people from starting their own business – the fear of rejection. I got over this fear at a young age. I get different types of rejections every day, running my company, but it just makes me try different options and encourages me to keep trucking along.

3. INTERNS MUST GET THINGS DONE – EFFICIENTLY. If you’ve ever had a demanding internship, you know what it’s like to feel rushed and under pressure. My second internship was at BACKSTAGE – theatre trade publication – in New York City. The paper was published twice per week and the office was insane. I had never been around such chaos and personalities in my life. After getting yelled at for not completing an assignment on time, I realized that you don’t have all of the time in the world to complete things. Tasks must be done asap. In my business life, certain companies/people take weeks to get things done. I wouldn’t have my company if I couldn’t get the work done at a rapid pace.

4. INTERNS LEARN RESPONSIBILITY.  During my college career as an intern, I learned the “No One is Capable” mentality. This meant that I was to assume no one was good at their jobs and take everything into my own hands. It was my responsibility to make sure things got done efficiently. As an entrepreneur, we learn that we must be involved with everything – especially at the beginning. I am always involved with every part of my business. I never asssume that someone else will get the job done.

5. INTERNS LEARN THE SATISFACTION OF ACCOMPLISHING A GOAL. Interning is still a newer idea – for both parents and students. The idea of interning becoming a necessity for students is also a new idea. Many students set the goal of achieving one internship before graduating college. If the student achieves this goal, before graduating, they get to think about what is next and what their next goal will be. If you would have asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up (as a freshman in college) I would have said, “A writer.” I interned and then worked for several magazines all through college. As a junior in college, I wanted to be in Publicity. After about 4 or 5 publicity internships, I was ready to move on to the next goal which was running my own business.

What do my Tweeps Think ?

“Not sure it’s causal, but maybe internship experience provides valuable foundational skills for entrepreneurship.” @sweetcareers,

“Some entrepreneurs find that they need to build their own thing at internships. Some others learn what is needed there.” @jjaime,

“Every job I ever had (the few that is) were working for really exciting entrepreneurs!” @ysnjen, 

 Have You Interned and Do you Want to Start a Business ?

“Yes.Zackery Moore, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Cayenne Creative. PR and social marketing.” @zakmo

” I’m Rebecca Eltzroth, my company is Ball and Buck, I interned at local music mgmt firm, maax, the empower program, Sen. Olympia Snowe. @ballandbuck, Owns an organic clothing company,

“Yes. Megan Marquez, DePaul. Intern: atBig City Bride, Jasculca/Terman, Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago Symphony Orchestra.” @MZMarquezs.

” I interned @ a black owned cosmetics company (Clear Essence Cosmetics) and i mean, it’s 2009 evry1 is tryin 2 b their own boss.” @MiaMcK

 “I interned at American Cancer Society. I doubt I’d ever start my own business.” @RaylondoCaved.

 “I am interning for The Henry Ford this semester. Yes, I think about it. in 12 years I would like to have a viable corporation.” @jrdbryan

“I would work 4 someone, but also have my own thing on the side. best of both worlds.” @MiaMCK

“PR agencies and a hospital. I’ve never really considered starting my own business, but maybe later down the road.” @heatherdamico.

“All of the time. Not a current intern but I completed 5 before graduating last Aug.” @marerockcity.

Helpful Links: Internships Create Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurial Opporutnity on TechCrunch: