Interview with the Intern Queen

I had a great opportunity to speak with Lauren Berger (aka the Intern Queen) on the phone last week.  Lauren started to help college students connect with employers for internships.  The website is a great resource for anyone looking for an internship.  You’ll find advice, true stories, and listings.  Lauren Berger just published her book All Work, No Pay and I think it’s a great tool for college students.  I actually bought it for Sporty Sister for Valentine’s Day 🙂

As part of the interview, I asked Lauren to share five things she wished someone had told her before starting the interning process!

(Sound familiar? I feel like so many times people tell you generic advice, but asking what they wished someone had just told them brings out random tidbits that are so useful!)

Here’s what Lauren wishes she had known:
1.  You can get an internship
No matter what year you are in school and no matter what industry you’re interested in, you can find an internship!  Just because you’re a first year doesn’t mean that you can’t start building that resume.
            Lauren remarked that people might say that “you can’t get an internship because you’re only a freshman,” but you shouldn’t take no for an answer.  It’s something you CAN achieve.
A lot of people said that she couldn’t when she was a freshman, and yet… she did!
[Side note: Lauren had FIFTEEN internships over her four years at college.]
2. Apply for more than one opportunity
Lauren highly recommends applying for many internships.  Basically, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.  
            The target number of internships to apply for?  Ten per semester!
Why?  See Number Three:
3.  Rejection is going to happen.
Getting rejected from internships will happen.  “Get ready, get over it, and let’s move forward,” Lauren says.  Rejections might be nice, not so nice, or even downright nasty.  It’s important to know that rejection will happen so that you’re prepared and can move on to the next big thing!
4.  Respect your coordinators time!
When you first get your internship don’t swarm the coordinator with emails every other day.  The coordinator is likely extremely busy and tons of emails with various questions will overwhelm (if not annoy) her.  Lauren says that doing this makes coordinators feel like “you’re only thinking about your point of view” and not considering the other person’s time valuable.  Not a good way to start off the internship!  Don’t worry though, you are allowed to have questions.  Instead: chill out, take a deep breathe, and send all your questions in one email.
5.  Always add value
No matter what you are doing in the office, make sure that you’re always adding value to the situation.  Constantly think, “How can I make the most of my time and add value to this situation?”  Sometimes your time in the office will be slow and you might not have anything specific to do.
It’s a myth to think that  the only time you’re useful is when you’re assigned tasked.  Lauren admitted that at her first internship she would sit around reading magazines when there wasn’t anything to do.
If you’re not sure… Get up and think to yourself and how can I add value.  You may want to do some personal research by reading industry publications.  Or you can look around the office and help someone else.  Whatever it is, make sure you’re adding value.
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I'd love to read more about finding that perfect internship. It's like I don't even know where to start at this point! Thanks InternQueen and College Prepster!!!!


As a junior looking for an internship this summer, I'd love some tips and whatnot 🙂 Thank you InternQueen and CP 🙂

Meg Lane

I'm a freshman in college who will be applying for internships starting next year! This book would be an awesome resource to have!


I would love to get real advice and help concerning internships, especially as a young college student attending a co-op univeristy!

Southern Charm

I'm so interested in reading this bok!! The university always gives ou generic advice, but I want to know the nitty gritty details of someone who has actually done it al!! Love the post, thanks so much for doing it! 🙂


I wish there were more internships for my majors in my area. I can't travel too much because I'm married so I'm stuck in my college town trying to compete for the few that we have.


this post was so insightful! I definitely think there is so much I could learn from her book to better my resume and get the internships i want!


She's an alum of my college, so we heard advice from her all the time! Definitely helpful information!

Lauren Alyse

Unfortunately Speech Path majors can't get an internship until after we finish with undergrad, but I'm looking at getting one in a related field so I at least have SOME experience!


I just got my dream internship this summer at a Magazine in Boston! I contacted a few people at the magazine first and got the information of some past interns so I could ask them about it. It didn't hurt that I had freelanced for them before, either!

Allie Abroad

I really really really want an internship this summer. I am in the international affairs/human rights field, so finding an internship is super competitive! Being fluent in English and Spanish with basic knowledge of French, Danish, and Portuguese just isn't enough. I should have taken Arabic the first semester I started college, as so much of the type of international affairs I am interested in is focused on the Middle East. So far I have applied to 17 internships, some in Atlanta, DC, and NY. Unfortunately, I can only land an internship in my related field in the summer because I go to school in Richmond, VA, which is not swarming with international affairs…. I plan to apply to many more as their deadlines approach. Wish me luck!!!


I'd really love to have more information about how to get an internship, especially one in the medical field because I am going to school for nursing. Is her book just about business internships or is broad spectrum with the medical field included?

Laura S.

I love this one, and it's so funny because half of my day today is devoted looking up internships/ editing the resume. Anything that could give me more information on internships would be great.


I would really love to read this book to help me gain insight on how to actually get an internship. I'm looking at going to graduate school for history, which requires a TON of work. So anything will really help!


My dream internship was the one I already had at Teen Vogue in the photo/editorial department. I have yet to find another that I love as much.


I definitely agree with the advice "always add value." Although I had to do a lot of menial tasks at my internship last summer, it was worth it for the opportunity to shadow people in my field, and be involved in some of the more creative and challenging tasks that came my way.


I am a senior in High School. I have had one internship so far and it was a great experience. I worked at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok for a month. I can't wait to have more internships in college. I would love to work in NYC or Boston 🙂


I'm a sophomore and I had an internship last summer. It was in a field I thought I was interested in and I found out that I'd rather try something else. Right now I am looking for an internship in a completely different field. I think internships are a good way to test out fields and make connections.


This certainly sounds like a must have in any college student's library. It would be a great tool to have.

Amy H.

my dream internship would be working at jcrew headquarters!! i've worked at jcrew retail stores and i love the products! i would love to learn what goes on as part of the creative process and interact with the men and women that create the signature jcrew style!


Right now, I have an ongoing internship, but I would love to have a paid one! I think internships are a great tool for employers to test out potential employees before committing.


I've done several internships and I highly recommend them. They are perfect for figuring out what you want to do and what you DON'T want to do!! I am in law school, but my dream internship would be with Lilly Pulitzer!

Online College

My favorite part about performing live is just that…performing. I had a panic attack that really freaked me out. I couldn't leave my house for a week or so because I was afraid of it happening again… My most memorable show was two weeks after this adorable breakdown. I was able to suck it up and perform for a packed show at the Roxy…It was the first time I really truly opened up to the audience and showed my vulnerability by explaining what happened. The love and support was overwhelming, and it was my most honest performance to date.