Archive for February, 2011
We can all remember the cafeteria scene in high school—a time of the day that reminded us all too clearly that we were defined by who we sat with. I learned that the same applies in the corporate world. The only difference? As an intern you have more power than the head cheerleader when it comes to where you sit and who you sit with. Use that power wisely!
Lunch is a powerful hour for interns, especially those in a larger office setting. Here are some tips about how to make the most of that hour every day of the week.
- Monday: Schedule lunch with other interns in the office. While students constantly hear how important it is to network with professionals, remember that the interns next to you can be just as powerful of a resource when it comes to the job hunt post-grad. For me, lunch with fellow interns was an informal time to catch up on the past weekend and learn about the projects they were working on.
- Tuesday: Schedule lunch with your boss or direct report. I’m sure your boss is super busy, especially in the corporate world where it’s common for people to work through the lunch hour. However, encourage your boss to sit down for 30 minutes and grab lunch with you. This is a great time to informally get to know them and ask if there’s anything you can help them with that week.
- Wednesday: Schedule lunch with a VP. I was the only intern bold enough to put time on my VP’s calendar at a past internship and it paid off! Find someone in upper management and simply ask them how they got to where they are now. The conversation is sure to fill up the lunch hour. It will also show your team members how confident and professional you are. (Hint: if you’re having trouble scheduling time, reach out to their secretary for help!)
- Thursday: Schedule lunch with someone outside of your department. While marketers tend to stick with marketers, getting to know employees in graphics, HR and finance is always a good idea. I used to ask my boss who she thought would be good to meet with in other departments and reach out to them.
- Friday: Schedule lunch with your team. My team was always too busy to all sit down together. As an intern, I took it upon myself to put a team lunch on the calendar on as many Fridays as possible. It was a great way for us to bond and make time to get to know each other. If you’re feeling really crafty, plan a potluck lunch and reserve a conference room for everyone to feast in.
While some interns strive to show they are committed and work through their lunch hour, I believe that they’re missing out on so many great opportunities that the lunch hour has to offer.
When I first started interning with Lauren Berger, the Intern Queen, I was like one of those girls in the front row at NSYNC concerts: kind of all melty and overly excited at the thought of the Intern Queen or anything to do with InternQueen.com. I was so excited to be working for the Intern Queen! But I have to admit, interning with the queen was pretty intimidating at first. I felt like I could mention any company or any person in the world and Lauren would know who they were. I was playing with the big kids now!
After the first week or so I wasn’t as nervous and felt a lot more comfortable with my day-to-day tasks. About a month into my internship, I was sending Lauren about 20 confused emails a day BUT still getting used to it. Now, after almost two months of interning, I feel at home. But I never thought I’d learn so much!
While I still get up every morning and put on my “I Love InternQueen.com” tshirt on under my civilian clothes, a lot has changed since starting my internship. I’m here to tell the five things I’ve learned while interning for the Intern Queen.
1. Most of the people who work for the big companies of your dreams really aren’t as scary as you might think! (But some of them are.)
Working for the Intern Queen, I am in direct contact with at least 20 companies a day. Most people I talk to, even with their full schedules are really nice and make time to talk and work with you. I was sure that I was going to feel like Matilda vs. Ms.Trunchbull on every call I made or email I wrote. But, don’t tell them you heard it from me, but professionals are actually nice and willing to help interns (even ones that aren’t their own). AND, best of all, most even treat you like you’re a professional yourself. You’ll always run into a few who seem like they woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Just know that they’re the minority!
2. I choose the best degree that any college could offer.
I am a communication and public relations major. In every class I’ve taken in college my teachers have always said: “Communication is the most important part of the job. In any job!” While I knew that communication was important, part of me just thought they were trying to make themselves feel good about their jobs. But, I was wrong. I’ve used my degree so much in the past two months that I’m thinking of giving my teachers a raise! Communicating effectively really is the most important part of being an intern!
3. Twitter is my friend.
Twitter and I have always had a casual relationship. We were never really serious. However, after two months of working out my Twitter Muscle, I’m in love. Not only is Twitter great for networking, it’s fun! Internships are a great way to test yourself, which leads me to number 4.
4. I know A LOT more than I thought I did.
Internships are the best way to get to know yourself and test your boundaries. You don’t know your limits or how strong you are until you’ve had a great internship that allows you to explore those things for yourself. Can’t never could, people! This is EXACTLY why internships are so important before you go out into that big and scary world!
5. If you love what you’re doing, you’ll go far.
Finding a company that you like and one that you can be passionate about will make all the difference! You don’t have to go as far as me and act all teenage-girl-meets-boy-band, but knowing about the company that you’re interning for and finding something about that company that you feel strongly about can really change your experience. Being passionate about your internship and getting really involved will also help you be more comfortable sharing your ideas and giving your input. You could really make a difference. Not to mention how much more easily you can speak about an internship you opened up to in an interview.
This semester’s Intern Queen Phone Session sessions will kick off Monday February 28 at 7 p.m EST.
What is Intern Queen Phone?
Every Monday we will feature a new internship coordinator from some of our top companies and you will have the chance to ask them questions and interact with them directly on a phone call.
When will the calls take place?
This is a series of conference calls that the Intern Queen will be hosting every Monday from Feb. 28 to April 11.
I’m really excited about our lineup for the next few weeks! Remember, this is summer internship time so having the opportunity to ask these employers questions about the intern responsibilities and what they look for in candidates is key.
Here is the line up for Intern Queen Phone:
Monday February 28- Versa from Gorgeous PR at 7 p.m. EST
Monday March 7- Ashley from Haute Life PR at 7 p.m. EST
Monday March 14- Arianna from Reveille Productions at 7 p.m. EST
Monday March 21- Katy from The Conan Show at 4 p.m. EST
Monday March 28- Lauren from BWR PR at 7 p.m. EST
Monday April 4- Fiona from Stephanie Churchill PR at 5 p.m. EST
Monday April 11- Ross from Sirus XM Radio at 7 p.m. EST
This is a paid service. Students can subscribe to each call for $4.99. Students should send money in via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sign up for calls and send in questions up to one day before the call. This is really a priceless program and, as you’ve heard since you were young, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know! Networking is key! So, join us for an Intern Queen Phone session and start making valuable connections!
*If you would like to register or receive more info, please email email@example.com and we will provide you with all more information.
This is a guest post by our Intern Queen Campus Ambassador Grace Gavilanes from Hofstra University.
In my freshman year of college, I was convinced I was going to end up becoming a dentist. I was also a commuter student in my freshman year, and was not at all interested in becoming heavily involved in campus clubs, committees, or activities.
It wasn’t until my second semester in freshman year that I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I asked myself, “Grace, what major would you choose if financial stability weren’t a factor?”
After ignoring the oddity of having a conversation with myself, I immediately and shamelessly answered: “I want to write and I want to teach; I want to major in English.”
Once I figured out what I wanted to pursue—what made me happy (without solely basing it on financial security)—my life completely changed. I finally had an incentive to become actively involved on campus. I had such an intense desire to join anything and everything related to English, writing, and Magazine journalism—and I eventually did. Soon after, I even started getting internship offers!
After every ounce of success and stress that I confronted on my journey, I would take a step back, breathe in deeply, and repeat: “I’m doing this for me, for my future, for my own happiness.” It helped me refocus on the big picture—on what I ultimately wished and hoped to accomplish.
I’m here to tell all of you that the amount of passion you hold for your particular dream is directly linked to the success you will reach in the future. Sincerely wanting and coveting something will lead to steps taken towards your central goal, and will then lead to the tangible manifestation of those very same goals and aspirations.
Also, don’t feel ashamed or discouraged if it took you years to discover your true passion. Think of yourself as lucky for having had the time to test various fields of possible interests that eventually guided you in finding your own personal and secure niche. It’s all about eagerly diving into your passion and its offerings. The obsession, the yearning to learn and to discover beyond the limits, the indescribable fixation you suddenly sense over whatever it is you hear calling your name—that’s passion, that’s commitment, that’s true enthusiasm and dedication. That’s the secret ingredient for success.
Just wanted to send out a little note that we are now going to be posting blogs Twice a day! Please visit Intern Queen during morning and afternoon hours to make sure you don’t miss anything!
This is a guest post by Intern Queen’s campus ambassador Michelle Robles from Central Connecticut State University.
So you’ve landed an internship working in the Big Apple. First off, congratulations! Thousands of kids
from all over the world apply for internships in New York City and those lucky enough to acquire the
position deserve a pat on the back. Putting together a cover letter, resume and going through the
interview process is stressful but don’t get too comfortable just yet, NYC is a world of its own.
I have been interning and working in NYC for the past four years. I am so grateful for the experiences I
have obtained both in and out of the workplace. I moved to NYC in 2008, and six internships later I feel
confident enough in my NYC street smarts to lend out a few tips to all of you!
Time management-In business, being 15 minutes early is on time; in NYC, 30 minutes is on time.
If you are taking the subway, take in account time waiting for the trains, MTA route revisions,
and unfortunate delays such as a sick passenger on board. If you decide to take a taxi, make
sure you know where you are going. By this I don’t mean just the address, but look at the route
ahead of time so you are not taken advantage of by long detours to increase your fare. In fact,
at times I’ve been more knowledgeable than the drivers; sometimes the drivers don’t even
know how to get there! Although you may not be accustomed to walking a lot, sometimes it
may be a faster option than hopping on the subway for two stops. Also, download the subway
map app, get a free NYC pocket guide map from a NYC visitor’s center, and try checking out
Money management-Only one of my six internships thus far has been paid. So I KNOW how it
feels to be penniless in the city. However, there are ways around it and still have an amazing
time! I learned very quickly that making your lunch for work, saves you A LOT. One summer I
spent $50 a week on my daily salads. Although they were out of this world delish, I found that
the following summer I saved $35 a week by making a ham sandwich, bringing my own coffee,
and a snack. Purchasing the unlimited $90 subway pass may initially break the bank but in the
long run, it is a great investment. Budget, budget, budget. There is so much to do in the city
that making a monthly budget is a must if you want to stay on top of your funds. If you have a
paid internship, lucky you! But if you don’t, maybe getting a part time weekend job may help
Taxi’s-NYC is known for the famous yellow taxi. However they are not the only car service
providers. On that note, be careful! If you are on the side of the street calling for a cab, you
may notice town cars honking their horns, or pulling over next to you. Before you get in, talk
to the driver. Ask the driver if he is credited, and tell him where you want to go, and negotiate
a flat fare price. Sometimes these privately owned car services are cheaper than a taxi, but I
stress, BE SMART! Do not get in a car that does not have their certificate on the back of the
passenger seat. If they do not have one displayed, wave them along and find another cab.
Networking- Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and talk to people! Networking saves me tons of money when I go into the city. Others can tell you about good cheap eats, sales, attractions, events, and events they can get you in for free. And who knows, you may make a great friend! And again I stress, be smart about the places you go and the people you go with.
Balancing work and play-You’ve landed an intern position over many other candidates, so do
not take advantage of your responsibilities. I’ve worked with interns in the past that came into
the office smelling of alcohol. Not a good look. My advice, don’t go out the night before you
have work the next day. The connections you make in the work place are extremely important.
Watch a movie, or stay local in your neighborhood, but keep the partying for another night.
But on that note, if you are 21, be sure to experience the nightlife. If I had to recommend my
favorites, the best bar is Off The Wagon, the best rooftop bar is at the Gansevort , and the best
clubs are Libation and Marquee. And even if you are not 21, there are tons of things you can
still do, so don’t worry!
Free events- Do your online research my tech-savy generation! There are so many free events
in NYC its crazy; you just have to search for them. Check out Central Park on a nice day as there
are so many crazy good entertainers there. Some museums, like my favorite MOMA, have
free admission hours. Click here
The mess down-under A.K.A. the subway system- Using the subway system may be intimidating
at first, but don’t feel dumb, we all had to start somewhere! NYC visitor centers have small
discrete subway maps; you can download a handy app on your phone, or look at the maps
posted in the systems. Also, I had mentioned hopstop.com before, or even Google it! Google
gives you subway directions too! When all else fails, ask someone. Granted, some people may
be in the same boat as you, the person next to you eavesdropping will chime in and give you
directions, trust me. First and foremost, familiarize yourself with a map of NYC before you
explore. Know the five boroughs, and locations of major buildings and streets.
I hope I helped some of you ease into the idea of interning and living in New York City. I moved to NYC
all by myself when I was 18. It can be done, and it may be lonely at times, but if you have a positive
attitude, street smarts, and put yourself out there, I guarantee you will have the best time of your life.
“In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There’s nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you.”-Empire State of Mind, Jay-Z
Good luck everyone!