Lauren Berger’s completion of 15 internships in college seemed to have paid off.
She has been featured on the Today Show, Fox & Friends and Bloomberg.com, placed fifth on BusinessWeek’s annual list of entrepreneurs age 25 and under and was listed among Mobile Youth’s Top 10 Youth Marketing Minds of 2010.
Berger, known as the “Intern Queen,” is the CEO of InternQueen.com and came out with a book in January called All Work, No Pay. Her website helps direct students to the world of interning and also gives advice on how to make it through the interning process.
All Work, No Pay was inspired by Berger because she was always looking for a book that could just help her in the internship world, Berger said.
“All I wanted was someone who has been there and done that and to hold my hand and give me advice — and that book did not exist. I feel that All Work, No Pay really filled the void in the marketplace. There hasn’t been a great resource until this book. The book is very personal. The book is about me opening up and sharing my internship journey with the world, and through that journey I’m teaching the students what I learned through my mistakes. The purpose of the book is to help students find, land and make the most of their internship opportunities,” said Berger.
While going through her four years of college, Berger was involved in 15 internships.
“It was definitely challenging, but I really believe that with the right time management skills and focus, you can accomplish whatever you need to accomplish,” she said
In school, she was a full-time student, worked a part-time job and participated in unpaid internships.
“Most of my internships required 12 to 15 hours per week, so I was able to kind of stack my classes all on certain days and intern on other days. I found that prioritizing was very important,” Berger said.
As crazy as her schedule seemed to be, she always reminds students that she is not a superhero, and if she can take on this type of schedule, then anyone can.
“There is no reason why I could do this and the average student couldn’t follow in my footsteps. Again, it’s all about time management,” Berger said.
Although Berger was unique by taking on so many internships, it helped her build a future and motivate her as a person. These internships really inspired her and helped her look forward to her career.
As much as these internships inspired her, it came with some hardships.
“The hardest thing about my entire internship journey was learning how to deal with rejection,” Berger said.
She said that she had tweeted earlier in the day, “Repeat after me … Rejection is going to happen, get over it.”
“When I was going through the process (of finding an internship), I really needed someone to yell that at me and give me that encouragement and motivation, because when you’re applying to all these internships, I was applying for all these very competitive, high-level internships and getting rejected all the time. So yes, I ended up with 15 internships, but I was probably rejected from hundreds of internships — trying to get to the ones I wanted. I am just as vulnerable as anybody else. Rejection hurts,” said Berger.
Rejection through internships really helped Berger with rejection in her professional and personal life in a better way. “We all get rejected, so let’s take a deep breath and move forward,” she said.
Internships are very important, not only according to Berger, but to Jim Case, director of the Career Center at CSUF, as well.
“Internships have become the method of choice to select candidates by a large number of employers,” said Case.
There are many things the Career Center on campus can do for students. The one thing the Career Center does for a student is helping them find a job.
“Finding a job is a process, and one of the most critical parts of the job-search process is preparation, so they are closely integrated,” Case said.
Students can feel weighed down with the thought of both interning and attending school. For Victoria Alvarado, a sociology major, interning is important, but still very unknown.
“It’s really important to get an internship, at least it is for me. I’m just nervous because I’m not sure what route to take as far as working and using my degree, but that is what interning is all about … figuring this stuff out,” said Alvarado.
That is what interning did for Berger. That’s why she wants to help as many students as she can. But where does Berger see her self down the road?
“I’m trying to be the Rachel Ray of the internship career space,” Berger said.
Berger earned her degree in organizational business communications. She interned for companies such as MTV, FOX and NBC. For more information, visit InternQueen.com