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Ask the Intern Queen

Jenna Johnson

Last week the Intern Queen, Lauren Berger, offered some tips for finding an internship -- and she was flooded with questions from readers. So, starting this week, Lauren will answer some of those questions. If you have any for her, email lauren@internqueen.com or check out her Web site, internqueen.com.

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Hi Lauren,
Thanks so much for directly messaging me on Twitter. I am currently studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain for the semester. Anyway, I am looking for an internship for this summer in entertainment or sports journalism. Last summer, I interned with CBS News and loved every minute of it. My dream job is to be Kelly Ripa :) I was wondering if you had any advice on getting an internship for this summer, especially in New York City. Please let me know, thanks!!
Best,

Jenna, University of Maryland

Hi Jenna! That is wonderful that you are studying abroad. It's great to see that you are thinking ahead while abroad. Many students get wrapped up in their adventures and forget to plan for their summer internships.

Even though you are in another country, I suggest identifying a place where you can go and use the internet, telephone and Skype if necessary. This way anytime an employer wants to conduct an interview, you are prepared and ready to go. Now, be prepared. You may have to get on the phone very late or very early, depending on your time zone but these are sacrifices that will be worth it once you get placed in the internship of your dreams.

If you are corresponding with a company from Barcelona, make sure to tell them that you are studying abroad but can make yourself available whenever necessary. The idea is to make the entire process sound easy and not like a huge hurdle to overcome. Go ahead and communicate by e-mail as much as possible with potential employers. Most companies prefer e-mail correspondence with potential intern candidates anyhow and an e-mail from Barcelona is no different to the employer than an email from the States.

Remember, NYC  internships are very competitive but it's early enough in the game to go after some great employers and land a wonderful internship!

Feel free to check my site for tons of entertainment and media related opportunities. Here are some that might be of interest (note, some of these are for spring internships, but keep checking back for summer postings):

NBC Universal internships

Rachael Ray internships

New York Women In Film and Television Intern/Mentor Program

FOX 5/Good Day New York Internship Program

Do you have any companies or internships that are specifically looking for an MBA student? I am looking for something this summer in the entertainment/sports/PR/event management fields.
Thanks,

Lauren, Ohio State University

I currently don't work with any companies who are exclusively looking for MBA candidates. That being said, the majority of employers I work with welcome MBA candidates and will consider them along with undergraduate resumes. I encourage you to click around my site and check out the entertainment, PR and event planning opportunities. Internships in the PR/entertainment/sports/event planning industries are normally not MBA-specific, meaning they don't require their interns to be enrolled in MBA programs.

Being an MBA student will definitely be an advantage for you with many employers. MBA students are looked at as extremely prepared, reliable, committed and knowledgeable. Many MBA's have already been out in the work force, so any previous experience you've had in the workplace should be stressed on the phone or during an in-person interview and, of course, on your resume. Make sure that your resume clearly states your current education status and that you have an MBA in progress. If you have any very specific coursework that relates to the internship, I would list that on your resume as well.

I have not seen too many internships where MBA students get a difference in pay or credit than any undergraduate candidate. However, there are internships that only accept MBA candidates. MBA students should take some time to really identify what they want to achieve from these internships. At their level, certain experiences make sense and others do not. An MBA typically is not as interested in building a resume as an undergrad might be. Use your interview to speak about your personal goals from the internship and to confirm what a day as an intern would be like.

For MBA-specific resources, check out the following employer Web sites:

NPR Internship Program (heavily promoted to MBA students)

Toyota MBA Summer Internship program

Johnson & Johnson Internships for MBA Students

Cisco Internships

Walgreens.com MBA Internship

Hi Lauren,
I've just graduated from Yale as an architecture major and am currently living in Chicago looking to intern in some sort of architecture or design firm before heading to graduate school next year. I could even extend into online marketing, social media or graphic design. Is there anyone not listed on [your Web site] who you know routinely looks for interns? Likewise, is there anyone who in the past has contacted you who I could get in contact with? Thanks for your time.
Sincerely,

Mairen, Yale University graduate

Mairen, Thanks for your note. Chicago is one of the best places to be for architecture and design. I don't currently work with any of these types of companies in Chicago but they are definitely out there.

For starters, I would suggest doing some research and making a list of 10 firms that interest you. Research their Web sites, find out how to apply to internships, and send in your applications to each company. Remember, apply for 10 internships so that if you get rejected from one, you can go right along to another. I think it's great that you are exploring other aspects of design as well.

Get excited about this experience - an internship can be one of the best learning experiences for you and teach you more about your potential career choice than you can imagine. Go into the internship with a list of objectives and ask questions so that you understand what a normal job in that industry would be like.

Here are a few employers for you to check out:


Chicago Architecture Today Magazine Internship Program

VOA architecture firm

Solomon Cordwell Buenz architecture firm

About Lauren Berger
Lauren earned the title "Intern Queen" by completing 15 internships during her four years of college at the University of Central Florida. After graduating in 2006, she decided to turn her experience interning into a career and launched Intern Queen Inc. Lauren travels the country to talk to students, runs an internship listing site, blogs and was just named one of BusinessWeek's Top 25 Entrepreneurs 25 and Under in 2009. Lauren can be reached at lauren@internqueen.com.

Follow Campus Overload all day, every day at http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. Check out our new Higher Education page, follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  |  February 4, 2010; 1:20 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Interns  | Tags: Intern Queen, Internships  
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