When it comes to internships, Lauren Berger is queen. The CEO & Founder of InternQueen.com, Lauren is one of the best resources out there for college students looking to find internships or seek employment from internships. She and her wealth of advice are coming to BC tomorrow, October 14th, from 6-8pm in McGuinn Hall 121 to talk about her field of expertise: motivating and encouraging students involved in the Ford Challenge. The Gavel met up with Her Majesty to get the details.
Hi, Lauren. Thanks for talking to us!
Oh, thank you! I’m very excited to be coming to Boston College!
So tell me, what makes you the intern queen?
Well, I went to the University of Central Florida, and by the time I graduated in 2006, I had 15 internships in college. I really learned a lot from every experience and after friends began asking me for my advice, I decided to start a community to help other people connect. I thought that it would be cool to create something that wasn’t just a website, but instead, there was a face for people to associate and feel comfortable with as the face of internships for young people. The idea came to me senior year of college to be that resource for my peers and young people all around the world.
The website is completely free; it was very important to me to create a resource that students didn’t need to pay for. College students spend enough on everything else, and internships are usually unpaid, so it was very important.
I can hear college students everywhere thanking you for that! How long have you been reigning?
I was able to start InternQueen.com in September of 2009 when I was 24 years old. I’ve been running it full time for 5 years. Before I switched over to full time, I was an assistant at a talent agency, and I saved up $5,000 to start my own business. I wrote my first book, All Work, No Pay: Finding an Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience in 2012 and my new book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job into Your Dream Career in April.
You’re so busy! How did we manage to get you to come out to BC?
(Laughs.) Three years ago, I reached out to Ford Motor Company about creating a partnership to really give students a fast-paced and real world internship experience in the competitive market. When you think iconic companies, you think Ford. I worked with them to create a college competition where teams from participating schools complete in a series of challenges involving marketing, social media engagement, and creativity. In 2013, the Ford College Ambassador Challenge was at 5 schools; in the spring of 2014, we brought it to 8; and now, this fall, we’re involving 9 schools. The team members at BC are the reason why I’m coming to campus. BC actually won the challenge last time around, so your school definitely has the title.
There are four people on the Boston College team, Ford4Others, Sijin Choi is leading the team, and the other members are: Christina Nguyen, Adisa Lucius Duke, and Andrew Bernstein. One of the competition’s challenges, actually, was to bring me to campus and promote me speaking: the team that brings the most people, wins the competition. The team that wins overall wins a ton of awesome stuff, including being flown to Dearborn, Michigan for a once in a lifetime trip and tour of Ford, with a ton of sit-downs with Ford executives and behind the scenes looks. It is a really cool networking experience.
Wow, very cool. So what can your audience here at BC expect from your talk tomorrow night?
A very high energy presentation. Because I’m young and I feel like I just graduated, I can still relate to the audience. I understand what it’s like trying to navigate internships and jobs and all of those things! I guarantee that I will make the audience leave more inspired than they’ve ever been in their life. That’s my goal. Also, the first 50 people to arrive get a free copy of book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job into Your Dream Career and of course, I’ll be around after my talk to sign copies and answer questions. I’m looking forward to it, and I know the BC team is working hard to pull high attendance numbers, so I will definitely see you there!
Be sure to hear Lauren’s useful and motivational talk on internships tomorrow, October 14th, in McGuinn 121 from 6-8pm. Can’t make it? Check out her website, and pick up her books here. For questions about the Ford Challenge, you can get in contact with Ford4Others team leader, Sijin Choi, at firstname.lastname@example.org.