I wish I had met Lauren Berger four years ago.
At this time in 2010, I was a junior in college, and an editorial intern at Cosmopolitan Magazine. It was a good experience, but there are so many ways I could have capitalized on the experience, and I didn’t, because I didn’t know how. Often, I felt useless; like a nag to my editors. There were many days when, for whatever reason, we (the interns) weren’t given a single assignment, and I genuinely didn’t know what to do. So I’d just sit there waiting for something to happen, instead of MAKING something happen.
Lauren Berger had 15 internships in college. Part of her work as the Intern Queen is, not only helping students land the internships of their dreams, but also helping them make the most of those internships. So much focus is placed on GETTING the internship that, once we get it, we think we’ve won the war. But that’s just the beginning.
NAME: LAUREN BERGER
CITY: LOS ANGELES
HOMETOWN: CLEARWATER, FL
INDUSTRY: EDUCATION + LIFESTYLE + MEDIA
NOMINATED BY: MELANIE STARLING
WEBSITES: internqueen.com + laurenbergerinc.com
Tell us what you do!
I’m the CEO & Founder of InternQueen.com – an internship destination for young people interested in connecting with the opportunities of their dreams. I oversee both of the websites in our network — internqueen.com (for interns, college, and high school students) and laurenbergerinc.com (an older sister site to IQ catered towards recent grads). I’m also the author of two career and internship titles – this year’s Welcome to the Real World and 2012’s All Work, No Pay on everything internship-related. I’m the face of many brands who want to connect with millennials, and talk to them about their futures. I’m an international career expert and motivational speaker. I’m the captain of the ship – I’m in charge of the entire Intern Queen network, websites, community, and subsidiaries.
Did you go to college? If so, where?
I graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
Ironically, a writer or speaker in the entertainment biz.
How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!
I had 15 internships in college. There was no one to help me find, land, or make the most of these opportunities. When I was graduating college, I had that lightbulb moment – what if I were the person who could help others find internships, and make the most of them? And the Intern Queen was born!
Any obstacles along the way?
There have been obstacles the entire time. My parents weren’t supportive at first – that was difficult. But I’m in my fifth year of business, and every year I’m faced with new learning, a new challenge, a new obstacle. My strength is turning the “No” into a “Yes”–something I’ve worked hard at for many years.
Who is your idol?
I love watching successful women like Suze Orman and Rachael Ray rock their brands. It’s fascinating and inspiring! I want to speak in crowded stadiums – like Oprah.
What are three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are?
Setting goals, not taking “No” for an answer, and putting myself out there – constantly telling people what I want to do.
Where would you like to be in five years?
Growing – both personally and professionally. I don’t have the details worked out. 😉
Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.
A woman who commands the room. A woman who is fearless. A woman who gets it done, and makes thing happen. I’m a #GirlBoss.
Describe your style/fashion sense:
If it’s work, it’s unexpected colorful blazers, heels that are basic, but have something special about them, and dark, dark denim. If it’s play, it’s oversized shirts, destroyed denim, and Ipanema flip flops. I’d like to say my style is “Intern Queen-ish” – colorful and bright, yet polished and professional. I love feeling like my look is “put together” – my favorite words in fashion!
Fav clothing item/accessory right now?
A few come to mind. First, my American Apparel grey hoodie – I don’t go anywhere without it (and I travel constantly). My Forever 21 low black boots that zip on the side – I wear them for work and play. And I got an oversized silver statement necklace that has charms all over it from Nordstrom, and it makes any outfit pop.
What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?
ESOS lip balm and Makeup Forever HD Foundation.
Go-to nail color?
I’ve been in a Mustang Red mood lately, but I always try random colors.
Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?
The marketing campaign BEHIND that book inspired me — WOWZERS! There were parts of Lean In that I really enjoyed, too. I also love reading biographies – I recently read the Lily Pulitzer Biography, and really enjoyed it. I usually can’t read business books before bed as the wheels in my head won’t stop turning! I find that biographies (even when they are about work) are a little “softer” at night. Oh – and the Barbara Walters biography – I’m completely inspired by her.
No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?
My passion can work for me or against me – depending on the situation. I, like everyone else, have to constantly work on not taking things too personally. I’ll repeat over and over again “It’s not you – it’s Intern Queen” – definitely a weird statement. But in terms of fun vices, I’ll put it this way – the music on my phone is mostly two bands – One Direction and Taylor Swift – a girl’s got to jam!
Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?
Oops — I think I answered this one! But I’m totally into 1989 – the next time I go to the concert I want to know all of the words!
What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?
I like Girl on Fire, Stronger (got to bring in some Britney), Miss Independent, and Roar. I love the line in ROAR that says, “Louder than a Lion” – when you are a #GirlBoss you have to shout about your business from the rooftops – I always feel like I’m louder than a lion when I go out and tell people what I’m doing and what I want to do.
What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?
“You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take.”
Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?
I always love when people give me advice and it really sticks. I’m trying to think of my favorite piece of recent advice. I think it was Carrie Kerpen (Likable Media). I was speaking to her about investors and the idea of bringing on some investment dollars, and she essentially said that VISION = CASH. The stronger the vision – the more money you can raise. That stuck.
Advice to future girl bosses:
Connect. Collaborate. Shout it from the rooftops – louder than a lion! And don’t just think big – execute big.