Lauren Berger is the “The Intern Queen”, a fictional name she created for herself, of course she has to be, after completed 15 internships during college and also starting up a business that revolves around internship, Lauren is definitely the queen alright.
The Intern Queen:
I encourage everyone (young and old) to take a long serious look at their lives and focuses on letting your passion drive your career.
How you doing today Lauren? Welcome to YHP
Can you kindly give us some background about yourself and what you do?
I am CEO of Intern Queen Inc, a business I started after participating in 15 internships during college and deciding I was going to create a personalized way for students to connect with internships.
I’m from Clearwater, Florida and graduated from University of Central Florida in 2006.
What inspired you to start your business?
My internships taught me so much about who I was and what I wanted to do with my life – I wanted others to be able to connect with great opportunities and learn about themselves like I did.
What makes your internship service stand out from others?
It’s a personalized customized experience for the user. Students are sending their resumes to ME and I’m personally forwarding the resume to a PERSON at the company they are interested in. I’m a firm believer in the “personal touch”. It’s a small gesture but it goes a long way and helps the students know that someone is on their side.
How did you finance your business?
Marshall Herskovitz (Blood Diamond, Traffic) was my start-up investor. He owns a percentage of my company.
How do you market your services?
The best form of marketing has been word of mouth. I help one student and that student tells their friends. I market through social media, partnerships, speaking engagements, and affiliate relationships.
How many employees do you have?
One. Myself. I have a wonderful intern, a freelance web designer, and a freelance web programmer.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I’m a huge fan of the business that Rachael Ray has built for herself. I’m fascinated by people who really know how to brand and she does a great job.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Hmm....I can’t lie. I work LOTS of hours and often in my spare time I find myself working. However, I’m currently cooking all of Rachael Ray’s recipes, reading “Pour Your Heart Into It” (The Howard Shultz Starbucks Book), reading magazines like Inc, Self, In Style, Entrepreneur, etc. I try to work hiking and/or pilates into my schedule a few times per week, I enjoy lounging around with my friends and watching television or going to the movies, and over the past 3 weekends I’ve been to Disneyland, Wine Tasting, Apple-Picking, and watching football. I’m not sure I understand football – but I watch it Oh and I go shopping whenever I can – Nordstrom is my favorite.
What qualities have you developed as a result of running your business?
I’m more goal and detail oriented. My time management skills have vastly improved – they had to. I’m able to delegate tasks better than before and as I’ve grown in my business, it’s become easier to feel confident in what I’m doing on a day to day basis. You realize that you are going to have bad days – and when they come around – they don’t affect you as much.
Where do you see in yourself and your business in the next 5 years?
The goal is to help any student in any industry – anywhere in the world. I hope to build this business up over the next 3-5 years and hopefully sell it and move on to the next project Intern Queen will always have a special place in my heart.
What should a student try to get out of an internship?
EVERYTHING THEY CAN ! Read everything, meet everyone, volunteer as much as possible, work hard, stay late, be the first one there. Learn about that industry and if that is the right industry for you.
What plans do you have now to expand your business further?
We are trying to expand to a new location each month. I’m in the middle of my speaking tour and trying to bring the tour overseas. Right now it’s all about raising the platform. I’m shopping around a book deal with my agent in New York and working on some other fun projects – stay tuned !
Thanks for your time Lauren.