**post written by: Chae Jiles, sophomore, Mass Communications**
Lauren Berger, most often referred to as the Intern Queen, has come and gone, but her words of advice- advice that I hadn’t heard before, or more likely had never taken seriously- is still here with me.
I first met Lauren at the SophoMORE luncheon. Some of the questions asked by students attending included, “How did you manage to get your first internship if you had no previous experience?” and “Was it hard to juggle school, work, and an internship?” She responded eagerly. If you don’t have previous internship experience, make sure you’re involved in campus activities, and use that to sell yourself. If you’re overwhelmed with interning, school, and other activities you partake in- make a schedule. But more importantly, learn to say “no.” How had I not figured that out before? How had I forgotten how to say “no”? I had spent so much time in college agreeing to do most things people asked of me: going out with friends and over-committing myself to different organizations- things that my schedule had no room for.
Later that evening I went to hear Lauren’s keynote address. Every seat in the room seemed to be occupied. In that moment I realized I wasn’t alone; there were countless other students at Loyola who felt at a loss about their future and needed help reaching the next step in life.
Lauren gave great advice about networking, interning, and rejection. For example, send thank-you notes three times a year to former intern bosses and other professional contacts, make a list of ten companies you would love to work for and apply, and the toughest one of all, learn from rejection. You will be rejected for the rest of your life, so use it as your motivation.
Her words served as an epiphany. I went back to my room that night with an eagerness to take control of my life. I had sat back too long not preparing for the future. I questioned how many opportunities I missed because I wasn’t sure what I wanted, or didn’t articulate it to those who could help me.
I used Thanksgiving break to give thanks to all those that helped me get to where I am today (via nice, short emails). I also made that top-ten list that Lauren was so adamant about. Now there are quite a few public relation agencies that will be receiving my summer internship application this winter break.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had to meet the Intern Queen herself, and turn the advice she so willingly gave into practice.
Watch out world, I’m ready to go forth and make my mark!