4 Internship Queens Spill Their Secrets To Success

You probably think that now that finals are winding down, it’s time to relax. But internship season is upon us, folks, and it’s time to figure out how to nail your success. And who better to get advice from than a bunch of internship queens themselves? Here’s some of the best internship advice Spire & Co has been hearing to guarantee your success this summer:

Show them exactly why they need you.

First things first: you need to land the internship. To do this, you need to show employers why they need you, and you specifically. All of this boils down to building a killer brand identity.

When you build your brand (through your tone in the cover letter, through the activities you list on your resume, through your social media presence if appropriate) you make yourself memorable and show employers why you are the only solution to all of their company’s needs.

That’s what made Alexis Reliford such a commodity when she landed her internships, which included the likes of Essence, Levo.com, Self.com, Health Magazine, and eventually her full-time gig as social media editor at Essence.

“Think hard about personal branding…. i.e. what makes you the perfect candidate and how are you going to stand out among thousands and thousands of other people who want the same job? Thinking like this is what motivated me to do more than just write for the paper. I wanted to be a multi-talented as possible so employers would be like, ‘we need her.’”

Offer to the do the little things.

Internships have a nasty little reputation for being all about doing menial tasks with no purpose and learning nothing. We know it kind of sucks, but sometimes volunteering to do the little things is what will open up opportunities for you down the road.

That’s what happened for Kendall Ciesemier, a current assistant for Norah O’Donnell at CBS This Morning. Before landing her full-time gig, Kendall interned for so many powerhouse companies like FOX Chicago, Meet The Press, New Chapter Entertainment, and HuffPost Live.

And her trick to standing out and being successful at all of those internships? Offering to get everyone coffee.

“My trick to standing out was to offer to get everyone in the newsroom coffee,” Kendall told us. “That way, I would learn everyone’s name and they would learn mine. Then, when they had a cool assignment they gave it to me because I was the only intern who they knew!”

Be a good listener. 

You know how your professors are always taking off stupid points because you didn’t 100 percent follow the directions? Yeah, not as stupid as it sounds. Turns out, being successful in an internship is all about being able to listen and do exactly what’s told of you with lots of enthusiasm.

Taylor Trudon, the Voices editor at MTV News, told us all about her college internship experiences, letting us in on some of the most important things she learned. Among other things, she learned the importance of doing all of your work with a smile, and listening to people you can learn from.

“I learned how to take initiative, to not be afraid to ask questions and to do every task with enthusiasm,” Taylor said. “But mostly, to surround myself with people who are smarter than me — and then listen.”

Have a plan and get crackin’.

We’re totally about goal-setting here at Spire, and we know that a lot of the time that means setting career goals. Doing some self-reflection and figuring out exactly what you want is such an important part of being an internship queen in the long-run.

According to Zoe Malliaros, a former intern at Diane von Furstenberg, figuring out what you want and how to get it is the key to owning your internship. By having your intention set, you can totally stay in the moment and get the most out of your experience.

“Start early and never lose sight of exactly what you want,” Zoe told us.

That kind of determination, combined with all of your efforts to stand out and get people to know you, will surely lead you to a great summer filled with tons of internship success.