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Style for Students: Intern Queen

intern queen

Lauren Berger, aka “The Intern Queen” is the Chief Executive Officer of InternQueen.com and the author of National Campus Best-Seller, ALL WORK NO PAY: Finding an Internship, Building Your Resume, Making Connections, and Gaining Job Experience.

We’ve teamed up with her for her 3rd Annual Intern Queen Party which will be held at our flagship store on July 30th at 7pm. Join us and a rockstar panel with internship coordinators and executives from Johnson & Johnson, Harper Collns, Iconix, CBS, and SiriusXM to celebrate, network, eat, drink and shop!

We also sat down with Lauren to chat about what inspired her to start InternQueen.com, her best interview advice, and her tips on how to dress for an internship.

What was your most rewarding internship?
I interned at a television show in Florida called THE DAILY BUZZ – it’s a nationally syndicated morning show and still on TV today! I learned everything about television, writing, producing, editing, and what it takes to put together a show at that internship!

What advice do you have for interns to get the most out of their internship?
Focus on the lasting impression. Whatever you do on the first day – make sure you are doing it until the last day. Walk in the door every day and ask yourself, “how can I make the most of this day at my internship?”

What are some common mistakes that interns make when applying & interviewing?
Common mistakes are spelling errors, consistency errors, and just sending a generic resume that you’ve sent to other positions. Customize, customize, customize!

What inspired you to start internqueen.com?
I had 15 internships in college (crazy, I know) but they were the most beneficial experiences. I learned so much about what I wanted to do both personally and professionally from each experience.

If you weren’t running internqueen.com what would your dream job be?
I think I still want to be a magazine editor or television producer when I grow up.

What’s your favorite part about running your own business?
I make the rules and I get out of it what I put into it. I feel in control of my business, my brand, and my life. I get to wake up every day passionate and excited about how I get to spend my time.

Internqueen.com is a place for intern advice, who do you go to for advice?
That’s a good question. My mom is full of advice – regardless of if I want to hear it! I also have some great mentors at brands like Ford that I’ve met over the years.

How would you describe your personal style?
Colorful. Blazers, Jeans, and Heels and I’m ready for the day! I like to put a little bit of fun into the typical corporate attire.

What key pieces does every intern need in their wardrobe?
A great colorful blazer, a basic black blazer, a cool “shell” top (sleeveless) in black and white to wear under every great jacket or cardigan, black skinny pants, a great pair of colorful flats – in an unexpected pop of color, and some funky accessories to add some personality. Oh – and a pair of pointed toe black pumps.

Do professional wardrobes vary between industries?
Yes. If you are interning on the Hill in DC or at a law firm, the dress code might be a bit more conservative – even at a talent agency – you might have to wear a suit and you probably can’t wear jeans (even if they are black). Every intern should have at least one pants suit in their wardrobe for interview attire.

What is the single most important item in your wardrobe, your “Power Piece”?
I would say that right now it’s my hot pink blazer. I mean, I’m the Intern Queen – right?

What are some of your picks from our current collection for internship style?
The Perfect Stretch Cotton Short Sleeve is my favorite top – it goes with everything and can be tucked into a pencil skirt or worn with a crop pant, or even worn on casual Fridays with jeans. Everyone needs a pop of color now and then so I think the Pink Paisley Pencil Skirt is a perfect WOW item to have in your work wardrobe. I think it will translate into fall nicely as well.

If you are going to wear a basic outfit make sure to throw on a fun accessory to liven it up – I think the “kissing fish” necklace is adorable and I love how they are on a set of pearls.

We all need the basics and Ann Taylor has the black pencil skirt, black crop pant, and black signature blazer. They also have some great colorful shell tops – I’d suggest getting one in a cream color and one in a fun color.

As soon as I walked into the Ann Taylor store I gravitated towards the “bling ring” set (as I call it). You can wear it on the daily and it just adds a big chunk of sparkle to your hands. I also love the pave bracelets – of course I would never only wear one of them – grab a pile and stack ‘em on.

In terms of a perfect “work” dress – I love the Navy Sheath Dress with the Lace inserts – depending on your office environment – you might need to throw a blazer or cardigan over it – but it’s amazing! The striped shirt is a must-have for any work wardrobe and can be worn with practically anything. And I (like everyone else) am crazy for black and white stripes this summer so I love the Rivera jacket. Wear it over a mint green top – or just with basic black or white.

  • Vivienne Chen

    Am I the only one who is ethically concerned with the glorification of the unpaid internship, especially directed at women, as “Intern Queen” would suggest? http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/opportunity-costs-the-true-price-of-internships

  • Jacqueline

    Interesting. I will definitely follow your advice.

  • Nicole

    I find this could be trivial to many young women in the job hunt- I’m sorry, Ann Taylor, but there is no cookie-cutter way to tackle interview style. Telling me I need a pantsuit for my interview attire does nothing for me. I work in, have studied, and have interned in many arts and design fields and I must say…from working at a gallery to design firms to museums, I don’t get this stuff from what I see at Ann Taylor. The generic idea of dressing for “corporate life” does not apply to a lot of young women- especially those just starting out. I find it bothersome that the “intern queen” only seems to address one other job setting, being law.