5 Ways to Intern Like a Rock Star -- or at Least Work for One

Intern If you're going to do an internship, or anything else for that matter, you might as well do it right -- there's more competition out there than ever, and every minute, every experience, counts. After all, it isn't just students who are doing internships these days -- but graduates who need more professional experience under their belts. And seasoned professionals who want to change careers are also going the internship route. That's a lot of competition.

Interning also has become so much more than just learning how to do a particular job. Many workers are now turning to internships to get the hands-on experience that they need, but also to make contacts among those who can help them get to the next level in their professional lives.

Will Sprayberry is one savvy worker who, while a student at SAE Instititute, where he studied creative media, interned at Doppler Studios. He not only interned like a rock star, but because of it, got to work with rock stars. The hands-on experience he enjoyed during his internship lead to working with celebrities including Ludacris, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Akon and Nelly.

How did he do that? Sprayberry offers the following tips:


1. Persistence pays off.

When looking for an internship, research positions that best suit your goals and apply early; this will show your punctuality and eagerness to learn. Keep in mind when applying, a "no" today does not necessarily mean "no" next month.


2. A schedule is a guideline.

While you may only be assigned to work certain hours, make it clear you're willing to come in early or stay late whenever needed. Make it evident your internship is your number one priority.


3. Dress to impress.

Take care to dress professionally. Dress for the position you want, not the position you have. This is a sure way to stand out, and make others take notice.


4. Be flexible.

As an intern, your technical abilities are important but so is your willingness to do everything else. Whether it's picking up coffee, mopping the floor or making copies, you should be willing to do it. Hard work isn't always glamorous, but it pays off.


5. Network, network, network.

Develop a solid professional relationship with your advisers during you internship. Use them as mentors and pick their brains about the industry you're interested in. When your internship ends, make sure to request a recommendation and make an effort to keep in touch with any connections you make.


Next: Internships Clouded by Increasing Controversy


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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Editor

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.

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Alex K.

Hey Lisa,

If you need an intern to proof-read your articles before posting them, I'm "down to clown."

5. Network, network, network.

Develop a solid professional relationship with your advisers during you internship.

Have a great day,

August 01 2011 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cat Sampson

I definitely agree with the persistence and the networking! I've been getting advice from professionals and blogging about it (http://catsampson.com). They definitely agree with those two. You can be stuck under a pile of resumes and completely forgotten about. It never hurts to remind them you are still interested.

July 14 2011 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
loadermanbmc

WHY DO THEY CALL THOSE PEOPLE ROCK STARS? YOU HAVE TO PLAY ROCK TO BE A ROCK STAR NOT CRAP THAT WONT BE AROUND IN A FEW YEARS.

June 09 2011 at 6:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vp8587

this is incorrect. i just was offered a full time job from an internship, and my employers absolutely did NOT want my internship to be my #1 priority. they wanted SCHOOL to be my #1 priority. in that sense, my schedule was my guideline because i was offered days off whenever finals or midterms came around. Just think about it, what good would i, or anyone else, be to them if i couldnt pass my classes?

June 09 2011 at 4:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
magiclamp7

there shouldn't be any intern positions. they must dress for success yet they aren't paid. Cloths aren't cheap and kids out of school have loans that have to be paid. be flexible means you don't have a life. You are on call as if you were a cop. these companies get free "Slave" labor with no guarantee they will be hired. shame on the companies that do this. I bet there CEO's make 6 figures at least.

June 09 2011 at 2:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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