102 Thomas filled with silence and nervous laughter after Intern Queen Lauren Berger delivered this harsh but motivational reality to students at her presentation Monday evening. She quickly followed up with the saving grace to the scary truth.
“Rejection does not mean no, it means not right now. We can’t get to the yes until we get to the no,” finished Berger.
Over 250 students jam-packed the lecture hall to hear Berger speak, and the close quarters were definitely worth it. Berger spoke about internship advice, career prep, why failure should motivate you and every topic in between.
With a degree from UCF and 15 internships under her belt, Berger knows what she’s talking about. Partnering with the Ford Motor Company, Berger is taking a tour of universities across the country to participate in the Ford College Ambassador Challenge, helping college students reach their career goals.
The hour and a half long event, hosted by PRSSA, was supplemented by free pizza, grab-bags for the attendees, a free copy of Berger’s latest book and an involved Q + A session to conclude the evening.
But it wasn’t the free goodies that made the event worth it. To start off the night, Berger told every student in attendance we were all “her new best friends.” She then gave out her email address and encouraged everyone to email her that night and establish a business contact relationship.
Not many people would be willing to receive an influx of 250 emails from undergraduate students, but Berger wanted nothing more. She truly wanted every single student in the room to be successful–and was willing to help us get to that point.
A common theme throughout her speech was that students need to “just go further” by taking risks and going that extra mile, and she provided everyone with tools to do just that. The best part, though, was Berger put just as much into her advice as we were getting out of it. She was going the extra mile for us, to make sure we would do the same thing in the real world.
Berger also added a personal touch to her presentation, sharing anecdotes from her fast and furious times as an intern in college. (Us Weekly once flew her out to Barbados for free to get some dirt on Charlie Sheen. Is this real life?!)
The packed lecture hall was full of laughs, inspiration and motivation, all thanks to Lauren Berger. If you weren’t inspired to go out and snag an awesome internship–or 15–after the presentation last night, you probably didn’t go.
Grab Lauren’s latest book Welcome to the Real World out now, and be sure to visit her website for all your internship and career building needs.
Photo by Rebecca Shapiro