Thursday’s Coffee Clicks (2.23.11)

Three stories to start your morning:

  • Vault releases its comprehensive annual ranking and breakdown of the Top 10 Finance Internships that have major influence on young careers. If money is your passion, pay attention.
  • Is the first file attachment they’ll see named “resume.pdf?” Tsk-tsk. Some very overlooked tips from PR Daily on creating the best impression when applying for an internship.
  • If the prospect of taking on an unpaid or minimum-wage internship is making your checkbook scream, there are a few ways you can calm it down. Start with this checklist.


February 24, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Meet the Interns: Four different paths to Sparkpr

Hello, blogging world! Meet the interns of Sparkpr: Meghan, Lyndsey, Rachel and Diane. Individually, we represent all phases of Sparkpr’s three-month-long internship. Follow us in our challenges, triumphs and find out if, in the end, that sparkling full time position falls into our mentally calloused (in a good way!) hands. Feel free to ask us questions about PR, internships and the whole process in general. We’re also eager to learn from you! Without further adieu, here are the interns …


Media lists, coverage reports, activities trackers – “What the hell are all these things?” runs through my head as I build my PR dictionary from scratch. You learn through osmosis, through acting quickly and listening to every word around you. PR’s like that wind that adds sudden speed to your step – and you kind of love it.

Hi, I’m Meghan. I’m the baby and the newest of the interns at Sparkpr. I’m only in week three. Before my desk in an open office, filled with dogs and meaningful chatter, I was an art history major. Needless to say, my first days here were a whirlwind, but I’m gaining my footing and making some real contributions.

In my posts you’ll find just what a PR internship entails, especially from the view of someone with NO previous experience. It’s hard to change career focus, and the challenges are still coming! The excitement that defines PR, however, is what keeps you energized. If I had four key words to describe the past few weeks, it would be those in a song mother used to sing, “I’m alive; awake; alert; enthusiastic!”


Week six. Half way done. I “learned” what PR was in a classroom, but it’s not the same. It’s way more fun. I feel like I’m on a continuously moving roller coaster, putting out fires left and right. Everything is flagged important and seems to be due in the next five minutes. What a rush. PR is crazy world, and I’m loving it.

Hi, I’m Rachel, a Sparkpr intern in the glorious city of San Francisco. I‘ve been living in a world that hasn’t fit me for the past three years, so I decided to take the plunge and switch career paths. Today, I can honestly say I’m having a blast and learning a ton.  I’ve transitioned from InStyle to TechCrunch.  I’m too young to really remember the dot-com boom, but I feel like it’s happening all over again. There are thousands of start-ups in my very back yard.

On my first day at Sparkpr, I sat at a table with the CEO, met a new potential client and offered my input on their company and product. Been on the fast track ever since. I have an entirely new set of acronyms in my lexicon (RFP, IPO, MWC) and I find myself discussing “the cloud” at the dinner table. Who is this new me? I’m digging her!


Week 12. Internship is almost complete. Yikes! From account management to media relations, I’ve rapidly experienced all aspects of the ever-changing PR biz. The past 3 months have absolutely flown by, leaving me with a solid understanding of my role and an insatiable desire to continue this journey. But now, I’m awaiting my fate.

Hi, I’m Lyndsey. Of all of our lovely Sparkpr interns, I’m the furthest into the program. I’ve loved PR since my first mass communications course in college. Just days into the class, I made the impromptu decision to leave my physical therapy dreams behind for a fast-paced PR career. A few years and a few gigs later, I’ve landed at Spark, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

With just one week left in my internship, I’m filled with everything from fear to hope to nausea. I’ve given this internship my all and made significant contributions to accounts, and I hope I’ve proven myself enough to ensure a permanent position. There’s no guarantee. But we all started internships with the ultimate goal of landing that full-time position. Next,  I’ll either be blogging as an employee or as an ex-intern on the job hunt again …


As I walk down the hall, reality stares me in the face. My black-and-white picture hangs on the wall with the rest of the Sparkpr staff, but in only a few weeks, it could be coming down. Over the last six weeks, I’ve been thrown in the deep end of the PR ocean. With every day has come a new tidal wave of projects, information and – let’s face it – emotions. Fear, uncertainty, insecurity and raw, pure excitement for the unknown pulse through my veins as I continue my journey.

I’m Diane, and I’m halfway through my internship with Sparkpr. I am not a newbie to the PR industry, but I am a newbie to agency life. I started at Spark with over 2 years of PR experience under my belt. As an undergraduate at UC-Berkeley, I interned with the communication department of the Oakland mayor’s office, and spent a year and a half doing PR for a small start-up.  Somehow, it seems none of that compares to life at Spark. Coming in, I realized I needed to push my reset button and start over. Suddenly, my focus wouldn’t just be one client, one product, one brand … it was multiple accounts, with multiple moving parts. I’ve had to learn to switch gears from mobile to software to consumer at the drop of a hat.

My first day at Spark was by no means traditional. I came to the office Christmas party the Friday night before my Monday start date. I fell in love with all of the Spark team that night, and everyone has welcomed me with open arms.

Check back next week to find out what happens to Meghan, Rachel, Lyndsey and Diane as they fight for their place in the competitive PR industry.

February 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm 4 comments

The Coffee Run: How on EARTH did you get here?

Coffee Run header

We’re finally putting this blog on our site this week as opposed to the vast sea of WordPress, which is why I sometimes wonder how some of you have gotten here in the first place.

Actually, I kinda know already. Every day, WordPress shows us list of the search terms people enter to arrive at Eye of the Intern from distant lands, and from it, I am forced to conclude that some of you are severely, severely deranged.

Here’s a list of actual, real-life search queries that have lead people to this blog in the past week, accompanied by my brief observations.

“intern boss pay for lunch”


“office women stick drawing”

It’s not hard to draw your own, you know.

“the eternal intern”


“school psychologists who hate their jobs”

Coming this fall to NBC.

“employers who offer free food”

This probably came in around lunchtime.


You literally just typed “sweet” into Google? Cool story, bro.

“what do you want to gain from this internship? Ey”

Silvio Berlusconi, is that you?


“combating office coffee wars”

If each team gets different colored  pinnies, you all are having WAY too much fun for a recession.

“people want the salary of CEO with the responsibility of an intern”


“coffee run meaning”

You’re overthinking it, dude. It has very simple connections to string theory, the Great Pyramid and Nostradamus.

“stupid facts”

You found us!

“don’t like the IT intern”

Does anyone?


Coffee Run AlexThanks, everyone. You make my job entertaining.

February 23, 2011 at 10:42 am Leave a comment

Wednesday’s Coffee Clicks (2.23.11)

February 23, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Sunny Side Up: Down with the sickness

There are two situations when you’d rather be anywhere than at work: when you are terribly hungover, or when you are terribly sick.

I’ve NEVER personally experienced the first one, but I’ve heard that it’s pretty bad. I imagine it to be a lot like being really sick – which I have been. Twice. In the past month. The solution used to be stay home, watch hours of Beverly Hills 90210 on DVR (thank you, SOAPnet), and ask someone for the notes I missed in class.

But I can’t just not show up now. I am a full-time working young adult and I’m mature and have responsibilities and stuff. And also, I don’t want to use up all my sick days in the 2nd month of the year on a measly little cold.

Sick at work? Better stock up.

So, here’s how to be sick at work:

  • Keep the Purell close by. Whether or not you believe it works or actually works against you, use it and keep it out for others to use. Oh you just went out the door that we all have to go out of, and touched the handle? 1. RUDE. And 2. Purell me, please.
  • Don’t talk about how sick you are feeling. If it’s really that bad, go home.
  • Go the restroom or away from your desk if you need to blow your nose. The people around you don’t need to hear the business going on inside your nose. It’s just… yuck.
  • Cough and sneeze into your arm. Not your hands. And direct it away from your coworkers.
  • Bundle up. It gets cold in the office, and it’s no one else’s problem that your teeth are chattering.

The goal really is to make it appear that you are actively trying to get better. Which, you hopefully genuinely are trying to do. When is time to go home? When you may have fallen asleep with your eyes open while staring at the computer screen, people look at you with an “Are you OK?” look, and/or you are delirious with a fever.

Eventually I did everyone a favor and went home for a couple of days. The “sick” was just too much to handle, and really, I was gross. And, no one wants to be “that person” who got everyone at work sick.

Anyone have feel better remedies? Share in the comments below!

February 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment Answers: What do I write in my personal message?

ANSWER: Really, for the purposes of our site, the personal message you complete when you apply is the equivalent of the cover letter. Since you’re not mailing it and it’s processed through our system, you don’t have to spend time worrying about formatting an address at the top. Just start with the main body.

If you’ve already typed up your cover letter in a document or through our cover letter tool, simply open it up in a display mode and copy and paste the text. Be sure to include a salutation and a closing salutation.

February 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm Leave a comment

Student Blogger: How I became a resume-building machine

Kelly Rogers

Most of you know that in today’s world, when employers look at your resume, they have the tendency to skip over your stellar GPA and go straight to your internship and professional experience.  I was quick to learn this last spring while applying for summer internships.  I was only a member of two communications-related organizations and a member of my sorority.  I knew I needed to get an internship, but I didn’t know if my resume would get my foot in the door.  My resume was pretty lackluster, but somehow I landed an interview and got the job as a marketing intern.

After a summer of self-actualization and the realization of how determined I am to land my dream job by May 2012, I knew one internship, two clubs and sorority membership wasn’t going to put my resume at the top of the stack. And that’s when I turned into a resume-building machine.

Since the beginning of this school year, I have obtained an internship with the American Advertising Federation’s local professional chapter here in Lafayette, Indiana, a promotions internship with a record company, the title of vice president at my sorority, a recruitment chair position in one of my academic clubs, a spot on Purdue’s Marketing and Media Advisory Board and this blogging position. You should do some research and see if any clubs you are a part of have professional chapters and need some extra help.

I took advantage of almost every e-mail forwarded to me about open internships or officer positions around campus.  While my evenings are usually spent in meetings, I’m obtaining work-related experience while also developing my leadership and decision-making skills.  What steps are you taking to improve your resume?

February 22, 2011 at 11:30 am Leave a comment

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About This Blog

"Eye of the Intern" is a blog written by a variety of interns, students, employers, and Team Members.

Whether you already have an internship, are looking for one, or just need something to read while having lunch - this blog covers it all.

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