on What Makes a High-Impact Internship
In this week’s Gina MBA I share with you all about my experiences of both being the intern and hiring the intern—but the conversation doesn’t end there. To add a fresh perspective to the mix, let me introduce you to my superstar intern of-the-moment, Kendall DeKreek.
After just one semester of working with us here at Divine Living (and bringing her A-game), Kendall is about to graduate from UCSB and join the DL team full-time. We could not be more thrilled to have her and wanted to share all the secrets to her success.
So whether you already have an internship program at your business, are applying to intern for an entrepreneur you admire, or everything in between, read our interview with Kendall below to find out how she landed a Divine Living internship and turned it into a full-time position.
What attracted you to the internship at Divine Living and what got you the job?
I had just returned to Santa Barbara after a semester in Florence. I didn’t want to go back to my waitressing job—I was craving serious professional experience. So I started applying to every internship I could find. By the time I stumbled upon Gina’s ad, I was kind of burnt out on applications—but her message triggered something different inside of me. So instead of writing the same routine professional cover letter, I was inspired to really speak from my heart. I probably broke all the rules for what you should or should not say in an application, but I think that’s what got me the job.
How has your experience at Divine Living been so far? We hear you’ve been very successful…
It’s been incredible! I’ve learned more than I ever thought I would and have been given the opportunity to expand my skill set in so many new situations—from creating the program page for the Wow Factor to helping out behind the scenes at the last Divine Living Academy event in LA. So I’m developing real world skills that I never learned from a book or in a classroom. I started out with a base pay and after a month of putting in a lot of hard work, I felt confident to ask for a raise and I got it. Now I’ve been offered an official position with salary as soon as I graduate—every college senior’s dream!
Amazing! What advice do you have for other young interns looking to stand out and land that full time job?
It really comes down to the little things that show how committed you are. You have to be completely in it all the time. I had a mid-term last week, but I still went to our work meeting (by choice) that morning and I was recognized for it. Glenn always laughs at me because I’m constantly running around the office in heels—it’s because I do not want to waste a second of my boss’s time!
Talk to us more about the heels—it sounds like you’ve been dressing the part.
Yes—I immediately noticed that Gina had an amazing sense of style so when I got the job I took myself shopping. I think it’s so important to dress for the role you desire. You don’t want to look like the average college student in sneakers and a back-pack if you’re trying to be taken seriously as a professional. I love getting dressed up to come to work every day—pencil skirts, slacks, statement necklaces. It’s part of taking myself seriously and bringing my A-game.
So you never showed up looking like the coffee girl…and it worked for you?
My first couple of days on the job,I noticed Gina liked lattes and I was just waiting to be sent on a coffee run. I can proudly say it never happened! I’ve been given meaningful work and allowed to contribute in important ways—like building a website, which is not something I learned to do in school!
What do you say to people who think there’s a stigma to being the intern?
I think no matter how old you are, if there’s a new industry you want to learn about or a business you admire, an internship is an amazing way to see behind the scenes of how things are run. I think the best way to learn something is often just by being thrown into it. Through this experience I’ve discovered that I’m good at marketing and that I love it. I wouldn’t have found that out about myself if I hadn’t fully dove into this job and committed to doing my best.