A Universal Success
With nine internships under her belt, Alexandra Osten ’15 shares her not-so-magic secrets to securing internships.
CBS Corporation, NBCUniversal, and Gimme Mo’ Productions are just a few places Alexandra Osten ’15 has interned while at Pace. The Lubin School of Business Arts and Entertainment Management and Global Marketing double major has completed a total of 10 internships so far, including two at NBCUniversal, and is currently enjoying her 11th internship, this time at CNN. In addition to interning at NYC’s biggest companies, she founded a new student organization: Successful Women at Pace.
But between taking 19 credits, participating in honors societies, and serving on the Student Government Association’s Executive Board, Osten says that when it comes to internships, “I don't think it's about luck. For me, it's hard work.”
Last semester Osten wrapped up three internships that touched on different areas of her studies—one at UBS Wealth Management as a global wealth management intern; one at Gimme Mo’ Productions as a marketing and promotions intern; and another at NBCUniversal as a Today show intern.
“My reason for doing so many different types of internships has been to narrow down what I don't like, because I already know I like a lot of things. It also helps validate [those interests],” she says. “Down the line I know for a fact I want to be in the entertainment industry. I'm just trying to figure out where exactly that is.”
Recently Osten spearheaded an information session that brought her current employer NBCUniversal to campus to help other Pace students find their own interests at the media company. Osten noticed, after two semesters at the company, that Pace students were underrepresented in the intern population there. “I feel that our students are excellent candidates when it comes to these internships,” she says. “I wanted to bring awareness not only to NBC about our talent, but also bring awareness to Pace students about the different types of opportunities at NBC.”
Nearly 300 students turned out for the information session, and some Pace students have already secured internships at the company as a result of the event. “It was extremely successful in my opinion,” she says. Osten stresses the importance of peer-to-peer encouragement, as it opens doors for all Pace students in the future and ultimately increases the value of a degree from the University.
But she knows that securing those coveted internships, which are often the first steps to career success, can be difficult sometimes. “It's about putting yourself out there and getting rejections, because it's inevitable; you're going to get rejected. You can't get every internship you want,” she says. “But going the extra mile to set yourself apart, and doing your research on the organization you're trying to get an internship with really makes a difference,” she advises.
Osten specifically looks for internship positions that will be beneficial for both her career and also for the organization that hires her. Sometimes this involves disregarding the title of a position and looking more carefully at the job description. “You have to look for an internship not only that you want to have, but where you think they'd want to have you. Make sure you can give back to them because they're investing in you,” she says.
Her go-to tool for finding internships and researching companies has been mostly internet-based, but she says that building connections with people in her network has been another great tool for future career endeavors. In fact, she believes that making those connections with coworkers is a one of the most valuable aspects an internship can provide. “I feel it's a good experience when you're able to go beyond the parameters of the internship and you get that personal mentorship from your supervisor.”
While Osten has recently begun looking for her next internship, she says she plans to slow down during her senior year. She’ll be taking on fewer credits and would like to participate in the Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Program. As for her next internship, Osten is shooting high.”It is a goal of mine to get to Saturday Night Live and it’s also a goal to venture into ABC and do The View,” she says.
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