Summer internships: Get professional experience and course credit over the summer

March 02, 2023

Summer internships through the Olinde Career Center are a great way to get course credit toward your major and professional experience for your resume. See LSU student Brooke Bell's story about interning with CNBC Events.

My Summer with CNBC

LSU Student Brooke Bell

LSU Student Brooke Bell turned CNBC Events internship experience into course credit last summer.

– Photo Credit: Brooke Bell

If someone would have told me as a freshman that I would intern for a major news outlet, I would have laughed. At the time, the idea of that happening seemed so far-fetched. Until one day, it actually happened.

Everything changed one Monday in April. I woke up that morning to a rejection email from an internship I thought I was a great fit for. Needless to say, I was discouraged.

I had been applying to internships for months and hadn’t heard much back after the first screening interview.

To add to it, every time I logged into LinkedIn, it seemed like everyone was getting these amazing internship offers and looking forward to an exciting summer.

Just a week before, I had interviewed with the senior editor of an events and panel company called CNBC Events. I thought it went well, but I wasn’t sure if I would be the best fit. As I sat down at my desk at work later that day, I got an email from a recruiter at NBCUniversal. She asked if I could call her as soon as possible. Immediately, I became nervous – she could either be delivering amazing news about the interview or telling me that I wasn’t what they were looking for. I walked outside of the office and called her immediately.

“Congratulations! We want to formally offer you the internship with CNBC Events!” The recruiter said.

She told me all the details about the internship. I’d be working virtually, and it started in June. Also… I had two days to accept the offer.

In that moment, everything seemed so surreal. After three months of applications and interviews, I actually got an internship that I could only dream of at the time. It made me think, what did the CNBC Events and the NBCUniversal team see in me when I interviewed? And how could I deliver what they expected of me this summer? I couldn’t answer the first question, but I could find an answer to the latter!

Before my internship started in June, I spent May reading business articles. With CNBC being a business news outlet, I needed to get acquainted with IPOs, “unicorns” and all the terms of the business world. It was intimidating, but it helped me enter day one with calmness. I also signed up for a summer internship course to ensure that I could receive credit for my work over the summer.

Before I started, all I could imagine was what it would be like to work for NBCUniversal. I kept imagining that I would be like Andrea in “The Devil Wears Prada,” always getting the worst tasks and dealing with an unwelcoming staff. To my surprise, it was the total opposite.

The team was probably one of the best I’ve worked with so far. They were so warm, inviting and honest about their experiences. They never made me feel like “an intern,” but a member of the team. The editorial team invited me to attend meetings with the companies they worked with and always introduced me as a member of the CNBC Events team. I also got to work on creating written materials for the events.

Sometimes I would write invitations for the guests or recaps of the events.

When CNBC Events held their panels and conferences, they enlisted the hosts of CNBC’s shows to moderate the events. With these hosts having little time to research the panelists at the events they would moderate. My job was to make a detailed list of notes about the companies and panelists for the moderators to read, familiarize themselves with the panelists and make questions. It was fascinating to know that some of the people I saw on TV were reading my notes. I also got to work with the audience development team to create guest lists for the events.

“ By the end of my internship, I had two invaluable takeaways. First, I got college credit for it; this helped me to knock out one of my electives for next semester. Second, I got an experience that grew my professional connections and expanded my resume. ”

As a journalism major, I wanted to use the internship to work on my writing. Luckily, the senior editor let me write two articles for CNBC. Seeing my byline and work on such a major website was a crazy feeling.

As I look back on my time with CNBC, I’m so grateful I got the opportunity to intern for them. While it didn’t exactly align with my major, the experience I got was invaluable. In mass communications, there’s an expectation that communications professionals are jacks of all trades. This internship gave me experience outside of just journalism. It helped me to be a more well-rounded communicator.

For anyone else going through the application and interview process of summer internships, don’t give up!

It’s a long process, but it’s so rewarding. Through the competitiveness and interviews, it has a pay-off that few other experiences could amount to.

My advice to you: don’t stop applying! If you want a summer internship, keep applying until you get an offer. Don’t put your eggs in one basket; apply to several, so you have some options, and never give up on your dreams.