Landing the perfect internship can be a challenging and stressful task. It takes hours of researching, applying, and preparing before actually interviewing with a company. Although Chicago College Life (CCL) has attempted to make this process easier by gathering opinions from professionals on internships, the interview process, and campus career resources, we have yet to get a student perspective on the matter. Lizzy Sebuck, a senior at UIC, is majoring in Communications and is graduating this December. Last summer she earned a position at the Red Bull corporate office in Chicago as their Communication intern. CCL sat down with Lizzy and got the scoop about her experience with a summer internship at Red Bull.
Chicago College Life (CCL): How did you find your internship?
Lizzy Sebuck (LS): I had already been working with the Red Bull Wiiings Team for about a year when I heard about the internship. Working with the team is a lot more than promotions… being a Wiiings Team Member includes knowing everything there is to know about the energy drink as well as the Red Bull brand as a whole. In that job, the Wiiings Team Members speak on behalf of the brand to consumers.
My boss at that job came to me when he heard that there was a position open at the office. He knew that I am a Communications major, a huge media and film nerd, and that I live and breathe Red Bull so he thought it would be perfect for me. You know how they say, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? They weren’t kidding!
CCL: What was the interview process like?
LS: Scary! But I prepared for it A LOT before my interview. I spent about a week making my roommates and friends test interview me with questions we thought they might ask at the interview. I prepared myself by making up hypothetical questions, since I had no idea what to expect. The actual interview itself was really not so bad because I was so well prepared. The women who interviewed me were friendly but professional, so I was pretty comfortable talking to them about more work opportunities for a company that I already love.
CCL: How often were you asked to work?
LS: This internship was my life for 4 months! While I worked in the corporate office for about 40 hours week, this internship was way more than a 9 to 5 job. Red Bull hosts many different events that span across culture; from sports to music, and art—this company kind of has its hands dipped in everything. I would travel around the Midwest with this internship when I had to cover these events. I even lived in Detroit for 2 weeks! During these events the Communications team would work some pretty early mornings until late the next night to finish coverage for any given occasion.
CCL: What kind of responsibilities did you have?
LS: As an intern, I did just about everything and anything asked of me. For starters, I was responsible for press releases and media alerts for any Red Bull event or news. Furthermore, it was my job to contact all of the media outlets, organize interviews, and get coverage for all of our events. During the actual events the Communications team does just about everything. The Media Center is “the hub” for the Communications team. At the Media Center, I would assist in writing press and news releases, media alerts, as well as update the entire Red Bull company of on-going changes to the event schedule as they would occur. There was literally nothing we didn’t do. Sometimes we would arrive on site as early as 4 A.M. to conduct interviews, work through the day at the event, and then stay up all night writing press releases and reviewing photos of the event.
CCL: What was most challenging about your internship?
LS: I didn’t really have a life when I worked as a communications/media intern at Red Bull… but I was totally okay with it. I love the brand and I loved getting real life experience in my major, so I was totally happy. Yeah, I had to sacrifice a LOT of time and did a LOT of work, but it was definitely worth it. The hardest thing about my internship was working long hours. 28 hour days aren’t easy, even if you have a Red Bull in hand!
CCL: What was your best experience while working with Red Bull?
LS: The coolest thing about my internship was my last project. For my last event in August the Communications team and I flew to St.Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota for Red Bull Flugtag. Red Bull Flugtag is an amazing event that includes the creation of “flight crafts” of about 30 teams of people. This hilarious event was not only fun, but I learned how to work a national event. As a last task, it was my job to run and operate the Media Center for Red Bull Flugtag Minneapolis. What a cool thing to put on my resume, right? I organized and operated the entire Media Center for a national event held by one of the top companies in the world. It was amazing.
CCL: Lastly, do you have any advice for other college students in Chicago who are interested in interning?
LS: Start an internship somewhere that you might see beginning your future career at. This way you’ll get an ‘in’ with people who decide your role at that company, and furthermore gain experience in a field you could eventually be paid to work in! Get ready for a work overload! If you are working somewhere that you want to have a career at, you really have to bust your ass to show them how much you care.
Based off Lizzy’s experience, you should expect an internship to be challenging and put you to the test. It is important to search for a position that really appeals to you, since you’ll be asked to invest a lot of time and energy in the company. Learn from Lizzy’s experience from working at RedBull, and use your internship to network and advance in the career field of your dreams!
For more information about available internships, check out the career services offered by your university: