If you don’t know who Jamie Varon is, you need to know. Now. Jamie is the founder of Shatterboxx Media and a former intern for WithJess and Brazen Careerist. Some of her social media exploits include: writing for Penelope Trunk’s wildly popular career advice blog, starting the nationally recognized blog TwitterShouldHireMe and being featured on the front of Fortune.com. See how this trendsetter went from Intern-2-Incharge in a matter of months!
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1.You’ve completed internships with WithJess and Brazen Careerist. How were you able to secure those positions?
When I was at a conference in Los Angeles, one of the motivational speakers was a woman named Jessica Wiener. She blew me away, so at lunch, I marched straight up to her, told her that if I could choose my dream life, it would be the life she is leading. She immediately said to me, “Well, do you want an internship?” To which I replied, “OH MY GOD OF COURSE YES!” But you know, less ridiculous. And, so she offered me the internship, told me to follow up, and 6 months later, I moved to Los Angeles for two months to take the job.
With Brazen Careerist, I started talking to Ryan Paugh and kept funneling him blog posts I thought would be good for the site. Finally, I asked him if he needed any help with getting the word out and he offered me an internship on the spot.
2.Which internship experience has had the most impact on your development of Shatterboxx Media? Why?
The internship that I believe has had the most impact on the development of Shatterboxx Media was probably the WithJess one, because I definitely realized some unfounded capabilities while working for Jessica. I learned about delegation, self-starting, and leadership. But, really, the experience that helped me the most was a team I was involved in for 3 years in college. It’s called the American Advertising Federation – National Student Advertising Competition team.
For three separate years, I was involved in facilitating a marketing team to create a fictitious multi-million dollar advertising campaign for the company that was sponsoring the event. The last year I was involved with the team, I was President and the sponsor was Coca-Cola Company. By being the leader (or “CEO”) of the team, I managed to learn valuable career lessons that have been carried with me into being an entrepreneur. Without that experience, which was voluntary (and mostly like an internship), I wouldn’t have been able to be as successful with Shatterboxx.
3. Most students are excited about job propects right after the internship? What made you decide to take the unconventional route and start a business?
Ever since I was young enough to know what a career was, I knew that I would have to eventually be my own boss. I didn’t know when it would happen, but I knew that was going to be my path at some point. When I was unemployed for a short period of time, I was trying really hard to find a job that was satisfying. Nothing seemed to feel right. The only thing that felt right was web design, the kind where I was given total creative freedom. Really, the only reason I have the business is because it just consistently felt right to do so. I didn’t know if I was going to success or fail, but I trusted my intuition on it. It’s not the type of thing one should force.
4. If an individual knows that he/she wants to be an entrepreneur someday, is there a certain way he/she should approach the internship search and experience?
I would tell them to look for internships that provide leadership experience. It’s very hard to gain experience to be an entrepreneur if an internship doesn’t allow for self-starting projects. Just taking orders from someone higher up does not prepare someone for a self-owned business.
Need a custom website, blog, or custom features for a website or blog? Check out Jamie’s Company: Shatterboxx
Follow Her @JamieVaron
What kind of companies do you think will give interns the leadership experience they need? Big/Small? What has been your experience?