The book: Written for college students hoping to jump-start their business career, How to Intern Successfully (Waterside Productions) explains how to optimize internship experiences. Written by a seasoned intern mentor, the book delves into the specifics at each stage of the internship process, from job hunting to interviews, and includes insights from former interns. Emphasizing themes of authenticity and transparency, Khoury draws from his time on Princeton’s campus to inform this how-to guide. The first of a planned series, How to Intern Successfully documents decades’ worth of expertise on how to successfully enter the corporate world.
Rob Khoury ’90 is the founder and CEO of Agile Rainmakers, a business development consulting and advisory firm, and has spent 20 years in the financial industry. Khoury earned his BSE degree in electrical engineering at Princeton and his MBA in finance and international business from Duke University.
John Selby ’68 is the author of over two dozen self-help, business, and psychology books published in 14 languages. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Princeton in 1968 and attended graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. Selby currently lives with his wife in Santa Cruz, California.
Value your time and do what is valuable. — Dalai Lama
Over a million college students in America do an internship every year. In addition, almost two million students advance into graduate programs and essentially intern within that context. And for every intern, there’s a corporate or academic mentor who takes on the responsibility of making the intern’s experience both satisfying and rewarding for all parties involved.
As a successful businessman who regularly brings college students into my company for summer, winter-break, and semester internships, I aim with this book to share what I’ve learned about how to have a meaningful (and also quite enjoyable) intern experience within the world of business. I’ll be speaking mostly to the corporate intern experience, but the discussions readily translate into grad student situations.
The whole process of diving into deep engagement with a company or graduate program can be a somewhat scary experience. This discussion will make sure you fully understand each step of the intern process, and successfully move through these steps into an experience of personal growth, rapid learning, and stimulating discoveries. As you engage with supportive mentors who’ve been advancing their own careers for decades and now want to pass it on, you’ll gain essential insights and priceless experiences.
I also intend for this text to encourage and inform managers and mentors, by putting them into an intern’s shoes so that they better understand what an intern wants and needs. Being a mentor to an intern is a deep responsibility, as I’ve found out for myself. This book will hopefully make a difference for both interns and their mentors as they learn to work harmoniously together.
The goal of an internship is for both parties to share perspectives and benefit equally from the relationship – so that the intern flourishes and so does the hosting company or institution. As one recent intern named Caroline put it:
“My intern/mentor relationship was one of the most important experiences in my college-student life. These early business experiences have the power to impact an intern quite deeply. More specifically, a purposefully-designed and compassionately-administered internship program like Rob provides can reveal new realms of business life. A good mentor can ensure that the intern feels confident to take the risks necessary to grow and succeed.”
The intern experience from start to finish can be either an anxious stressful unsatisfying bore – or a most wonderfully stimulating and rewarding opportunity. I personally went through college and into the business world with very limited support during my internships – so I want to share with you some of the insights and guidance I wish I myself had received. Life is all about both giving and receiving. As an experienced intern mentor I’m pleased to offer whatever I have to share. I’m here to help you optimize your intern adventure.
Reprinted with permission from How to Intern Successfully by Robert J. Khoury and John Selby, published by Waterside Productions. © 2021 by Waterside Productions. All rights reserved.