Get Technical: Know These Programs & Apps for an Internship

PC and Mac girls can agree: computer savvy comes easy to us Millennials. Whether we’re downloading apps or building our Twitter readership, we certainly know our way around our favorite gadgets. Our computer skills are required and beneficial in the workplace, so there are some universal programs and web applications that all collegiettes™ should know about. Here, HC rounds up our favorites so you can rock your internship and eventually—your career.


Google Docs

This collaborative online instrument navigates its way through my e-mail accounts for everything from Her Campus to school to my internship at O, The Oprah Magazine. With all of the functionality of Microsoft Office, you can share documents with others, view changes, and chat with them about said changes in real time. “Google Docs is an incredibly useful as an organizing and business tool,” says Hofstra University design professor and president of design company MediaA, Tom Klinkowstein. Start a Google Doc with your fellow interns to keep an ongoing project organized and you’ll be golden.  Just make sure everyone has a Gmail account so they’ll be able to edit the docs, not just view them.

Did your boss ask you to assemble data in an easy-to-read format? Don’t fret—No need to pull out Microsoft Office for this assignment. LucidChart allows you to design charts for any purpose including business analysis, networking diagrams, flow charts and more. Access the site from anywhere and collaborate with fellow interns or your supervisor in real time.

Strut in on a Monday with a long agenda? Who needs post-its when is the go-to spot for virtual to-do list-making? Prioritize your internship projects with the site’s filters, drag and drop options, and hierarchal grouping all of free of charge.

Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver, oh my! How many of these Adobe programs can you identify?


Ready for the challenge? Check out this list to see which programs you should consider mastering and scope out YouTube for introductions:


ExpressScribeTranscribing software

Rather than switch between pausing a transcription and re-opening your Microsoft Word document, ES puts both tools in one. Decrease the speed of the interview and type at a decent pace to get your assignment done efficiently—plus, it’s free!

WordPress Blogging platform/content management system

Having knowledge of one of the fastest growing content management systems out there is a useful skill. “Tools like WordPress are great,” says Klinkowstein. “Just make sure you can [do] it well—you’ll get in trouble if you say you know how to code websites with WordPress and actually can’t,” he says.



Use this website’s free options as open-source utility for everything pre-production. This includes script writing as well as scheduling and crew organization. “Celtx is the best free option out there that mimics the professional software used in the industry,” says IFC Films intern Alex Raup.  “It’s a name folks in the industry recognize, so it’s helpful for film students to understand in order to get their foot in the door at a major film company,” he says.  [HOW-TO]

AvidFilm editing software

From music to movies and television, Avid is one of the standard programs for professional editing. [HOW-TO]

FinalCut ProFilm editing software

This Apple product is another standard program for professional editing for media. [HOW-TO]

Graphic Design:

Adobe InDesignPrint layout design

Klinkowstein says InDesign is a valuable tool that impresses employers. Master this Adobe program to create pamphlets, magazine, and newspaper layouts. [HOW-TO:]

Adobe PhotoshopPhoto editing (raster-based: pixel quality or dots per inch is limited)

Your dabbling in PS altering your Facebook photo can come in handy in the workplace. “Photoshop is as important to know as Microsoft Word nowadays,” says Klinkowstein. “It’s beneficial to know how to manipulate images for desired image in many industries.” [HOW-TO]


Excel Spreadsheet application

Be certain you fully understand this Microsoft program to make the most at your business internship. “You don’t use Excel in a classroom all the time, but you do in a business setting,” says Lauren Taylor, an intern at IFC Films. “For example, I do subtitles and time code charts for the unreleased movies at IFC so my boss can look at them more easily.”


Which ones of these should you place on your resume? “The ones you have fully mastered,” says Klinkowstein, who has seen 500 to 1,000 resumes in the past five years. “Since levels range from someone who used it once to someone who used it 500 times, be wary of which programs you put on there.” Remember that if you say you’re proficient in InDesign for your art magazine internship, you better be able to take on any task assigned where that program is involved.


Alt tab (PC) and Control tab (Mac) – Navigate open programs more easily

Print screen (PC) and Option+Shift+4 (Mac) – Screenshot your desktop

See More: PC or Mac

Having knowledge about these tools can help you score more prestigious internships and even jobs down the road.


Have you ever used these programs or applications at your internship? Any other programs you think are helpful to master? Weigh in below! is the #1 online magazine for college women with national content on Style, Health, Love, Life, Career, and more, supplemented by local content produced by teams of students at 200+ colleges across the country.  Her Campus is the destination for everything college women need to know about today.  You can apply to start a branch of Her Campus at your school at

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Tom Klinkowstein, President of MediaA and Hofstra University Design Professor

Lauren Taylor, IFC Films intern, Hofstra ‘12

Alex Raup, IFC Films intern, Hofstra ‘12

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