How to Ask for an Internship | The Intern Hustle

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If you're watching this video, I'm guessing it's because you're looking for

an answer to one of the following questions: How do I ask a company for an

internship? Who should I reach out to if the company doesn't have internships

listed on their website? What if the company doesn't have any internships

listed for the department that I want to work in? and Is it appropriate to ask a

company if they would create an internship for me? I get these questions

from students a lot. And as it turns out, I have first-hand experience with

creating internships for myself that did not previously exist, or were never

publicly listed. I asked my way into three out of the four internships that I

had in college. If you never ask, you'll NEVER get the internship. So what do you

have to lose by asking? I'm going to share how I successfully asked for

internships in this video. Hit the like button if you're excited to learn

something new today, and subscribe for new videos every

single week on this channel. Hey there! I'm Jenna Rein, from,

and this is Initiative Muscle Monday. Helping you to start each week

with an intentional step toward a successful future. Let's do this! How do I ask

a company for an internship? or Should I send them an email asking for an

internship? My answer... it depends. To help you out, I'm gonna walk you through a few

different scenarios and tell you how I would approach each one of them. Scenario #1: The company has internships , but they

have no clear or advertised application process. This is when you know that the

company has internships (because they've offered internships in the past, or

you've seen that people have had these internships), but they don't talk about

them anywhere on their website or even on their LinkedIn page. And internships

don't exist on the careers page of their website. And you just really don't know

how to apply. Scenario #2: The company has internships listed on their

website, with a clear application process for you, but the roles are limited. So in

this case, it's clear to you how to apply for the internship with the company, but

they don't have any internships listed for the specific role or department

that you are interested in. Scenario #3: The company just doesn't have

internships. In this scenario, I'm assuming that you've done your research

on the company. And from what you can tell, they've never

had an internship program before and they don't currently have one now. Before

I dive into the how-to part of this video, I want to highlight two important

things for you. #1: Don't be a resume spammer. Just emailing your resume

to a company, with no clear introduction or strategy, is not going to help you get

the internship. And if your resume isn't tailored to the company, and the specific

role that you want, then you will most definitely not get the internship. For

more information on how you should tailor your resume for a specific

internship opportunity that you want to apply for, and to get the rest of my

resume tips, go ahead and check out these videos. But please, hear me when I say, do

not go around sending out your resume spam to a bunch of different companies

in your attempt to ask for an internship. The second thing that I want to point

out before we jump into the how-to, is with all of these scenarios you have to

be committed to the goal. If you really want this internship, then invest your

time and energy into getting it. Alright, let's get into this. I'm going to

help you answer the question for yourself: How do I ask a company for an

internship? And we're gonna go through this from the three scenarios that I just

laid out for you. And we're gonna start with scenario #1. And just as a

reminder, scenario #1: The company has internships, but they

have no clear or advertised application process.

So this is the scenario that I get the most emails about (and DMs, and

comments on my YouTube videos, and all of the things). Students always want to know --

How can I get my foot in the door if the company hasn't even given me someone to

contact for their internship program? And I know they have internships, because

I've seen other people intern for this company, but I just have no idea where to

start. So you really want to intern for this

company, but you don't know where to begin. They haven't given you a clear, big,

neon APPLY HERE sign. And you may be wondering... Why would a company not want

to advertise their internship program? How do they find interns if they don't

have an application process or someone to contact? The answer is: companies who

don't advertise their internships, in most cases they don't need to. These

companies have a sought after internship, and they know that they have no shortage

of qualified candidates who will find them. A lot of times these

companies will also fill their internship vacancies with referrals.

These can be referrals from employees, clients, universities or even past

interns. So are you out of luck if you want to intern with a company like this?

No, and I'm proof. And does what I'm about to share with you work every time to get

your foot in the door? No, and I'm proof of that as well. How do

you ask for an internship with a company that's playing hard to get? To start, you

need to find a person at the company to connect with. This works best if you have

some kind of introduction. A warm introduction from someone you met at a

networking event, or maybe it's even a family member or a friend. But you can do

cold outreach as well. And if you're looking for networking tips, and ways

that you can meet people and just establish more professional contacts for

yourself so that you're not always having to do cold outreach, then check

out these videos that I have for some of my networking ideas for students. I want

you to find someone within the company who is either specifically related to

the role or department that you aspire to get an internship with. Or someone

who's a decision maker at the company. And decision makers can be the head of a

department, a recruiter or an internship director. Or in some cases, they're

even the president or the CEO of the company. Now a lot of times this depends

on how big the company is. After you identify the right person to connect

with, the next step is... you guessed it... to reach out to them. This is the part that

most people don't want to do. Because it's uncomfortable. And because rejection

happens. I'm telling you right now, you have to get over it.

Remember what I said at the beginning of this video? If you never ask, you'll never

get the internship. So here's how I suggest you reach out: Email the contact

that you've identified through your research, and ask them if they're open to

doing an informational interview with you. I am a big fan of informational

interviews. In fact, it's the topic that I teach the most on in my workshops and

webinars that I do for universities and student organizations. You can learn a

lot through conducting informational interviews, and you start to build

important relationships for your professional network. I have an entire

video dedicated to how to reach out for an informational interview. And there's

even a free worksheet, with a sample email template, that goes

along with it. So go check that out -- I have included links for both the video

and the worksheet (that includes the email template) in the description below

this video. Now how does an informational interview help you ask for an internship?

Well, it gets your foot in the door. And it allows you to create a stronger

connection with someone at the company. You're no longer a random person asking

for an internship. You're a person that they've had the chance to connect with.

And if you did all of this right, you've shown how professional you can be and

how invested you are in their company. And if you did your research, and you

identified the best person to connect with upfront, then you're going to be in an

even better position to ask about internship opportunities at the end of

your informational interview. Look, always read the room first and make sure that

it feels appropriate to ask. But at the end of the informational interview (or

even in a follow-up email after your informational interview), you can ask

about internship opportunities. A direct way to do this, if you feel that it's

appropriate to do so, would be something like: "Thank you so much for taking the

time to speak with me today. Meeting you, and learning more about the company, only

confirmed my interest in what you do. I am currently pursuing internship

opportunities, and I am very interested in an opportunity with your company. How

could I go about applying for an internship with your company, now or in

the future?" Now notice I said future. That's because they could have already

filled all of their current internship positions, and you don't want to rule

yourself out for any future opportunities. And if being that

direct just doesn't feel right, then the indirect way to go about asking for an

internship would be: "Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me

today. Meeting you, and learning more about the company, only confirmed my

interest in what you do. I'm currently pursuing internship opportunities. Do you

have any suggestions for me on how I can increase my chances of landing an

internship with your company, or within the industry?" This is a great way to

approach asking for an internship, because it still lets them know that

you're interested in becoming an intern with their company, but it doesn't put

them on the spot as much as the direct approach does. It also gives them the

opportunity to suggest other internships that they may know about. Maybe they

don't have an internship available for you with their company, but they do know

someone in the industry who is looking for an

intern, and they could then make a warm introduction for you. The informational

interview strategy has worked for me in some cases, and in others it hasn't. But

that's why it's so important to practice making the ask. Do as many

informational interviews as you can. I successfully got an internship with a

sports agency that never posts about its internships. I did this by landing an

informational interview with the founder, and making the ask. But on the flip side,

I also once got a warm introduction to an executive at the Cleveland Browns. And

I tried my hardest to get an informational interview with him, and I

even sent the follow ups (like you're supposed to), but he never got back to me...

I never got the informational interview. So you win some, and you lose some. But

you have to try, to win any at all. Moving on to scenario #2. And

remember, this is: The company has internships listed on their website, with

a clear application process, but the roles are limited. Well, you have more to

work with than scenario #1, so that's positive. And if the company has a

clear application process for their available internship positions, then this

also means that they probably have somebody who is in charge of recruiting

for the internship program, or they're running the internship program

altogether. If there's a specific role, or a department, that you are looking to for

an internship, but the company doesn't currently have it listed as an option,

then you can go about asking for the internship in a couple different ways.

First, you can follow similar steps to what I outlined with scenario #1,

and conduct some informational interviews with people in the department

that you would like to intern for. And if you can get to know them, and build

relationships with them... More importantly, if you can demonstrate to them the value

that you can add to their department as an intern... Then they can go and be an

advocate for you at their company. They can do a lot of the heavy lifting, and

open up the right doors at the company to get you into the internship position

that you are interested in. Because if you position yourself well with them,

they're gonna want to add you to their team as a resource. It is to their

advantage to help you get this internship. The other option is going

right to the hiring source. If a company has other internships posted, chances are

you can find the individual who is in charge of the hiring process.

Sometimes this person is listed on the careers page, the job description for the

role, or you can find them on the company's team page. Look for titles like:

Internship Coordinator, or Supervisor, Manager or Director. Or University,

College or Campus Recruiter. And keep in mind that sometimes the person in charge

of the interns is the hiring manager (or the lead for the given department that

the interns are reporting into). Once you identify the right person, then your job

is to pitch them on why they should hire you for the internship role that you're

suggesting. Create the position that you want. To do this, draft up a job

description and concisely list the reasons why you want to intern for this

company, while also demonstrating the value that you can provide them. I

suggest pulling job descriptions from similar internships with other companies

and using these as a starting point when you're drafting your own. However, make

sure that you tailor the job description that you're creating to the company that

you are interested in. Show them that you're a self-starter, and that you won't

require a lot of additional work on their part. Make it easy for them to

insert you into their hiring process, and ultimately their internship program. When

I was hoping to get an internship with the Chicago Bulls, I checked their

website first.. as one typically does, you check their website to see if there

are any internships available. And they did have some internships listed, but

most were within their marketing or ticket sales department. And I wanted a

very specific internship. I wanted a strength and conditioning internship. So

their website didn't help me out. So my approach was to go right back to the

informational interview strategy that I shared with you, and go straight to the

man in charge. I tracked down the head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Chicago

Bulls, and I asked him for an informational interview. He said yes, and

he let me ask him some questions that summer. And a year later, I had a strength

and conditioning internship with the Chicago Bulls. So remember what I said at

the beginning of this video, about being committed to the goal and if you really

want this internship you have to be in it for the long game in some cases.

Because sometimes it takes time to build that relationship. Or in this case, he

already had interns for that summer, so it wasn't an option for me. But I stayed

in touch, I continued to follow up with him, and I had an opportunity the

following summer to be a strength conditioning intern with the Chicago

Bulls. The third and final scenario that I'm

covering in this video is: The company doesn't have internships. Now this one

has similar tactics to the last. If you've done your research, and you can

tell that this company doesn't have an internship program, what can you do

about it? Again, create the position that you want. Go back and re-watch the last

section of this video, if you need to, where I talked about how to create a job

description for the position that you want. This is an especially effective

strategy with smaller companies. A lot of smaller companies don't think that they

have the time to organize and lead interns. So they just don't even bother

with it. However these are the exact companies that need interns. They could

use more help around the office. If you can effectively communicate your value

add to the company, and then draft a convincing job description for the

internship position, then a company will be a lot more inclined to take you on.

Even if they didn't intend to hire any interns in the first place. Show them why

they would be a fool to say no to you. Now while I don't have personal

experience with this scenario, from an internship standpoint that is, I have

seen this work well for others. People get internships this way all the time.

Just by drafting up a job description and presenting themselves as a strong

candidate. And personally, I've created jobs for myself within companies this

way throughout my career. Multiple times in my career, I have been hired by a

company to do one thing (based on my past experiences or referrals into the

company), and then I pivoted and created a new role for myself a few short months

later. How did I do this? By demonstrating the value that I could provide to the

company, and then drafting up a convincing job description about how I

could serve them better going forward. This is how can I save them resources

(like time and money), or what new strategic initiatives could I create and

then execute on for them. Creating the position that you want is doable, if you

present it in a compelling way. Honestly, out of the scenarios that we discussed, I

don't see any of these three scenarios as a negative position for you to find

yourself in. If internships aren't clearly advertised, or readily available

with a company, it usually means that you're not gonna face as much

competition for them. Even if they are internships that a lot of people want.

Because I find that most people are pretty lazy. They want the quick wins --

Like just being able to respond to a posting,

with a simple application process. They then apply, and just hope for the best as

their application gets lost in the vortex of hundreds of other applications.

But if you're willing to do what many aren't, and put in a little bit more work

upfront, then you may just wind up with a pretty great internship... that in some

cases did not even exist when you set out for it. Go get 'em! And best of luck. If

you're looking for even more creative ideas on how to land an internship, then

check out this video on my channel next where I give you five ideas on how to

get an internship you want. And remember to check the description below this

video for suggested videos to watch next, and access to the email template for how

to reach out for an informational interview that I mentioned earlier.

Thanks for watching! If this video gave you some new insights today, please give

it a like and share it with a friend or two. Hit that red subscribe button below

so that you don't miss out on future videos. In support of your hustle, I'm

Jenna from, and I'll see you next Monday.