What is an Internship?
An internship is an opportunity that a business/organization agrees to offer to a student interested in gaining work experience in a particular industry. Students observe work firsthand and often rotate through a number of departments and job functions. An internship is an excellent way to determine if the industry and the profession are the best career options to follow before investing a lot of time and money in training and education.
Why an Internship?
Internships provide students an opportunity to:
"test-drive” career possibilities
gain experience in the field they are interested in pursuing
determine if they have an interest in a particular career
create a network of contacts and
gain school credit
Who May Intern?
This program is designed for students in the 11th and 12th grade.
The internship must directly relate to the industry or major the student plans on pursuing after high school.
Students applying for an internship should have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and should not have more than 5 absences.
How do I find a company to intern with?
Your family's contacts and family friend's contacts are usually the best sources for providing information on potential internship sites. Having family members reach out to their contacts is a great way to use networking to find an internship site. This source is often the easiest way to secure an internship because in most cases, family friends already know you and what kind of student you are.
Another way to find internship site is to complete an Internet search using Google to find local companies of the type you would like to intern with. Once you find companies or organizations that you are interested in, you will need to contact a decision maker at that company/organization to see if they will host you as an intern.
You can also use one of the following sites to find companies/organizations:
Once you find a potential company…
Create a resume using the sample provided (click button at top or bottom of page) or click Resume Writing
You may want to job shadow for a half day to get your foot in the door. If you and the potential business are interested, ask about interning for a semester.
Option I: Dress up like you are going in for an interview and visit the business. You can explain who you are and that you are interested in completing an internship. Use the email script below to help prepare for what you will say. Leave a copy of your resume.
Option II: You can send an email to a specific person at that company/ organization requesting an internship. Attach a copy of your resume.
Note: Although Option I may sound more difficult, it is often more successful. It is much easier to say “No” to an email then it is to someone’s face. It also shows that you are taking the initiative to get yourself out there.
Sample Email to Request an Internship:
Below is a rough draft of an email you could send to an organization or company who may be a potential internship site (you are welcome to alter the email to suit your needs). Make sure you fill in the company name in the spots that I underlined and customize the greeting with the name of the person you are sending it to (i.e. Mr. Smith:)
You should try to send your email to a specific person, not a general company email address. To determine who to send it to, look up the company or organization on the Internet, go to their website and try to find an email address for one of the decision makers, such as the owner, manager, office manager, or partner. If you cannot find a specific person on their Internet site, call the company and explain to the person who answers the phone that you are inquiring about an internship and would like to know who to send your request to. Try to get the person's name, email address, and phone number. Once you have a name and an email address, send an email like the one below to that person and be prepared to follow-up by phone. Make sure you write down who you sent it to so that you know who to follow up with.
When you send the email, send a copy to me, Mrs. Tyson, at so that if the company decides to contact me, I will know what they are calling about. If you have any questions, please see me, Mrs.Tyson, in Room 226, during lunch or after school.
Dear Dr./Mr./Ms. _______________ (send it to someone specific so you know who to follow-up with)
I am a (Junior or Senior) at Wake Forest High School. Our school offers students the opportunity to participate in an unpaid, or paid internship, with a business or organization for a high school class credit next school year. Wake County Public Schools and the state of North Carolina encourage students to participate in work-based learning experiences while we are still in high school. Internship students are better able to choose a future career, and will likely have a more rewarding post-secondary education experience.
I am very much interested in completing an internship at _name of the company because (list your reasons).
I am writing to determine if your company can accommodate me by hosting me as an intern for one school semester (18 weeks)? I am happy to provide a resume and willing to interview with you. During the internship, I will need to complete at least 135 hours of on the job experience, under the direction of a mentor from your organization. In addition, Wake County Public Schools maintains liability insurance for all interns. I will provide a copy of the insurance policy.
During the internship, as a student intern I would be expected to:
Develop and complete learning objectives (with my mentor).
Track and complete of a minimum of 135 contact hours. Hours are maintained on a timesheet.
Complete written journal entries - reflective of the learning experience.
Maintain regular communication with Mrs. Susan Tyson, Internship Coordinator (CDC) at Wake Forest High School, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mrs. Tyson, CDC will complete one site visit during the internship.
After the internship I will:
Develop a summary of the internship experience in PowerPoint, Prezi or through a video.
Present the electronic summary to a group in the Wake Forest School/Business Community.
Complete an evaluation about the internship experience.
Complete two (2) honors internship project lessons.
Ask my mentor to complete an evaluation, rating my performance during the internship.
Based on completion, Mrs. Tyson, CDC will award a grade and class credit to my high school transcript.
Do you think this might be something you would consider at (name of the company)? As a next step, I would be happy to meet with you, or your designee. Thank you so much for considering this opportunity. Should you wish to speak with my Internship Coordinator,
Mrs. Tyson, her telephone number is 919.554.8611, ext. 23700.
Thank you so much,
Sign the email with your first and last name.
On the line below your name type out your email address
Below that line type out a phone number where you can be reached
I have an Internship ... What next?
1. Read Student Internship Booklet. (NOTE: The person listed as "Internship Coordinator" noted in some internship
documents is me, Mrs. Tyson, Career Development Coordinator at Wake Forest High School.)
2. Create a resume, and email it to Mrs. Tyson at .
3. Complete required forms. Get signatures from parent and counselor. Your counselor will check your credits and schedule.
If okay he/she will sign both your application and change of course forms.
4. Submit the forms to me, Mrs. Tyson, room 226 or place in my mailbox in the Main Office. I will review your forms and if
approved, I will submit your Change of Course form to Ms. Simons for approval. If approved, she will submit the form to
Mrs. Taylor, Data Manager for entry to Powerschool. Finally, CTE Internship will appear in your schedule as requested.
I am having trouble obtaining an Internship ... What next?
1. Create a list of internship company names and their phone numbers of where you'd like to intern and email me your resume
(even if it's not perfect).
2. Make an appointment with me by emailing 3 possible dates and times of when you can meet. I will email you back to
confirm a date.
3. I will assist you as needed.