How to Ask for an Internship [2024]

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Completing your college degree is one step towards your career. It all starts with your internship application to get the first job of your choice. But the question is how to ask for an internship, and start your successful career journey.

Many students are looking for internships to enhance their resumes while still in school. Instead of waiting for an opportunity to come to you, you’ll probably have to actively search for one.

In this article, we are going to cover the topic of how you can ask for your first internship. By reading this article you will be able to make better choices for internship guidelines


How to Ask For An Internship?

To increase your chances, it’s important to know how to request an internship correctly, what details to include in your email, and where to find the right contact information.

Here are some tips:

  • Begin your internship hunt early and thoroughly research the company and internship manager.
  • Aim for a professional tone and lean towards formality.
  • Keep your email brief and to the point.

When to Ask for an Internship?

Deciding when and how to request an internship depends on various factors. Certain colleges restrict students from pursuing internships until they reach their junior year or later. 

However, applicants should start looking for internships as soon as their university guidelines permit. Internships, particularly those that are paid, are often in high demand and very competitive.

Knowing how to approach asking for an internship is just as crucial as understanding when to start searching. Some companies have a structured internship application procedure, while others prefer applicants to directly inquire about opportunities. Paying close attention to instructions can significantly impact a student’s chances of success.

Research and Contact Companies

Identifying a company that aligns with your career objectives is a critical aspect of the process. The worst thing you can do is accept an internship that doesn’t move you closer to your goals.

Start your company research early to check for available opportunities. Decide whether an in-person internship would better serve your objectives or if a virtual option would be more compatible with your schedule. Begin compiling a list of potential companies ahead of time so you can begin making connections.

Email is typically the preferred method for initial outreach. Most companies have a contact page where you can reach out. Alternatively, you might find the email of an internship coordinator on the website’s “About Us” or “Team” page.

How to Write an Email Asking for an Internship?

It is good to follow guidelines for getting an internship. However, there are some steps that will help you get your first internship. 

How to ask for an internship:

Here are some of the steps that you can apply for an internship: 

  1. Figure Out an Appropriate Greeting
  2. Be Straightforward With Your Request
  3. Maintain a Professional Tone
  4. Attach Your Resume and Cover Letter

1. Figure Out an Appropriate Greeting

Whenever possible, try to find out the name of the relevant person when composing an email for internship opportunities. Even if you initially send an email to a generic address to inquire about the appropriate contact, this effort demonstrates your attention to detail.

When you have the contact’s name, always use the appropriate title. For instance, if they have a Ph.D., address them as “Dr.” If you’re unsure of their gender, use “Dear” followed by their full name.

If, despite your efforts, you still can’t identify a specific name, a generic greeting will suffice. Common options include “To Whom It May Concern” and “Dear Hiring Manager.”

2. Be Straightforward With Your Request

Keep your request straightforward. The internship manager probably has other duties, so their time is precious. However, you want to show that you’ve done your homework, grasp the company’s mission, and are particularly interested in certain values or roles.

Mention that you’re interested in applying for an internship during a specific period, inquire about the application process, and briefly highlight relevant experience. If you have a connection at the company, you can also briefly mention them.

3. Maintain a Professional Tone

Whether you’re applying to a multinational consulting firm, a tech startup, or a local social media company, lean towards formality in your initial email, especially if you’re contacting someone for the first time.

Once you receive a response from the contact, you can adjust your level of formality based on their tone. Maintain a professional demeanor throughout your communication.

4. Attach Your Resume and Cover Letter

Once you’ve connected and confirmed that you can apply for an internship, it’s time to submit your resume and cover letter. Internship managers understand that you’re looking to gain experience you might not yet have.

Make sure your resume includes any high school jobs or summer positions, as well as any volunteer work you’ve done.

If the company offers different types of internships, send a cover letter showing your interest in a specific opportunity. Highlight relevant skills or interests that you can contribute to the role.

Internship Email Sample

Sample Email for how to ask for an internship:


Subject Line: Application for Summer Internship at Nestle

Dear Ms. Sheril,

I’m Stacey McKenzie, a senior communication student at Vanderbilt University. As I was exploring your company website, I discovered the summer internship program and immediately saw how closely it aligns with my goals for gaining hands-on experience in social media marketing.

Following the internship application guidelines, I have already submitted my application through the online form provided on the website. I am reaching out now to attach my cover letter and resume and to express my genuine interest in this opportunity. 

Nestle’s dedication to social media engagement with underserved communities resonates with my current research interests as a senior.

I would greatly appreciate the chance to discuss this position further at your convenience. You can find my contact information in the header of my resume as well as in my signature below.

Best regards,

Stacey McKenzie

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