Stop Looking, Start Acting: Why You Should Cold Email

"Stop Looking, Start Acting: Why You Should Cold Email" graphic, featuring Elizabeth Wood headshot.

Have you ever caught yourself browsing online for hours looking for the perfect internship? You might come across thousands of internships but realize they are not exactly what you are looking for.

I can relate to this. I think we all can relate to this.

Living in a small town with no public relations firms close by requires outside-the-box thinking when it comes to securing an internship. As a junior in college, I realized that it is time to find an internship to start gaining professional experience, but I was stuck. Where would I apply? Where would I go? Would I ever find an internship opportunity?

These were all questions floating around in my head during the internship search. The main thing I learned through the search is that you may never come across an internship opportunity. You may never find an online application to fill out. You ultimately may never find exactly what you are looking for.

That is when I learned to stop looking and start acting.

I began to cold email companies directly. In my case, two cold emails turned into two separate internships. One being a paid summer internship in the exact field I wanted to pursue, and another as a year-long internship through my university.

You may be lost on where you should start with a cold email. Here are my tips and exactly what I did to be offered two internships.

  1. Research and find a company/organization you want to work for.
  2. Find a specific individual who works at that company/organization in the job you would like to intern for.
  3. Email them, offer your services and tell them exactly how your skills and experience can benefit the company. Be sure to tell them what you do have rather than what you may be lacking.

You may be surprised what they can offer you, and the worst thing they can do is say no.

So, what is holding you back from securing your next internship from a cold email?


Elizabeth Wood is a junior at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. She currently serves as the App State PRSSA publicist for the 2020–2021 academic year. She will graduate in December 2021 with a B.S. in Communication-Public Relations and a B.S. in Communication-Advertising with a Hospitality and Tourism Management minor. During her free time, she enjoys working out, reading and being with friends. Be sure to connect with her on LinkedIn.

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