When Steve Jobs was in high school, he cold-called Hewlett-Packard's co-founder Bill Hewlett to request some leftover electronic parts and, to his surprise, Hewlett picked up the phone. At first, the exec was amused, and soon after, taking the young man more seriously, he offered Jobs an internship.
"He laughed and he gave me the spare parts to build the frequency counter and he gave me a job that summer at Hewlett-Packard, working on the assembly line putting nuts and bolts together on frequency counters," Jobs recalled in a 1994 interview archived by the Silicon Valley Historical Association. "He got me a job in the place that built them and I was in heaven."
Jobs was 12 years old at the time, living in Mountain View, California, and had found Hewlett's number in the phone book.
“I’ve always found something to be very true, which is most people don’t get those experiences because they never ask,” Jobs said. “I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help.”
Internships remain a crucial way to advance your career, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). In fact, hiring managers say that interning within your preferred industry is more important than your college major or GPA, NACE's 2018 Job Outlook survey finds. “Employers prefer work experience, and in particular they prefer that the experience was obtained through an internship or co-op experience,” NACE research manager Andrea Koncz tells CNBC Make It.
Even if the internship experience isn’t directly tied to your dream job, they “provide work experience, so it may help young students to determine whether they will enjoy the type of work or industry that they experienced while being an intern,” Koncz adds.