How to Land an Internship at a Start-Up.

Curiosity, Sincerity, and an Unwavering Desire to Learn…. Practice these traits and it will get you more in life than just an internship.

If you are looking to intern with a start-up, then you already know the multitude of benefits of working with one. If you're not sure how to pick or how to get started, I would suggest:

  1. Find your niche industry. It should be something that you're PASSIONATE about, something that excites you and doesn't feel like work.
  2. Narrow in on a start-up that aligns with your personal MISSION in life. A firm that complements your personality, skills and goals in life.
  3. Get out of your comfort zone and REACH OUT to the founder(s). Express your intentions with sincerity

Be Genuine. You are there to LEARN from them and seek their mentorship. Not to get a job to simply slap on your resume.

Here's How I Got Mine…

without expecting it.

There was a Social Media Marketing panel at the Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurship center at UT Austin hosted by Owais Raza and his podcast Crushing It (dope for college entrepreneurs). I had originally gone to show support for a fellow friend and rapper Ariea Bastami, but along with the other guests on the panel, CJ Finley was one of them.

After hearing him talk for just about 20 minutes, I knew I had to get to know him more. Hearing about his journey in fitness, building several start-ups & his mission to HELP others reach their goals, I realized he is basically living out my aspirations…

After the panel…

I made my way through the crowd & approached him.

Excitedly, I shared how similar our goals were and told him about my business aspirations! I eagerly asked for his advice on how I could kickstart my entrepreneurship journey right away as a freshman.

After one of the most brief & engaging conversations I've had, I was totally geeking out…. I could immediately tell we were going to click.

But that wasn't enough….

I realized I had a LOT to learn from him and I absolutely HAD to get another meeting in with CJ.

At the end of our conversation, I asked him if we could link up for lunch. He said I'd have to wait a month to do so because he was involved with a project with SXSW. It was better than nothing & was something to look forward to.

Diligently, I put in a reminder in my phone to to follow up with CJ

…in a month

Go with the flow…Don't force it.

I approached CJ because I was GENUINELY hooked on his story. Hearing him on the panel, I knew I wanted a 1 on 1 session with him BUT….

..who would want to spare time to meet a random stranger ??

I had to establish a meaningful CONNECTION first. I had to show him a REASON to meet me.

Want to get value from others? Start a meaningful conversation with them and it could take you a long way… it worked for me. Go with the flow…Don't force it.

After a month…

…it was time for the meeting.

Pumped to finally get some actionable guidance, I showed up with questions already drafted. Going into the meeting, I really just hoped to get his advice on how I could tackle my entrepreneurship journey as a college freshman..

In the midst of talking, I expressed to him how I was struggling to focus on growing my start-up while also trying to fulfill the need for an internship.


you guessed it…

…CJ was looking for an intern.

Sincerity goes a long way…

We weren't even talking about business when it happened.

As we were both sharing stories of the journey of our life, the sincerity of the conversation opened doors for mutual benefit.

I went into the meeting only hoping for a few pointers & advice…

but instead I came out with an IMPACTFUL connection.

The internship offer was just the cherry on top.

Follow My Journey…

What am I doing this summer? Why am I writing this blog? How am I learning about Business Consulting? What is it like to work in a start-up?

The goal of documenting & sharing my journey with you all is to hopefully HELP YOU in any way to get one step closer to YOUR goals.

Let's get connected! Follow me on Instagram @unlockinghamza or email me at [email protected] and let's see how we can help each other!

We are in the process of building something greater than ourselves, and I want y'all to tag along with me.

Now Take Action.

Taking action is the first step…

Email/Call/DM a founder(s) RIGHT NOW. REACH OUT to a person whose ideals you resonate with and genuinely ask them for their mentorship.

Start a meaningful conversation and see where it takes you…

Go Unlock Your Potential.




Hamza Abdallah

Striving daily to inspire others and myself to UNLOCK our true potential.

Let's Connect !

Instagram: @unlockinghamza

Email: [email protected]

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