Why you have not been given Internship Opportunities.

by Adewale Adedamola

An Intern at Aorthar
My Cover Letter for Internship Application at Cregital, 2019

So here are my obvious hacks to applying for internship roles.


There is no point stating the Obvious

You need to understand that, internship gives you experiences by default… whether more, or less, bad or good. There is no point writing it all over the place.


The formulae is to write less about who you are, and write more about the what you want to “offer” to the company you are applying for.

In my letter, it doesn’t even look like I wanted to add value to the company, it was all about me me me, I want to gain more this/that

“I have done 300 design projects”, “I have trained 100 students”, “I currently lead a team” like guy! So why are you applying?!

You need to sound more humble and teachable as much as you would love to brag about what you have been able to do.


You need to go straight to the point with your cover letter. And spend less time introducing or talking about yourself. Point out the exact role are you applying for.

This is important because your first contact is not the CEO. Not someone who can discern a great talent from a letter. It’s probably a secretary that is having a bad day. And there is your letter on its way to the junk.


In the first two paragraphs, indicate that you are a good asset in anywhere you work at. You are an excellent addition to any team. This is where your bragging right kicks in

Companies needs more hands to be honest, but they might not have the time to train them.

When you get in, just create a good relationship with a tutor and have more personal learning with him/her.

Unless they were the one looking for interns, some companies unusually don’t have a department that will train you. Nobody has the time, they also have work to do in the first place. Everyone is busy.


Don’t apply for an Internship for beginners “training”, go there to “work-to-learn”

Big difference here. Some of you don’t have prior knowledge of design, no good portfolio, nothing! And you want to go and “disturb” them with how to use a pen tool.

Gaining experiences in business ethics, clients conversion and relationships, negotiations, systems and how branding works is not the same learning style with buying a course online on How to use Figma.

Yes, we know you’ll advance your abilities, get to know more tools and how to use them, but at least, you can do something too without thorough supervision


The key to applying for roles is still a quality portfolio.

Have a good portfolio, we are talking about metrics. How you have helped an organization/client/customer achieve milestones, don’t apply with empty hands. Fix your portfolio before you apply for anything. It’s just basic.

Mention places you did some volunteers, courses you have studied, communities that you belonged in.


Have more than “Design” to offer

We talking about soft skills, solutions, ideas, make sure you are sound all round. Mention that you can offer helping hands in places outside Designs

Technical rooms, computer issues, office records, excel sheets, even errands. Mention everything you can do and include “all” your skills


Make sure you do a thorough research about where you are applying at.

Don’t just apply base on PR, or the instagram vibe. some of them are bad places to intern at.

Their Founders/CEO/Executives could be bad ones, in sexual issues, payment issues or bad culture generally.

Apart from that, research helps you know if they need you or not. if they need a space to be filled.

You can’t keep applying for design roles when they have tons on designers already.

or else, research will help you know what more to emphasize on, maybe more of helping hands than a real seat.

Don’t bother to apply for internship if what you are looking for is a Job. There a difference between Jobs and Internship. You might not get paid as an Intern. If you are not comfortable, do not apply, rather than calling them on social media. Nobody asked you to.


Growth is still very personal

At the end of letter, indicate that you want to grow in your skills and working there will help you develop as much as you love learning and how much it’s going to be a “dream come true”

It’s like flirting with them a bit, do some appraisals and make them blush. Describe what you feel that you will gain from the whole experience if they consider you.

This is you offering more than getting.

7 points of giving, 1 point of taking. Obviously, the whole 8 points helps you 100% to add to experience. In fact, you are still talking more about them than yourself.

Right, internship is a bad investment IMO.

They spend more than you spend.

I’m not talking about the transport fare, I’m talking about value. That you have their name on your CV/resume, That you have their clientele exposure and even recommendations.

Working in a firm for a short time is another bad investment. The RIO get founders scared.

Some of you (like I did) will even write it very glaring that you short want to come to leave. Wow! That is very unreasonable. They know by default that you will likely leave some day, like I said, don’t state the obvious.

At the end of the day, internship is very sweet, it’s also very cheap.

The currency of buying experience is time or money. And now you are buying experiences that 5years could have taught you with 3months/6months.

There are things going on in a company that is far from what they upload on the gram. Talking about debts, bankruptcies, Bare/Bull markets, the days of no gigs, no contracts, no money to pay staffs.

The days that nobody sees, fights among board members and financial matters. Operational cost, why they fire people and office politics

No amount of course will get you that experience ever!

I believe that everyone should have an internship, because it will fix what the Nigerian universities should have helped us with.
It helps with work culture, and clarity in obligations and responsibilities.

I don’t think companies don’t want interns, they all want it, you are just not sounding like you are coming to help so “please, so move away”


Please remove “online/remote” internship if you want to take internship serious.

In my opinion, it has more effect. You can do a two times in a week, 3 times, or Saturdays. Dressing to work, relationship with colleagues, Meetings and reports are all the things to learn too.

Internship is also a straight shot to become a real staff in future when you have good performance or when you really like the place.

Internship >> Applying for competitive roles.
Applying for roles as Intern >> Applying for roles as a stranger.

I’ve taken more staffs via this because of trust earned overtime

I never applied anymore for internship since then, I learnt with my time instead. That’s another talk for another day.
Learning as a startup, SBO is another flex. Chaotic, fun and effective.

Makes my mind sharper and bright brainstorming ability. Critical things, closing deals, selling and buying — trading, credits and debits — cash flow, assets and liabilities — Equity, Business deals, exposure, branding, Brand tone etc

All this are conversations to deliberate on, but I don’t blame that you like to stay at where you are, as laborers.
I just want you to know that place is fun to learn from too.

Have a great day.

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We are cenacle of designers trained to promote your brand through research, strategy, identity design and marketing communication. Design, Branding, UI/UX.

We are cenacle of designers trained to promote your brand through research, strategy, identity design and marketing communication. Design, Branding, UI/UX.