Hiring a Sales Intern


I am considering hiring an intern for this upcoming summer. This intern would be responsible for primarily cold-calling potential customers and trying to drive sales. I don't know much about pure sales representatives. I feel like cold-calling is the least desirable role. However, that is the need of my business and I would like to provide a college student an opportunity to get some "real-world" experience to help them down the road.

This position would be paid and have commissions associated with it. My question is, what major(s) would be a right fit for a sales position? Its easy to say "any" especially since its primarily cold-calling. However, if the student is a good fit, I would like them to grow into sales leadership within my organization. Because of that, I would like to find someone with an education to complement their skill set. With that in mind:

1) What major(s) should I target?
2) How / who do I get in touch with at a university to help find potential candidates?

Thank you!

Sales Interns

asked Feb 9 '12 at 03:02
Startup Leader
140 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • When I think of interns the LAST position I would consider them for is sales... – Tim J 12 years ago
  • If your looking to get someone inexperienced to do a job its pretty essential that you can give them guidance - but it sounds like you don't know anything about cold sales calling yourself. Would you ask them to have a crack at fixing your car? – Ryan 12 years ago

3 Answers


I started an internship program once. To determine which majors would be best, I interviewed other members in the organization and compiled a list of what knowledge, skills, and abilities would best suit the position. Then I mapped those attributes to college majors. For sales, you may want someone with a marketing or business administration background.

Look up every college and university within a 10-15 mile radius. Narrow your list based on which schools have internship programs. Target only 2-3 schools, because you want to develop relationships with them. Don't cast a wide net for the sake of getting more applicants. Next reach out to the internship program coordinators. They will help you find candidates.

answered Feb 9 '12 at 06:44
26 points


Instead of looking at majors, look for people that were the president of their fraternity or sorority. This usually means people liked them, and liking is 50% of sales.

answered Feb 9 '12 at 08:36
Michael Pryor
2,250 points


If you are selling a technical product I would get someone from that major and make sure that the he candidate has people skills.

Lets say you have a SAAS web product. Now you can hire students from a Computer Science background. Remember no Computer Science student would want Cold Calling on their resume as their main role during their internship. So i recommend changing job requirements from 100% cold calling to 50% cold calling and the rest being a mix of development, administration, prototyping, product development and/or Business Requirement gathering etc.

answered Feb 9 '12 at 03:32
42 points

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