The power of being fearless- Cold Emails

The purpose of this post is to show you how to get anyone in your company to respond to your email. I have had success using the techniques below while interning at PepsiCo.

Disclaimer: The techniques mentioned in this blog post were derived from The Competitive Edge podcast Episode 30.

Before the Email

It is possible to reach ANYONE in your company by phone for a short conversation. If you are not afraid of rejection, you can get in touch with anyone through cold emailing.

How to Find an Email

If your company uses Microsoft Office, you have access to all employees’ email in your company. Steps to get an email are shown in the pictures below


Articulating the Email

Below is an email I sent to a Senior Vice President at PepsiCo (the equivalent of the CFO for supply chain) asking for career advice.

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The Breakdown

Subject Line

Grab their attention. Make a subject line that will draw attention and sum up why you are emailing them.

My example: Following in Your Footsteps


Cut straight to the point; do not waste words on meaningless background facts (hometown, school major, interests etc.). The short introduction is vital; you will capture the person’s attention in the first sentence. Throw something in at the end of the sentence that will make them want to read more.

My Example: I aspire to be as impactful as you have been in PepsiCo and the world.

Gaging interest

The second sentence is the most important part of the email. You must connect on an emotional level here. In my email, I brought up an achievement of his which he is extremely proud of while relating it to myself. Referencing something specific shows you have researched the person and are serious about getting time on his/her calendar. When bringing up a topic that connects you and your targeted executive, keep in mind it can be anything that you relate to. Some examples are an article the person wrote, an interview that he/she gave, a position they held, specific accomplishments or even a personal hobby you both share.

My example: Your influence on Gatorade, my favorite drink, to move it to a Kosher beverage is truly amazing especially because half my family keeps Kosher.

Specific Time – 10,3

Put time on their calendar and be specific. It’s harder for someone to say no if you found an open timeslot on their calendar, exemplify that you have a plan and are not going to waste a second with them. A personal rule of mine is to request ten minutes of their time to ask three questions. Ten minutes is short enough where they can be willing to speak to you but long enough where you can get some good information.

My example: I have put time on your calendar to speak with you on Thursday at 10:00 but will only need ten minutes of your time to ask you three questions.


Throwing in a blog2 towards the end of your email lightens up the subject matter. Do not use this for every person you email though. You must understand what industry this person is in and if it will be taken in a positive or negative way. If you can find out that the person is easy going definitely throw it in there.

My example: I’m looking forward to your response blog2


Notice how I had a grammar error because I did not proofread. Always double check your work to avoid a costly mistake.


Anticipate that the executive will initially deny your request to have a phone call. BE PERSISTENT. I sent my email request three days in a row until the executive accepted my meeting with him.


Best of luck and happy interning!


Keys to Being a Well-Rounded Intern

Below are steps to take to be a well-rounded intern and move closer to receiving an offer at summers end.

Make an Introduction

During the first two days of your internship, introduce yourself to all the employees in the surrounding areas. You do not want to be four weeks into your internship and  make awkward eye contact because you did not introduce yourself in week one.  Your manager will introduce you to your Team and other employees but go the extra mile and meet as many employees as you can your first week.

When introducing yourself, express how excited you are to be there and to learn. Towards the end of the introduction (to people on your team), say something along the lines of, “By the way if there is anything I can assist you with this summer I’d be more than happy to take on some additional work. I’m trying to learn as much as I can this summer.” This shows you are committed to the organization and are looking to add value.

Take Notes and Ask Questions

Take notes and ask questions. This may be the most obvious aspect of being an intern but it is absolutely crucial. By not taking notes nor asking questions, you display that you are not interested in being engaged and do not want to learn. Take notes on phrases or topics you do not understand and jot down a list of questions to ask your manager at a future point.

Be proactive

A well rounded intern is one who adds value to his/her Team. The most common way to add value is by assuming routine, tedious/time consuming work. Some examples include daily/weekly reports, data entry and spread sheet updates. Employees love to have interns around for these tasks.  Approach employees on your Team and offer to take over a task for the summer. It will show you are a team player, learn quickly and want to be a part of the organization.

One on Ones

An intern can be proactive by engaging with employees outside of his/her Team, more specifically peers of their boss and upper level executives. Although you’re being evaluated based on your performance during the summer, managers love to see if you are evaluating them as well to make sure the organization  is a good fit for you. One way to do this is by setting up one on ones with managers from other cross functional teams. You can do this asking your manager to set up a conversation or two on your behalf. When approaching your boss about this, mention you are trying to get a better understanding of the organization and a different perspective on how it is run. If you are feeling ambitious, walk around the floor and jot down the names of people in offices. You can also look up these managers and email them requesting time to speak with them. Below is an email I sent to set up a meeting with a Director named Bill.Email

When you are having a conversation with any employee, keep in mind this is supposed to be a conversation, NOT AN INTERVIEW. Don’t be a robot; keep the conversation casual but professional.

Questions to ask:

  • What is your background?
  • What is your current role and responsibilities?
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of your team ?
  • What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
  • What is one mistake you’ve made where you learned a great deal from? What was the mistake and what did you learn?

Get involved

Getting involved in company sponsored events outside of the office is where you can really stand out. Volunteering for fundraisers and community service events shows you are invested in the local community. Large organizations LOVE this. Most companies have days of service and one marque summer fundraising event. If you can raise a substantial amount for the event you can make a lasting impression.

You are being evaluated every day. Keep in mind receiving an offer extends beyond the work you are assigned. Be persistent and courteous and an offer will surely be around the corner.

Good luck and happy interning!

How to Land a Killer Internship

Below are some tips on how you can successfully land a killer internship. This is based on steps I have taken to land 3 different internships including my internship this summer with PepsiCo

Disclaimer: This blog post is focusing on the not so obvious factors that will help you land a killer internship. I do not mention maintaining a high GPA and being involved with clubs.

Freshman Year: Setting yourself up

Take CSE

One of the most important classes I have taken at Ohio State is Computer Science Engineering 2111 (CSE). This class taught me the basics of Microsoft Excel which is CRUCIAL for any internship. Excel is a skill which is required by nearly every company. If you can master this skill you can start any internship and not only look smart but add value. Make sure you take this course freshman year and learn it to the best of your ability.


Although it is hard to land an internship freshman year it is definitely possible. Utilize all your family members and friends to network. Express interest early on that you want an internship for the summer. Many large companies have internship positions for relatives and family friends of employees. My freshman year I interned at Citigroup Inc. through their “Friends and Family Program”.

Become QUIC

In order to land an internship you must be able to nail an interview.  QUIC is a practice interview process Fisher offers. By going through this process you will learn how to approach an interview and appropriately market yourself to interviewers.

Sophomore year: Next Steps

Continue to Network

Once you return from your freshman year summer it’s time to pick up where you left off. Continue to reach out to family and friends and express your interest in obtaining an internship.

Practice Interviewing

Go to the fall career fair and get as many interviews as possible. The best way to land a stellar internship is being exceptional at interviews; the only way to improve is to practice. After the fall career fair send your resume to companies on FisherConnect. Companies usually screen sophomore resumes during second semester for candidates in positions they did not fill. These companies screen resumes in their database for key words. One key word I strongly recommend getting in your resume, if you can, is Pivot Table. This catches recruiter’s eyes. You can get you an interview if you have knowledge and practical experience.

Have an Open Mind

Stay positive and be willing to relocate/take a non-paid internship. I was not called for an interview my sophomore year until the week before spring break. This was after the fact that LBrands (sophomore year Internship Company) screened most of the juniors. With a stroke of luck they started screening for sophomore interns.

A great way to get practical experience if you cannot land a paid internship is with nonprofits. These organizations never have enough resources and you can get some serious exposure interning with one.

Junior Year: Landing the Internship

Hard Goal

Once you return from sophomore year summer it’s time to start grinding. Set a deadline for when you should accept an internship offer; mine was October 31. I sent out my resume to nearly every company on FisherConnect and I did not stop grinding until I landed my internship.

Practice Practice Practice

Really get after it and do as many interviews as possible. Before I had my PepsiCo interview I had gone through 7 interviews with 6 different companies. After each interview I critiqued myself on what I did wrong and which situational questions I could have answered better. Once you hit five interviews you should be a pro and have the highest level of confidence.

In summary, landing a killer internship is in your hands. You can do it if you stay focused, be persistent and don’t give up.

Good luck and happy interning!


NYC→ CBUS→ Chi Town

From the big city to the windy city it’s all the same, unpredictable. The unpredictability of life makes everything exciting and personally keeps my blood pumping. This summer I plan to give you some helpful hints and advice about interning, city life and general business and while doing so hopefully help you avoid some of the unpredictable events that come with going through your college years. This summer marks my third consecutive internship in a Fortune 300+ company. I’ve interned at Citigroup (Fortune 26), L Brands (Fortune 263), and am interning at PepsiCo (Fortune 43) this summer. I have had many insightful experiences and learned many lessons from prior internships and am eager to share them with you.

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Name: Jordan Ross
Major: Operations Management
Year: Rising Senior
Home town: Plainview, NY
Fun Fact: Can juggle