Summer Interns and Helicopter Parents

S. Mitra Kalita, the ideas editor at Quartz, has some advice for parents who are emailing their friends and asking them if they have any internship spots available for their kids: Don’t do it. Here’s how Kalita responded to one mother who emailed her:

“Nice to hear from you. Our internship program is actually very competitive. Further, I prefer to deal with candidates directly and discourage parents from emailing on their children’s behalf. You can have your daughter email me with a resume, some work samples, and a cover letter explaining why she’s such a great fit at I am happy to take a look and see if she qualifies. Good luck to you and your family.”

We live in a world where “knowing someone” gives you an advantage, an “in.” As adults we network, ask friends about job openings, or pass along word about positions — but that’s different because those relationships were built. Having mom or dad find an internship for you instead of inquiring on your own shows a certain lack of initiative. Let’s take Kalita’s pledge: “I will not hire the unqualified children of my friends as summer interns.”

Photo: USDA Forest Service

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