Why You Should Apply to Seth Godin’s 2013 Internship

Yesterday Seth Godin announced his 4th internship program. The aim: to change the world. Or, in his words, build something “useful, generous and powerful”.

If you have the time and the skills, you should apply.

Why Apply?

Everyone wants to work with Seth Godin. Here’s a guy whose written over a dozen books, started two companies and launched a handful of other successful projects. He’s had failures to give him wisdom and successes to give him confidence. Who wouldn’t want to work with him?

Stop.

Before you apply, examine your reasons. Go ahead and apply to work with Seth. But also apply to:

  1. Work With Smart People
    Sure, Seth’s a smart guy. But imagine the people he’ll hire. Working with Seth is one thing. Working with a team hand-picked by Seth on a project that could affect millions of people’s lives? That’s quite another.
  2. Have a Transforming Experience
    Every found a startup? The intensity, the energy, the bonds you create with others. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and forces you to grow. In the end, you create something beautiful that you can share with others.
  3. Learn Awesome New Skills
    Building fast teaches you new skills. I’ve now gone through two Startup Weekends and helped run two others. Each time I learn new skills, new tools. I leave better than I arrived. If you go through this internship, I guarantee you will too.

But…I Can’t

Don’t think you can? Only you can decide that, but before making your decision, think outside the box:

  • I have a job.
    Take 2 weeks vacation. No vacation? Take unpaid leave. Better yet, convince your employer to pay you to go. Call it continuing education. You’ll learn a lot more than that $2,500 conference you’re scheduled to go to.
  • I don’t have money.
    Start a Kickstarter campaign. Find sponsors. Hell, if you decide to apply because of this post and get accepted, I’ll kick in $500 to help you get there. [Leave a comment below to let me know you're applying. No comment to verify you read this post, no money.]
  • I have kids.
    Send them to camp. Or leave them with your spouse, grandparents or other caretaker. It’s only two weeks. Remember: happy parents make happy kids. Use it as a lesson for how to seize opportunities.

Ideas for Applying

Decided to apply yet? Before you jump in, make sure you:

  1. Read the Instructions
    Don’t be sloppy. Read the entire announcement page before clicking through to the application.
  2. Refer Others
    Seth asks to be impressed by you referring others to the internship. Sure, it’s a savvy marketing strategy. But it might help identify teams of people who might work well together. Why should all the interns be strangers to one another? So get others to list you on their application. And if you discovered the internship via this post, I’d love to be listed as your referral. Use “Trevor Lohrbeer” or “Fast Fedora”.
  3. Don’t Wait to Be Picked
    Apply, then move on. Continue working to change your life, other people’s lives, the world. Don’t wait to be picked.

You might also want to check out previous internships. Read what Seth learned from one internship. Check out some bios from previous interns. Review the application that got Jeff Widman accepted or Lauryn Ballesteros’s web plea….yes, she got picked (read about her experience and why you don’t need to be Seth Godin or Richard Branson to achieve greatness). Read what Richard Millington learned during his 3 month internship.

What To Do If You Don’t Get Picked

Wondering what you should do instead of waiting to be picked?

  • Attend the World Domination Summit
    A conference for people who want to change the world. Combine adventure and travel with a heavy measure of service to others. Amazing speakers, inspiring attendees. Tickets are sold out for this year, but  you can always join us in Portland for a world record float attempt.
  • Join Code for America
    Think the Peace Corps for geeks. Join a brigade in your city or start a new one. Use your programming, project management, web design and marketing knowledge in the service of a better civic society.
  • Participate in a Startup Weekend
    Take a business from idea to execution in 54 hours. Startup Weekend events happen in hundreds of cities around the world. Look for an upcoming event in a city near you.

Whatever you do, be awesome. And apply today.

Did you apply to Seth’s internship? Why?

18 comments

  1. nuyakeno says:

    I was introduced to this internship by a friend. It was literally exactly how I wanted to spend my summer vacation. I never thought of laboring away doing jobs just for the money. I would rather do what I enjoy and learn great things in the process. I really appreciate the ideas for applying. If I do get accepted, I’ll be sure to write a blog post like you did, and help out some prospective applicant similar to me right now :P. Btw. Thanks for the heads up on startup weekends. They seem really entertaining and I will keep on eye on them for sure!

    1. trevor says:

      Andrew,

      Glad the post helped. Best of luck on getting selected. Looking at your art portfolio, I’m sure you’ll be successful regardless. Definitely check out Startup Weekend and let me know your experience. Cheers.

      – Trevor

  2. Colleen Sweeney says:

    Thanks for the advice! I am definitely applying but this just kick-started so many ideas!

    1. trevor says:

      Glad it helped.

  3. Stan Wielga says:

    This is a great article Trevor! I made a facebook community for everyone interested in the internship also, we’re at:

    https://www.facebook.com/SethGodinSummerInternship2013

    Come join the conversation or just stay and listen. I’m going to post a link up to this article, I hope that’s ok. I’d love to see more active people like yourself there!

    1. trevor says:

      Thanks. I just Liked the page. I’m traveling this week, but I’ll try catching up on the page when I return. Posting the link is totally fine. Cheers.

  4. Mary Koppes says:

    Hi Trevor-
    Thanks for the food for thought.
    I’d imagine we’d hit it off because I’m applying to Seth’s internship AND going to the WDS this year. Perhpas we’ll cross paths?

    Be well,
    Mary

    1. trevor says:

      Yes, I imagine we’ll definitely cross paths. Look for me wearing the black fedora at WDS. Good luck!

  5. Megan Barrow says:

    I took the leap, at 41yo, to apply! I’m looking for continual learning and interning with Seth would be a dream.

    Thanks for all your tips Trevor. I’m no fancy person, so have kept my application honest and heartfelt – which is me. Maybe not going to compete with all the clever students but it’s worth trying.

    Now, being in Australia, the reality of visa may be problematic!

    1. trevor says:

      Megan,

      Congratulations for applying. Taking leaps is critical to finding success in life.

      Don’t worry about competing with all the clever students. This isn’t a competition where people get judged as better or worse. Seth is looking for fit–to find out who’s the best match for his project. It’s a bit like dating, the goal isn’t to find the hottest or smartest person, but to find the person who matches you best.

      On the visa, consider investigating in parallel what it would take to get a visa, so if it comes down to it you can answer decisively, and if needed, take action. Even if this opportunity doesn’t work out, there may be others. And knowing the visa process can help you take those leaps too.

      Best of luck in your next adventure, wherever that may lead you.

      — Trevor

  6. Maddie S. says:

    Really great post, Trevor! I’m hoping to get my application out by the end of the day. I’ve been a little bit paralyzed by how badly I want to be picked, but this post gave me just the right nudge toward the “submit” button. Thanks!

    1. trevor says:

      Maddie,

      Don’t focus on being picked. That’s outside your control and puts you in an all-or-nothing win or lose mindset.

      Instead, focus on the value you gain from going through the process.

      For you, that might be learning to overcome the fear of applying, or the paralysis that strong desire can create. It might be learning that perfection is rarely necessary. Or it might give you insights into your own motivations and goals.

      Use the application to clarify what you want to do next. What values, principles and goals drive you? Then, regardless of whether Seth chooses you, you have valuable information on what other opportunities you might want to pursue.

      Tell others that you are applying and use that to change their perception of you as a do-er (or, more importantly, to change your own perception of yourself and to help reinforce that). Use the application to start conversations. When you say you’re applying to Seth Godin’s internship, you’ll likely get one of two responses: “Who’s that?” or “Wow. What do you think about …[one of Seth's concepts]?” Either way you get a great conversation and might deepen your own thoughts around his concepts.

      For me, I’ve already gotten the value out of the application.

      Before applying, I spent time clarifying my motivations, refining how I talk about my skills and updating my conference networking page (which I needed to do anyway next month). I also wrote this post, which fulfilled my own resolution to write every day and has been an awesome vehicle to connect with other passionate people like yourself.

      During the application, I practiced telling stories, a skill I’m working to improve on. And I got to learn more about my own anxiousness when in situations of implied authority or outside approval, situations I’m rarely in anymore.

      In the end, do the best you can do and approach the process with honesty and integrity. Best of luck in your application. And remember the Nike commercial: Just Do It!

      — Trevor

      P.S.: Also if you haven’t read them yet, read Seth’s articles on why you need to pick yourself:

      Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself, Getting picked (need to vs. want to), But I don’t want to do that, I want to do this and Seth Godin on Why You Can’t Wait to Get Noticed.

  7. Ron Kelly says:

    Hi Trevor,
    I think that is just so cool what you did,
    and so very generous to help others !!
    A++
    I applied, because it would be an honor,
    and a great experience to be a part of his project.
    I’ve also told my invited friends I’d help sponsor them if they are selected.
    Close to 200 so far… Now it’s up to them to believe !!
    All the best,
    Hope to see you in New York !!
    Ron Kelly

    1. trevor says:

      Ron,

      Excellent. Glad to hear you applied and invited to many others. Sponsoring others who might not be able to go otherwise is great. We all achieve success through others; it’s important to give back when we can.

      Best of luck and maybe I’ll see you in New York.

      – Trevor

  8. Ron Kelly says:

    ps.
    I decided to apply as soon as I heard about the opportunity,
    and well before I saw your kind offer,
    so you’re off the hook for the $500.00 if I’m selected :)
    Thanks Trevor,
    Ron

  9. Ann Yang says:

    Hi Trevor!

    I decided to apply to the internship thanks so much for your encouragement!

  10. Fi says:

    I was thinking about the applying, and I needed to google it to find it again. I found your article first, and I am glad that I read it. Nice to see someone encouraging others, so thanks! :D I wish the best to all the applicants, and perhaps no matter what we should get together and make some project together anyway. (Im sure there is only so much space available) :D Hope you have a great day!

  11. linda says:

    Hi Trevor! Great blog and some good encouragement for all of us on the fence about this. Some clever solutions for ….”But…I Can’t – I have a job.” I threw in my name in the hat. Let’s see what becomes of it.

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