G. Mark’s Answer
This will seem a bit obvious and possibly "too good to be true", but the fact of the matter is that you will open a lot of opportunities for yourself if you first seek to be helpful, THEN seek to be helped. In most organizations, unless there's a very rigid program in place to select interns, just volunteer to do very low-level -- even menial -- work to help out. You may have to work for almost nothing or even nothing. But the fact of the matter is if people get to know you in any capacity, they will be far more amenable to working with you in another capacity. It boggles my mind that people often complain about folks making "assumptions" about others based on no experience, but the fact of the matter is that humans' brains desperately try -- and have survived by -- trying to guess about what a new experience or person will do. If they have very little information, it's pretty much a -- as they say -- "a shot in the dark". So your job in any encounter is to provide them with positive data as fast as you possibly can. Most people in the world find this a relief from their generally feeling cautious in all endeavors and relationships. So find ANY opportunity to get to know folks and to get them to know you. Trust me -- if you're a hard-working and trustworthy person, the vast majority of people will bend over backward to help you out. It's just the way 99 percent of people are built. So dig in -- offer to help out. Anyone who is involved in any business or project of any kind will much, much, much prefer to work with someone who has presented themselves as no threat, no risk, not unpleasant, and -- most imporantly -- someone who is going to help them and their organization do whatever it is they want to do. This is quite a bit less mysterious than all the "here's the secret formula" claptrap. People like to be helped, and they like to help others. So help.