MENLO PARK, CA—In a 1994 interview archived by the Silicon Valley Historical Association, Apple founder Steve Jobs recalls how, when he was in high school, he cold-called Hewlett-Packard's co-founder Bill Hewlett to request some leftover electronic parts and, to his surprise, Hewlett picked up the phone. The executive then offered the 12-year-old Jobs an internship.

"He laughed and gave me the spare parts to build the frequency counter, and he gave me a job that summer at Hewlett-Packard, working on the assembly line putting nuts and bolts together on frequency counters," recalls Jobs. "He got me a job in the place that built them and I was in heaven."

Jobs was living in Mountain View, CA, at the time, and had found Hewlett's number in the phone book.

“I’ve always found something to be very true," says Jobs. "Most people don’t get those experiences because they never ask. I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help.”

Internships remain a crucial way to advance your career, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). In fact, hiring managers say that interning within a preferred industry is more important than a student's college major or GPA, according to NACE's 2018 Job Outlook survey. “Employers prefer work experience, and in particular they prefer that the experience was obtained through an internship or co-op experience,” NACE research manager Andrea Koncz tells CNBC Make It.