So I just got accepted into the same internship I participated in last year (have good standing), and a close friend has asked for me to recommend them to this one as well.

The internship is business related, but he is a history major, although most of the work is clerical so anyone should be able to do the tasks. The business only has its internship program for three years and is still new and not completely structured yet.

Is it appropriate for me to contact the company as an intern about this, and if so, how?

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    I don't think it can do much harm to ask your manager about the policy around referrals. We don't know what the policy or process at your company is, so your manager would be the person to ask. Jun 1 '18 at 17:17

Is it appropriate for me to contact the company as an intern about this, and if so, how?

Perhaps a more professional approach would be for this person to apply on it's own, and you agreeing on being included as a reference or endorse him in other ways after he applies.

In a way it could be ok to directly recommend him, but it is also a gamble, as you could bias or affect his application if your boss or the person you contact takes this as you trying to influence their decision.

If you care for this person, you can help him by probing around and find if they are currently seeking for more interns. If they do, you can inform him so he can apply by his own means, after which you can give faith on this person's work.

As a related reading, you might consider checking my answer and the other's to How early can one refer a friend/family to a job after starting a job at that company? Although in that case the person only had 2 weeks working there (and the person was his brother), the same suggestion I gave works here in a different degree:

Now, the situation you have here I consider is a bit different than the way you are focusing it. I believe that given you only have 2 weeks working there probably any referral or recommendation you give now will not be regarded as highly as the ones of senior or more experienced coworkers.

In this case I say you recommendation will be taken more seriously that the one of a two-week worker, but still it could not be much effective and even affect your friend's application if you company feels you may be trying to influence their decision.

Let him apply on his own and recommend him when he does and advances on the recruiting process.

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    This is what I would have typed "Let him apply on it's own and recommend him when he does and advances on the recruiting process." -- nice answer sir.
    – Neo
    Jun 1 '18 at 17:45
  • @Neo thanks, in a way this may be the professional way by default. As adults one should be expected to apply on your own, without having to rely on pulling strings (this reminded me of the first question I posted on TWP). If the candidate is fit, and advances on the process then you can recommend him as you like.
    – DarkCygnus
    Jun 1 '18 at 17:48

There is a difference between a referral and a recommendation. A referral is telling your company that you know someone who is (or might be) interested in one (or more) jobs the company is offering. A recommendation is telling the company you are personally convinced the person is likely to be a good fit for one (or a few) specific roles.

Referral is always ok, recommendation is ok if you are really sure you know both the person's relevant skills and the role you are recommending them for. I realise you might be using the two interchangeably in your question, but I am not nitpicking on you. I just want you to be clear about the difference, so you know exactly what you are doing.

As an intern, you are likely not in a position to recommend anyone, but referral is fine. You can either ask your friend to send you their resume and forward it to your manager/HR, or you can provide their contact details to the manager/HR, depending on your company process. At this point, your involvement ends (unless your company offers you a referral bonus), and the manager/HR will take it forward from there.


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