Introducing the winners of the 2nd annual America’s Next Great Intern contest! These students all show terrific potential as future interns by demonstrating strong writing, speaking and overall communication skills.

Thank you to the hundreds of students who competed and the thousands of people who voted.

We plan to stage the contest again in February 2025 so bookmark the contest page and mark your calendars now!

High School Winners

1st place

Gracie Gustafson, 12th Grade

Boone High School
Boone Community School District (Boone, Iowa)
Teachers: Ms. Lindsey Hyman and Ms. Amy Bossard

2nd place

Sahasra Bangaru, 11th Grade

Ardrey Kell High School
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Teacher: Ms. Sandra Wheeler

3rd place

Parisa Majumdar, 10th Grade

Enloe Magnet High School
Wake County Public School System (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Teacher: Ms. Benicia Ledford

“Up and Coming” Middle School Winners

1st place

Zabdiel Dewar, 8th Grade

William R. Davie Middle S.T.E.M. Academy
Halifax County Schools (Halifax, North Carolina)
Teacher: Mr. Fredirick Lapitan


2nd place

Errili Perez, 8th Grade

Aliamanu Middle School, Panther Academy
Honolulu, Hawaii
Teacher: Ms. Cherie Teraoka


Contest overview: Rubin, the leader in online instruction for employability and work readiness skills, will stage the second-annual America’s Next Great Intern contest in winter/spring 2024. 

The contest is 100% free. All participating students receive a certificate of completion and a ready-made portfolio of their submitted contest materials.

Contest winners can each choose to meet with one of these incredible professionals!

Matt Davis, Grammy-nominated music producer (Jay-Z, Beyonce)
Hamilton Perkins, eco-conscious fashion designer
Jay Lefkowitz, senior executive for Marriott International
Marnie Nathanson, NYC social media marketer (MTV, Sesame Street)
Tay Hawker, international sports agent

In 2024, Practice with Propel!

All students can use our game-changing Propel email etiquette tool for the email writing portion of the contest. Request to access Propel for free when you register!

Rubin is a Proud Partner of the Association for Career and Technical Education

Can’t access the registration form? Email support@rubineducation.com with the subject line “Contest registration,” and we will make sure you are set up.

Contest Details

The free contest is open to middle school, high school and postsecondary students in any CTE or project-based (hands-on) class or program.

Students will submit examples of their work in the following categories:

  • Elevator Pitch: Video recording about the student’s background and interests/passions.
  • Ethics and Leadership: Written response to a challenging ethical dilemma.
  • Team Communication: Email to update a teacher or employer on the status of classwork or a project at an internship/job.
  • Resilience & Determination: Written example of a time in which the student demonstrated resiliency.
  • Job Interview Preparation: Written questions to show curiosity ahead of a mock interview conversation with either Nike, Disney or Marriott.


Rubin will provide instructions and examples for each category and a single Google Form for students to submit all components.

The instructions are drawn from Rubin’s Emerge curriculum, a library of 300+ instructional items for employability skills like email etiquette, public speaking, job interview prep, LinkedIn communication and more. Rubin provides Emerge to CTE programs nationwide.

Every student who participates in the contest will receive a certificate and e-portfolio of their submitted work! The e-portfolio will come to the students as a Google Doc.


Important Dates


  • Monday, January 8, 2024: Contest registration opens!
  • Wednesday, February 1, 2024: To coincide with National CTE Month in February, Rubin launches America’s Next Great Intern contest and opens for student submissions. Teachers can register their classes throughout the month of February.
  • Friday, March 1, 2024: The student submission period closes.
  • Tuesday, March 12, 2024: Rubin unveils national student finalists and starts the public voting process via RubinEducation.com.
  • Friday, April 5, 2024: The public voting period closes.
  • Wednesday, April 10, 2024: Rubin reveals America’s Next Great Intern.


Follow us for contest updates and announcements!

Official contest flyer!

Can’t access the registration form? Email support@rubineducation.com with the subject line “Contest registration,” and we will make sure you are set up.

The free contest is open to middle school, high school and post-secondary students in any CTE or project-based (hands-on) class or program.

The Rubin team, in coordination with industry professionals and ACTE, will determine the national finalists after a review of all submissions.

The public will then vote on the finalists, and the students from grades 9-12 and post-secondary programs with the highest vote total after the voting period will win 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Rubin will also announce an “Up and Coming” winner from grades 6-8.

The finalists and winners may be featured in press releases directed at the national CTE community and the general news media (ex: local newspapers, TV and radio).

All students who enter will receive a certificate of participation and a portfolio that displays the work they submitted for the contest!

The national finalists will each receive a certificate of achievement.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from high school/post-secondary along with the overall middle school winner will receive:

  • Virtual job shadow with an executive from an in-demand field (ex: music producer for Jay-Z and Beyonce!)
  • National recognition throughout the CTE community and general news media
  • A banner for the school to display


The teacher/coordinator of the 1st place student from the high school/post-secondary level will receive a cash prize of $250 to be used for the classroom.

The judging panel will be Rubin team members and staff from ACTE’s national office. Judges will also include industry professionals who have hired and managed interns at their places of business.

When does the contest start?

The submission period begins February 1, 2024 and runs through March 1, 2024.

Does it cost money to participate?

NO! It’s 100% free to participate no matter how many of your students compete.

How do I register?

Teachers or administrators need to complete a short form (coming soon). Upon completion, you will receive an email with all submission materials.

How many of my students can participate?

You can have as many students participate as you would like. However, you may want to hold an internal competition first and send your top students to the national contest.

Do my students need to register?

No, students do not register. Students only need to complete the student submission form for the contest. In that way, we will have record of their submission.

What data will you collect from my students?

We will collect first/last name, grade level and email address. Students will submit a video of an elevator pitch as well as written submissions. Students or their parent/guardian are required to sign a waiver provided in the contest packet (teachers: registration link coming soon for the contest packet).

If your school needs Rubin to agree to additional data-sharing terms, please contact us at support@rubineducation.com.

Does our school or CTE program have to be a Rubin customer to participate?

No, any school or CTE program can participate in the contest. The Rubin team has taken activities (ex: How to do an elevator pitch) from our popular Emerge curriculum and made the resources available for all students to complete.

What grade levels can participate in the contest?

Students in grades 6-12 are eligible as well as students in a post-secondary CTE program.

Rubin is the leader in online training for employability and work readiness skills. The company provides three high-quality resources:

  • Propel: Revolutionary tool for Gmail/Outlook that teaches students how to write high-quality emails.
  • Emerge: K-12 business communications skills platform with 300+ instructional items for writing and speaking skills.
  • Aspire: Robust career exploration platform with 200+ interviews with professionals in health science, business, STEM and more.


Founded in 2017 by Danny Rubin, a former television news reporter and consultant to NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Rubin teaches students nationwide critical lessons for email/phone etiquette, networking, team communication, leadership communication and more. Our motto: “Write well, open doors!”

Can’t open the drop-downs above? Click here for full contest information.

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