Return to Headlines

Elk River Senior Selected as "America's Intern" Finalist

Elk River’s own Laurengail Lorenz may be named America’s Next Great Intern. The senior at Elk River Senior High School is one of 16 finalists selected to showcase top-tier communication skills essential in an internship.


Prizes include a stipend for professional clothing, a professional headshot, a paid virtual internship, a cash bonus for the teacher of the winning student and more.


Rubin, a leader in online curriculum for employability and workplace readiness skills, hosts the competition.


Demand for intern and job applicants with “soft skills” is a top priority across all industry sectors. According to a 2022 survey of employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 76% of respondents want to hire young people who can work on a team, 73% want ones with strong written communication skills and 58% seek new hires who can speak well.


The submission period for the America’s Next Great Intern contest ran throughout February 2023, which is National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. All middle school, high school and post-secondary CTE students were eligible.


The instructions were drawn from Rubin’s Emerge curriculum, a broad library of online exercises for employability skills like email/phone etiquette, job interview prep, LinkedIn communication and more. Rubin provides Emerge to CTE programs nationwide.


A panel of judges (Rubin team members, industry professionals and staff from the Association for Career and Technical Education) assessed the students across five areas.


  1. Greeting: Video recording of the student engaging in a professional handshake
  2. Phone Skills: Video recording of the student leaving a mock voicemail and answering the phone at a place of business
  3. Team Communication: Email in which the student updates a teacher or employer on the status of classwork or a project at an internship/job
  4. Resiliency & Determination: Written example of a time in which the student demonstrated resiliency in the face of a challenge on a class/club project, volunteer opportunity or internship task
  5. Research & Critical Thinking: Questions the student prepares to better explore a company where the student would like to intern


Rubin encourages the public to vote here on the national finalists through April 7, 2023. The Rubin team will announce 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners on April 12, 2023.


“Employers often lament that students don’t possess the ‘soft skills’ necessary to engage in an office setting or on the job site,” says Danny Rubin, founder of Rubin. “We hope the contest shows that, yes, there are motivated young people coast to coast who will add value to any business or organization.”


For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Danny Rubin at


About Rubin:


Rubin is the leader in online instruction for employability and work readiness skills. The company, based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, provides Emerge, a digital curriculum that teaches effective writing and speaking skills, to thousands of students in middle school, high school and higher education. Rubin also has a soft-skill notification tool for email writing called Propel.

Founded in 2017 by Danny Rubin, a former CBS 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!”