Answered by Dustin, Hiring Expert at HP Inc., on Monday, June 2, 2014
You are correct that internships are typically the best road to lead to full time employment post graduation.
Internships at large, multi-national organizations can be quite competitive so a low GPA could possibly create some additional hurdles in your efforts. You have the right idea about utilizing networking to help influence your chances, but I do believe you should redirect your outreach efforts.
Unless you already have a personal connection to a senior or executive level contact, I would avoid a cold call email. While you may hear a few stories of a friend or a random student in a similar situation reaching out to an executive about working at their company, most often there is a very low % of response - these women and men are VERY busy. Instead, I would look to focus on reaching out to hiring managers at the manager level or mid- to senior-level individual contributors in your field at your target company. Also work with your career services department at your school to see if there are any alumni that could be contacted.
When you are doing your outreach, ensure you are crafting well-thought out and honest introductory emails. Most students forget that there is no obligation for the contact to respond or help. You should always be looking for some way you can pay it forward or return the favor to the individual you are seeking assistance from. Best of luck!