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Report Ranks US' Top Internships

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Internships for college students many times pave the way for immediate employment after graduation. Working for a company in almost any capacity while going to school is a great opportunity to show your potential, creativity, work ethic and ability to get along with a diverse group of people and circumstances. My son and daughter had terrific internship experiences that contributed to the first segments of their work journeys.


There have been a number of helpful articles over the years about internships, where they are, how to find them and how to get them. Until today, though, at least in my experience, there has never been a comprehensive survey and rankings that can compare with those I received from Vault. Their Internship Rankings for 2020 is, in my view, the best of its type that I have ever seen. Here's some background, adapted from Vault's cover material:

College students across the country know that internships are essential if they want to land full-time jobs after graduation. With competition for internships at the most desirable US companies at an all-time high, Vault.com's Internship Rankings have become an essential tool for students to get an edge over their peers.

Vault's 2020 Internship Rankings are based on a survey of nearly 14,000 interns and include a variety of categories. The "Most Prestigious Internships" ranks the companies that students most desire to have on their resumes, while the "Best 100 Internships" ranks the top internship programs based on ratings from current and past interns.

Vault also ranks internship programs in various industries, including Accounting, Consulting, Energy, Financial Services, Health Care, Investment Banking, Media & Telecommunications, Retail & Consumer Products, and Tech & Engineering. In addition, Vault ranks internship programs based on Employment Prospects, Career Development, Compensation & Benefits, Diversity and Quality of Life.

That's what I mean about the comprehensiveness of these rankings. If you're actively looking for an internship or just thinking about one, you won't do better than reviewing these lists. Here are some highlights from Vault's press release:

…. This past summer, Vault surveyed nearly 14,000 current and former interns from more than 130 internship programs. In addition to asking respondents to rate and review their own internship experiences for our 2020 Best Internships Rankings, we asked interns to rate the prestige of other employers to determine which internships are the most desirable. Survey respondents were presented with a list of top companies and asked to rate each company on how prestigious its internship is on a scale of 1 to 10—with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. Interns were asked to rate only the companies whose reputations they were familiar with. Vault averaged the ratings for each employer and then ranked the companies in order, starting with the highest score as No. 1 down to No. 50.

Check These Lists of Internship Prestige

Now let's get down to some specifics.

The Top 20 Most Prestigious Internship Programs for 2020 are as follows:

1. Google

2. Apple

3. NASA

4. Microsoft

5. (tie) Amazon

5. (tie) Goldman Sachs

7. Facebook

8. Tesla

9. J.P. Morgan

10. SpaceX

11. The Walt Disney Company

12. Morgan Stanley

13. Nike

14. IBM

15. NBA

16. NFL

17. (tie) Berkshire Hathaway

17. (tie) Deloitte

19. Twitter

20. Mercedes Benz

For the fifth year in a row, Google ranked at the top of the list for prestige. Survey respondents see Google as the "Holy Grail of internships." They say that the company offers interns a chance to work on "great and interesting projects" and "rewards interns with fun activities and a lot of bonding opportunities." In addition, Google has a "cool culture" where you have the "freedom to bring your entire self to work." It's "everyone's dream to work at Google," say respondents, and since "Google is taking over the world, it would be great to be a part of that." ...

… Apple held onto its No. 2 ranking. Survey respondents told us that, at Apple, you're "able to see innovation at work" and there's "always room for growth and innovation." They describe Apple as "cool and hip," "tech geniuses," and "the most impactful U.S. company."

… NASA took the No. 3 spot. According to respondents, an internship with the organization is an "eye-catching opportunity" and "anyone would be lucky to have an internship with NASA." They describe NASA as the "culmination of America's technical knowledge and expertise," with an "excellent standard of research and engineering." ...

… Microsoft ranked No. 4 in prestige this year. Described as a "best in class tech company," Microsoft offers "great pay," "great work/life balance," and a "great environment to grow." Respondents say that "in the IT/cloud/analytics fields, Microsoft is the pinnacle of achievement." ...

… tied at No. 5 this year were Amazon ("one of the biggest, most innovative companies"—"huge if you want to do supply chain management") and Goldman Sachs (the "crème de la crème for banking" and "probably the number one financial firm") ...

… new entrants in the top 20 this year were two professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association and the National Football League. Both made their debuts in the rankings this year, with the NBA ("a great brand" with the "top sports internship"—"it would be very cool to work there") ranking No. 15, and the NFL (a "culturally relevant," "top entertainment business" with a "great marketing" team) ranking No. 16 ...

Past and Present Interns Rate the 100 Best Internship Programs

In addition to asking interns which companies they'd most like to intern for, Vault asked nearly 14,000 interns, past and present, about their actual internship experiences. On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest and one being the lowest. Those surveyed were asked to rate their internship experiences in six areas: Quality of Life, Full-time Employment Prospects, Compensation & Benefits, Diversity, Career Development, and Interview Process. Winners include:

No. 1 Best Overall Internship: Infosys InStep Internship

All aspects of the InStep Internship received rave reviews from Infosys interns. One former Infosys intern told Vault that the highlights were the "cultural exposure—I'd never felt so unique and different to everyone else, yet was accepted and welcomed a billion miles away from home"; the "career growth—I learned so much on this internship that I think I'm ready to join the workforce;" and the "ability to explore India"—"I explored India more than I've explored my own country and this alone was just so mind blowing, so eye opening." Another intern said that "the training and mentorship here far surpassed my expectations. I had a buddy, a coordinator, and two mentors assigned to me who all helped me to develop in different ways and ensured that I got the most out of this experience."

No. 2 Best Overall Internship: Evercore Advisory Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program

According to a former Evercore intern, "The best part of the internship was the ability to interact with so many different deal teams across so many different industries. I was staffed on six deals on five different industry teams throughout the summer. This was a true generalist experience and allowed me to get a sense, not only for the culture of the firm, but also for the nuances of the different groups with whom I might be working next year. I also got exposure to a broad range of transactions—private sell-sides, public sell-sides, strategic reorganizations, etc. Overall, I came out of this summer experience having learned a tremendous amount about the industry and left excited to come back again full time."

No. 3 Best Overall Internship: Nickelodeon Animation Studio Nickternship Program

One former Nickelodeon intern outlined some of the best features of the Nickternship Program: "All Viacom interns were integrated together so you could reach out to people at other Viacom channels and Paramount. They offered classes so you could learn about every department. They offered lunches with executives so you could meet them and reach out to them for information more easily. They offered lunches with past interns who were hired full-time so you could ask them any questions you had. They also offered lots of perks like free screenings of current films, boxing classes, Summer Fridays, and more."

Granted, the internships highlighted above are no doubt on a competitive level with Ivy League admission, but I mention these to detail how exciting internships can be. They aren't all about being a gopher for coffee and making copies. If you want to survey the best internships in a wide range of categories, go to Vault's "exploration" page where you'll find these internships, each with a description link to further ranking details:

- Most Prestigious Internships

- Best Accounting Internships

- Best Consulting Internships

- Best Energy Internships

- Best Financial Services Internships

- Best Health Care Internships

- Best Investment Bank Internships

- Best Media & Telecom Internships

- Best Retail & Consumer Products Internships

- Best Tech & Engineering Internships

- Best Internships for Career Development

- Best Internships for Quality of Life

- Best Internships for Compensation & Benefits

- Best Internships for Employment Prospects

- Best Internships for Diversity

Best wishes for your internship search. I think you'll find this Vault resource to be invaluable.