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Which Companies Provide the Best Internships?

Written by Angela Finding

As a prospective intern, you’re likely asking yourself: what kind of company should I intern for? There are thousands of options available to you, and your choice could have a significant impact not only on the experience you have, but the value you get and the potential future you create.

So where’s the best place to intern?

Setting Goals

As you might have guessed, the answer isn’t simple. The truth is there are many different kinds of internships, all of which have strengths and weaknesses that may or may not apply to you. Before you figure out what companies would be best to intern for, think carefully—what are your main goals?

  • Career relevance. If your main goal is preserving a fixed career line, you need to find an internship that fits your experience needs precisely—otherwise, you have more flexibility with different companies and industries.
  • Job potential. Over 60 percent of paid and 37 percent of unpaid interns get job offers—which is good, but not a guarantee. If your goal is to get a job offer, prioritize companies that have a history of recruiting interns to full-time positions.
  • Subjective experience. Internships aren’t just about getting a job or making money; you should also consider companies that offer a unique, fun, or challenging hands-on experience. This is a major opportunity, so don’t overlook the subjective experience factor.
  • College credit. Not all internships can count as college credit (depending on the company, and on your college’s specific requirements). Make sure you do your research here.
  • Of course, you might also choose an internship because of the prestige it offers—either because it’s associated with a potentially lucrative opportunity, or because it looks amazing on a resume. Forbes lists the 20 most prestigious companies to intern for in 2017, and all of them are resume powerhouses—but keep in mind your chances of getting in are very slim.

The truth is, there is no single company that’s able to provide the “best” internship—beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Before you decide on an internship, decide what your main priorities are, and look for an internship that meets those criteria. There’s something out there for everybody.

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