The Top Internships for 2018

Published: Oct 09, 2017

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Today, Vault released its latest Internship Rankings. This year, our rankings are based on a survey of more than 12,000 interns and include 15 different ranking categories. The Most Prestigious Internships ranks the companies that students most desire to have on their résumé, while the Best 50 Internships ranks the top internship programs based on ratings by their current and past interns. We also rank internship programs in nine industries, including Accounting, Consulting, Energy, Financial Services, Health Care, Investment Banking, Media & Telecommunications, Retail & Consumer Products, and Tech & Engineering. In addition, we rank internship programs based on Quality of Life, Career Development, Compensation & Benefits, and Employment Prospects.

Most Prestigious

The interns who took our survey this past summer were asked to rate and review their own internship experiences in a variety of workplace categories. We also asked these interns to rate the prestige of other employers. Survey respondents were presented with a list of top companies and asked to rate each company on how prestigious its internship was on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest (“It’s a dream job!”) and one being the lowest (“No one wants to work there”). Interns were asked to rate only the companies with whose reputations they were familiar. Vault averaged the rating for each employer, and then ranked the companies in order, starting with the highest score as No. 1 down to No. 50.

Here are the 10 Most Prestigious Internships for 2018:

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. Facebook
  4. Microsoft
  5. Goldman Sachs
  6. Tesla Motors
  7. Amazon
  8. J.P. Morgan
  9. Morgan Stanley
  10. The Walt Disney Company

For the third year in a row, Google ranked No. 1 for prestige, with survey respondents saying that it “looks incredibly impressive on a résumé,” has an “awesome culture,” and is “extremely innovative,” “one of the best tech firms to work for,” and a “dream internship.” “Anyone would hire you after you’ve worked there,” says one survey respondent. Another says, “Google offers amazing benefits, opportunities, and products. It’s the No. 1 place to be.” 

In addition to Google maintaining its top spot, Apple and Facebook held on to the No. 2 and No. 3 ranking, respectively, while Microsoft leaped over Goldman Sachs to take the No. 4 spot, pushing Goldman to No. 5. The other major move among the top 10 was Amazon rising from No. 11 to No. 7. Survey participants called Amazon “as innovative as it gets,” “a résumé jet booster,” and “going to rule the world.” 

Best Overall

This year, at more than 110 internship programs, we asked current and past interns to rate their internship experiences in several workplace categories. We averaged the scores of those ratings, then ranked internship programs in order from highest to lowest to get a "Best Overall Internship" ranking. We also ranked internship programs in the individual categories that we asked interns to rate. Below are this year’s winners. 

Best Overall Internship: Elliott Davis Decosimo ENVISION Summer Internship

Here’s one former Elliott Davis intern speaking about the firm's internship program: “I’m accepting a full-time offer because I really loved the firm. I enjoyed coming to work every day. The culture of the firm is something I admire and would like to consider myself a part of. The people here are actually friends, and that shows in the work they do. The environment is welcoming, and everyone is very helpful. I had a lot of questions over the course of my internship, and nobody ever made me feel bad or dumb for asking a question. Everyone was very understanding and helped me learn. Also, Elliott Davis wants you to feel a part of the firm, which was very evident in events they had planned to connect their people.”

Best Internship for Quality of Life:  Nickelodeon Nickternship Program

According to a former Nickelodeon intern, “Not only was the internship itself interesting and fulfilling, but the regular employees at the studio also went above and beyond to talk to us interns. They taught us about different artistic and production jobs and the processes involved within each one. Most everyone was genuinely kind and wore bright smiles. It truly is a wonderful place to work no matter what position one may have there.”

Best Internship for Career Development: Perella Weinberg Partners Advisory Summer Internship Program

Best Internship for Compensation & Benefits: Perella Weinberg Partners Advisory Summer Internship Program

Best Internship for Employment Prospects: Evercore Advisory Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program

Best by Industry

Vault also ranked internship programs by industry. Here are the winners in our nine industry-specific categories. 

Best Accounting Internship: Elliott Davis Decosimo ENVISION Summer Internship Experience

Best Consulting Internship: Bates White Summer Consultant Program

Best Energy Internship: Westar Energy Internship Program

Best Financial Services Internship: KPCB Fellows Program

Best Health Care Internship: Abbott Laboratories Internship Program

Best Investment Banking Internship: Perella Weinberg Partners Advisory Summer Internship Program

Best Media & Telecommunications Internship: Nickelodeon Nickternship Program

Best Retail & Consumer Products Internship: RAI Internship Program

Best Tech & Engineering Internship: Capital One Technology Development Program 

Internship Trends

In addition to ranking the companies with the best internship programs, Vault discovered some interesting facts about students, internships, and the internship search.

  • Half (approximately 50 percent) of internships resulted in full-time job offers.
  • 98.5 percent of respondents surveyed had paid internships.
  • Pay was the No. 1 deciding factor when choosing an internship. Location was No. 2, followed by career advancement in their chosen industry at No. 3, and the opportunity for a full-time job offer at No. 4.
  • 61 percent of respondents found their internships through campus recruiting, 11.9 percent found them through referrals and family members, and 9.6 percent found them through a company’s website.
  • 66 percent of respondents relied primarily on their laptops for researching internships, while 21 percent also used their smart phones.

You can see all of our Internship Rankings here.

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