Internships are a great way to gain real-world experience while also exploring your career interests. However, not all internships provide the same level of professional development and growth, as it depends on how much a company invests in their program. Internships featuring things like professional development programs, mentorships, a robust company culture, and a focus on real work (not coffee runs!) are the internships to look out for. While those may seem few and far between, there are a ton of great companies across industries who are investing in their future workforce through internships. We rounded up 10 of those companies – read on to learn about what makes their internships stand out.
Asana, a work management platform that helps teams manage and organize all of their work, has a particularly impressive internship program. In a company blog post specifically about their technical interns, they describe how each intern is treated like a team member and valued as an individual. The technical interns don’t just help out employees when needed, but they contribute real work to the company’s projects every day. They get recognized for the work they do, and are given credit for the projects they helped execute. Each intern also receives a series of dedicated mentors throughout their time at Asana to help them grow and get the most out of their internship. Treating the interns like real team members works out well for both sides: the interns come away with great experience and Asana invests in early career talent that actively contributes to their products and goals.
2. Under Armour
Students from a wide range of academic backgrounds can expect a valuable and unique internship experience at Under Armour. The company promises an internship where students have the chance to grow through structured learning and real world work, all while integrating themselves into the Under Armour culture.
The internship kicks off with three days of training where interns get to know Under Armour inside and out – from products to the business to distribution. From there, students work on a hands-on, self-driven project that makes a business impact. Students also work one-on-one with a mentor, and have access to learning seminars like Q&A sessions with Under Armour executives. With all of these career growth opportunities combined, students get an invaluable chance to carve out a professional path in the Rookie Program.
This global software company believes interns are the next generation of innovators – so they invest in their interns in a big way. In prior years, SAP hired close to 3,700 paid interns, all of whom had the opportunity to contribute to the business in meaningful ways. From technology to marketing to human resources, SAP offer internships in a variety of business areas, but all interns have the chance to develop their skills, work on real projects, and build their network. It’s clear from their student testimonials and intern vlogs that students who work at SAP are not only well-positioned for growth opportunities with the company, but also that they truly enjoy coming to work every day.
Groupon starts interns on meaningful projects from the moment they arrive. As highlighted in their company blogs, interns are able to take ownership of meaningful projects from the moment they arrive. One intern, Sabreen Ali, described seeing her work live on the site as the “proudest accomplishment” of her internship. She also discussed that as an intern she was involved with the company’s volunteering program and worked alongside employees from different departments at a local farm. Another past intern, Noah Ribaudo, also was impressed by the impact he was able to make as an intern at and how rewarding it was to implement the projects he spent his time on. Across different teams and departments, interns find they’re truly treated like a valuable member of the team at Groupon.
HBK ensures that interns have the support they need to complete projects with real business impact and gain a deep understanding of the investment industry and HBK as an organization. Interns are paired with a mentor and a manager, and the internship program includes presentations by firm leaders on industry topics and company structure. Interns also get to know the HBK team through activities like team dinners, outdoor movie nights and taco tours. The combination of real-world projects and a great company culture makes the internship a memorable experience. In a blog post, one intern turned full-time hire shared that the available opportunities and people at HBK influenced his decision to return full-time, saying: “Everyone I interacted with as an intern was eager to help me learn and integrate into the team. Moreover due to the size of HBK there are abundant opportunities to make an impact at the firm.”
This consulting firm was voted the #1 internship program in 2018 by WayUp, decided by expert judges and public voters. What placed the company at the top of the list was the effort they put into making their program truly beneficial for the interns, from their strategy for recruiting diverse candidates to offering fair compensation. KPMG also offers a national intern training program where interns all meet at one location to not only prepare for their internships, but also as a chance to network, meet executives, and participate in community service.
AT&T focuses on giving interns an experience they can use for the rest of their professional careers. In a company blog post they describe how their 10-week AT&T Labs program features a new speaker every week to provide interns with insight about the industry and current innovations. This also serves as a beneficial networking opportunity for the interns where they can meet higher-ups and ask one-on-one questions. In addition to professional development opportunities, AT&T tries to make the experience fun by providing an intern trip to NYC to see the Manhattan office, as well as offering office perks in their Florham Park, NJ location like gyms, hiking trails, and coffee shops on site.
Bloomberg interns span a wide range of fields and backgrounds, and they receive a rigorous internship program experience. In a blog post written by former intern Jennifer Millman, she describes how Bloomberg Analytics and Sales interns spend the first three weeks of their program in training where they are able to learn the behind the scenes process of how a client relationship works at the company. For the remaining seven weeks, Bloomberg interns get to do real work and see the real impact they’re making. They receive two mentors during their time at the company who offer advice expertise while also providing a networking resource for the intern’s career. Millman ended up receiving a job offer by the end of her summer, and accepted it the same day. She credits her quick decision to her hands-on work and immersion in the company culture leading her to understand how a full-time role would really feel there.
EY creates a global internship experience, allowing students in the U.S. to not only network among themselves but with interns around the world. Every year they hold an international intern leadership conference where current interns can attend workshops, be a part of team-building activities, and further their professional development. At this conference, they hear from leaders within the company as well to gather expert advice and network within the company. EY also offers “Launch” internships specifically for students from diverse backgrounds in accounting and related business fields, which directly propels students from underrepresented backgrounds into their internship programs.
10. Capital One
Interns at Capital One gain significant experience and professional knowledge throughout their time there, as former interns are quick to point out. In an interview with WayUp, four former interns explained all the details of their internship that made it stand out. They described opportunities to take initiative with projects and present their business ideas to professionals. They also mentioned how they made lasting relationships with employees at Capital One and how that proved to be one of the most beneficial parts of their internship. Plus, these interns showed that Capital One provides a great experience for interns of any department, as they were all from different fields.
Companies that are serious about attracting the best full-time candidates will invest in their interns. The programs listed above are just a snapshot of the opportunities available out there – regardless of your industry of interest, be on the lookout for the internships that can help you grow and gain meaningful experience!
Featured photo courtesy of Asana