The Best Internships for 2019

Published: Nov 01, 2018

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Today, we released our latest Internship Rankings. This year, our annual Internship Rankings highlight the top internship programs in 16 categories, including Most Prestigious Internships, Best Overall Internships, several Best Industry-Specific Internships, and the programs offering the best Quality of Life, Career Development, Compensation & Benefits, Employment Prospects, and Diversity (this is the first year we’ve ranked internship programs in Diversity). 

This past summer, Vault surveyed more than 13,000 current and former interns from more than 120 internship programs. In addition to asking respondents to rate and review their own internship experiences for our 2019 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, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest (“It’s a dream job!”) and 1 being the lowest (“No one wants to work there”), they were asked to rate each company on how prestigious its internship is. 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. 

The Top 20 Most Prestigious Internship Programs for 2019 are:

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. Microsoft
  4. Tesla
  5. Facebook
  6. Goldman Sachs
  7. Amazon
  8. J.P. Morgan
  9. SpaceX
  10. The Walt Disney Company
  11. Nike
  12. Morgan Stanley
  13. IBM
  14. Deloitte
  15. Berkshire Hathaway
  16. Intel
  17. ESPN
  18. Mercedes-Benz
  19. The Boston Consulting Group
  20. Spotify

For the fourth year in a row, Google ranked No. 1 for prestige, with survey respondents saying that “it’s the best internship you can get” and “an engineer’s dream.” Respondents also call it “the most impressive internship to put on your resume,” “probably the most prestigious STEM internship opportunity,” and “the number one firm for millennials to work for.”  In addition, “it pays well” and has an “awesome work culture” and “amazing perks.” 

In addition to Google maintaining its top spot, Apple held on to the No. 2 ranking. Respondents told us that Apple is “changing the world” and “the top company in the world”—it’s “where everyone wants to work.” They also told us an internship with the firm would be a “dream job” and “look incredibly impressive on a resume.” 

Meanwhile, Microsoft (“an innovative tech giant going through a rejuvenation”) rose one place to take the No. 3 spot, Tesla (“anything with Elon Musk on it sounds great, plus interns make $28/hour, are allowed to work overtime, and the internship’s in California) rose two places to No. 4, and Facebook (“awesome culture and headquarters, high pay, phenomenal on a resume” but “bad press recently”) ranked No. 5, slipping two places this year. 

The one new entrant into the Top 10 was SpaceX, which took the No. 9 spot in its first year in the rankings. The second of Elon Musk’s firms in the top 10, SpaceX was described by respondents as “groundbreaking,” “extremely prestigious,” “the future,” and “a fun place to work,” with “great benefits,” “amazing projects,” and an “incredible reputation.” Respondents also told us “almost every engineer wants to work there.” 

Another big mover in the rankings was Spotify, which leaped 15 places to No. 20. Respondents told us that Spotify is “innovative,” “up and coming,” “industry-defining,” and “changing the face of music”—“everyone uses their product.” Respondents also said the firm offers interns “great pay” and a “cool culture.” 

Past and Present Interns Offer Insight on the Best Internship Programs

In addition to asking interns which companies they’d most like to intern for, Vault surveyed more than 13,000 interns, past and present, about their actual internship experiences. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest, respondents were asked to rate their internship experiences in Quality of Life, Full-time Employment Prospects, Compensation & Benefits, Career Development, and, new this year, Diversity. These ratings were averaged to determine an overall score for each program. Vault then compiled rankings of the top internship programs in 15 different areas.

This Year’s Winners Include: 

Top Overall Internship: Infosys Limited InStep Internship

The InStep Internship received rave reviews from Infosys interns, who told us they very much appreciated the diversity of their fellow interns, the interesting and challenging projects they worked on, the ability to interact with senior management, the great perks, the fun working environment, and getting to know India (where the internship is located). 

Here’s one former Infosys intern speaking about the internship program at the consulting firm: “The InStep team does an amazing job of putting together fascinating events, speakers, and trips for the interns. We have virtually every aspect of our lives taken care of for us, everything from the rooms we sleep in to the food we eat for every meal. The work has been exciting and fulfilling— it’s great to see the work that I’m doing being implemented on real campaigns for the company.” 

Another Infosys intern told us, “You get to meet a group of very diverse, smart, intellectually curious people. The internship truly gave us a global perspective, and the internship program has seminar sessions called ‘Meet the Leader’ where executives like the CEO, COO, CFO, and founders of Infosys came to speak to us about their experiences. These senior executives were also very accessible by email if we needed anything.” 

And a third former intern said, “Diversity is huge. Interns come from all different nationalities and backgrounds. And interns have lots of autonomy—they have the freedom to decide how to structure their work. Infosys also offers a fantastic quality of life, and actively encourages its interns to travel around India on the weekends and take advantage of the amazing opportunities it offers. And the campus is amazing—lots of health facilities, the guest house is extremely luxurious, and a lot of variety in food courts. The food is really good!” 

Best Internship for Quality of Life: Nickelodeon Animation Studio Nickternship Program 

According to a former Nickelodeon intern, “Nickelodeon interns are embraced whole-heartedly by the entire studio staff. Interns are afforded every opportunity to make meaningful contributions and develop relationships with world-class working animation professionals. The entire experience is priceless.” 

Another Nickelodeon told us: “I was able to complete real work product for the company, as well as attend meetings and sessions with working professionals in the field of post-production. We were also provided the opportunity to schedule informational meetings with anyone currently working at the studio and talk to them about their experiences at Nickelodeon.” 

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

Best Internship for Compensation & Benefits: Elliott Davis ENVISION Summer Internship Experience 

Best Internship for Diversity: iHMLA Internship Program 

Best Internship for Career Development: College Works Painting Internship 

Vault Ranks the Top Industry-Specific Internships

Vault also broke out the rankings further to include Top Internship for nine industry-specific categories:

Best Accounting Internship: Elliott Davis ENVISION Summer Internship Experience

Best Consulting Internship: Infosys Limited InStep

Best Energy Internship: Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Internship Program

Best Financial Services Internship: Kleiner Perkins (KP) Fellows Program

Best Healthcare Internship: Abbott Laboratories Internship Program

Best Investment Banking Internship: Evercore Advisory Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program

Best Media & Telecommunications Internship: Nickelodeon Animation Studio Nickternship Program

Best Retail & Consumer Products Internship: RAI Internship Program

Best Tech & Engineering Internship: Abbott Laboratories Internship Program

Trends From Vault’s Internship Survey

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%) of internships resulted in full-time job offers.
  • Pay was the No. 1 deciding factor when choosing an internship. Location was a close second, followed by career advancement in their chosen industry and the opportunity for a full-time job offer.
  • 59.7% of respondents found their internships through campus recruiting, 11.4% through referrals and family members, 10.6% through a company’s website, 7.4% through professional networking, and 5.1% through online job boards.
  • 75% of respondents relied primarily on their laptops or desktops for researching internships, while 23% also used their smart phones, and 2% used tablets.

To see all of our Internship Rankings, click here.