There’s no substitute for experience. The best and brightest minds in the country know that students can only learn so much within the confines of the classroom, so they need to find internships in their fields of interest to test the waters. Most interns will end up settling for unpaid, unfulfilling positions just to throw themselves out there. However, a handful of lucky undergrads will acquire jobs internships that earn them a decent wage and prepare them for jobs at Fortune 500 companies. Business Week recently reviewed 50 of the Best Internship Opportunities in America and here’s what they found.
Topping many lists of premium jobs internships is PriceWaterhouseCoopers. In 2009, this mega-employer had more than 2,800 intern positions and stated that they “place enormous importance” on their internship programs because “interns represent a significant source of talent” for the firm. Interns work with mentors, attend workshops, perform practice exercises and try their hand at numerous accounting tasks. Following the $23.80/hour internship opportunity, 88% of interns were offered a job and 87% of them accepted.
Similarly, New York City accounting firm KPMG hired more than 1,800 paid interns who earned $22/hour at their jobs internships. According to their website, “KPMG’s intern training program is the only one among the Big Four to offer joint training for audit, tax, and advisory interns.” Interns will work closely in auditing, tax, advisory services and public accounting. Their website puts a tremendous focus on students, which shows just how much they value this program. Following the summer internship, 95% of interns were offered a position and 87% were more than happy to accept.
But who says all jobs internships have to be in dull finance? Walt Disney is one of the top 10 employers too. More than 1,800 interns made $16/hour this summer working as actors, chefs, decorators, sign makers, resort staff, waiters, shop keepers, singers and imagineers. Disney cast members will work in an idyllic setting and enjoy perks like free park admission, discounted food and souvenirs, and exclusive insider info. At the end of the session, 30% of interns were offered full-time positions and all 30% accepted. Other cool jobs include IBM, L’Oreal, the Central Intelligence Agency and Nike, but few are as much fun as the Disney job internship.
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