Best College Internship Programs

It's time to drop the coffee-getting intern stereotype as we look at these top college internship programs that offer college students not only real work experience, but a chance to get a foot in the door towards a career. An internship at one of these companies will be fun, knowledgeable and career building and provide a great way to gain experience, determine if you are interested in a certain career, receive on-the-job training and get paid for it at the same time.

These are the Ivy League of internship programs. Getting into the program is the hard part. The reward is the work experience you will receive and the future job offers that come as a result of completing these coveted internship programs.

These are world-class programs with well-respected companies that involve students in projects that give them an opportunity to lead, be a part of a team, and provide a fresh take on new ideas for the company. These internships are so selective that just being offered a position and successfully completing the program at one of these companies can add a significant accomplishment to any resume.

Outside of a resume booster, the true value lies in the connections you’ll make working in the business world, the mentoring and feedback you will receive, and the leadership skills you’re able to build as you work on projects that will essentially make you an asset to any team (which is why so many interns in these programs end up being offered a real position upon completion of their internship).

The typical college internship program lasts 8-12 weeks during the summer months.

Top 10 College Internships for 2016

1. Google

Working at Google has many perks, like free gourmet meals prepared by Google chefs, a game room, a lap pool, a rock climbing wall and just an overall great culture. Some people even compare it to a college-like atmosphere. Being a Google intern may be your best shot at a career at the GooglePlex, considering the competitiveness of employment at one of America’s best places to work.

Technical Internships are offered year-round that allow students to assist in building and improving Google products. The program requires three months of full-time work with interns receiving continuous guidance from their team so they’re able to improve and showcase their talents. Google also offers Product Management Internships in the summer that gives interns a leadership role in driving product development while gaining experience working in a fast-paced environment.

2. Microsoft

Every year, Microsoft brings about 1,000 college and grad students from around the country to the Microsoft campus for their summer internship program. Interns get placed in product teams to work on new innovations in technology that allow space for exploration and creativity.

The internship pays well, with interns getting to do a lot of the same work as regular hires, and provides great coaching and training through mentoring and performance reviews so they’re always improving. Microsoft goes above and beyond to wow their interns in order to create love for the brand and ensure they have a pipeline of future talent to choose from. A majority of Microsoft interns end up receiving offers for full-time employment upon the completion of their internship.

If you’re interested in a Microsoft internship, your best bet to get started is to get in touch with the recruiter designated for your campus who can steer you to the right opportunity.

3. Southwest Airlines

By interning at Southwest Airlines, students really get a feel for the company culture and begin to see why it is truly a great place to work. The program provides the best of both worlds, offering a unique opportunity for college students to both work and travel over summer break.

This highly sought-after program remains very competitive, as 311 applicants were given internships out of the 14,000+ that applied in 2015. The program has a wide reach, with last year’s intern class being comprised of students from 104 different colleges, so don’t feel discouraged to apply if you happen to attend a small school.

After submitting a resume and completing a “Why Southwest?” essay, selected candidates who pass an initial phone interview screening are flown into headquarters for an in-person interview. Those offered positions are given internships at Southwest headquarters in Dallas, Texas, so students will need to relocate for this 3-4 month long program. Travelling between home, school, and company headquarters shouldn’t be a problem though as interns fly for free on Southwest flights.

If you’re a college student who loves to travel (who doesn’t?) and are looking for work experience related to your major, this is a near-perfect opportunity. Check out Campus Reach and view their internship FAQs for more.

4. Apple

The Apple Internship Program is a 12-week paid summer internship at Apple headquarters in Silicon Valley. Students get placed on teams of real Apple projects, allowing them to provide well-heard input toward the final design of a product. This is an amazing opportunity for Apple lovers, as interns get to work with new Apple products before they are made available to the public. Apple helps take the pain out of moving for three months by providing relocation assistance and offers great housing with other interns right near Apple's main campus. Internships are available for undergrads and grad students, and compensation is one of the tops in the industry.

5. Genentech

The Genentech internship program gives students the opportunity for real-life work experience at one of the leading companies in biotechnology. Interns get to work side-by-side with biotech industry experts at Genetech headquarters in San Francisco and in other locations in the U.S. that include Vacaville (CA), Oceanside (CA), and Hillsboro (OR).

Interns are challenged with business-critical projects, end-of-summer project presentations to senior management, and an intern video contest. The program is specially designed to allow students to receive feedback on their progression and earn some solid business contacts in the industry.

The program accepts undergrads that have completed at least their sophomore year of college, current grad students, and recent graduates who have graduated within the last two years for the 9-12 week paid internship that is typically completed over the summer.

Students can work in various departments within the company including Research and Development, Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing, and Finance. What makes Genentech one of the top internship programs is the effort put into helping students learn on the job and the networking opportunities they offer through various company social events, career development panels, and their VP Lunch and Learn speaker series that introduces interns to Genentech senior management.

6. Edward Jones

In the Edward Jones internship program, students have the option to intern with a local Edward Jones branch or at a headquarters location in either St. Louis or Tempe. With branch offices located across the United States, the program offers the convenience of performing an internship locally with a nationally-known corporation.

For ten weeks, students work alongside an Edward Jones Financial Advisor during this full-time paid summer internship. By working side-by-side with a professional in the field, students gain a valuable mentor who can teach the ins and outs of the financial services industry. Students complete the internship during the summer before their senior year and assist the Edward Jones team with marketing and promotions, planning financial seminars, and performing various client services.

7. Nike

In the Nike Internship Program, students become part of the Nike innovation process of combining sports, science, and technology. Interns are given complex business tasks that are challenging and allow real-life development in creativity, teamwork, and personal growth. Opportunities exist for a wide range of majors with interns being able to work in teams and departments that include Design, Global Communications, Digital and Technology, Finance, and Supply Chain Management. With Nike being a global company, intern positions exist everywhere from Nike World Headquarters to Europe and Asia. Some of the best perks of interning at Nike include a membership at their state-of-the-art fitness center and access to the Nike Employee Store.

8. Pixar

Pixar is the perfect internship for a student who wishes to apply their creativity to a real-life working film project. Students will have the opportunity to work in a team alongside Pixar employees and contribute to the making of a new Pixar film. Internships are available in Animation, Story, Art, Technical Direction, Production Management, Marketing, Engineering, Research, Media Systems, Finance, and Editorial, so their program supports a wide range of majors. The length of the program will vary depending on the department and term you apply to, but most run for 12 weeks or 6 months during the summer, fall, and winter. To qualify you must be a currently enrolled college student (undergrad or grad student) or have graduated within the year the internship begins. On top of being paid, Pixar interns get access to an on-site fitness center and pool, as well as a state-of-the-art theatre for special screenings of new release films.

9. Oracle

Oracle’s product development internships give students in computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering a chance to get a foot in the door developing technology for a world-leading company. Interns are assigned projects that are both interesting and challenging and provide excellent experience collaborating with a team on the development of a product that thousands will use. On top of being paid, interns can receive perks that include a company paid car, a company paid fully-furnished apartment, and free roundtrip travel from school and back. With various networking events and company activities scheduled throughout the program, interns are given a chance to connect with students from other colleges in similar majors and build worthwhile relationships with those in the industry.

10. ExxonMobil

The ExxonMobil internship program gives you the opportunity to work for a company that tops the Fortune 500 list nearly every year. With an internship providing one of the best ways towards career development and getting a job after college, an internship at Exxon is a great way to get your foot in the door while receiving competitive pay at the same time. Most internships are filled through on-campus interviews so look out for the next career fair to get into this 10-14 week summer program.

Connecting with Professors: Tips from a Communications Expert

Communication: it’s how knowledge is shared and ideas are spread. Most importantly, it is something you are in total control of.

On a college campus, there are so many potential social interactions you can get yourself into that can be beneficial not only to your success in college, but your success in life.

This type of networking is going to take effort. This means taking initiative and doing things like striking up conversations, joining student clubs, going into office hours, and getting out of your comfort zone when it comes to making social connections.

How to Communicate and Connect with Professors

Best Games for Groups, Gatherings and Parties

Getting people together is an important aspect of building community. It’s how true connections are made and friendships are built. One of the best ways to easily build rapport between individuals and new groups is having a game night. Games ease people out of their comfort zones and get people to open up and come out of their shell in a fun and creative way. Whether you are hosting a party, game night, new group orientation, or just have a group of friends who want to get together, here we offer some to the best games to play for parties, get-togethers, and group meetups. These games will promote community, help people get to know each other better, and provide good laughs and conversation.

Best Games

The Future of College Admissions

“You get what you give.”

This saying, known in some circles as words to live by for finding true purpose in life, will soon have meaning to the college admissions process.

There is growing concern that the current state of college admissions is flawed.

Many college officials are taking notice to a path to college acceptance that relies too heavily on personal accomplishments (grades and test scores). This promotes a selfish, me-first, everyone-against-each-other mentality rather than a care for the common good of others and greater good of society.

Turning the Tide Report

A recent report by the Harvard Graduate School of Education reveals a plan to be implemented over the next two years to improve the weight of community service and involvement in the admissions decision.

When the Dean of Admissions at all Ivy League schools get together and agree on something, you better listen.

The college admissions process is a major roadmap for how students choose to shape their high school experience. The future of college admissions will look at what students are doing to make the world a better place.

If you are a current high school student, there are a few things you can start doing that can help you get accepted to the college of your dreams.

The Future of College Admissions

Best Bikes for College: Tips from a College Bike Expert

Bringing a bike to college is not only a great idea for ease of access in getting around campus, but also in the affordability and fun it provides as both a transportation device and a hobby.

While bringing a car to campus isn’t always an option for some students, it’s nice to have some way to easily (and affordably) get around. This is where having a bike in college comes in handy. Having a bicycle in college is such a convenience you will see some students pick one up who haven’t ridden in years.

bike rack and panniers

Regardless of how far you will be living from campus, a bike can even become useful for travel between classes, given how large some university campuses are. A bike can also be used to help carry your heavy book bag to and from class when equipped with a rack and panniers.

“A bike that can support a rack with panniers is the best bike for all college life.”

Whether you are a frequent rider, or a student who hasn’t been on a bike in a while and is considering picking one up, we'll take a look at some of the top bikes for college students as well as offer some tips for safety and maintenance when bringing a bike to college.

Best Bikes for College

10 MOOCs that will Prepare you for College

Colleges want students who take initiative in their learning. One way to do this is through MOOCs by making an effort to learn on your own time.

Known as massive open online courses, these online courses allow anyone with an Internet connection to pursue an interest in learning.

Why should prospective college students take MOOCs?

Students preparing to enter college can take these courses to ease the transition to college by getting a taste of college-level coursework. These online courses allow students to dive deeper into a subject they have an interest in and get a head start on their prospective college major.

Taking these classes demonstrates interest and shows a passion for learning. It is a chance to set yourself apart from others and provide yourself with a well-rounded education or solidify experience in a specific subject.

If you are applying to colleges, completing these courses can help prove that you're university-ready.

That’s how MIT found Battushig Myanganbayar, the student from Mongolia who stood out in a MOOC and was accepted into the school.

“Given that we know how rigorous MITx classes are, seeing a student’s performance in that class can help calibrate us to their readiness for an MIT education.”

Benefits of Taking MOOCs

  • Can help close the college readiness gap
  • Further your education
  • A cheap and easy way to explore a possible major
  • Gives you an idea of college-level coursework
  • Can help cover any subject gaps in your transcript records
  • Gain added experience in a specific subject
  • Keep yourself busy over summer break

Here we provide 10 MOOCs that will prepare you for college. Now, one may not have time to take all 10 of these courses, but this list helps narrow it down from the hundreds of MOOCs that are out there to a specific few useful online courses that will prepare incoming college students. Many of these are self-paced courses you can take at your own schedule, and the great thing is, they are free to take.

College MOOCs

Hardest Colleges to get into

MIT is one of the hardest colleges to get into

Admission rates hit an all-time low for many schools when the Class of 2019 admission statistics were reported, making it very difficult to get accepted to these high-profile universities. Here we examine the updated list of the hardest colleges to get into for 2016 and examine the numbers behind America's most selective universities.

Hardest Colleges to get into

College Study Strategies: Organize a Study Group

Dr. Richard Light, a Harvard researcher and Professor of Teaching and Learning at Harvard Graduate School of Education, was sent out on a mission to find the single best predictor of college success.

After ten years of research and surveying 1,600 Harvard students, he found a key element to university achievement: the ability of a student to either join or create a study group.

We encourage you to incorporate this successful study strategy into your routine: Find or create a study group for your classes.

College students in a study group

Study Groups

America's Most Expensive College Dorms

For the 2014-2015 school year, the average cost of room and board is priced at $9,804 for public colleges and $11,188 for private colleges. To no surprise, colleges in California, New York, and the Boston area charge a bit more and top the list of most expensive dorms.

The highest-priced dorms can be found in New York, where students get to enjoy the conveniences of living in Manhattan and fabulous skyline views from high-rise dorms.

Going to school in New York can be quite an experience for a first-year college student, but one that comes with a hefty price tag. Looking at tuition and fees alone, NYU ranks 57th in highest cost. However, when room and board is factored into college cost rankings, NYU becomes the 3rd most expensive college in the nation with an estimated room and board expense of $16,782.

If you’re going to rack up college debt, it may as well come with a million-dollar view. Here’s a look from a dorm room in Founders Hall, a traditional first-year residence hall at NYU.

View from Founders Hall at NYU

Most Expensive College Dorms for 2014-2015