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by Vault Careers | October 15, 2019


Today, we're excited to release our latest Internship Rankings, which highlight the top internship programs in 16 categories: Most Prestigious Internships, Best Overall Internships, several Best Industry-Specific Internships, and the programs offering the best Quality of Life, Career Development, Compensation & Benefits, Diversity, and Employment Prospects.

This past summer, Vault surveyed nearly 14,000 current and former interns from more than 130 internship programs. In addition to asking respondents to rate and review their own internship experiences for our 2020 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 asked to rate each company on how prestigious its internship is on a scale of 1 to 10—with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. Interns were asked to rate only the companies whose reputations they were familiar with. Vault averaged the ratings 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 2020 are:

1. Google

2. Apple


4. Microsoft

5. (tie) Amazon

5. (tie) Goldman Sachs

7. Facebook

8. Tesla

9. J.P. Morgan

10. SpaceX

11. The Walt Disney Company

12. Morgan Stanley 

13. Nike

14. IBM

15. NBA

16. NFL

17. (tie) Berkshire Hathaway

17. (tie) Deloitte

19. Twitter

20. Mercedes-Benz

For the fifth year in a row, Google ranked No. 1 for prestige. Survey respondents see Google as the “Holy Grail of internships.” They say that the company offers interns a chance to work on “great and interesting projects” and “rewards interns with fun activities and a lot of bonding opportunities.”  In addition, Google has a “cool culture” where you have the “freedom to bring your entire self to work.” It’s “everyone’s dream to work at Google,” say respondents, and since “Google is taking over the world, it would be great to be a part of that.”

In addition to Google maintaining its top spot, Apple held onto its No. 2 ranking. Survey respondents told us that, at Apple, you’re “able to see innovation at work” and there’s “always room for growth and innovation.” They describe Apple as “cool and hip,” “tech geniuses,” and “the most impactful U.S. company.” After all, respondents note, “Everyone uses their high quality products.”

Meanwhile, in its first year in the rankings, NASA took the No. 3 spot. According to respondents, an internship with the organization is an “eye-catching opportunity” and  “anyone would be lucky to have an internship with NASA.” They describe NASA as the “culmination of America’s technical knowledge and expertise,” with an “excellent standard of research and engineering.” Further, “the next space age is incoming, so it would be awesome to see what is going on behind the scenes.”

Microsoft ranked No. 4 in prestige this year. Described as a “best in class tech company,” Microsoft offers “great pay,” “great work/life balance,” and a “great environment to grow.” Respondents say that “in the IT/cloud/analytics fields, Microsoft is the pinnacle of achievement.”

And tied at No. 5 this year were Amazon (“one of the biggest, most innovative companies”—“huge if you want to do supply chain management”) and Goldman Sachs (the “crème de la crème for banking” and “probably the number one financial firm”). 

Notable new entrants in the top 20 this year were two professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association and the National Football League. Both made their debuts in the rankings this year, with the NBA (“a great brand” with the “top sports internship”—“it would be very cool to work there”) ranking No. 15, and the NFL (a “culturally relevant,” “top entertainment business” with a “great marketing” team) ranking No. 16. 

Past and Present Interns Rate the 100 Best Internship Programs

 In addition to asking interns which companies they’d most like to intern for, Vault asked nearly 14,000 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 six areas: Quality of Life, Full-time Employment Prospects, Compensation & Benefits, Diversity, Career Development, and Interview Process.

This year, we expanded our Best Overall Internships Rankings from 50 to 100. In addition, we changed the way we calculated our Best Overall Internships Rankings. In the past, we used a straight average, weighting each of the rating categories equally. But this year, to more accurately rank internship programs based on what interns told us they value most in an internship, Vault’s 100 Best Internships Ranking is based on the following formula: 30 percent career development, 20 percent employment prospects, 20 percent quality of life, 20 percent compensation, 5 percent overall diversity, and 5 percent interview process.

This year’s winners include:

No. 1 Best Overall Internship: Infosys InStep Internship

All aspects of the InStep Internship received rave reviews from Infosys interns. One former Infosys intern told us that the highlights were the “cultural exposure—I’d never felt so unique and different to everyone else, yet was accepted and welcomed a billion miles away from home”; the “career growth—I learned so much on this internship that I think I’m ready to join the workforce;” and the “ability to explore India”—“I explored India more than I’ve explored my own country and this alone was just so mind blowing, so eye opening.” Another intern said that “the training and mentorship here far surpassed my expectations. I had a buddy, a coordinator, and two mentors assigned to me who all helped me to develop in different ways and ensured that I got the most out of this experience.”

No. 2 Best Overall Internship: Evercore Advisory Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program

According to a former Evercore intern, “The best part of the internship was the ability to interact with so many different deal teams across so many different industries. I was staffed on six deals on five different industry teams throughout the summer. This was a true generalist experience and allowed me to get a sense not only for the culture of the firm but also for the nuances of the different groups with whom I might be working next year. I also got exposure to a broad range of transactions—private sell-sides, public sell-sides, strategic reorganizations, etc. Overall, I came out of this summer experience having learned a tremendous amount about the industry and left excited to come back again full time.”

No. 3 Best Overall Internship: Nickelodeon Animation Studio Nickternship Program

One former Nickelodeon intern outlined some of the best features of the Nickternship Program: “All Viacom interns were integrated together so you could reach out to people at other Viacom channels and Paramount. They offered classes so you could learn about every department. They offered lunches with executives so you could meet them and reach out to them for information more easily. They offered lunches with past interns who were hired full-time so you could ask them any questions you had. They also offered lots of perks like free screenings of current films, boxing classes, Summer Fridays, and more.”

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

Best Internship for Career Development: College Works Painting Internship

Best Internship for Compensation & Benefits (tie): Evercore Advisory Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program/Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Diversity: Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Quality of Life: Infosys InStep 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: PKF O’Connor Davies Internship

Best Consulting Internship: Bates White Summer Consultant Program

Best Energy Internship: Exelon Internship Program

Best Financial Services Internship: AFLAC Summer Internship Program

Best Healthcare Internship: Abbott Internship Program

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

Best Media & Telecommunications Internship: Nickelodeon Nickternship Program

Best Retail & Consumer Products Internship: RAI Internship Program

Best Tech & Engineering Internship: Infosys InStep Internship 

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: 

  • Approximately half (50.4%) of internships resulted in full-time job offers.
  • “Career advancement in chosen industry” was the No. 1 deciding factor when choosing an internship. “Pay” was the No. 2 deciding factor, followed by “corporate culture” at No. 3 and the “opportunity for a full-time job offer” at No. 4.
  • 43.9% of respondents found their internships through campus recruiting, 11.1% through a company’s website, 9.5% through referrals/friends and family, 9.0% through career fairs, and 7.8% through professional networking.
  • When researching internships, most interns relied on their laptops or smartphones: 92.2% of respondents frequently used laptops, 37.9% frequently used smart phones, 19.9% frequently used desktop computers, and 5.5% frequently used tablets.

View the complete Vault Internship Rankings