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by Vault Careers | November 17, 2015


This past summer, Vault surveyed more than 5,800 interns at 102 different intern programs. We asked current and former interns to rate and review their internships in five areas: the application process, compensation and perks, quality of life, meaningfulness of assignments and training, and full-time employment prospects. Vault also asked interns which employers have the most prestigious internships.

50 Most Prestigious Companies to Intern For

During our internship survey, interns 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 most prestigious (“It’s a dream job!”) and 1 being the least (“No one wants to work there”). Interns were asked to rate only the companies with whose reputations they are 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. And so, here are the top 10 Most Prestigious Companies to Intern For:

1. Google
2. Apple
3. Goldman Sachs
4. Facebook
5. J.P. Morgan
6. Microsoft
7. Tesla Motors
8. Morgan Stanley
9. The Walt Disney Company
10. Twitter

Survey respondents called an internship at Google “the dream.” They also called Google “the top tech company,” and told us it has an “incredible corporate culture” and “everything you could ever want.” Respondents particularly like that “employees are treated with outstanding care and paid well.” Google is “cool,” “innovative,” and “creative.” It’s “the number one employer in everyone’s mind.”

Meanwhile, respondents told us “the best of the best” work at Apple, which has a “great culture” (that can be “secretive” at times) and “great perks”—“they give their interns free Apple products.” Apple is an “elite employer,” and there’s little doubt an internship at the firm “looks impressive on a resume.”

As for Goldman Sachs, getting an internship at the “top investment bank” is “extremely competitive.” The firm has an “excellent reputation,” and its internships offer “incredible networking opportunities,” “phenomenal experience,” and “great pay.” They also offer “late nights” at the office. Still, most agree that Goldman “looks great on a resume” and is the “best for finance.”

50 Best Internships

Interns were also asked to rate their internship experiences on a scale of 1 to 10 in five areas: Quality of Life, Compensation & Benefits, Interview Process, Career Development, and Full-time Employment Prospects. These ratings were averaged to determine an overall score for each program. The 50 Best Internships reflect the highest-rated internship programs across the survey pool (note: if a company did not participate in our survey, then their internship program was not eligible to be ranked). Here is the top 5 of the 50 Best Internships:

1. Evercore (advisory summer analyst and summer associate program)
2. Elliott Davis Decosimo (ENVISION summer internship experience)
3. Bain & Company (associate consultant intern and summer associate programs)
4. CapTech (summer intern program)
5. Northwestern Mutual (internship program)

Interns at top-ranked Evercore told us that the firm offers a “better work-life balance than at other banks,” and is filled with “smart and fun people.” Interns are given “meaningful work,” “great exposure to senior management,” and “the ability to work on live deals.” Evercore has a “great, respectful firm culture where people at all levels seem legitimately happy to be working there.” Interns add that there’s “no face time,” and “training is led by members of the firm, ensuring that you learn the most useful skills and are able to hit the ground running when you start full time.”

Best Internships for Quality of Life

One of the areas respondents were asked to rate their internship experiences was Quality of Life (office culture, hours, work-life balance, and flexibility). Respondents rated their Quality of Life on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. Vault averaged the scores for each internship program to create a 25 Best Internships for Quality of Life ranking. Here is the top 5:

1. Westar Energy’s internship program
2. Elliott Davis Decosimo ENVISION Summer Internship Experience
3. Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP's Summer Internship
4. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Internship Program
5. CapTech Summer Internship Program

Interns at Westar told us that the firm has “numerous great and knowledgeable people” who are “willing to teach you and help you along the way”—“you are surrounded by people trying to help you succeed.” In addition, the “hours are flexible,” you’re “given the ability to work on projects by yourself,” and people “respect your opinion and work.”

Best Internships by Industry

Vault also compiled ratings of the top internship programs in specific industries, including accounting, consulting, energy, financial services, investment banking, media and telecommunications, and tech and engineering. Here are the top-rated internships in each of those industries:

Best Accounting Internships: Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP’s Summer Internship

Best Consulting Internships: Bain & Company Associate Consultant Intern (ACI) and Summer Associate (SA) programs

Best Energy Internships: Westar Energy Internship Program

Best Financial Services Internships: Northwestern Mutual Internship Program

Best Investment Bank Internships: Houlihan Lokey Internship

Best Media & Telecommunications Internships: Nickelodeon Animation Studio Nickternship Program

Best Tech & Engineering Internships: Boeing Intern Program

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