How to Choose a Good Internship

By Tonka Dobreva 04.06.2016 blog

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There are many benefits to starting off your career with an internship. Earlier this year, global research firm Universum asked 65,679 undergraduate U.S. students what they would most like to get from an internship. The top three answers were:

  • Opportunity for full-time employment (51 percent) 
  • Job orientation and training (42 percent) 
  • A good employer reference (29 percent)


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It is important to know what you are looking for — the type of company and the type of position you are trying to land. Career experts at University of California in Santa Barbara suggest four main things to consider in your search for a good internship:

  • Look for an internship that offers substantial learning, including a specific project you can show at the end and a dedicated mentor who will work closely with you.
  • While longer-term, part-time internships may be ideal, don’t rule out project-based or short-term assignments as these can get you into organizations, help you develop industry-specific skills and expand your network.
  • Inquire whether long-term employment is a possibility.
  • Pay is important, but not your ultimate goal. Although historically internships have been primarily unpaid, many companies today do offer compensation — strive to make your choice based on the company and position first and the pay rate second.


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The U.S. Department of Labor issued six criteria for unpaid internships under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Evaluate your unpaid internship opportunity based on the criteria below and decide whether it’s a fair arrangement between you and your company of choice:

  • The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment.
  • The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
  • The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.
  • The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.
  • The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
  • The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.


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Sure, you spend a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter, but how about interning for them! According to jobs and career website Glassdoor, these two companies along with a few others are willing to pay their interns as much as a regular salary. Below are some of the top paying companies for interns in the U.S. (the numbers represent average monthly base pay):

Palantir Technologies — $7,012

VMWare — $6,966


LinkedIn — $6, 230

Facebook — $6,213


  1. Alex Danhauer

    Meat is necessary for every day life. I eat meat every day. I feel great because I eat meat, it is yummy in my tummy

  2. Chloe

    Really enjoyed reading this. I’m really hoping to get some kind of internship for over the summer. Thanks for the tips and resources!

  3. Ty

    I love this idea, but i only have one worry. I’m 12 years old and i probably won’t get an internship. i need one that pays because i need the money for a school trip by next summer. help me out please.

  4. manuel cosme

    i need a jods

    • Parker

      you mean you need a job?

  5. manuel cosme

    i 16 years old i go to reading high school im looking for a jods to work to 3:20pm to 9pm or 10pm manday to friday and 10am to 9pm to sunday to saturday

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