10 of the Most Coveted College Internships

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School’s out for summer! School’s out forever three months. If you got busy with your classes and it’s just dawned on you that a summer internship might look better on a résumé than “Beat Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on veteran level,” there’s a slim chance you can still secure an eleventh-hour position somewhere. Unfortunately, at most companies the application process has ended. But look on the bright side: for highly sought-after internships like these, even had you applied months ago, the odds were still strongly against you landing one. Check them out.

  1. Google

    We’ve all heard the storiesof how awesome it is to work at Google, so it’s no surprise that every year the giant Internet company is inundated with thousands of applications from college students copping their best “don’t be evil” attitudes. The lucky ones who make the cut get the same perks as regular employees, meaning the gourmet meals, rock-climbing wall, spa treatments, and game room are all theirs to enjoy. They even get to sit in on meetings with Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Best of all, the internships are year-round and have flexible start and end times.

  2. ESPN

    When there’s a book out that describes a job with the title, Those Guys Have All the Fun, you know there’s going to be mad competition among students trying to get their foot in the door. For 90 paid summer internship spots with “the worldwide leader in sports” in 2010, 10,000 people applied. That number went up to 13,000 in 2011, and will probably go up again this year. Students can edit video, work as a sideline reporter, produce content for the website, and much more. Helpful hint: try for one of the fall or spring internships. There’s much less competition.

  3. Southwest Airlines

    Southwest has a fun, unique corporate culture that makes it one of the best companies in the countryto work for. Because interns are treated like employees and get to get in on the fun while earning experience, a Southwest “NoLimits” internship is highly coveted by college students. Interns are given their own special projects, from designing T-shirts for employees to creating animated safety programs for pilots. And of course, there are the perks: intern Happy Hour, casual dress code, company parties, and flying for free. Yes, free flights. The line starts over there.

  4. Vogue

    The success of shows like Project Runway and Fashion Star have proven that interest in the world of fashion is as rampant as ever. And although print media have fallen on difficult times, for college women (and men) who want to break into the industry, Vogue is the place they all want to be. Just two years ago, a one-week gig at the iconic magazine was auctioned for $23,000, giving whole new meaning to the phrase “paid internship.” Hopefully that kingly sum bought that intern the privilege of eating in the cafeteria, instead of the closet.

  5. Pixar

    How many interns get to see their name in the credits of a movie after their summer of work? For the 30 lucky winners of a 12-week internship at famed studio Pixar, it’s a serious possibility. Needless to say, thousands apply for a coveted spot working here alongside some of the best animators and special effects artists in the business. But there’s also plenty of time made for play. Past interns think back fondly on the free cereal bar, dodgeball matches, celebrity sightings, company parties, and movie screenings.

  6. The White House

    Ambitious youngsters who dream of a career in “the loop” aim for the top with their internship applications. Current undergrads must compete with 6,000 other current, incoming, and recently graduated college students for a couple hundred spots as a White House intern. These jobs are unpaid, of course (have you seen the deficit?), but applicants come for the chance to serve their country while making connections for a possible career in Washington. At the end, interns are treated to a send-off from the leader of the free world himself.

  7. FASB Postgraduate Technical Assistant Program

    An internship with one of the “Big Four” accounting firms is notoriously hard to come by. Imagine then how coveted an internship is that, upon completing it, makes all four companies slobber over you. The Financial Accounting Standards Board awards just six summer and six winter internship positions each year to postgraduate accountants. To even apply, a student has to be nominated by a professor and approved by the dean at their school. When their one-year, salaried stint working with the accounting standards-setting process ends, interns write their own ticket.

  8. JP Morgan Chase

    JPMorgan Chase has weathered the banking crisis and remains one of the most stable financial firms in the world. For finance majors, an internship with the company remains a highly competitive and sought-after resume highlight. A summer internship is a common way to begin a full-time career at Chase, as the firm frequently hires former interns. It takes a solid GPA (3.5 or so), but it’s one of the highest-paying internships out there. A spot in research, asset management, investment banking, or elsewhere can fetch upwards of $12,000.

  9. Marvel

    After 10+ years of excellent superhero movies, everyone is a comic book fan. For an internship with the company behind Spiderman, Iron Man, The Avengers, and Thor, you’ll need super résumé skills to separate you from the mountain of applications the company receives. The 30-odd positions are unpaid and are only awarded to students who can receive college credit for them, and some of your duties may involve making copies or similarly mind-numbing activities. But that doesn’t stop a legion of comics fans from holding their breath for a spot at the center of the action.

  10. Huffington Post

    With its content aggregation bolstered by original content, The Huffington Post is arguably the face of the new journalism of the 21st century, and journalism majors have taken note. Each year since 2009, an internship at HuffPo has been sold at auction for $13,000, $9,000, $14,400, and $5,200, respectively. Interns can take advantage of the company nap rooms, then get back to work sharpening their craft on the forefront of Internet reporting and content production. The company created the Joe Jr. Awards to recognize the best college journalism with a paid internship for students who “live, breathe and sleep journalism.”

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