Around this time of year, many college students begin trying to line up an internship for the upcoming summer or fall. Finding good internship opportunities - not to mention sending out all the necessary paperwork - can seem like a full-time job. But all that hard work can pay off if you land one of these coveted slots, especially these days, when college grads need a killer resume to secure a good job. (It only takes a little legwork to land a prestigious career while you're still in college. Find out more in Start Off On The Right Foot With An Internship.)
There's no single "best" internship that's right for everyone, as each student's situation and interests are different. But here are ten of the coolest or most unique internships we could find.
If you get up early every morning to watch Mike & Mike, or consider the NFL draft a national holiday, this is your dream gig. You must be able to work 30-40 hours per week for 10 weeks. Most opportunities are in Bristol, Connecticut or New York City. This is a paid gig, and subsidized housing may be provided. The company has opportunities in a variety of departments including accounting, editorial, marketing and production.
- American Society of Magazine Editors
The ASME runs a magazine internship program that places college juniors in positions with ASME member magazines, which include lots of big publications. Intern duties range from reading mail and proofreading to interviewing and writing articles. Interns are paid at least $425 per week, and may be able to stay in subsidized housing (many of the company's NYC interns stay in NYU dorms).
The FBI has several internship programs, with most opportunities based in or near Washington, D.C. The FBI especially likes applicants who are criminal justice or science majors, and are fluent in foreign languages. Positions include paid transportation and room and board.
You probably already spend lots of time on Facebook, so you may as well earn college credit for it. Most of Facebook's paid internship opportunities are in the IT/software departments. Offices have lots of fun perks like free snacks, and the company promises you'll do more than fetch coffee and make copies.
If you have The Weather Channel on 24/7, here's your perfect gig. Accuweather often has paid internship opportunities available, mostly at its headquarters in State College, Pennsylvania. (The town is home to the main campus of Penn State, so you'll be surrounded by lots of your college peers.) You don't necessarily need to be a science or meteorology major – the company has opportunities for graphic designers and R&D developers, too.
The network that brought you the TV show Jersey Shore has internship opportunities at its NYC headquarters, along with its offices in California, Florida and elsewhere. Most positions are unpaid – likely because they are bombarded from students eager to work there for free. But you may get some cool perks, and might even bump into one of your favorite artists.
If you're crazy about computers, Xbox games or pretty much anything tech-related, you'd probably love being an intern at Microsoft. The company says interns get to do lots of cool – and career-friendly – tasks, from helping to design a prototype to creating a web app. The company offers paid internships, and also provides paid travel, subsidized car rentals, shipping reimbursement and other perks.
The space agency uses interns in several departments/locations, including its History Division in Washington. D.C., where unpaid interns help with tasks like editing historical manuscripts, creating web pages and doing research.
Most opportunities are based in Nike's Beaverton, Oregon headquarters, but there are some additional openings in its other locations worldwide. The positions are paid, plus you get access to its top-notch athletic facilities and employee discounts.
- White House
Monica Lewinsky jokes aside, this is one of the most coveted – and competitive – internships gigs around. Positions are unpaid, but for resume-boosting cache, you can't beat it.
The Bottom Line
You may have to invest a little time and effort to pursue one of these elite internships, but if you land the gig, you'll have a big advantage over your fellow grads when your job search begins. (The seven tips in Land That Internship! can have you on the road to financial internship bliss.)
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