The Best Companies For Summer Internships

Bain consultants meeting in a lobby

BAIN & COMPANY INTERNSHIP DEFINED BY FEEDBACK AND FRIENDLY PEERS

Frank, Rimmerman + Co. LLP, a CPA firm based in Palo Alto, California, rounds out Vault’s Top 3 internship ranking. Last year’s #1, the Evercore Advisory Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program, slipped to 4th, though it earned the highest marks for Employment Prospects. Evercore was followed by the Nickelodeon NICKternship Program, which climbed from 9th to 5th. The year’s most impressive jump was made by Bates White, an economic consulting firm located in Washington, DC, which jumped from 27th to 7th. By the same token, the Capital One Finance Internship Program made the splashiest debut at 19th in the 2018 ranking.

The biggest name on the list was undoubtedly Bain & Company, which ranked 9th overall. It ranked among the top internships for Career Development and Employment Prospects. Among 207 intern reviews, 88% gave it a perfect five star score – and only one intern scored it below four stars. Such enthusiasm stems from Bain’s feedback driven culture that prides itself on growing talent from within. Among 2017 interns, Bain was touted for providing “meaningful work” and “ownership” of their work.

“The work, you learn so much so fast [and] are given real responsibility from the get go,” writes one 2017 intern from Sydney, Australia.  “After a week into my first case, I was sitting down with the CFO 1-on-1 and going through models and KPIs that I had come up.”

Bain also differentiates itself through its culture, namely its people. In reviews, Bain interns describe their peers as “humble”, “sincere”, and “exciting” – a culture where people look out for each other and look to bring out their best. “Everyone is really smart, positive, and friendly – at all levels and tenures,” writes one intern from the Atlanta home office. “But it’s not like a frat, as Bain is often stereotyped – there are lots of diverse people and personalities. Even as a nerdy introvert I was happy. I also enjoyed getting to know the other summer interns – we all got along well. Bain does a good job of picking competent, team-oriented people.”

SURPRISE! GOOGLE AGAIN TOPS FOR PRESTIGE

Bain may operate one of the best summer internship programs, but it doesn’t carry the cache among survey respondents to match. It ranked 34th for prestige, lagging behind the likes of Bloomberg and Bank of America. For the third year straight, Google reigns as the most prestigious internship according to Vault.

Why Google? Isn’t it obvious? The company has everything an employee could possibly want. Just rattling off the benefits would make any cube farmer jealous: free food, on-site medical center and gym, and 22-week maternity leave. Employees can spend 20% of their time on passion projects, bring their pets to work, and even enjoy beer and wine on Fridays. Who would ever want to leave the Googleplex? At the same time, Google is the “cool” company that revolutionized internet search, mapping, photography and email – and is now busy taking self-driving cars to market. Students have taken note. “Anyone would hire you after you’ve worked there,” writes one survey respondent.

Among Vault’s Top Five for Prestige, Apple and Facebook retained the 2nd and 3rd spots, with Microsoft and Goldman Sachs swapping the 4th and 5th spots respectively over the previous year. In fact, tech firms rank among six of the seven most prestigious internships (if Tesla and Amazon are lumped into that category). Loosvelt believes tech’s prominence will only grow over the long-term.

HAVE CONSULTING FIRMS LOST PRESTIGE?

Derek Loosvelt. Courtesy photo

“Technology firms are at the center of our lives, and the largest tech firms affect the way we live on a daily, if not hourly basis (whether we like it or not),” he writes. “So, these firms are now seen as having the largest, most powerful brand names and are seen as having the most significant impact on people’s (consumers’) lives. And that’s, to a large extent, what young job seekers tell us they’re looking for: to make an impact with their work and career. I think entertainment companies are gaining prestige, too. It’s necessary to note, though, that the line between entertainment and technology is blurring. Is Amazon a tech firm or an entertainment firm? Same goes for HBO, ESPN, Netflix, etc. Technology drives a lot of the revenue at these firms, of course. So, perhaps, as entertainment firms begin to look more like tech firms, their prestige, according to young jobseekers, will rise.”

Vault’s Prestige ranking also includes another surprise: internships at top consulting firms carry far less prestige than might be expected. In fact, BCG enjoyed the highest ranking at 16th, with McKinsey following at 23rd. Loosvelt argues that the discrepancy, where tech and banking hold more sway than consulting, is a function of the sample, which was much wider than graduate business students.

“Names like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley carry as much or more weight than the top consulting firms outside business schools,” he points out. “Goldman and Morgan Stanley are names that everyone recognizes. McKinsey to some extent, too. But Bain and BCG not so much. The majority of students taking our internship survey were undergrads, not MBAs. It’s also true that the big investment banks are looking more like tech firms every day. I believe now one-third of all employees at Goldman, for example, are tech employees. And those employees might not be looking to (or need to) get MBAs to further their careers. That said, MBA students that took our survey still rate Goldman and Morgan Stanley very highly when it comes to prestige.”

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