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by Vault Education Editors | March 23, 2011


By Lauren Berger

As someone who lives and breathes everything internship, every year I look forward to Vault’s Top Internships.

I’m not surprised by the names on this year’s overall Top 10 Internships – several of these companies have been on this list for years. What I really enjoy is seeing categories like Top 10 Nonprofit Internships. Students might hear the word “nonprofit” and think no money can be made. The nonprofit world is huge and many are happily employed in it and doing very well. These opportunities are frequently asked about but typically harder to find. Under the 10 Most Unusual Internship Experiences you will note some very extreme yet amazing opportunities. This further demonstrates that internships are not just within the entertainment, publishing, and finance space. There are internships out there for everyone and in every field – it’s just a matter of finding those opportunities. Pick which field you are passionate about, go to the company website, you will be surprised with what you might find!

Recently, we’ve been reading about Charlie Sheen wanting interns, and we’ve followed the media storm that went along with it. I’m not here to say what is or isn’t a valid opportunity, or what students should or shouldn’t be exposed to, but internships are about providing students with beneficial experiences. So, I want to encourage parents, business owners, and students to focus their attention on great opportunities. The employers in Vault’s top internships lists have all demonstrated that they execute great programs in several different industries.

Since I started my internship business in 2008, I’ve seen several changes in the space.

Required Internships Last week, I spoke at the University of Missouri’s Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business, the first program of its kind to encompass a three-part program with a required internship being the final part. The school believes it’s the first business program at a public school to do this.

Skype Interviews Several of the clients I work with conduct Skype interviews for intern candidates on a regular basis.

High School Internships High schools nationwide are developing programs to help students get college credit for internships. I’ve had hundreds of high school students inquire on my site about opportunities.

Social Media Several of the users on my site communicate with employers over Twitter and have landed interviews and actual internship offers because of a Facebook or Twitter messaging.

More Competition Students are using methods like the business cards, blogs, and online portfolios to help them stand out from the crowd. And they should – because 2011 will be the most competitive internship season we’ve seen.

So what do we do from here? We see the list, now what? Below is a small call-to-action list for students and employers:

5 Action Tips For Students

· Review all of the internships listed on Vault’s Top 10 Internships 2011 List

· Make your own list of all the internships that sound interesting to you.

· Set aside time to go to each company website and get information on the company and the internship program.

· Select ten internships that you will apply to for summer 2011. Make sure the deadlines haven’t passed. If the company doesn’t have a deadline listed on their website – that’s a sign they are still accepting candidates!

· Before sending in resumes and cover letters, review the company website again so that you can create customized materials to send to each employer.

5 Actions Tips for Employers

· Review the list of internships on Vault’s Top 10 Internships 2011 List.

· Make note of each company listed that could be compared to yours or operates in the same industry/space.

· Make note of four completely “out of the box” internships that have nothing to do with the industry your work is in.

· Visit the application pages for each of those internships. Make note of what the appeal might be to each internship and constantly ask yourself, “What is the appeal? What could we take from here and add to our internship task list?”

· When looking at the “out of the box” internships think, “How can I incorporate something that works for another type of business and make it applicable to mine?” Thinking out side of the box is a great business strategy and helps you look at internship tasks from different perspectives.

Lauren Berger is CEO of Intern Queen Inc, an online internship destination that helps students find and apply for internships while also educating them on how to make the most of their experiences. Business Week Magazine named Lauren Berger number 5 on their annual list of Young Entrepreneurs 25 Under 25. America Online says, "If you are going to college and wondering what you are going to do this summer, you need to look her up."


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