Nominees for 2013 Top Ad Agency Internships

InternshipKing will host the 2013 Top Advertising Internship Choice Awards from July 29 – Aug 2nd. One workweek of voting. Voting begins on Monday the 29th on

Good luck to all the agencies and we look forward to crowning the 2013 Top Advertising Internship Program!

Click here to view results from 2012. Over 78,000 votes.

Below are the 2013 Nominees A-Z (70 ad agencies in total):
Allen & Gerritsen
Arnold Worldwide
Bartle Bogle Hegarty BBH
Big Spaceship
Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners
Campbell Ewald
Campbell Mithun
Crispin, Porter, & Bogusky
Eric Mower and Associates
Evolution Bureau
Fallon Worldwide
GMDD advertising
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Grey Group
Hill Holliday
JWT- J Walter Thompson
Leo Burnett
Martin Agency
Martin Williams
Saatchi & Saatchi
Sapient Nitro
TBWA \ Chiat \ Day
Team One
The Richards Group
Tribal DDB
Venables Bell & Partners
Young & Rubicam
Zimmerman Advertising

Look Inside Goldman Sachs Internship Programs

GoldmannSachsAn internship with Goldman Sachs will change the trajectory of your professional career. No doubt. It’s the #1 Finance Internship. The only other program that is in Goldman’s same class is JP Morgan. Let’s take a look inside the Goldman Sachs internship program.

The Stats:
- Avg Goldman Ratings: 4.83 out of 5 (read all Goldman Sachs intern reviews)
- Avg Goldman Sachs Intern Salary: $26.90 (view all Goldman Sachs intern salaries)
- Applicant to hire ration: 2% (50 applicants per 1 hire)

The Programs:
Goldman Sachs offers several different, targeted internship programs. These intern programs include: summer analyst internship (undergrad), summer associate internship (grad school), and sophomore rotational program (only marketed at top schools). You also see wealth mgmt internships that are not always tied to their larger programs. Read more about programs at Goldman’s student careers site.

The Reviews:
Pros: “My summer internship experience at Goldman was outstanding. Goldman rotated our intern group through 4 lines of business: Investment Management, Securities, Investment Banking, Global Investment Research. I really connected with the Investment Banking work. This is also a feeder program into junior year internships and eventually full-time roles (several other banks have these sophomore programs as well).” - Summer Analyst Intern

Pros: - “Goldman Sachs name. People. Exposure to different desks. I spent 3 weeks with each of the following desks: Prime Brokerage Capital Introductions, Futures Sales and Execution, and Bank Loan Sales. Culture. Well designed program.” -Summer Analyst Intern

Read ratings, reviews, salaries, and advice from former Goldman Sachs interns.


Top 5 Advertising Agency Intern Twitter Handles

Who are the top ad agency intern program twitter handles? Below is a list of 5 top agencies that take the time to publish, recruit, and engage students on twitter.

top ad agency twitter handles

It’s no surprise that each program has strong intern reviews/ratings and all 5 internship programs are on the top ad agency intern list. Here are the top 5 ad agency intern handles:

Twitter Handle: @bbdoATLinterns (760+ followers)

Crispin Porter Bogusky
Twitter Handle: @cpbinterns (4,950+ followers)

Campbell Mithun
Twitter Handle: @the_Lucky_13 (620+ followers)

Twitter Handle: @OgilvyCraftsmen (1,650+ followers)

Twitter Handle: @slingterns (140+ followers)

Top Internship Programs

Our team at InternshipKing received an enormous amount of requests to separate out the top company internship programs by industry. Students told us:

“I’m interested in advertising, I could care less about investment banking internships.”

“I use your site to start my search and I need to know the top companies to target in my vertical.”

“I want to compare company intern reviews and salaries side by side.”

We listened and we’re proud to announce the beginning of the “top programs” section of the site. We will continue to build “vertical” content that makes internship research easier and more productive. Here is a list of top programs by industry:

Accounting – top 5+ accounting internships.
Advertising – top 60+ ad agency intern programs.
Consulting – top 30+ consulting intern programs.
Consumer Products – top 40+ consumer brand internships.
Finance – top 30+ finance intern programs.
Investment Banking – top 20+ ibanking internships.
Media & Journalism – top 40+ media outlets to intern for.
PR – top 30+ pr agency intern programs.
Technology – top 35+ tech intern programs.

These verticals, list of companies, and student content will continue to grow and grow. We’ll also layer in more information around each industry.

Advertising Internship Cover Letter

Top-tier ad agencies receive approximately 50 student applications for every one intern they hire. Scary, I know. Writing an “I-can’t-help-but-show-my-coworkers” internship cover letter can help you go from applicant to interviewee. It’s vital. Here’s a list of 10 tips from our advertising intern community.

1. Show client passion. One student wrapped her cover letter around a Quizno’s sub and sent it to the AOR for Quizno’s. Yes, she landed the internship. If you use a client’s product, tell them about it in your internship cover letter. Better yet, show them.

2. Solve a problem. If you are applying for an internship at a small or medium-size agency, keep in mind that they’ll hire you if you have the hard skills to solve specific problems. Tell them how you’re going to use your SEO knowledge to increase a client’s PR. Tell them how you can make high-quality, short video tutorials for a client that can increase their Facebook engagement. Tell them how you’re going to use a client’s Twitter handle to promote a new product. Agencies hire students who have the hard skills to solve problems.

3. Be short.

4. Tell a story. One student’s internship cover letter to Google was a story about how he asked his middle school girlfriend to date him. Gutsy. The best way to tell a story is to focus on a single example and then tie that into your pitch. The point of this student’s story was: “I fumbled like an idiot asking this girl to date me, but it was then that I learned: There is never a perfect way to do something, you just have to follow your heart.” A week later, Google flew him out to California for an interview.

5. Get weird. One student wrote her entire cover letter on a shoe. With things like “I will put my sole into it,” “I will lace up the competition,” “I am not afraid to get my foot in the door.” She got the internship with MTV.

6. Use Humor. The people who read internship cover letters aren’t agency robots. They go to parties, drink beer, watch movies and tell funny stories. These HR people get so many careful, boring, safe cover letters that humor will make you stand out. As a cover letter, one student wrote a “Top Ten Reasons to Hire Me” list. It was hilarious and even cited his homecoming king victory back in high school. If you can manage to mix humor with a meaningful message, you’ll win.

7. Be results driven. Agencies care about results and accountability. Instead of describing your passion for writing, try persuading with data. One student wrote a detailed analytics report on a digital restaurant publication she started. She reported results like: 320 registered users, 75 articles, 200 daily visits, 6.4 pageviews/visit, and more. You get the point — results matter.

8. Don’t forget the goal. The goal of the internship cover letter is to get someone to talk to you. That’s it. Don’t focus on making something perfect if perfect isn’t what gets someone to talk to you. Be interesting. Most students get the goals mixed up – the goal isn’t to create a one-page document that records your history. You need to produce something that makes the agency HR team member say, “I can’t wait to talk to this student.”

9. Don’t send a form letter. Ever. Unless you have a 4.0 from Harvard, your form letter is worthless to an agency’s HR department. They just have too many options to choose somebody who cares this little. Shotgun approaches don’t work.

10. Throw it away. Go build something. Go meet somebody. The best way to land a remarkable advertising agency internship is to develop a reputation. If you have a reputation, agencies recruit you. Earn a reputation.

2,000 Intern Salaries

Thanks for Helping InternshipKing Top 2,000 Intern Salaries!

Cheers to you and the thousands of your fellow interns who’ve helped us become the largest and most trusted source for exclusive internship information.

Checkout Salaries at Top Internship Programs:

Goldman Sachs (31 intern salaries):
Mullen Advertising (21 intern salaries):
Ogilvy Advertising (14 intern salaries):
GE (17 intern salaries):
Microsoft (11 intern salaries):
Walmart (12 intern salaries):
* View All Intern Salaries

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5 Trending Advertising Internship Programs

Advertising internships are not easy to land. The student demand for advertising internships is extremely high and supply isn’t there. It’s roughly a 50:1 applicant to intern hire ratio at top tier advertising agencies. We asked ad students, faculty, career services, and advertising pros – what are the top advertising internships? Below are the results from the Top 40 Advertising Internship Vote:

#1 MRY Internship Program

#2 Campbell Mithun Internship Program

#3 Erwin Penland Internship Program

#4 The Richards Group Internship Program

#5 Crispin, Porter Bogusky Internship Program

All of these 5 trending advertising internships programs are well organized and designed to give students unique experiences within the walls of a top advertising agency. Congratulations to the HR team that make these internship programs happen.

5 Hot Tech Internships

Technology interns are in high demand right now from top tech companies. What are the hottest and best regarded technology internships? We asked students, faculty, and career services – below are the results from the top tech internship vote. Technology internships are some of the highest paid and highest full-time converting internships offered to students. There is no doubt, quality technology students are in high demand.

#1 Intuit – Intuit Internship Program

#2 Groupon – Groupon Internship Program

#3 Google – Google Internship Program

#4 IBM – IBM Internship Program

#5 Amazon – Amazon Internship Program

Top Consulting Internship Awards

What are the top consulting internship programs? This is the question we asked faculty, students, and industry experts. InternshipKing held an open vote and below are the results. Generally speaking, consulting companies do an outstanding job with their internship programs. These internship programs are highly selective and have a high conversion rate to full-time offers. Consulting powerhouses like McKinsey and Bain have used intern evaluation as the primary way to screen ful-time offers.

#1 Protiviti – View Protiviti Intern Ratings & Salaries

#2 Accenture – View Accenture Intern Ratings & Salaries

#3 Mercer – View Mercer Intern Ratings & Salaries

#4 Boston Consulting Group – View Boston Consulting Group Intern Ratings & Salaries

View all Top 20 Consulting Internship Awards.

Also, consulting interns are some of the highest paid interns throughout the country – especially consulting MBA interns.

Internship Resume

Create a hair-raising exciting internship resume. It’s worth it.

InternshipKing’s top 7 tips for your internship resume:

7. Be Specific. I launched a blog and received over 75 daily readers spending 3+ minutes reading my blog. Or, I wrote 67 articles related to Microfinance, published these online, and received 237 readers in the first 2 days.  You get the point, details matter.

6. Solve a problem. If you are applying for an internship at a small or medium size company, keep in mind that they just may be hiring you to solve a problem. They might be looking for you to provide a positive Return on Investment (ROI). For example, a hotel may know very little about social media and therefore producing less revenue than they would/could if they were knowledgeable regarding social media. Bingo…you need to attempt to solve that problem. Do research and customize your internship resume so that (in this case, the hotel) knows you are prepared to execute.

5. Include one funny item. Showcasing personality in a sea of bland internship resumes can make you stand out. Remember, the recruiters reading these resumes spend approximately 8 seconds on each one. The goal of the funny item is to catch the reader’s attention, make him/her smile, and cause him/her to spend more that 8 seconds glancing at your resume. Risky? May be. Worth it? You bet!  In high school I used to perform magic tricks, so I put “Table Magician” on my resume.  Cheesy? Yes, but the recruiters  always brought that up in our interviews.

4. Organize with a purpose. 90% of students organize their internship resume with two headings:  ”Education” and “Work Experience.” Why? Because they read it in some book or their career service department told them to do so. Boring!  Do these two listings, “Education” and “Work Experience”  mark the very best way to classify and define your accomplishments and win an interview? Why do what everyone else is doing? Imagine reading through 50 internship resumes with these headings and then stumble up a refreshing internship resume with headings: “Remarkable Creations” and “Experiences Worth Talking About.”

3. Don’t forget the goal. The goal of the internship resume is to get someone/somebody to talk to you. That is it. Don’t focus on making something perfect if perfect isn’t what gets that someone to talk to you. Most students get the goals mixed up – the goal isn’t to create a one page document that records your history. I can’t stress this enough, the goal of any internship resume is to get someone/somebody to talk to you. That’s it!It is that simple!

2. Be different. Oh, what’s that? You have a 3.4 grade average from a reputable school, excel in a sport, and belong to the investment club. Guess what? So does everybody else! I posted an internship for InternshipKing, basically an unheard of company, and received 6 resumes from Ivy League students all with over a 3.3 GPA. My point is, the competition is all doing the same thing and if you compete on the same criteria – GPA, School, and Activities, you are probably going to lose to the girl who went to Cornell, plays volleyball, and has a 3.6. If you aren’t different, you won’t win.

1. Throw it away. Great internships, the internships people talk about for years afterwards, are never filled by an internship resume. Go meet people and do things.


5 Internship Cover Letter Mistakes

Here is a quick list of the top 5 internship cover letter mistakes:

(5) Too long. No one wants to read long internship cover letters. The thought process should be – what concrete information can I offer in this internship cover letter? It is about stripping away all the fluff and leaving the core. Across the board, companies are receiving thousands of internship cover letters and internship resumes per internship. Yes, thousands. Short matters and more importantly, short keeps the reader wanting more.

(4) Me, me, me. It’s not about you. The internship is about building the employer’s business. Companies really don’t care that you were the homecoming king in high school. But, if it is a client facing role, companies do care that you are likable. What I mean by this is instead of telling what you have done, tell about what you will do and why what you have done matters.

(3) Generic. If you are sending out generic internship cover letters, you are dead in the water. I don’t know a single person that got an internship after sending out a generic internship cover letter. This is like going hunting with a Nerf bow and arrow. Dumb.

(2) So what? You are “first team all conference baseball player “in college. You led a geology group down to South America to study rock formations. You started a finance club that grew to over 25 members.  Don’t ever list things for the sake of listing things. Who cares? Instead, take it a step further and a company just might care.  Think about this: how will my experiences help the company increase revenue. What if you said it this way? I know what’s it like to sacrifice for the team and can make 120 sales calls a day because I’ve put in 15 hour days on the baseball field when I led out team to the conference title. I can decrease international client turnover because I know the value of speaking Spanish and connecting with locals from my geology trip to South America. I can use social media to increase online sales because I know what it’s like to grow something from nothing when I started a finance club my freshman year in college.

(1) I’m Looking For Experience. “Hi my name is Charlie. I am a business major and I would love to gain real world experience in marketing.” This makes me want to vomit. Losers whine about getting experience, winners step into companies and help change the way they do business. I don’t run a classroom, I run a business. If you are looking to stand around and watch, get the heck out! I’ll take the person ready to do real stuff.


Advertising Internship Cover Letter

Here are 3 quick tips for writing a killer marketing or advertising internship cover letter.

(3) Get Creative. The marketing or advertising agencies that you are applying to value creativity: therefore, get creative! And, this does not just apply to creative internships, but planning, strategy, account, and new business internships. A former colleague of mine sent a show into MTV as her internship cover letter with slogans attached to the show reading: I will put my heart and sole into this internship, I will lace up new clients, etc. Yes, she did get the job.

(2) Be Funny. Most ad agencies receive thousands of internship cover letters and internship resumes. You have to stand out and you can’t forget that there are real people reading your advertising internship cover letter! Who wouldn’t want to read a funny internship cover letter and then share it with their co-workers.

(1) Measure your past performance like you’d measure a campaign. Analytics have never been more important in marketing and advertising. Show that you think about you measure your performance the same way that you would measure a campaign.

Checkout the top 50 advertising internships.

Thought Provoking Internship Cover Letter

I found this interesting internship cover letter on the Weiden & Kennedy Blog:


My Ideas are Golden

Dear Weiden + Kennedy,
I am a 19 year old, entrepreneurial/creative mind. I have between 2-3 groundbreaking business or creative ideas every single day, and to say the least, I do NOT have the capability to even keep track or implement them so; I started a business. I decided that If I were to ever become successful and impact the world greatly by undertaking huge and “impossible” projects I would need a very balanced, efficient, and productive degree of discipline. Sometimes discipline and creativity/randomness sit on opposite sides of the lunch hall; however, to combine them would I assume be as earth-shattering as balancing the ying and the yang of business. Behold, my mobile billboard business in Las Vegas, NV. However, I did not have enough money to start it to I decided to sell it first, and with the profits, start it (opposite to the quote “think with your hands, and then talk about it, not in reverse”) Well I did it in reverse. I dressed up in a black and gold suite and tie, drove down to the Forum Shops in Las Vegas, NV (very wealthy shops) and started selling my ideas to the managers, converting them to my corporate sales people, and starting the damning corporate marketing man chase. I thought “wouldn’t it be awesome if I had some clout, some pull, to just pitch these ideas,”. So out of the few dozen I approached, and followed up over weeks and weeks, I ended up with about 4 hot prospective clients. I mean, one that is looking at buying a marketing package from me for $30,000 U.S. and very, very EXCITED to do so. So I have a feeling my ideas are golden, but I promised myself I would stay here until I make my business, my ad agency, my marketing consulting firm, which I named “Unique and Innovative PRO (Personal Relations Officer)”–a success. Well what does this have to do with you? Well I’m a young man, and I “stay stupid, stay foolish (steve jobs)” so I thought I would write this e-mail to someone who has done what I want to do in the advertising/marketing world. I found Weiden + Kennedy from watching everyone of your Nike MVPs videos, and found that you had internships/platform program. This is what is on my mind: Nike Factory in the forum shops needs strip advertising; I concepted a Giant Shoe on a platform truck that will drive up and down the strip with a sign in it promoting a weekly event with the local UNLV Basketball team, celebrity, athlete, or locally famous socialite, that would pull customers to Niketown to HAVE FUN. The place is built like a club and it could very well be a sales monster tool, all while the customer is not cheesed by old ad methods.  So To Conclude, If you were to use me for my ideas and implementation and passion… If I were to use you as my clout vessel Your company, Your Ideas, Your advertisements would only progress, and companies that don’t keep innovative, fail. (You DO, trust me I’ve seen your advertising). I would progress, and become the next YOU, to offer more and more people opportunities to create, and jobs for everyone helping them, and in turn bread for families all over the world. This is my calling, I am the global entrepreneur. And I love advertising, Can We Team Up? What do YOU propose?

We hired this candidate on the spot. – W&K

For 7 ways to make your internship cover letter.

Checkout Wieden + Kennedy Internships.


Under Armour Hits A Home Run With Rookie Program!

Why did my high school baseball team buy Under Armour long sleeve shirts? Simple, the shirts made us feel like all star sluggers. But I would argue that the most attractive part of Under Armour isn’t their shirt technology, branding strategies, football cleats, or super bowl commercials – it’s their people.

Honestly, Under Armour has the most ideal internship program I have come across; their company understands the value of engaging college students. I had the opportunity for some  Q&A with Under Armour’s college recruiting leader, Christina Visaggio.

Here is what Christina had to say:

Q:What is the Under Armour Rookie Program?
The Rookie Program is Under Armour’s Summer Internship Program that offers a unique opportunity to gain valuable knowledge with an industry leader and develop essential skills for the future and career planning. The mission is to attract high-potential, diverse students from a variety of schools, develop skills through specialized training and challenging assignments, and retain top performers for the continued growth of the Under Armour team.

The 11-week Rookie Program is available to qualified [ee1] college and MBA students supporting all areas of our business. Rookies work on a variety of hands-on projects under the guidance of a team mentor and experience an atmosphere of growth and excitement where both individual accomplishments and teamwork go hand-in-hand. During the internship, Rookies take advantage of various training and development programs and attend networking events with executive management.

Q: What are some of the keys to running a successful internship program?
The keys to running a successful internship program include 1) support and encouragement from executive management, 2) close partnerships with teammates to help determine essential needs and goals as well as interview criteria 3) detailed job descriptions including skills and qualifications needed 4) creative teambuilding events and activities 5) innovative and hands-on projects and 6) an assigned mentor.

Q: In what ways does Under Armour benefit from the Rookie Program?
The Rookie Program adds value by supporting vital areas of our business. Rookies work over an extensive 11-week program and provide support by assisting teams reach their goals. Along with everyday assistance, every Rookie is assigned a master project which is tailored to fulfill a need for their specific department. In the long run, Under Armour benefits from the Rookie Program by having the opportunity to extend full-time positions to trained and experienced candidates.

Q: What are a couple of the most exciting parts of the Rookie Program?
Under Armour has an exciting and dynamic environment! Overall, Rookies get to experience our energy and atmosphere of growth, innovation, excellent operations, and great teamwork. They learn the importance of “staying humble and being hungry” and work closely with talented industry professionals on a daily basis. In addition to an individual master project, Rookies also compete in an Innovation Case Study Competition. The Rookie Team is grouped into five teams and each are responsible for a case study revolving around the drivers of our business. This is a great way for Rookies to collaboratively work together and focus on an area outside of their intern position.

Q: How many students were hired for the 2009 Rookie Program? How many applicants?
In 2009 we received over 7,000 applications for the Rookie Programs and we hired a total of 30 Rookies.

Q: What role does the Rookie Program play in your entry level hiring strategy?
The Rookie Program encourages top-performing Rookies to begin their careers at Under Armour upon graduation. Under Armour has the ability to extend employment opportunities to high-performing people who are familiar with the company and its business.

Q: What advice do you have for students applying for summer internships?
Start early and write a cover letter! A cover letter gives the recruiter a quick insight into why you are applying for that particular position and why you would be a great asset. The letter should be meaningful and personal. We love applicants that are passionate about our brand and can express it in a thoughtful way.

Under Armour’s explosive growth isn’t magic. They are busy doing what most companies only talk about – hiring the most talented young people while also developing remarkable products.

I don’t know about you, but I would love to be an Under Armour Rookie.


Internship Cover Letter

Internship cover letters have the principles of a regular cover letter, but they should involve more risk taking. Since an employer knows that the internship position is temporary, they will be more likely to chose a candidate they find interesting and take a chance on them. Creativity as it relates to passion is extremely important in internship cover letters. That said, here are the my tips for a remarkable internship cover letter.

1. Tell a story. My internship cover letter to Google was a story about how I asked my middle school girlfriend to date me. The best way to tell a story is to focus on a single example and then tie that into your internship pitch. The point of my internship cover letter story is that “I fumbled like an idiot asking this girl to date me, but it was then that I learned: there is never a perfect way to do something, you just have to follow your heart.” Google flew me out for an interview two weeks later.

2. Get weird. Be different with your internship cover letter.  One of the best internship cover letter stories that I have heard is a girl who wrote her cover letter on a shoe. With things like “I will put my sole into it,” “I will lace up the competition,” “I am not afraid to get my foot in the door.” She got the internship with MTV.

3. Show passion. If you use a company’s product, tell them about it in your internship cover letter. I had a friend who drank Snapple like it was his job. He wrote an internship cover letter about his passion for Snapple and how he drinks them all day long. Students who like the product/service are attractive to employers. They want to make sure that this isn’t just a resume item.

4. Be short. No HR person is going to read a whole page from a perspective intern. That’s just reality. *Unless it’s remarkable and starts off with a bang.

5. Use Humor. The people who read internship cover letters aren’t robots. They go to parties, drink beer, watch movies, and tell funny stories. These HR people get so many careful, boring, safe cover letters that this will make you stand out. I had a good buddy that sent an online finacial company the “Top Ten Reason To Hire Me” and it was hilarious. If you can manage to mix humor with a meaningful message, you will win.

6. Don’t send a form letter. Ever. Unless you have a 4.0 from Harvard, you are worthless to an HR department. They just have to many options to chose somebody who cares this little.

7. Tell them what you are going to do. My buddy ran a startup with little money to spare and was not hiring. A student then sent him an internship cover letter that read: “I can get you 3 business to use your service, 100 individual accounts, 3 PR pieces and 20+ links. If I don’t, no need to pay me.” My buddy was floored and the student was hired the next day.


Not Enough Journalism Internships

I thought this was an interesting journalism internship post from emedia:

“Internship programs have been one victim of cutbacks at media companies – most recently when the Associated Press announced it would cut its internship program for 2011. The Maynard Institute, which has covered the cuts, speculates the program will never return.

The move was met with outcry from journalism groups, as the AP is one of the more prestigious news internships. Poynter’s Joe Grimm writes how the internship hiatus will hurt journalism. He says a one-year stop easily can cost more than two or three years worth of editorial talent for the AP. The cuts of the 22 interns, estimated to save $600,000 to $800,000, might not be worth the detriment to the talent pool.” More…
Looking for a journalism internship? Checkout Huffington Post Internships and New York Times Internships.

Tagged ,

4 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need Interns

Most small businesses struggle with creating high quality internship programs. Some small businesses, like Fog Creek or Liggett Stashower, understand how to create remarkable internship programs, but most fail.

There are many reasons that small businesses don’t invest time and energy into internship programs: it’s nobody’s job, internships don’t scale, nobody has time, and it’s largely viewed as charity work. That said, small business owners need to embrace internships. They’re good for the bottom line.

Internship programs are more important to small businesses rather than large businesses. Here’s why:

(1) Talent evaluation. One bad or great hire can be the difference in failure of success for a small business. Internships are a great way to test drive candidates.

(2) Community involvement. Hiring an intern is a great way to get involved with your local universities. It’s amazing the marketing impact hiring a great intern can have.

(3) Make money. Interns are cheap and smart. If you apply them correctly,  the economics are incredible. Also, some small business allow interns to create and ship actual product.

(4) Build culture. It’s good to have young, hungry students in your office. They have energy, passion, and aren’t jaded by the working world.

What did I miss? Why else should small business hire interns?

Is an Unpaid Internship Legal?

This is from the US Department of Labor (published in ’10) in regard to internships and compensation:

There are some circumstances under which individuals who participate in “for-profit” private sector internships or training programs may do so without compensation.  The Supreme Court has held that the term “suffer or permit to work” cannot be interpreted so as to make a person whose work serves only his or her own interest an employee of another who provides aid or instruction.  This may apply to interns who receive training for their own educational benefit if the training meets certain criteria.  The determination of whether an internship or training program meets this exclusion depends upon all of the facts and circumstances of each such program.

The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination:

1.  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;

2.  The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;

3.  The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;

4.  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;

5.  The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and

6.  The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

If all of the factors listed above are met, an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA, and the Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to the intern.

Clearly, this is confusing. Especially when you look at #4 above. How do you have an intern and “derive no immediate advantage?” I’ll leave the paid vs unpaid argument for another day, but for now, this is a confusing law.

Intern Pay

Intern pay is controversial and important. There are lots of different ways to talk about intern pay, but for now, I just want to highlight the three most popular ways interns are currently being paid. The unpaid vs paid internship debate is for another day in the future. Here are the three ways that interns are paid:

(1) Salary. Great companies pay their interns a salary. Some legal and MBA interns are paid over $10,000 for the summer, which is very cool. Most internships pay between $7.50 -$30 per hour depending on the length of the internship, role, etc. Some companies also get creative with their intern salaries.

(2) Stipend. Stipends are great way for low margin companies to reward interns. They typically work out to low hourly pay, but interns do interesting work. This is popular amount marketing internships, pr internships, media internships, etc. Stipends allow companies to legally have interns without paying too much.

(3) Unpaid. Most unpaid internships are technically illegal, but there are ways that companies can create technically legal unpaid internships. Here is the official department of labor internship pay guidelines.

Internship Information

We recently surveyed a group of about 100 students and asked them many questions about their internship search. One of the questions we asked students was “What frustrates you the most about your internship search?”

We believed that the number one frustration was going to be the fact that students could only submit an internship resume – they have no opportunity to prove themselves through challenges, etc. But, we were dead wrong.

By far, the most frustrating thing for students during their internship search is – lack of information. Information about openings. Information about selection. Information about timing. Information about opportunities and actual work responsibilities.

I looked into this. And wow, I now know exactly what these students mean.This insight helped us craft InternshipKing.

Specifically, we’ve built out the very best internship information profiles. We’ve also surrounded this information with internship reviews, cases, awards, and postings. Our goal is to create the best source of internship information. We’re not there yet, but we are working towards it.