10 top internships (and how to land one)

A great internship can be a stepping stone to a great job.

Waiting tables might put cash in your pocket, but nothing bolsters your career credentials more than a quality internship.

1.      Morgan Stanley

It’s grueling, the work is difficult and the environment hyper-competitive, but it can also lead to some of the most respected and lucrative jobs in finance.

Last year, Morgan Stanley in the US received 90,000 applications for summer analyst and associate positions. There were just 1000 spots available – a two per cent acceptance rate.

For an undergraduate on an analyst’s salary, a summer internship (generally nine-to-10 weeks) will pay just over US$1300 a week.

An elite internal referral will go a long way to helping you make the cut.


2.      Facebook

Probably the first name that comes to mind when anyone hears the term “social media”, last year Facebook’s brand value increased a staggering 86 per cent.

It should be no surprise that the line to get in on the ground floor is very, very long. Glassdoor, which ranks companies hiring interns based on their feedback, now puts Facebook (marginally) ahead of Google.

However, the interview process (like Google’s) is not for the faint-hearted. If you do land one of its 12-week internships, expect to earn US$6700 a month.


3.      Google

The tech giant’s Building Opportunities for Leadership & Development (BOLD) intern program is legendary. In 2013, a movie was even made about it, called The Internship.

Because Google relies heavily on its “Googler” interns when recruiting, it’s a great way to land a full-time position at the Googleplex – where 24 cafes, multiple gyms and more await.

Average remuneration for interns is around US$6650 a month. In the US, Google accepts just 1500 interns out of 40,000 hopefuls every year.

Related: Are unpaid internships good experience or exploitation?


4.      DBS Bank

Headquartered in Singapore and with operations in 17 markets, DBS Bank is the largest bank in South-East Asia by assets.

Its eight-to-10 week intern program – dubbed the “buddy” program – is an opportunity to be mentored by a management associate while earning around SG$1200 a month.

However, with the pool of unemployed graduates rising to worrying levels in the region generally, competition for spots is fierce.


5.      KPMG

The firm’s award-winning Global Internship Program (GIP) is an opportunity for a four-week rotation to a KPMG office in another country.

Global interns are assigned to client engagement teams and work alongside other KPMG professionals.

The program offers placements in tax, audit and advisory – but be warned, the application process is intensely competitive. However, if selected, you’ll benefit from full placement support including visa, flight, lodging cost coverage and around US$3800 a month.

You will benefit from the support of seasoned mentors and supervisors and numerous career workshops.


6.      PwC

In the US, 24 per cent of undergraduate business school students aim for financial internships and a further 12 per cent for consulting opportunities. Little wonder that for many (both in the US and elsewhere), the world’s largest professional services firm, PwC, is first choice.

PwC offers internships in actuarial, assurance, consulting, deals, legal, tax and technology. All interns work alongside experienced professionals on live client projects.

Around the globe, demand far outstrips supply. Remuneration is approximately US$4200 a month.


7.      Newcrest Mining

Newcrest, one of the world’s largest gold mining companies, is ranked number one on the Australian Association of Graduate Employers’ Top Intern Programs list. The list was created from a survey of 509 undergraduate interns, whose feedback was used to identify the top internships in Australia.

All are now likely to experience a surge in demand for placements – especially those at the top of the ladder. These include Chevron Australia (2); ExxonMobil (3); Telstra Corporation (4); and accounting and professional services firm McGrathNicol (5).

Newcrest will assist entrants to its graduate program with relocation expenses, but does not make public intern remuneration.

Professional Development: Professionalism, business etiquette, and personal accountability: this course introduces the importance of personal accountability and outlines strategies for developing a personal accountability framework.

8.      Samsung

With a range of mass-market products that are among the most aspirational on the planet, there is no shortage of up-and-comers who aspire to work at this South Korea-based tech goliath.

It offers internship opportunities all year in different parts of the world, as well as relocation assistance, after which you will benefit from the support of seasoned mentors and supervisors and numerous career workshops.

You also don’t have to be a tech-head. Samsung’s finance internships are in particularly high demand. Hourly pay starts at just under US$29.


9.      Accenture

In Britain, four in 10 graduate positions are reserved for students who have already enjoyed placements at the country’s top companies.

Predictably, these organisations are regularly swamped with applications for internships. Accenture, being a broad-based management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, is one.

Now incorporated in Dublin, Ireland, Accenture is a Fortune 500 company with a reputation for investing deeply in training. It is not unusual for 90 per cent of eligible interns to receive full-time job offers, meaning its programs are invariably over-subscribed. They pay close to US$4000 a month.


10.  Allianz

Founded in Berlin in 1890, Allianz today has operations in more than 70 countries and in excess of 76 million customers, mainly in the insurance sector.

Its internships are renowned for being challenging, but subject to a successful performance review you stand a very real chance of being fast-tracked into one of its graduate schemes.

Internships are available in underwriting; insurance claims; operations; marketing and distribution; and finance or actuarial.

They don’t last. Allianz in the UK recently attracted 7500 applicants for just 24 places. However, if you get in quick, the firm currently has 79 internships available in Western Europe, 21 in the US and two in South-East Asia. Expect around US$25 an hour.

As far as jobs go, any of these would beat flipping burgers.

October 2021
October 2021

Read the October 2021 issue of INTHEBLACK magazine.

Each month we select the must-reads from the current issue of INTHEBLACK. Read more now.