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While the job market is slowly improving, students and professionals are still facing an uncertain future when it comes to navigating a potentially rocky career path., the source for employer rankings, ratings and reconnaissance, is helping to make that path a little clearer with the latest release of its Top 10 Internships for 2012.

Internships remain key to embarking on a successful career path, but competition for these coveted positions remains at an all-time high. The latest listings help take the guess work out of the process, allowing jobseekers a tool to narrow their search based on the internships that match their skills, values and needs. The Vault Top 10 Internships goes beyond just examining the best overall internships, including listings for the top finance and non-profit internships, while also highlighting the internship programs that offer the best perks.

"Vault's internship resources have been trusted by jobseekers for years. Our internship rankings highlight some of the most innovative and useful prospects to our users, and our profiles offer a glimpse into what it's really like to work inside of a particular organization," said Tara McCaffrey, Vice-President of Marketing at "A lot goes into a successful internship program, and that's why we consider a range of factors-like networking opportunities, training, meaningfulness of the work, and intern satisfaction-to compile our top internship rankings."

The Top 10 Internships for 2012 are (the internships are listed alphabetically and not ranked in any particular order):

Bain & Company

Capital Fellows Programs

Deloitte LLP

Houlihan Lokey

J.P. Morgan's Investment Bank


Mass Media Science & Engineering Program

Nickelodeon Animation Studios

Northwestern Mutual

Southwest Airlines

When it came to Bain's internships, survey respondents rated full-time employment prospects at the firm a 10 out of 10 with one intern stating, "The amount of responsibility I received is unbelievable, and as a result, I have learned a lot."

Interns were also high on Mass Media Science & Engineering Program, rating both the meaningfulness of the work and the challenge of the projects a 10 out of 10, with one respondent commenting, "This internship has reinforced my determination to pursue a science writing career."

In addition to ranking the Top Overall Internships, Vault helps break out the rankings further to include Top 10 lists for both Finance and Non-Profit Internships. The vastly different categories offer a broader range of companies to choose from when searching for an internship. According to McCaffrey, jobseekers should keep an open mind when determining which internship suits their specific career path.

"The great thing about internships is that they aren't isolated to a particular industry or role," McCaffrey added. "Jobseekers can find opportunities at finance heavy-hitters, prestigious professional services firms, technology companies, theatres, museums, publishing houses, zoos, nonprofit organizations, and everywhere in between."

The Top 10 Finance Internships for 2012 are (the internships are listed alphabetically and not ranked in any particular order):

AT&T Financial Leadership

Credit Suisse Group

Goldman Sachs

Houlihan Lokey

J.P. Morgan's Investment Bank

Jefferies & Co., Inc.


Morgan Stanley

Northwestern Mutual

Piper Jaffray

Interns at Goldman Sachs were pleased with the insight into the industry and potential career path that they gained from this internship, rating this aspect 9.09 out of 10, with one respondent reporting, "This was perhaps the most interesting, challenging and career-propelling move of my life."

The Top 10 Non-Profit Internships for 2012 are (the internships are listed alphabetically and not ranked in any particular order):

Actors Theatre of Louisville

American Enterprise Institute

Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences

Chicago Children's Museum

Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Indianapolis Zoological Society

Shaver's Creek Environmental Center

Smithsonian Institute

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

The Maryland Zoo Baltimore

Responding interns rated the program at Actors Theatre of Louisville a 9.67 out of 10 for its networking opportunities, with one former intern stating, "The mentors that I acquired during my time there have remained incredibly useful to me even after my time in the internship."

Vault also offers a listing of internships, encompassing a wide-range of industries, offering the best perks. Internship Perks rankings put a spotlight on companies that offer a little more than experience. This ranking is aimed at those seeking opportunities that pack a little punch-like free travel, social events, housing, gym membership, unique networking opportunities, and more.

The Top Internships with the Best Perks for 2012 are (the internships are listed alphabetically and not ranked in any particular order):

American Enterprise Institute

Bain & Company

Capital Fellows Program

Deloitte LLP

Houlihan Lokey


Nickelodeon Animation Studios

Southwest Airlines

Southwestern Company


Interns at the Capital Fellows Program can participate in six units of graduate work, paid for by the program; they also receive gym membership and travel opportunities, in addition to the ability to create legislative proposals, respond to constituent inquiries, and write press releases and speeches.

At Nickelodeon, interns are provided with ample opportunities to network through weekly lunches with executives and artists, Nick events and film festivals, and a field trip to MTV Networks. They can also take the highly coveted Nickelodeon Studio Tests and receive feedback. For those seeking full-time employment, interns receive entry-level job openings prior to their official posting.

Vault's Top Internships is based on the results of two distinct surveys. Companies and non-profit organizations were asked to provide an overview of their internship programs, including logistics, hiring criteria and application requirements. Approximately 130 companies participated in this survey. These companies were also asked to distribute an intern experience survey to their current and former interns to get an idea of the internship from the participant's point of view. The Intern Experience Survey is anonymous and features a range of questions, from what interns' day-to-day responsibilities were to how they rated certain quality of life factors to whether they would recommend the internship to a friend.

Vault's Top 10 Internships are the best all-around internships from the survey pool. Editors selected the list of top internships based on ratings in formal training, on-the-job training, mentorship, insight into the industry and future career paths, meaningful assignments, networking opportunities, access to senior management, social events, and compensation. The prestige of the internship sponsor was also factored into the rankings.

For the Top Finance Internships, a greater emphasis was placed on prestige and compensation, while compensation was not factored into the equation for nonprofit internships. To determine the Best Perks rankings, Vault weighed Intern Experience Survey scores relating to perks; social events; and seminars, lectures, and workshops. also features a database with information on over 1,100 internships. Students can access this database at

About Vault is the source of employer and university rankings, ratings and reconnaissance for highly credentialed, in-demand candidates. is organized by profession, industry, company and schools. Vault profiles, rankings and assessment tools deliver the insider perspective and career research candidates need to successfully match themselves to the best available job, employer and career opportunity. The website features profiles on more than 4,500 employers, 4,000 universities and hundreds of industries and professions including the law, finance, accounting and consulting sectors. Founded in 1996, is the only career resource of its kind and attracts more than 1,000 employer and recruiter advertisers, more than 1,200 school and institutional subscribers and millions of individual visitors and members.

Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013
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