According to Yello, an early talent recruitment platform, the key elements of a good internship program include providing meaningful work opportunities, new innovation and ideas, and offering flexibility and equity. Yello recently announced its list of the top 100 internship programs on July 27, highlighting the factors that make internships valuable for both employers and employees. To be considered for the list, employers were required to nominate themselves.
Northrop Grumman’s internship program secured the top position on the list, primarily due to its approach of exposing interns to various aspects of the business, maintaining a culture of openness to innovation in areas like engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as professional development. The program also stood out for its multiple start dates, hybrid structure, and phased learning and development sessions, which cater to different school schedules.
Other internship programs received recognition for their exceptional performance in specific domains. The Trade Desk, for instance, earned the Intern Growth Award for its focus on enabling interns to apply their academic knowledge in practical settings through a “learning by doing” culture and robust mentorship support.
Mattel was honored with the Innovation Award for its practice of granting interns ownership of individual projects during their tenure at the company, fostering a sense of responsibility and creativity.
Radio Flyer received the Small But Mighty Award for effectively integrating interns into their operations despite being a company with fewer than 500 employees, highlighting the value of internships even within smaller organizations.
Challenges and Revival
During the pandemic, many internship programs experienced fluctuations, with numerous programs getting canceled due to social distancing requirements. However, there was a notable comeback of internships in the summer of 2022. In 2023, employers exhibited a slower pace in hiring interns, and according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers released in April, economic challenges played a role in this decision for one-third of the respondents.
Despite the renewal of internships, intern satisfaction with these programs has declined significantly since the pandemic, as indicated by data. Specifically, in the technology industry, only 42% of interns surveyed said they would recommend their internship to a friend. This figure contrasts sharply with 2019, where at times, the recommendation rate exceeded 70%.
Employers must give careful consideration to the management of their internship programs, as these can serve as powerful tools for hiring and recruiting, as previously noted by an expert in an article. Interns should be provided with designated offices or workspaces equipped with a desk and necessary supplies. Additionally, they should receive clear guidance on the appropriate channels for seeking assistance and addressing any questions or concerns they may have.
Amid challenges and a post-pandemic renewal, Yello’s top 100 internship list highlighted meaningful work, innovation, and equity. However, Data revealed a decline in intern satisfaction. Employers should carefully manage programs to ensure their effectiveness as recruitment tools.