According to consulting firm J-Intersect, only 5 percent of the quarter-million internships offered in the U.S. each year meet “global benchmark standards.”
Those top internships offer hours of formal training to their interns and spend more per intern. And 60 percent of interns in those programs go on to work at that company.
In contrast, the lower-performing internships only convert 15 percent of interns to hires.
According to the study, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, and KPMG (audit/tax services) have the best internships.
The media world, of course, is woefully underrepresented here. It’s a different world. Here, it’s true that going through a shitty internship is kind of a rite of passage for media folk, and you’re pretty much now expected to have one or two unpaid internships under your belt before you can even think about getting paid or trained or whatever. However, as J-Intersect says:
Public relations tricks and uncritical studies can lead to the false advertisement of “prestigious” internships, which in reality consist of interns exploited as cheap or unpaid labor, performing clerical and menial tasks with low prospects for personal development.