Vince Vaughn took a camera crew onto the Google campus to film the 2013 comedy, The Internship, skewering both the clueless and the cutthroat and introducing film audiences to Google’s over-the-top perks, not all of which were fictional.
And indeed, back in 2013 Google was the best spot in the country to land an internship, according to recruitment website operator Glassdoor. One survey responded then noted, “Google treats interns better than fulltime employees.”
But in this year’s Glassdoor survey of corporate interns, released just in time for internship-hunting season, Google slipped to number three, behind Facebook and Chevron. Why?
According to Glassdoor, it’s not all about the perks, though Facebook certainly offers its share. Facebook interns praised the openness of the company culture, the challenging projects assigned, and, probably the most key factor, the fact that much of their work actually made it out into the real world.
That’s not to say perks don’t count at all; many interns mentioned the free and abundant food, the games of all kinds, and the pub crawls; one noted, however, a serious lack of napping pods. (Google, it turns out, does offer that particular perk).
Tech firms held on to 12 of the top 25 spots in the survey, with seven of those 12 top companies headquartered in Silicon Valley. Besides Facebook and Google, Silicon Valley’s top spots for interns included eBay at number five, Yahoo climbed up from 14 in 2014 to number six, Apple at number 11, Intel at number 14, and HP at number 24. Outside the Bay Area, the top 25 included Epic Systems (7) Microsoft (13), Qualcomm (16), National Instruments (18) and Broadcom (25).
Glassdoor says that 4700 companies around the U.S. are currently on the prowl for 2015 interns, with 1500 open internships at Bay Area companies.
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 40 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.