CollegeGrad.com Names Top Intern Employers for 2009

CollegeGrad.com, the #1 Entry-Level Job Site, has announced the Top Intern Employers and intern hiring numbers for 2009. Although this year's total hiring has shown a decrease from 2008 (49,000 in 2009 vs. over 50,000 in 2008), the need for intern candidates is still strong and growing stronger throughout the year.

Foster City, CA (PRWEB) July 8, 2009--CollegeGrad.com, the #1 Entry Level and Intern Job Site, today announced that the 2009 Top Entry Level Employers survey indicates that Top Intern Employers will hire a little over 49,000 interns in 2009, a 2 percent decrease from the 50,000 intern hires in 2008. Keeping in mind the 2007-2008 increase of only 0.52 percent, this spells continued tough competition for internship opportunities.

"You must be able to communicate to an employer why you're interested in a specific internship, and why you would be a good fit for the position and the organization," says Susan Simmerman, Assistant Director for Experiential Education at Arizona State University. "Make a case for why an organization should invest in providing YOU with an internship opportunity."

Leading the Top-Intern-Employers pack, the survey projects that Walgreens will be hiring 5,650 interns. With second-ranked Southwestern Publishing projecting 2800 intern positions.General Electric plans to hire 2400 interns, Deloitte Touche USA LLP will add 2300, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers will put 2279 interns on staff. Other firms adding significant numbers of interns in 2009 are KPMG LLP, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Lockheed Martin, Ernst Young, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Intel, Target, and Microsoft. In addition to these heavy hitters, literally hundreds of other companies, large and small, are hiring interns for a variety of positions, both paid and unpaid.

"Many students who complete unpaid internships will tell you that the experience was invaluable in terms of the learning and connections acquired, while others who were paid were disappointed with the lack of meaningful work and opportunities provided," says Simmerman.

Students wishing to land one of these internships must put their best foot forward and stress the qualities employers are seeking: communication skills, both written and oral; good time management; strong work ethic; dependability; initiative; problem-solving skill; and coursework that is relevant to the position applied for. And those traits are just the basics. To truly stand out, an applicant must have a rich extracurricular resume.

Says Jill Rushbrook, Career Counselor at Eastern Connecticut State University, "I am sometimes in awe of the amount of extracurricular activities I see on resumes. Many college students are getting first-hand knowledge of what it means to lead others and work with team members whether it is on SGA, with Habitat for Humanity, or Rock the Vote."

Simmerman notes that even unpaid interns are costly to a company in terms of hiring, training, and supervising them. Not all companies are feeling the downturn on the same level, though, and many have so much faith in intern hiring that they are leaving these programs untouched.

"Despite current economic conditions, Lockheed Martin still feels it is strategically important to hire at our current pace from college campuses," says Leslie L. Chappell, Director of University Relations at Lockheed Martin Corporation. "As such, the corporation will continue to have a strong focus on entry-level recruitment for both full-time and intern/co-op positions, in order to build the pipeline of entry-level talent."

Steve Canale, Manager of Recruiting and Staffing Services at General Electric, says, "Over 80 percent of our full time hires were converted from GE's population of interns and co-ops. Care is given to matching assignments with student backgrounds and experience levels. Mentors are assigned and formal evaluations are given."

"Our interns do the same work as entry-level college graduates, so they will have a good sense of what it will be like to work here after an internship," says Dan Black, Director of Campus Recruiting for the Americas for the accounting firm Ernst Young. "We offer one of the best internship programs in the country, providing opportunities to our interns through formal learning, varied experiences, and real time coaching from employees at all levels."

As evidenced by the testimony of these experienced college-level career counselors and company recruiters, an internship is both a way to get real-world experience in your chosen field and a method of making contacts that can lead to a permanent position. In today's tough job market, that can be the difference between launching a successful career immediately upon graduation or delaying employment for an indefinite period.

"Internships and co-ops have become not only a great experience for students prior to graduation, but have also become a critical median between recent grads and full time employment," says Ogunwole. "Whether you are still in school or a recent graduate, treat your internship experience as if it was a full time job. Given the current market conditions, an internship experience may be a key point of entry into a full time employment with a company."

For more detailed information on internships and entry level positions with the top 200 hiring employers nationwide, visit CollegeGrad.com, the number one entry level job site on the Web.



About CollegeGrad.com:
CollegeGrad.com was founded in 1995 and has been running the Top Entry Level Employer survey since 2003. Over that time, CollegeGrad.com has become the number one destination site for students and recent college grads looking for career advice and job search assistance. Additionally, CollegeGrad.com has become a trusted partner and resource for hundreds of national schools and universities. If you would like to be included in future surveys or if you wish to get information about how you can link to your company profile page, please contact Adeola Ogunwole


CONTACT INFO: Adeola Ogunwole, Director of Marketing and PR, CollegeGrad.com, 1-877-872-3705 or contact us online.


Employer quotes

Employers were asked to give their views on the state of intern hiring in the industry and their company. The following topics were also suggested:

  • What specific value do college grad hires bring to your company?
  • What value do Interns bring to your company?
  • Describe an Internship experience at your company.
  • What are the critical success factors for new college grads entering the workforce?
  • What unique employer features set you apart as an employer of choice among top entry level talent?
  • Explain how specific industry or economic trends have influenced your 2009 college recruiting.

Intern and co-ops are GE's most strategic pipeline for hiring full time college and MBA grads into GE's # 1 rank global Leadership Development Programs. Over 80% of our full time hires were converted from GE's population of interns and co-ops. Interns and co-ops are given the opportunity to work and contribute to meaningful and impactful projects across all GE's business units and business functions.

Steve Canale
Manager, Recruiting Staffing Services
General Electric

Hyatt's College Programs are the direct link into entry level management and a long term career opportunity with Hyatt. We are looking for top college talent to bring in fresh ideas. Completing a successful internship with Hyatt will result in first opportunity into our Corporate Management Training Program. Though deeply rooted in the company's culture, we are continuously assessing and making subtle changes to ensure we are one of the best on campus. Completing an internship is the best way to validate your career choice and test drive an employer.

Kristy Seidel
Manager of Recruiting, North America Operations
Hyatt

Our Interns provide us with an infusion of fresh, innovative thought and have been know to make quite an impact during their time with Lowe's. All of our interns take on projects that truly impact how we do business. The experience provides them with a realistic view of their field and provides us with a strong gauge of their capabilities and strengths.

My best piece of advice to any intern would be to embrace the opportunity and dive right in to the organization from the start. Similar a lot of activities on campus, the more involved you are, the more you'll gain from the experience. Get to know your group and those outside of your group; don't be shy about introducing yourself to people. Use your internship as a tool to help you decide what things you enjoy doing the most and also the things you don't! This will help tremendously in navigating your way as you embark on searching for full-time opportunities.

Sarah A. Cook
College Recruiter, Internship Program Manager
Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Ernst Young takes a long-term view with respect to hiring and developing our people, as college graduates and interns will become the future leaders of our firm. We have hired approximately 2,000 interns this year, a large number of whom will be offered, and accept, full-time positions with the firm upon graduation. Our interns do the same work as entry-level college graduates, so they will have a good sense of what it will be like to work here after an internship.

Dan Black
Director of Campus Recruiting for the Americas
Ernst Young

When I meet students on campus it is critical that they have done their research, know what they are looking for and have the qualifications to back up their words. A degree is not enough anymore; students must do what ever it takes to get the internship that will ultimately land them the job when they graduate. That means volunteering to get some experience or work part time in their industries during school just to get the internship.

Darcy Van Orden
Senior Staffing Manager
Centennial Contractors Enterprises

We've built our firm by growing talented and productive engineering talent from highly trained, motivated, and enthusiastic new graduates. Regardless of the number of new grads we add to our staff in 2009, maintaining an open conduit between our firm and the source of our future super-stars is essential to our growth. Internships, both summer and year-round provide that vital linkage.

Keith M. Bloomfield
Director of Human Resources
Desimone Consulting Engineers

College students should not listen to dire predictions about hiring. Interns will continue to be valuable resources for employers and are critical in every business. Getting hired will be more difficult because there will be more applicants for fewer positions. The best advice? Make sure your resume is perfect, be open to all kinds of experiences and most importantly, follow the application instructions to the letter.

Maureen Crawford Hentz
Manager of Talent Acquisition Development Compliance
Osram Sylvania

Our experience has been that intern/co-ops represent valuable members of the work team, who are eager to apply their knowledge and contribute to business objectives.

A recent intern focused on developing a new piece of software that will be used to estimate time of flight for the patriot advanced capability-3 (PAC-3) missile. Another intern spent time in the mission support area working on interplanetary spacecraft. Other students have worked in areas including air traffic management, system test at the customer's facility and other programs of national and social importance.

We are looking for well-rounded individuals who have been able to sustain solid academic status while at the same time developing business and soft-skills in order to transition smoothly into the work environment. Communication and interpersonal skills, combined with initiative, flexibility and creativity are important assets. Finally, a commitment to integrity in your personal and work ethic will help you make a favorable impression.

We think that in general, we are attractive to early-career employees due to what we call the "Total Value" of our employment proposition that includes four major areas: an exciting work environment that values diversity; world class pay and benefits; outstanding opportunities for career development across the breadth of a large enterprise with a presence in many locations; and excellent rewards and recognition for superior performance.

Our environment is characterized by working on high tech projects that make a profound difference to our world. To name just a few, these include the Joint Strike Fighter, which will be the most advanced fighter aircraft ever; Orion, which will return human beings to the Moon; and the Electronic Records Archives, a system Lockheed Martin is developing for the National Archives and Records Administration that will digitally capture all our nation's critical and essential records. Not all companies can present their employees with such great opportunities, and importantly, responsibilities. They are not writing code for video games, they're making the real thing.

Despite current economic conditions, Lockheed Martin still feels it is strategically important to hire at our current pace from college campuses. As such, the corporation will continue to have a strong focus on entry-level recruitment for both full-time and intern/co-op positions, in order to build the pipeline of entry-level talent.

Leslie L. Chappell
Director, University Relations
Lockheed Martin Corporation

Carahsoft's hiring of new college grads continue to increase at an exponential rate, even in this tough economy. These energetic, dedicated young professionals are the backbone of our operation, and we value and reward the contributions they make to the ongoing success of our business.

Kathy Kelly
Director, Recruitment
Carahsoft Technology Corp.

KPMG remains committed to pursuing students who excel in academics and leadership. The majority of KPMG's new campus hires traditionally come from internships, making the program a critical part of the firm's growth strategy. Our internships give students extensive technical training as well as experience with a broad and prestigious client base here and around the world.

Blane Ruschak
Executive Director, Recruiting
KPMG LLP


Career Center Quotes

College Career Center Managers were asked to give their views on the state of entry level hiring in the nation and in relation to their campus. The following topics were also suggested:

  • What specific value do college grad hires bring to companies?
  • What value do internships provide for college students and recent grads searching for employment?
  • What critical factors should college grads be aware of in their entry level job search?
  • Explain how specific industry or economic trends have influenced college recruiting at your campus.

To obtain an internship, you must be able to communicate to an employer why you're interested in a specific internship, and why you would be a good fit for the position and the organization. Realize that even unpaid internships cost money in terms of the time employers spend in hiring, training, and supervising interns. Make a case for why an organization should invest in providing YOU with an internship opportunity!

Employers often seek interns who possess strong software, writing, communication, customer service, problem-solving, and research skills. They also look for personal traits such as dependability, time management, leadership, work ethic, initiative, and flexibility. Make sure that your resume includes details that communicate that you have the skills and knowledge required for internships of interest.

Before accepting any internship (paid or unpaid), make sure it relates to your long-term career interests, and ask questions about the following topics:

  • Will the experience provide exposure to multiple aspects of the organization?
  • What type of training will be provided, and how often will I meet with a supervisor?
  • What are the learning objectives of the experience, and what kinds of tasks will I work on?
  • May I speak with one of your past interns?

While you may be reluctant to pursue an unpaid internship, be assured that the professional experience will be valued by prospective employers, expand your networking opportunities, and will provide you with a competitive advantage over college grads who lack such experience.

Susan Simmerman
Assistant Director for Experiential Education
Arizona State University

Although the economy is contributing to a vastly more competitive job market, college students can market highly valuable transferable skills that can make them stand out in the applicant pool. For instance, several companies are looking to implement a new marketing strategy with social media. College students who have been facebook-ing or myspace-ing for years now are familiar with this technology and can boast of their tech-savvy skills. Another example of a skill to market to employers would be leadership experience. As a career counselor, I am sometimes in awe of the amount of extracurricular activities I see on resumes. Many college students are getting first-hand knowledge of what it means to lead others and work with team members whether it is on SGA, with Habitat for Humanity, or Rock the Vote. Leadership roles can also translate into excellent communication and organization skills, which we know are also highly desirable skills for any employer. College students have much to offer and although they may be unaware, they can market themselves quite effectively even in a tough economic climate.

Jill Rushbrook
Career Counselor
Eastern Connecticut State University

Internships are often a catch-all among companies seeking to augment their workforce, especially in the summer. The intern-candidate needs to be aware that all internships are not created equal. When searching for hands-on experience to add skills and power to a resume and build a network, the intern needs to be an aware consumer and decide what is most important: the name of the company or the mentoring and skill sets the candidate will be able to market to future employers. If the student cannot enthusiastically answer the question, "what were your duties at XYZ Company and what skills did you learn/enhance?", there was probably little value in that experience. Working with Career Services and/or the internship coordinator and asking the right questions at an interview is essential to a successful experience.

Linda Levitt
Internship Coordinator
Raritan Valley Community College

Based on many meetings with employers, including Interpol and the Smithsonian, I have learned that students, regardless of major, will be most successful in finding internships as well as full-time employment if they follow and pursue what they are passionate about. Having passion for what you do is the most important quality that employers are looking for and most will overlook GPA and skill deficits to get the right person. With the boomer generation preparing to leave the workforce their interest now lies in passing down their experience, and in some cases "life's work", to recent grads who share their passion.

Anne Quail
Internship Coordinator
Buena Vista University

There are a few critical factors that today's college grad should think about as they execute a job search in a challenging economy. First, students and grads need to develop an "on-land" job search strategy in addition to their online strategy. The concept of "pounding the pavement" is not an old cliché anymore. New grads should be willing to visit businesses and drop off resumes or meet with HR Managers if possible. This is not about being pushy, but about standing out from the crowd. As part of their "on-land" strategy, they should attend job fairs so they get to put their persona into their resumes.

Marcia Robinson
Director, Center for Career Professional Development
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

I do an exercise in some of my classes where I make all of the classmates the "boss for a day." Their first order of business is to hire new pretend employees and I ask them what they are looking for on their pretend applicant resumes. Not surprising, those same traits are the ones that our real employers look for on a national and regional level. Universally, one of the most sought after items that an employer looks for on a resume is the internship experience. This fact becomes even more compounded when you factor in a weak economy.

Troy D. Nunamaker
Director of Internships
Clemson University

One of Cal State San Bernardino's students, Huda Kaoud visited the Career Development Center and made a connection with the Democratic National Party who asked her to do an internship. Through the DNP she was able to network with many local politicians and she went on to coordinate a press conference for President Barack Obama. Her experience was priceless.

Carol Dixon
Interim Director, Career Development Center
Cal State San Bernardino