Most of these positions are paid
The spring semester has officially begun at most colleges, and along with it the rush to buy the cheapest used textbooks and cases of boxed ramen noodles. Freshman are doe-eyed no more and sophomores are beginning to consider majors. Juniors and seniors walking into upper level classes are already craving the end of the semester, when the latter will be set free to carve out their first career moves.
Regardless of their expected graduation date, all students should be thinking about beginning or advancing their careers with a summer internship. The job market is still tough, and if this next few years are anything like the last, young people who haven't spent any school time building up professional networks and real-world job skills could find themselves in a tough spot come graduation. Internships are one of the best ways for students to get their feet wet in as many industries as they're interested in a safe, short-term environment. And research shows there's a good chance the temporary position will turn into a job.
Because searching for and applying to internships is like an additional class's worth of work, AOL Jobs has put together a list of the top internship opportunities – most of which are paid – to lighten the load. Check it out below.
Who are they? An employee benefits provider with 35 offices in cities across the country. The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based insurance company is the largest provider of disability benefits worldwide.
What they offer: Internships in marketing, finance, actuarial, business technology, sales, internal auditing, underwriting, human resources and IT
Compensation: Competitive pay and college credit
Apply for an internship at Unum.
Who are they? A Fortune 500 company that offers payment processing and banking solutions, software and services. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fl., FIS employs over 32,000 people.
What they offer: Internships in web development, vulnerability management, technical writing and business, systems analysis and others
Apply for an internship at FIS.
Who are they? The Dallas, Texas-based wireless giant AT&T is the largest provider of mobile and fixed telephone services in the country.
What they offer: Internships in human resources, network engineering, big data and others
Apply for an internship at AT&T.
4. CVS Caremark
Who are they? The CVS pharmacy chain has more than 7,500 stores in the United States, second only to Walgreens. It provides pharmacy services through its over 7,000 CVS Pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores.
What they offer: Graduate and undergraduate-level internships at the pharmacy and in IT communications, quality assurance testing, government services and others
Compensation: Competitive compensation is offered including a stipend for eligible candidates
Apply for an internship at CVS Caremark.
Who are they? The electronic systems company designs, develops and manufactures advanced defense electronics and systems. The company was created after Northrop Grumman's acquired Westinghouse Electronic Systems Group in 1996.
What they offer: Internships in hardware, software, mechanical and systems engineering, business development, communications and others
Location(s): Illinois, Maryland, California and Colorado
Compensation: Not specified
Note: NGES specifies that applicants should only apply to one internship
Apply for an internship at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.
6. Tires Plus
Who are they? Tires Plus offers products for the whole gamut of automobiles, from compacts cars to SUV's. Along with Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus is owned by Bridgestone Retail Operations. And in sum, Bridgestone is the world's largest chain of company-owned auto care centers.
What they offer: Sales and management internships
Location(s): Gainsville, Fla.
Apply for an internship at Tires Plus.
7. ACT Inc.
Who are they? Originally abbreviated from American College Testing, ACT Inc. produces paper-based colleges assessment test akin to the SAT Reasoning Test. It offers tests in English, mathematics, reading, science, writing.
What they offer: Internships in user engagement, policy research, operations analysis, graphic design, business development and marketing and others
Location(s): Iowa and Georgia
Compensation: $6,750.00 total for nine-week positions
Apply for an internship at ACT Inc.