For a long time, the title "intern" was synonymous with "company gofer." Buried at the bottom of the corporate food chain, interns have long been associated with tasks like fetching coffee and making copies, compensated with little but a few extra lines on their resumes.
As companies often rely on their intern pools for new hires, it's unfair to make the generalization that internships are a waste of time. Most provide students with skills they might never learn in a classroom, something I learned during five internships over the course of my undergraduate and post-grad years.
Modern entry-level roles often require applicants to have an internship or two under their belts.
The spectrum of internship experiences is broad and varied. On the lesser side, there are employers that impose 10-hour workdays on their interns with little to no pay -- situations that eventually lead to the rise of lawsuits such as those at Conde Nast and Fox Searchlight Pictures.
[ Looking for a new gig? Read: Tech Jobs: 12 Killer Locations. ]
On the opposite end, there are businesses that not only provide interns with housing but also offer many of the same lavish perks that full-time employees enjoy. The competition for these positions is fierce, as many companies use their internship programs as extended interviews to vet candidates for full-time roles.
Tech giants, including Facebook and Google, are famous for showering employees with benefits such as free gym memberships, round-the-clock meals and snacks, massages, and bike rentals. Interns are welcome to take advantage of these amenities, in addition to intern-specific perks such as team-building activities and flights before and after their internships -- all on top of handsome payment packages.
It should be noted that interns earn these perks, just as their full-time mentors and colleagues do. After undergoing competitive and technical interview processes, interns are trusted to work on projects that contribute to their organization and potentially affect millions of customers.
So, did you miss out on these perks when you were an intern? Do you want to see how the elite intern during their summers, or are you hoping for one of these privileged positions for yourself? Let us know in the comments section below and share your own internship experiences with us.
[Did you miss any of the InformationWeek conference in Las Vegas last month? Don't worry: We have you covered. Check out what our speakers had to say and see tweets from the show. Let's keep the conversation going.]Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio