Find the right internship with these tools

If you're looking for an internship, start with these resources. These search tools and ratings sites can help you track down the right internship for you.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
5 min read

With the economy still in shambles, landing an internship might be the best way to get a foot in the door of a company that might hire you someday. But finding even an unpaid internship can be difficult. So here's a list of resources that are designed to help prospective interns achieve their professional goals.

If you're just looking for job search engines, check out our roundup from earlier this year.

Get your internship

BuddingUp: BuddingUp is a site that helps interns and recent graduates find the jobs they want. The site is broken into two sections: a job board and a career page listing. The former lists all the jobs the site has found across the Web that might be of interest to prospective interns. Unfortunately, you can't search it easily, so you'll be forced to scroll through the pages to get what you're looking for, which is not very convenient.

But the career pages listing is a fantastic resource. Instead of wasting your time going to individual company sites trying to apply for an internship, BuddingUp provides it all for you. So if you want to check for all the openings at Wal-Mart, Sony, or General Electric, the site will provide you with direct links to those individual career listings pages.

BuddingUp provides a job board to help you find your next internship. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Enternships: Enternships is a unique site that helps you find internships at Web start-ups. It requires start-ups to list their gigs, which can then be searched for by interns who can apply directly on the site.

Since Enternships was started in association with Oxford University's Oxford Entrepreneurs program, many of the jobs listed on the site are located in the U.K. There are some listings for the U.S., but if you're in the States, Enternships shouldn't top your list until more listings are added to the site.

Enternships has some growing up to do before it can make the big time. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Intern Abroad: Intern Abroad is a really neat site. Instead of helping you find an internship in North America, the site lists all the open internships listed all over the world. So if you want to work as an economics intern over the summer in China, you'll find all the open listings (13 as of this writing) for those jobs.Intern Abroad doesn't list individual jobs on its site, though. Instead, it provides search results of companies and organizations offering internships in the country you designate. That can get annoying, since you'll be forced to jump from site to site to get what you want, but considering it's a unique service, that downside can be overlooked.

Intern Abroad
Intern Abroad helps you find internships all over the world. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Intern Web: This site has a number of listings from a variety of industries. You can even share those listings with your Facebook friends. But it's poorly designed and hard to navigate. Not a great resource.

Intern Web
Intern Web is ugly and has too many ads. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

InternShare: InternShare is a great site for anyone looking to find an internship. It combines an internship search service with outstanding ratings to create a site that easily bests much of the competition.

InternShare features a host of listings from both major and small companies. Each listing includes an average user rating on the learning experience, the work environment, and a few other metrics interns care about. InternShare also lets you search for internships from a variety of companies. You can even apply on the site. I could go on, but I think you get the point: InternShare is a must-see.

InternShare is a stellar site that's a must-see. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Internship Programs: Internship Programs lets you search for internships by employer, industry, or the job's location. Once you find the internship you're interested in, you can access all the pertinent contact information you need to apply for the job.

Internship Programs is similar to popular job search sites, like Monster.com, that ask you to create a personal profile to help employers find you. Overall, Internship Programs' selection was quite appealing. From health internships to accounting gigs, you should find just about anything you're looking for on the site.

Internship Programs gives you all the pertinent information on an internship. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Internship Ratings: As the name suggests, Internship Ratings is the place to go if you're looking for ratings of internships you're interested in. All of the ratings are added by former interns who dish on what to expect while you're working for a company as an intern.

Although I would have liked to have seen more reviews on more companies, Intership Ratings has a healthy listing of companies to check out. In New York City, the site lists more than 100 company reviews. That might not seem like many, but consider the fact that only InternShare could match that number, and you can see why Internship Ratings is a great place to see what interns really thought about their jobs. (A word of advice: As with any user rating site, don't let the curmudgeons on the site discourage your employer choice--many of the reviews I read on some of my former employers were obviously written by disgruntled employees whose experiences were atypical.)

Internship Ratings
Internship Ratings is a great way to learn more about a company. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

UltimateIntern: UltimateIntern allows you to rate internships or check out employer ratings. Overall, the ratings are useful for determining whether a prospective employer is worth working for. But beware that if you plan to work for a large firm, the reviews will be across the board, since the experience might be different in small metro areas, compared to major cities.

Unfortunately, UltimateIntern doesn't have as many internship ratings listed as I would have liked. That's mainly due to its reliance on the community to write reviews. Right now, the UltimateIntern community is extremely small. It's a neat idea, but UltimateIntern shouldn't be your only stop when you start researching an internship.

UltimateIntern has too few internship ratings. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Vault: Vault.com has a new design, and is a useful site for those looking to research employers. With more than 10,000 companies listed on its site, you can easily find everything from a company's size to its average salary. But Vault's best feature is its message board. There, you can look at postings on individual company boards. You can also sign up and start your own threads. The message boards were extremely informative, shedding light on what to expect from a company based on the feedback of people who already know it. It's worth consulting as you get ready to start your new job.

Vault.com is an extremely informative site. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

My top 3

1. Vault: With so many great features and an informative message board to boot, Vault is the best place for interns to go.

2. InternShare: InternShare ratings are second to none.

3. BuddingUp: BuddingUp's career page listings are useful and extensive.