When Interns Rate Companies

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At job fairs around the country, recruiters promise a summer internship program promising bountiful opportunities and plenty of hands on experience. As some of us know, those promises can sometimes be shattered by menial “intern” work and little opportunity to explore. Ever want to cut through recruiter’s tactful spiel and find out first hand what previous interns think about the company that they worked for?

Enter internshipratings.com, a new, free service that bills itself as “a resource to rate, research and compare internships in various industries across the United States.” Featured in a September 16, 2008 TechCrunch article, the website has a goal to collect information about intern’s experience and relay it in a easy to digest way.

You can search all available information by location, industry and company name. Their database of company intern reviews is growing everyday, and I’m sure it will improve as the site becomes more and more popular. Something I would like to see is the ability to search by region as it would make searching for prospective companies easier. I’m from the D.C. Metro Area, so being able to search for intern’s experiences located in that specific geographic area all at once would be convenient (not just cities in D.C., Virginia or Maryland individually).

A person that wishes to submit information about a company is required to make an account and login. Making an account is incredibly painless, and logging in is similarly easy. Even those that wish to post anonymously need to register for an account, but they will not be penalized or limited in their postings. This feature is beneficial for those that had a poor internship experience and don’t wish to be identified. In order to make your posting anonymous, login and navigate to account settings and change the privacy settings.

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As you can see by the screenshot, the information is regarding internships at XM Satellite Radio based in Washington D.C. It lists the address, industry and website for quick cross referencing. Back in September, XM Satellite Radio was the top rated company/internship experience on internshipratings.com. XM Satellite radio has an overall rating of 87%, a number derived from 24 reviewing interns. Underneath a legend to dictate what the symbols mean, we see the user ratings with information about their individual experiences. Overall, the design and general idea reminds me of the popular ratemyprofessor.com site which contains information about student’s opinions on their professors.

The website also features a section with advice from professionals about internships. The main categories are “Industry Specific Advice”, “Intern Tips”, “Office Life”, “General”, “Personal Intern Experiences”, and “Virtual Internship”. You can subscribe to the RSS feed of this part of the website. Most articles seem well written and from reputable sources. I think that this section is a fantastic idea and a wonderful addition to the website.

A well thought out idea coupled with a simplistic design makes internshipratings.com a winner in my book. I will definitely be referencing this site in the future to get information on prospective companies.

Note: This article originally appeared on Digital Frontier and istbuilding.com in September 2008.

Steve Sharer is a second year Security and Risk Analysis major in the College of IST.   Steve runs Digital Frontier, a hybrid blog about technology, security and Penn State.  You can find him on Twitter as BlueBandSteve.

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Steve Sharer is a Security and Risk Analysis major and an overall good guy. He brings Onward State readers enticing posts such as "Question of the Day" and "Campus Explorer" and will continue to do so until he becomes the President of the United States of America in 2024.

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