Top 10 internship providers for students

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which sponsored this welcome event at the College of Business last year, was one of ten companies named to FIU's President's Internship Honor Roll.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which sponsored this welcome event at the College of Business last year, was one of ten companies named to FIU’s President’s Internship Honor Roll.

In today’s increasingly competitive job market, college graduates who have experience in their fields are far more likely to receive job offers – as well as higher starting salaries.

To encourage more companies and organizations to work with FIU on internship programs, each year the university compiles a list of the top 10 companies for student internships.

Known as the President’s Internship Honor Roll, the award is based on the quality of the internship experience; the number of internships provided; how many interns are hired for full-time positions and other kinds of activities the company offers to students, including workshops, class lectures or events.

This year, 35 companies were nominated by colleges and departments throughout the university. Ten were chosen as the top internship providers for FIU students. The remaining 25 were recognized as “Dean’s List” honorees and received a letter thanking them for their work with student internships.

Banyan Health Systems

For several decades, Miami-based Banyan Health Systems has provided internships to students in FIU’s School of Social Work. This is the third year in a row the health care company has been selected for FIU’s President’s Honor Roll. Banyan provides more than 20 internships every year and hires many FIU alumni. Student interns work closely with qualified field instructors and participate in both behavioral and primary health care services. The Banyan Health System also sponsors the School of Social Work’s annual Field Instructor Appreciation Breakfast.

Conroy Martinez

A public relations and marketing agency in Coral Gables, Conroy Martinez has hired five student interns in the past two years and offers many of its interns full-time positions upon graduation. Interns work on advertising and public relations projects for the company’s clients, including international accounts. The firm’s partners regularly visit FIU to speak to students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, as well as the campus chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Easter Seals

In the last two years, 140 nursing students have been placed in internships with Easter Seals. The students learn a holistic approach to patient care, as well as methods of caring for patients with special needs and disabilities. The leadership team at Easter Seals works to improve students’ communication, prioritization and delegation skills. The organization has hired many FIU students, including a regional director of the program.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler has recruited interns and full-time staff from the College of Engineering and Computing for several years and recently added a recruitment team for the College of Business in supply chain management and information communication technology. Over the past two years, they have placed 23 interns and hired six of those for full-time positions. Internships with the company are project-oriented and designed to expand students’ communication skills and knowledge of computer systems, software, technology and project management techniques. Internships are offered at the company’s technology center in Auburn Hills, Michigan, manufacturing facilities in Detroit and business centers throughout the U.S.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools

This is the second year that M-DCPS has been named to the President’s Honor Roll. The school district was nominated by both the College of Education and the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing’s Athletic Training Department. Over the past two years, about 50 students have completed internships in athletic training and more than 400 students from the College of Education have had internships with the school district. Five graduates of the athletic training program have been hired by the district and hundreds of FIU graduates have been hired as teachers, accounting for about 35 percent of all the teachers in Miami-Dade. FIU has had a relationship with the school district for more than 40 years, collaborating on numerous efforts to improve teacher efficacy and student achievement.

Perkins & Will

The Miami office of Perkins & Will, a global architecture and design firm, provides internship opportunities for graduate students in architecture who are required to work as interns before sitting for professional licensing exams. The company has hired 11 student interns in the past two years and has the highest percentage of FIU alumni as a percentage of total employees compared to all other architecture firms in South Florida. Student interns are exposed to a variety of cutting-edge technologies and work closely with the firm’s leadership on a range of projects. FIU is currently working with the company to expand intern opportunities to Perkins & Will offices in New York, London, Los Angeles, Chicago and China.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC)

Global accounting firm PWC has been an internship partner with FIU’s College of Business for nearly a decade. In the past two years, the company has placed about 70 student interns in Miami and around the United States in cities such as Boston, New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Tampa. PWC also hosts a large number campus events, including presentations to student groups and networking activities. Last year, PWC sponsored “Welcome to BizLife,” a welcome back networking lunch for the College of Business that showcases FIU resources such as advising, career management and student organizations. Several of PWC’s partners are graduates of FIU, along with many staff members, including the firm’s on-campus representative.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Starwood Hotels and Resorts offers summer internships to FIU students that promote understanding of hotel operations and aid career planning for placement after graduation. Starwood provides each intern with experiences comparable to an entry-level, full-time position. Interns are given networking opportunities and hands-on experience during the 10 to 12-week summer program. Participation in the internship increases the likelihood of placement in a Starwood hotel upon graduation. Internships are available nationwide in rooms, food and beverage, revenue management, human resources, finance and convention services and sales. FIU has been working with the company since January 2014 and placed its first intern in Summer 2014. That student, Daniela Pinheiro, interned at the Sheraton Rio Hotel in Brazil and is now a management trainee at the Westin La Paloma in Arizona.

The Washington Center for Internships and Seminars

In 2012, FIU established a formal partnership with the Washington Center, a non-profit that assists colleges and universities with student internships nationally and worldwide. Since then, 32 FIU students have interned in Washington, D.C. through the center at government agencies, non-profit groups, private industry, law firms and media outlets. In addition to the internship, students take an academic course in topics such as public policy, law and foreign policy and participate in weekly leadership forums, networking events, site visits and civic activities. Students receive FIU credit for their work.

Zoo Miami

FIU and Zoo Miami entered into a formal partnership in 2013 to pursue long-term collaborations in conservation research and education. As part of the agreement, Zoo Miami sponsors up to 18 student internships a year in conservation and research; interactive programs; admissions and hospitality management; horticulture; education; and volunteer management. The internships provide experiential learning, as well as outreach on conservation science and tropical biology. Zoo Miami also has a long history of recruiting staff from FIU and the School of Environment, Arts and Society (SEAS), including the current director of development.

For the past several years, FIU’s Office of Engagement, in collaboration with the Division of Human Resources and Career Services, has worked to increase student participation in paid internships.

The efforts are bearing fruit. In 2013-14, FIU had its fourth consecutive year of increased student internships with 4,737 students participating in internships – a 13 percent increase over 2011-12.

In addition, the university recently signed agreements with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Defense Logistics Agency and U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to provide internships and career opportunities for FIU students.

The university is also collaborating with the Beacon Council and six educational institutions to create a regional internship program in key targeted industries called the Talent Development Network. Launching later this month, the program is expected to create 100 internships by the summer.

Last year’s Presidential Internship Honor Roll included Baptist Health, Deloitte, Florida Power and Light, Marriott, Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Veterans Administration Healthcare System, OHL, Scripps Howard Foundation and Ultimate Software.

To learn more about internship opportunities at FIU, visit