landing gen zers might require some creativity

During the pandemic, the number of college students enrolled in internships dropped to 21.5% instead of the usual 50% to 60% who reported landing opportunities before the pandemic. It didn’t help that a good number of internship programs were either paused or turned virtual. For interns looking to network and build relationships, remote models make it very difficult to engage in activities that allow them to achieve those goals. Now that companies are back itn fighting form amid the “Great Reshuffle,” the intern market has become incredibly competitive. Teams need to think outside the box if they want to secure top candidates in their programs, so today, we're exploring some of the more unusual and notable internships out there.


Work meets summer camp? Sign us up. This paid internship program offered by the outdoor retail brand lasts ten weeks, and serves as an opportunity for interns to build strong connections with each other and with company leaders. Interns spend the summer on the company's campus in Maine, working on projects across many different departments – from designing websites to assisting product developers – while also enjoying outdoor time with fellow interns and employees. L.L. Bean prides itself on diversity, with more than 40% of last year’s cohort coming from underrepresented groups, and provides many perks, including discounts on L.L. Bean gear, on-site fitness classes, and a 401(k) matching program.


The tech space has the most coveted opportunities for college students or recent grads looking for a hefty compensation. Roblox, the video game company that lives rent-free in many Gen Zs hearts, has a proven record of giving hands-on experience in game development, software engineering, and professional growth. This year, it also tops the list of the best-paid internships of 2022, with the median monthly salary for interns surpassing $9,000, plus an additional $1,000 stipend for students to invest in their work-from-home setting. All these perks, on top of a special emphasis on company culture, have increased the acceptance rate for those who receive a Roblox job offer to 100% in 2020 versus 80% in 2019.


Internships aren’t just for college students or recent grads; they can also be an opportunity for high school seniors to dip their toes into the workplace and explore new interests. Brooklyn Academy of Music, for example, runs a Brooklyn Interns for Arts & Culture program for high school students from the local community. Part college prep, part “life-readiness program,” BAM offers everything from indigenous spiritual experiences for learning about yourself to workshops on how to write an essay for college applications. This internship takes community and belonging to the next level, embracing Gen Z values that are sometimes missing in more corporate environments.

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