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Students still searching for summer internships should take heart from the success stories of last year.

According to the 2011 Summer Internship Survey Reports recently released by Career Services, more than half of the class of 2012 across the four undergraduate schools obtained full-time paid internships last summer.

Overall, more internship offers came during March, April and May for students in the College, Nursing and Engineering schools than at any other time of year. Nearly half of Wharton students received offers during January and February.

“This shows that lots of students find internships throughout the spring semester,” Director of Career Services Patricia Rose said. “The important thing is to redouble efforts now to maximize chances of securing an internship.”

The timing of an internship may also vary with the employer and industry.

“The process is much earlier for large employers. For employers who do just-in-time hiring, they can make offers later,” Rose said.

The number of seniors who secured full-time paid work last summer were generally in line with the same figures from summer 2010.

Ninety five percent of Wharton seniors obtained full-time paid work last summer, compared to 91 percent in 2010, based on 62-percent and 58-percent response rates, respectively.

The average monthly salary for full-time work for a Wharton student increased by $897 to $4,957 — a 22-percent increase.

The amount of Engineering seniors who worked full-time fell from 87 percent in 2010 to 84 percent in 2011, based on 88 percent and 92 percent response rates, respectively.

The average Engineering monthly salary rose by $65 to $3,609 — a 1.8 percent increase.

Fifty nine percent of rising seniors in the College who responded to the survey secured full-time internships in summer 2011, compared to 53 percent in 2010. The surveys were based on a 39 percent and a 32 percent response rate, respectively.

The average weekly salary for College students also increased by $33 to $806.

Thirty seven of the 51 Nursing seniors who responded to the survey found paid internships, and the average weekly salary was $500. Data for the Nursing School was not collected for 2010.

Of the 415 current College juniors who completed the survey, 46 percent found full-time paid work.

Forty percent of the 255 of the College class of 2014 who answered the survey found full-time paid internships.

Rose felt that the consistent success of Penn students securing work in spite of a fragile economy was impressive.

While a slower economy over the past few years may not have seriously affected work prospects for Penn students, Rose felt that students applying for internships this year may reap benefits from the improving economic situation.

“As the economy improves, students are more likely to find internships at an employer of choice,” she said. “With a slower economy, you will generally still find an internship, but it may be at a third or fourth choice.”

Rose added that Penn students will likely continue to find work this summer. Penn has had more employers coming to recruit and the process is still ongoing, she said.


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INTERACTIVE: Summer 2011 Internship Trends

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