Working in an office might not scream "fun summer activity," but internships can be game changers when it comes to landing a job after graduation.
And in the tech industry, internships aren't what they used to be — no more monotonous photocopying in the belly of some nondescript office tower for college credit. The top tech summer jobs offer challenging projects for thousands of dollars a month.
Here are the five highest paying tech summer internships for 2017, according to recent data from jobs website, Glassdoor. Observations are pulled from anonymously submitted feedback on Glassdoor. (In some cases the feedback has been edited for length or clarity.)
Median monthly pay: $8,000
What's it like? "Facebook is an incredible place to work. You are constantly surrounded by some of the world's most intelligent and capable people, and Facebook's open culture allows you to really learn from your peers and their experiences.
"One thing I really noticed about my short time at Facebook is that people are just plain happy. I felt like I was surrounded by people that genuinely liked being there. From little things like the security guard wishing me a happy 'Thursday eve' to deep one-on-one conversations with my manager, it became evident that people were very comfortable expressing themselves.
"Facebook moves fast. Really, really fast. The pace definitely took some getting used to, but I think it's coupled with the implicit trust I mentioned before. I had to come up to speed with the tech stack (completely foreign to me before) very quickly so I could actually contribute, and there is so much to learn."
Median monthly pay: $7,100
What's it like? "You get to live in Seattle during the most beautiful months of the year. You get to exposure to a wide variety of business teams within Microsoft. The entire Microsoft intern experience is stellar, and it is very easy to quickly make friends with similar interests. The work is challenging, so you will push yourself to grow your skills. Also, the intern concert/experience is one of the coolest events that I have been to in my entire life.
"You can start to feel trapped inside of the Redmond/Microsoft bubble. Just make sure to get out and explore Seattle and the surrounding areas."
Median monthly pay: $6,450
What's it like? "People: some of the smartest in the industry. Perks: they shower you with perks, especially in engineering. Location: Salesforce invests heavily in their real estate and the prime locations really show. Mobility: you have a ton of opportunities to move around in the org, especially if you're proactive.
"Growth: Salesforce is growing at an insane rate for its size and still has a huge amount of market share left to capture. They'll be around for a while, and there are lots of opportunities for leadership. Hardware: They invest heavily in your hardware, giving you top of the line computers (especially for engineering).
"Because Salesforce has such a high priority on growth, things can seem chaotic at times — especially in engineering. Becoming a Larger Company: As Salesforce grows, it matures and the culture changes with it. There are more processes and less one-off discretion than there used to be."
Median monthly pay: $6,400
What's it like? "I was a bit worried before joining Amazon since I have read that 'New York Times' article too. However, when I went there, I find it was nothing like NYT says. The work environment was nice. People were friendly and helpful. Working overtime can happen (just like any tech company I believe), but it's never a routine.
"The work is fast pace and exciting. Also, there are many opportunities to learn and grow. Friday Learning Series talks and Principles of Amazon (given by principle engineers) are my favorites.
"No free food like some other tech companies. On call for full-time engineers can affect work-life balance a bit (interns don't have on call though)."
Median monthly pay: $6,400
What's it like? "Amazing team, state-of-the-art technology, really fast-paced. Company perks such as food, snacks, housing, are always great.
"Still pretty bureaucratic and it is an extremely large company. Secrecy becomes a big issue for interns because it hinders your access to information you need in order to work and can be a big time drain."