The Best Minnesota Summer Internships [Plus How to Choose]

Minneapolis skyline near the river at sunset.

Welcome to the land of lakes, forests, and boundless opportunities! As the summer sun begins to cast its warm glow over Minnesota, it's not just the weather that's heating up — it's also internship season!

Whether you're a college student eager to dive into real-world experiences or a professional looking to pivot your career path, finding the right summer internship can be a game-changer.

Minnesota, with its vibrant cities like Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and St. Cloud, offers a dynamic landscape for internships across industries. From bustling corporate headquarters to innovative startups and everything in between, this state has something for everyone.

In this guide, we'll navigate the waters of internship hunting together, uncovering hidden gems, exploring key industries, and sharing insider tips to help you land that dream internship. We’ll also take it a step further by giving you some tips to help you choose the best internship for you!

So, grab your iced coffee or refresher, and let's embark on this summer adventure toward professional growth and unforgettable experiences.

Great Summer Internships in Minnesota


Mortenson was named a 2023 top workplace by the Star Tribune

The company offers several internship opportunities in areas like engineering, information technology (IT), field operations, project management, and more. They have offices across the country and their internships often turn into full-time careers.


UPS, with locations across the country, has a diverse range of internship opportunities including positions in finance, accounting, airline operations, and technology. Their FlightPath Internship is particularly notable for those interested in aviation careers​.

Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy is a Fortune 500 company with a ton of exciting opportunities for students looking for summer internships. Most internships relate to a specific department, but you’ll learn about the business as a whole. Plus, internships are paid, often come with paid time off, can lead to full-time positions, and have some level of benefits, like a 401(k).

Young dark haired woman smiling at the camera.

Magnifi Financial Credit Union 

Magnifi is a member-owned credit union with 24 locations and over 300 employees. 

They have finance internships open, but you’ll learn a lot about their sales process and build great communication skills. 

Park Industries 

Park Industries has a number of great opportunities for students and new grads in manufacturing. The steel and stone fabrication machinery company is located in St. Cloud and has nearly 300 employees on staff.

They offer internships year-round, so if you’re looking for a part-time position during the school year, Park Industries may have an opportunity for you. 


Microbiologics is a leader in microbiology, molecular diagnostics, and virology. They’re headquartered in St. Cloud.

Microbiologics offers a paid internship program each summer. You’ll gain hands-on experience working on internal projects alongside professionals in the field. 

Departments that offer internships include research and development, marketing, human resources, IT, business systems, and operations. 

Marco Technologies

Marco has 47 locations and nearly 1,000 employees. They offer a wide range of summer internships for students. Not only that, but they have a good record for creating and fostering rewarding careers. 


Northmarq, named one of CRE’s Best Places to Work of 2024, is a comprehensive commercial real estate capital markets firm. They offer several types of summer internships in their Minneapolis office, from human resources internships to marketing and communications internships.

Nurse intern talking to her supervisor.

How to Choose the Right Internship

When deciding which internship is right for you, consider all the tips below.

Choose Something You’re Interested In 

Choose an internship that interests you or aligns with your major — especially if you’re a junior or senior looking for career opportunities. 

For instance, if you’re earning a business degree, it probably doesn’t make sense to do an internship in the engineering field. It might, however, make sense to do an internship in finance or marketing. 

You’ll want to choose something that will help you excel in your major or help you along your career path. 

However, if you’re a freshman or sophomore and still figuring it out, choosing something you’re interested in or that will teach you valuable skills is extremely beneficial. One, you might learn which career path you want to pursue. Two, you’ll grow a lot. 

The moral of the story is this: Don’t just take a random internship because it’s offered to you. Choose one that will benefit you. 

Be Open To New Possibilities 

Yes, we just said to choose something related to your major, but you should also keep an open mind when considering your possibilities. You should still consider an internship that will help you meet your career goals, but be open to how different internships can teach you transferable skills.

For example, you might only want to intern at a large financial firm, but you may learn just as much at a smaller credit union. 

Or, perhaps you want to do a marketing internship. Be open to all the industries you could pursue. You’re not closed off to only interning at a marketing agency. You could intern in any industry, really! ATS, for instance, has a thriving marketing team and can help you learn about transportation and how to market to different audiences. 

Have an open mind and choose an internship that will give you the best skills possible to transfer to a job after school. 

Look for Cross-Training Opportunities 

Once you’ve narrowed down your prospects to a few different internships, find out which ones provide cross-training opportunities or additional education. For example, you might work in the sales department, but maybe you can either job shadow in other departments or hear from experts in different divisions. 

Here at ATS, our interns can dip into different departments to learn more about the inner workings of the company. Guest speakers from across the company present to the interns each week so they gain exposure to marketing, sales, IT, and more. Interns also have the opportunity to job shadow. 

Perhaps you’d prefer to stay in one department for the duration of your internship. But if you want to be exposed to other areas of the business, make sure your internship gives you that option.

While you’re at it, make sure you find out if your internship experience will be hands-on or hands-off. Will you actually be performing the role? Or will you be watching someone else do it? Some internships are hands-on while others are more observatory. Make sure their expectations align with your needs.

Pursue Schedule Accommodations 

Look for an internship that can accommodate your scheduling needs. You might be taking classes still, you may have a family vacation planned, and you may be working a summer job (especially if the internship is unpaid). 

If you have a lot going on, finding an internship that works with your schedule is key. 

Be upfront about your expectations and make sure the company aligns with those needs. 

Seek Opportunities for Employment 

Especially if you’re a junior or a senior, look for an internship that could grow into full-time employment. You won’t have to worry about job hunting after graduation.

Think long-term. Would you want to work at this company several years down the road? Are they stable? Do they have room for growth? Do they have a good career path built out for the position you’re pursuing? While you’re interning, you’ll get a feel for whether or not you want to work at the company long-term. 

Make sure you also ask if you can intern with them again. For instance, maybe you could work for them again next summer. Or perhaps they’ll hold a position for you until you graduate next year.  

Consider Paid vs. Unpaid Opportunities

Most internships have evolved into paid opportunities, but some are still unpaid. It’s advisable to focus more on the experience overall (and possible college credit) than the pay, but it’s still something to consider. 

If the internship doesn’t pay, will you have time for a paid job? Can the internship accommodate your work schedule?

Multiracial male and female advisors looking over a laptop screen.

Intern with ATS

Embarking on a summer internship in Minnesota is more than just a stepping stone in your career — it's a chance for an invaluable experience and the opportunity to build connections.

Remember, the key to a rewarding internship lies in careful selection. Align your choice with your interests, remain open to new possibilities, seek out cross-training opportunities, and ensure the internship accommodates your schedule. Most importantly, consider the long-term potential of each opportunity, aiming for positions that might evolve into full-time careers.

Your summer internship is not just about gaining work experience; it's about laying the foundation for your future career. So, take the plunge, explore the opportunities, and make this summer a transformative chapter in your professional story. 

ATS has a group of interns serving in different business areas each summer. The paid, full-time internships are hands-on with opportunities to job shadow and get hired on after graduation. Positions are posted early, but we accept resumes throughout the year.

Be sure to contact us or follow us on LinkedIn.

Tags: Career Resources, Internships

Nikki Dotzler

Written by Nikki Dotzler

After graduating college, Nikki began her professional career in radio ad sales before transitioning into a human resources role focused in employee benefits. She joined ATS in 2021, where she serves as a talent acquisition specialist. Nikki enjoys being able to help people change their lives by finding careers that allow them to make a difference while growing to their fullest potential.

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