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  • Leadership Top Deciding Factor Between Intern Candidates

    June 10, 2019 | By NACE Staff

    A young man on a job interview.

    TAGS: internships, surveys, nace insights

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    Employers deciding between two equally qualified internship candidates are most likely to choose the student who has held a leadership position or who has the more desirable major, according to NACE’s 2019 Internship & Co-op Survey Report.

    A candidate’s involvement in extracurricular activities and GPA of 3.0 or higher are also common deciding factors. (See Figure 1.)

    Over the past five years, these results have been similar. Leadership has tended to fluctuate between the second or third most influential factor and, while GPA has previously taken a top-three spot each year, this year’s group of respondents consider extracurricular activities more important.

    Data for the 2019 Internship & Co-op Survey Report were collected from December 3, 2018, to February 22, 2019, from NACE employer members; there were 262 respondents representing 28.2 percent of all eligible respondents. The 2019 Internship & Co-op Survey Report is available free to participating members through MyNACE; it is also available for purchase through the NACE Store.

    Figure 1: Deciding factor between two equal candidates

    Factor Percentage That Rate Factor
    “Very” to “Extremely” Influential
    Held leadership position 68.5%
    Major 68.1%
    Has participated in extracurricular activities 60.3%
    High GPA (3.0 or above) 48.1%
    Has done volunteer work 30.6%
    School attended 15.5%
    Source: 2019 Internship & Co-op Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers