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Philly summer internships, from Amtrak to the Zoo — how to get one, and where to hang

For college students, the Philadelphia summer provides thousands of opportunities for internships. And the good news for anyone still looking is that it’s April. Though the major consulting firms and law firms hire for their summer positions months in advance, a great deal of employers are still looking.

Campus Philly, a local nonprofit that encourages development between college students and the city, has postings for internships on its website throughout the year. Deborah Diamond, CEO of Campus Philly, said the months with the most listings are March, April and May, and there can be as many as nearly 2,000 postings. Most interns come from area colleges or hail from the area and return home for the summer. But not all of them. Campus Philly throws a big networking party for interns during the summer, and last year about 28 percent of the 450 registered attendees were from outside of the region.

So while Philadelphia may not be at Washington D.C. levels for internship opportunities (there’s no running of the interns here), it certainly offers its fair share.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re still looking for an internship in Philadelphia — OR if you already have one, and you’re trying to figure out the next steps, like where to live if you’re from out of town or where to hang out with other interns.

Who hires and where to look

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The City: The Mayor’s Internship Program is a highly sought-after internship that attracts students from all over the country. Interns provide research for city officials and get several opportunities to listen to some of Philadelphia’s main leaders. Mark it down for next year guys — it’s too late to apply for this year. Deadline is at the end of January.

Campus Philly: Campus Philly just hosted an online job and internship fair with 1,085 jobs and internships listed, but its website always contains intern postings. It also offers a My Summer Philly program that gives interns networking opportunities and the aforementioned party during the summer.

Comcast: Comcast is a top-20 employer in Philadelphia, and it offers more than 100 opportunities for young people to find an internship in liberal arts and comms fields, plus tech and engineering. One internship involves working for Comcast half the summer and a local startup the other half.

Other massive employers: Philadelphia is an eds and meds city, and traditional internships in those fields are tough to come by because of summer vacation for schools (duh) and how medical students usually work/study throughout the full year. But major companies also call Philadelphia home. Diamond says places like Urban Outfitters, Vanguard, Deloitte, Amtrak and the NSA hire many interns.

Philadelphia Fed: If you’re into economics, business and math the Philadelphia Federal Reserve offers 10 weeks in which you can see and contribute to monetary policy and the supervision of banks.

Philadelphia Zoo: Animals! Too late to apply for this summer, though.

Sportsball: The Eagles, Sixers, Phillies and Flyers all hire interns. These internships cover the gamut from marketing to hardcore data analysis.

Your local school: The area colleges have plenty of connections. Here are links to where you can get set up with an internship for an area school or have them help you find one elsewhere.

Where to live

If you’re coming to Philadelphia from out of town, congratulations! You’re going to have new roommates who are likely strangers!

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Craigslist doesn’t have to be your only option. Diamond says students who get internships in Philadelphia should check with their employers to see if they recommend any places or set up internal Facebook groups so interns for that company can coordinate.

International House is another population option. Students from all over the world live here throughout the school year and summer, and summer interns can do the same.

Finally, Diamond recommends HouzeMe, a startup Campus Philly has partnered with. You enter an area in which you’d like to live and HouzeMe shows several options and helps connect students with landlords.

In terms of neighborhoods, University City is always a good choice for interns: Keep your eye peeled because plenty of college students on summer break means potentially cheap rent through the magic of subletting.

Where to dine/drink

The short answer is anywhere. Philadelphia has hundreds of excellent restaurants and bars. But an internship is an important step into the real world. And the real world means networking and happy hours.

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Here are a few bars that are still fun (read: it’s OK to have that third vodka soda) but during happy hours provide an atmosphere for connecting with other young professionals, too.

City Tap House, 2 Logan Square

Yes, the Logan Square version. While the location in University City may be a great time as well, this place booms during happy hours. Its proximity to Comcast and many hotels allows for a good networking atmosphere.

Fieldhouse, 1150 Filbert Street

Sports bar with a good beer selection on the edge of the business district and next to several hotels. Traveling businesspeople stop here all the time.

Center City Sips, various bars

Many bars have recently participated in the summer Center City Sips special on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Drinks are discounted, and lots of people show up.

Fado, 1500 Locust Street

A favorite for the college and just out-of-college crowd on weeknights and weekends. Quizzo is on Wednesday.

World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut

Entertainment pretty much every night and close to Center City and University City.

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