For many young students and graduates, an internship at Apple is the ultimate opportunity. It’s a place where they can thrive and have an experience of a lifetime. You have the chance to work on real projects and upcoming releases and develop skills working with some of the best developers in the world. So, what does it take to bag this opportunity?
Continue reading below to find out what the internship involves, the requirements, the interview process, and tips on moving one step closer to your landing a job at Apple.
What internships does Apple offer?
Apple’s internships cater to both undergrads and graduate students and cover a diverse range of fields. Some examples of the roles you can expect to find are in artificial intelligence and machine learning, software engineering, hardware technology, UI design, and business. Some of Apple’s intern positions focus entirely on a specific product or service, such as software or hardware design for the Mac or iPad, or dev for Apple Pay or Siri.
These internships are available in many cities around the world, including the world-leading innovation hub in Shanghai, the superdiverse and bustling London, and “the Valley of Heart’s Delight” in Santa Clara.
During the 12– to 24–week internship, interns enjoy benefits, such as free housing, and gain experience while collaborating with some of the most innovative minds in the world. As an ex-Apple intern has said: “You get put on a real project, with real responsibilities, and have a real impact on product outcomes. You interact with movers and shakers in the company on a fairly frequent basis, and your opinion is valued as if you were an employee.”
Where are Apple internships based?
With well over a billion active iPhones globally, a fourth-quarter revenue of $90.1 billion in 2022 plus the largest market cap in the world, it’s plain to see why the tech giant is considered the most valuable company out there. To reap this kind of harvest, though, you need an equally impressive workforce. It comes as no surprise, then, to find out that Apple has erected corporate offices in over 40 cities in the world.
Many of Apple’s internships are offered in these locations, some of which we’ve highlighted below. If you’re too far from them, don’t worry — Apple covers travel expenses and housing for its employees. Don’t worry about it being lonely, either. College students coming in for an internship are paired up with other interns in apartments, which is a great way for newcomers to make friends.
Internships are available in cities and megacities in over 10 countries, including:
- Barcelona, Spain
- Munich, Germany
- Livorno, Italy
- Paris, France
- Shanghai, China
- Tokyo, Japan
- London, UK
- Santa Clara, US
What do Apple internships pay?
According to Glassdoor estimates, interns at Apple take home yearly earnings of around $65,000. That figure includes a bonus of an average of $6,000 a year. Combined with corporate housing provision, young adults interning at Apple are able to put aside a decent amount of money for the future. Not bad when you’re just starting off, right?
Interns also benefit from the reimbursement of travel expenses (this goes for interviewees, too), as well as employee discounts on Apple products.
In terms of work environment, the tech giant focuses on making interns feel at home right from the beginning, assigning them a direct manager, mentor, and co-intern. This, combined with team-building activities, creates a supportive environment that encourages conversation and nurtures collaboration between team members.
As a result, internships at Apple are among the toughest ones to land in the US.
What are the requirements?
The most important thing to remember when applying for an internship at Apple is that you must be enrolled in a college, university, or graduate program, otherwise you won’t qualify.
If you can tick that box, the next thing you need to do is find out more about the requirements. As internships are available across various departments, requirements for each one vary also.
To give you an idea, let’s narrow it down to intern opportunities at Apple Park, Cupertino. If you’re dreaming of landing an MBA internship, for example, you’ll need to be pursuing an MBA or master’s in a related field, and be able to demonstrate analytical skills, strategy development skills, problem-solving abilities, and detail-orientated thinking.
On the other hand, if you’re a computer science student and you’ve got your eye on a machine learning (ML) internship, you’ll need to demonstrate excellent programming skills, knowledge of ML frameworks, and innovative research capabilities.
What’s the application process?
Here is a quick rundown of Apple's application process, so you'll know the steps you need to take.
Step 1: Search for internship opportunities
The very first step in landing your internship is to visit the Apple job board and search for student internships. You don’t have to stick to one position; you can apply for a number of internships, so keep an eye out for any role you have the skillset for. A former Apple intern described how he applied for two different roles and had simultaneous interviews.
Step 2: Tailor your résumé and cover letter
Like Google and Facebook, Apple has its own “in-house” applicant tracking system (ATS) that helps sort through the thousands of applications they receive. To increase your chances of being invited to interview, tailor your résumé and cover letter to match the job description and requirements.
Step 3: Submit your application using your Apple ID
Once you’ve perfected your résumé and application letter, polished off your online portfolio, and gathered up any letters of recommendation, hit “Submit Resume” at the bottom of the job listing. You will be asked to sign in using your Apple ID, and from there on you’ll be able to submit your documents in any of these formats: PDF, Microsoft Word, Pages, RTF, or TXT. Aside from attaching files, you’ll also be able to add links.
Step 4: Pass the initial phone interviews
Though the interview process differs for each position and department, it generally starts with a 30-minute phone screening with a hiring manager. This conversation tends to be quite relaxed and informal, centering around your academic and personal achievements, and any projects you’ve worked on previously.
A FaceTime interview (or two!) will then follow, designed to assess your technical and behavioral skills.
Step 5: Attend an onsite interview
If you make it this far, a face-to-face interview should follow. Once at Apple Park (previously “Apple Campus”), your day will consist of multiple back-to-back interviews, normally with two interviewers speaking with you at a time.
If this sounds intimidating, don’t worry; your hiring managers will assess your entire interview performance from start to finish, so it’s okay if one round doesn’t go as well.
Tips for applying
Internships at Apple are, as you can imagine, in high demand, so the key is to prepare correctly and apply early. The tips below should give you a lot of help with the application process:
1. Start something
Launching a small project, company, or website will demonstrate innovation, entrepreneurship, initiative, and a passion for technology. It’s something that Apple takes into great consideration when selecting its candidates.
2. Create an online portfolio
If you’re applying for an internship at Apple, it should be no surprise that an online portfolio is key. Use it to showcase your accomplishments so far. Recruiters may stumble across your portfolio online and give you a call if it’s impressive.
3. Make a short and sweet résumé
A little secret is that recruiters don’t really read résumés. According to Forbes, “They glance at them, often for as little as fifteen seconds, before putting it in the ‘yes’ pile or the ‘no’ pile. For this reason, a short résumé (usually one-page) is advantageous.” It highlights your accomplishments without the use of irrelevant words.
4. Tap into your network
Do you know anybody at Apple? Or a contact who knows somebody at Apple? Having a connection to a current employee will help boost your application and ensure it gets looked at by the hiring manager.
Practice coding, designing, building or reviewing — whatever it is you are applying for. Practice answering every question you can imagine being asked in an Apple internship interview. Go online and investigate what former applicants and interns have posted on Glassdoor about the interview process.
6. Admit mistakes
You can’t fabricate your way through an Apple interview. If you don’t know the answer, say so. If you make a mistake, own up to it. There’s no chance of “fooling” anybody at Apple; they only recruit the best. And just because you can’t answer a question doesn’t mean you won’t get the internship. Not all their interns know every answer; sometimes it’s just about showing that you are able and willing to learn.
7. Start your journey early
If you know you want an internship with Apple, start planning while you are in your first year of college. To do so, you could get another related internship that will look good on your résumé and boost your chances.
8. Do some relevant volunteer work
You don’t have to be paid for your efforts for Apple to stand up and take notice. You just have to gain work experience that Apple cares about. There are a ton of non-profits that would fall all over themselves to get IT expertise — find one of them and offer your services.
Apple internship application example
As with any job application, incorporating keywords or exact phrases from the job listing into your cover letter is a great way to pass the scrutinizing, virtual eyes of the ATS. To help you get started in writing up your own, we’ve created a sample application letter you can draw inspiration from when you apply for an internship with Apple.
Oakland, Alameda County, CA
7 November 2022
Mr Andrew Davis
1 Apple Park Way,
Cupertino, CA 95014
Dear Mr. Davis,
As a graduate student in artificial intelligence and an avid Mac enthusiast, I was delighted to come across your machine learning/AI internship position offered in Santa Clara Valley. Having read the requirements, I believe that my academic background, achievements, and passion for AI could render me a great fit for this role.
During my undergraduate studies at Oxford University, my courses included design and analysis of algorithms, machine learning, and computer graphics and architecture, which allowed me to develop advanced programming skills in Java and C++. In that time, I also became acquainted with the fascinating field of computer vision, which I’ve been eagerly devoting my time to since.
I’m now in the first year of my graduate studies at UC Berkeley, where I have developed a keen interest in human activity recognition. In conjunction with my studies, I am currently co-developing a smartphone app that translates English into the American Sign Language and vice versa. Over the last month, I have also been reworking my undergraduate thesis on 3D vision inspection for publication in the Journal of Machine Learning Research.
Attached to my application are a link to my online portfolio and a reference list. Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Apple looks for people who lead the way in what they do, through independent, critical, and creative thinking ability. To encourage each student to “be an innovator, not a spectator,” those who get hired as interns receive the same treatment as permanent employees and get to work on critical projects.
When it’s time to apply for your internship, remember to:
- Choose intern positions with descriptions that best match your interests and experience. Apply to more than one if you like!
- Tailor your résumé and application letter to the job description to demonstrate professionalism and attention to detail — and to pass the ATS check.
- Be prepared for a long, winding interview process. Expect a mix of behavioral and technical interview questions!
Doing your homework, planning ahead, and making use of your contacts pays off when looking to become part of the Apple community. And, if you’re lucky enough, you might even receive a permanent job offer at the end of it like many other interns. Good luck!
Are you interested in applying for an internship with Apple? How far along in the process are you? Let us know in the comments section below!
Originally published on 6 November 2017. Contains contributions by Joanna Zambas.