People searching for their first job / internship are often optimizing for learning. They want to get a good “experience” out of the internship. At least that is what most students/young people say. While in reality there are other egotistical reasons (a la $, resume, make parents proud), learning and experience are super important.
And if you want to get a TON out of your summer internship/job STOP looking for the best company to work for.
Instead look for the best person to work for. Find one person that you can work under. Someone who will 10x your career and be your mentor. Because the reality is that you will be spending most of your time working for them, not for the whole company. Does that make sense?
How the hell do I find that person? Seems like magic?
It is really hard. It starts with every single interaction you have with the company you may work for.
I really can’t give much more thought on finding these gems because it is really hard. But find people who will challenge your thoughts, open your eyes, and ask you the questions that no one else will ask you.
The refreshing opinion to this is you could just say screw off to working for anyone else and start building your own stuff! +1 to that idea :)