The IT Internship Program
Explore your career passions with a paid IT Internship and build lifelong skills with a FORTUNE 500 company that's been named to Computerworld's list of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT for 17 years.
What to expect as an IT intern
Our interns don’t sit on the sidelines. You’ll be an active member of our team, getting real-world experience in a supportive, inclusive environment.
Here’s what you can look forward to:
- A four-day, non-stop Code Jam where you’ll get creative free rein to develop a technical solution that will be pitched to a multinational corporation for a real, live business need. Code Jam fosters a highly collaborative work environment: innovation meets over-caffeination while you put your coding skills to work. Check out #PFGCodeJam on Twitter to see tweets from last year’s event.
- Endless opportunities such as competing for scholarships, networking with hundreds of interns from across the country, participating in professional development seminars, and interating with our amazing senior leadership.
- Financial housing assistance for you to live in Des Moines, Iowa—Forbes Magazine's #1 Best Place for Young Professionals and #2 Best Place for Business and Careers (and the Midwest's best kept secret).
- Working with a leader and mentor on a day-to-day basis, who will guide you as you work on real projects for us here at Principal. You’ll also work with everyone from other interns and recent college graduates to experienced professionals and management.
- An inside track to a career at Principal. Our IT internship program is a major pipeline for full-time talent. Although internships are considered temporary employment, if we like you and you like us, successful completion of an IT internship gives you a major career advantage.
Applications for our IT Internship Program open in early September of each year! Keep in touch with available openings by subscribing to the Intern career category RSS feed.
Learn what basic qualifications you need to be considered for our IT Internship Program and what other qualifications would set you apart.
- Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate degree program
- Exposure to the IT field through a course, club, or other related activity
- A 2.8 cumulative GPA or better and a major GPA higher than 3.0
- Exceptional communication and organization skills, a strong work ethic, and, of course, a passion for technology
- Involvement in an on-campus student organization or in the community
- Intermediate-level programming skills
- Leadership positions or initiative within student organizations or within the community
Benefits and perks
You'll have a great time! We pull out all the stops to make your experience fun, enlightening and dynamic.
You'll have access to employee perks, like:
- free parking during business hours
- fitness facilities/classes
- intramural sports team
- discounts at businesses around town
You'll also be invited to join networking and social events, have opportunities to participate in charitable/volunteer activities and be exposed to Des Moines—a city that Forbes magazine named #1 on the list of The Best Places For Business and Careers and #1 on the list of The Best Cities for Young Professionals.
Roles customized to your skills
The great thing about our application process is that after you tell us your skillset, we place you in a role customized to your expertise and interests.
The following roles are areas we usually place interns in:
- Application Development: Use languages like Java and .NET to create/support software application through analysis, coding, testing, debugging, implementation and/or maintenance.
Help manage our technology infrastructure including voice & data connectivity, messaging, collaboration, mobile and desktop devices, mainframe and distributed servers and storage. The backbone of our IT organization!
Information Security/Risk Management
Be part of the first line of defense against cyber-attacks by monitoring and analyzing potential threats to our network. Work includes monitoring network traffic, malware investigation and assisting with implementing new technologies.
Be the glue that connects business partners and technical areas by gathering, analyzing, and documenting business and technical requirements for projects.
Evaluate applications to determine usability, requirement adherence, security, and performance-related problems, and leverage your technical aptitude, business savviness, and analytical investigation skills to ensure the overall quality of business applications. This role may utilize programming/scripting skills to automate validation processes for the sake of efficiency and overall coverage of system quality.
Analyze structured and unstructured data with relational databases as well as big data technologies like Hadoop. Help the business make data-driven decisions with dashboards, visualizations, and analysis of key metrics.
The IT world has a wide range of positions available! Some other positions you can hold include database analyst, UI/UX, help desk, architecture, and project management. The availability of these positions depends on year-to-year business need.
Not sure what you want to do or would like to wear multiple hats? You’ll have one area of focus throughout your internship but will gain exposure to different roles and technologies with our agile environment and other opportunities such as job shadows. There are many resources at your disposal to help you discover the best fit!
An IT Internship with Principal offers college students the opportunity to nurture their passion, develop their career potential and network with people around the world. But don't take our word for it. Hear from college students how an IT Internship at Principal is helping them achieve their career dreams.
What past interns had to say
“If you want an internship where you put in 40 hours and go home, you can work anywhere. However, if you want a chance to hear from executives first-hand, if you want to have networking opportunities, if you want a chance to learn about other positions through job shadows, if you want to actually meet and work with other interns in the company at Code Jam or other intern specific events, if you want to work at a place where everyone wants you to succeed at the highest level- for these the only choice is Principal.”
- Sydney Rissler, Simpson College, IT Intern Class 2016
"Going to work for Principal is the best decision I have made. When I applied freshman year, I never thought they would hire me. I did not know anything about the company, and it was the only internship I applied for. Three years later, I am still here and I’m going to start my career here after I graduate. I get to work with amazing people on projects that never cease to challenge me. The company has given me more opportunities to learn and grow than I could have ever imagined. I can’t wait to continue my journey."
- Anna Gass, North Carolina State University, 2014, 2015 & 2016 Intern Class
"I've never heard of another company that offers an internship program that even comes close. From fun activities to rewarding and interesting roles, interns enjoy it all. Even if you aren't sure of what you want to do yet, Principal gives interns the freedom to shadow different areas throughout the entire summer. I even had the opportunity to show the CEO, Dan Houston, what I was working on during the IT Intern Code Jam, another event that makes Principal's intern program so unique. I may have decided to leave Minnesota to go to college in Iowa, but I never thought I would want to start my career here. Now I wouldn't have it any other way, Des Moines has so much to offer and Principal is just the beginning!"
- Joey Hage, ISU, Summer 2015 & 2016 Intern Class
IT Intern Class of 2016 at a glance
- 78 IT Interns from 29 different colleges and universities across the nation including Iowa State, North Carolina State, Truman State, Georgia, UPenn, Notre Dame, Washington University-St. Louis and many more.
- A variety of college majors represented, including Computer Science, Software Engineering, Computer Engineering, Management Information Systems, Data Analytics, Mathematics, Economics, Finance, etc.