If you're applying to big places that take a ton of interns then yeah, they probably don't have time to look too much further than grades.
<p>I hired for a big place that took tons of interns. We cared about a lot more than grades.</p>
<p>Grades matter: a 2.5 GPA student won't get in the interview room with me. But once you're in there, grades don't really matter anymore. It's about what I think you can do. You have to be able to convince me that you can work in teams, take direction, think critically, and resolve problems. For a full-time student, I want to see experience in a relevant work setting. For interns, I'll take any example that shows me your abilities - non-career related work, other internships, class projects, extracurricular activities, sports, etc. </p>
<p>To maximize your value, you need to be able to show examples from multiple places - working in a team on a class project is fine, but having an additional example where you helped organize a school-wide charity event is a much richer example. Having richer experiences is what earns people jobs.</p>