Hilly landscapes, the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, year-round fog: when mentioning these iconic descriptions everyone knows what city you are talking about. It’s no wonder an internship in San Francisco is popular! San Francisco internships are very valuable because of the high amount of large companies, as well as being the top global financial center. This means for students, that there is no shortage of amazing positions available--such as interning at Twitter, Gap Inc or Pinterest. It’s the perfect place for fashion and marketing lovers. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of such awesome companies? In San Francisco, you will be surrounded by greatness all while gaining useful, applicable experiences along the way.
San Francisco is one of the most eclectic and beautiful cities in the US. Historically, San Francisco has been home to risk takers and independent thinkers who are re-imagining the world around us. Being a part of this diverse and welcoming population is something to be excited about. You are embarking on the beginning of your career in one of the best cities whether it is in marketing, finance or fashion; you are sure to succeed and have the experience of a lifetime!
In San Francisco, the opportunities for an internship are endless. It is in one of the most competitive cities in the world because it sets trends in technology, advertising, fashion, and many other industries. Majority of entry-level positions are filled through internship programs. Summer and Fall are two of the best times to intern in this vibrant city. The options are endless and the weather will be just great for your time in San Francisco. A few of the sectors you could intern in are:
Learn the basics of traditional and online marketing through marketing internships that can also lead to high paying careers in almost any city. Doing a marketing internship in San Francisco will help you learn the art of storytelling, communicating the overall value of a product/service, and how to expand your customer base with creative campaigns. An internship in marketing will give you a leg up in almost any industry. (Tip: Expand your search to marketing internships at Tech-Startup companies in SF, Berkeley, and Palo Alto.)
If you are the type of person that is up-to-date on the latest trends, know everything about Marc Jacobs & Vera Wang, and are constantly scribbling designs in your notebook, then a fashion internship is just the thing for you. In San Francisco, there are opportunities to work in showrooms, assist in purchase order management, and write/edit for a fashion magazine. Fashion interns aren’t just located in New York, San Francisco is also the place to be! With a fashion internship under your belt, you can really have an edge over the other fashion aspiring applicants. Express your creativity and put what you’ve learned in the classroom to use!
Careers in the finance sector are always expanding. People are now turning to financial advisers more than ever. Internships in finance are always a great idea as you could possibly assist a large company with managing their finances. For business and accounting majors, this is the best way to take your first step towards a successful career in finance. Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo are just a two of the top companies located in San Francisco that you are able to intern at.
Preparing Your Search
Best Times to Apply
If you are looking to intern in the summer, the suggestion is to start looking for internships during the semester before. This will give you plenty of time to plan where you will live, how you will get there, save some money and be able to do interviews. If you are looking to do an internship in the fall, the same idea applies that you will be researching during the semester before. Make sure to allocate enough time to get all of your things in order before you leave.
Health & Safety tips
Like any city, San Francisco has some rough edges. Homelessness can be a problem as well as certain neighborhoods. Use precaution and common sense when out and about. Tripadvisor has a guide on health and safety tips for San Francisco that I recommend you take a look at.
By now, you know that San Francisco is a premiere location for an internship. Summer and fall are two of the most prevalent times to apply for one because of the influx of opportunities. San Francisco is a major, diverse city in terms of art, cuisine, festivals, museums, and architecture. The overall weather is great in that there are only a few heat waves throughout the year. Most other days it’s in the high 60’s and slightly windy. San Francisco is also known for it’s fog which brings in cold fronts (so be sure to pack sweatshirts!) Again, you will want to take advantage of your time off and visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the local eateries, and cafes. According to locals, you are not supposed to say “San Fran” but “Frisco” is, however, acceptable!
Costs & Funding
Be prepared to spend a little bit once you arrive in San Francisco. The average meal, at an inexpensive restaurant, can cost anywhere between $12.00-$14.00 while the average rent for a one bedroom is $3,000 a/mo. About.com has a really good San Francisco on a budget guide that I recommend you take a look at. There are “GO San Francisco” cards that you can purchase before your trip that allow you to visit several locations while visiting. Often times, the locals suggest just walking around the city instead of bothering with local transportation - it can sometimes get pricey. Paid summer/fall internships in San Francisco are, however, pretty common. If you are worried about where you will live during your internship, don’t worry, check out the an intern's guide to spending the summer/fall in the Bay area guide!
There are several ways you can finance your internship in San Francisco; obtaining a scholarship is one of these. Whether that be through your school, the company you are working for, an outside organization, or a “sponsorship” there are countless options to weigh. When doing your research for what internship you are wanting to pursue, be sure to also research ways that you can afford to make that internship happen and if a scholarship could be one of the ways!
Contributed by Kalee Fambrough
Global Experiences Generation Study Abroad Scholarship
Global Experiences offers scholarships for both summer and semester terms in any of the organization’s 11 global cities. They are currently accepting applications for summer and fall 2021 and 2022. Full scholarships are available for semester-long programs, with special consideration given to those who are underrepresented in study abroad programs. Global Experiences also contributes to those who receive a Pell Grant or Benjamin A. Gillman scholarship, for both in person and virtual programs.
Cultural Vistas Scholarships
Cultural Vistas provides internship and work abroad programs in countries like Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and more. Many of their internship or fellowship programs are paid, but for those that are not, they have a need-based scholarship for qualified applicants.
Those who are eligible to apply will be sent an application upon enrollment in an internship or work abroad program. These scholarships help to cover the expenses that can make interning abroad so difficult like, travel, rent, and language courses.
CET Academic Programs Scholarships
CET is an internship abroad provider with locations in China, the Czech Republic, Vietnam, India, Jordan, or Taiwan. They seek to help students gain a unique internship abroad experience by emphasizing the culture and language of a place, which creates a more rounded and complete educational experience.
If you are looking for a program that emphasizes language learning, CET is right for you. They offer language courses in each location and strive for complete language immersion!
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