So you survived college or something like it? Excellent! Have your sights set on San Francisco? Perfect. Now it’s time to enter the working world and snag that six figure salar–uh, wait. Unbeknownst to you, you’ve been thrust into the “need experience to get a job, but need a job to get experience” world instead.

Photo Credit: Ministry of Supply

Worry not, SF newbs-in-distress. The internships in San Francisco are here to save you! Here are some things to think about as you enter into your new intern life.

Paid or not paid?

While some internships in San Francisco offer compensation, others don’t. It’s a good idea to cross-check the time commitment and the compensation offered to you.

10 hours a week is worth the experience without pay because you can venture out and get a job to pay the bills. 40 hours a week with no pay? Eh, probably not so worth it.

Experience builds to employment:

Maybe your dream job is in graphic design. Taking an art internship or marketing internship could beef up your experience to get that sweet graphic design position! Be strategic to choose an internship that will balance your levels of experience and expertise.

If done well, you can say goodbye to internships in San Francisco and hello to an awesome new job that pays for your trendy new digs in Noe Valley.

Here are 12 of the most popular internships in San Francisco to get you started on your journey to success:


1. Software Engineering Intern

This is the quintessential internship for most people with San Francisco on the mind. At these types of internships, you’ll get a glimpse into what being an engineer at an actual company is like.

Most of these internships are paid and have the opportunity to join the company after your internship is up. Basically, you’ve got it made it the shade if you can land this one.

2. Marketing Intern

This is the internship that will one day lead you to the big bucks. At this internship, you’ll get experience in how to sell as well as figure out how to apply those skills in a position.

This is the beginning of your transformation into Mad Men's Don Draper. If you went to school and majored in business or marketing, this will be an easily applicable internship for you!

3. Social Media Intern

Welcome to the now. This internship is for anyone in love with social media. Your facebook game on point? Excellent. Got your Instagram account looking fabulous all the time? Perfect. This internship will raise your social media skills to an expert level!

4. Graphic Design Intern

Here's the place to put your design skills to the test. You’ll get some firsthand experience in a workplace setting with the lowered pressure of being an intern.

Pro tip: interaction and UX design knowledge are big pluses when applying for these kinds of internships. If you don’t know anything about them, look some stuff up. They’re a plus, but not a dealbreaker.

5. Public Relations Intern

PR reached the masses before social media made it cool. This is a classic internship that gives you the experience of reaching out to your company’s community. It'll teach you a great amount about business and marketing as well!

6. Business Intern

This internship shows you the in's and out's of a company. You’re going to learn the behind the scenes of running a successful business alongside a team of professionals. Interns are typically pursuing degrees in Business Administration, Management, CS, MIS, or related disciplines.

7. Technical Support Intern

As a technical support intern, you’ll be trained in assisting the community of the business you’re working for.

Yes, you might find yourself saying “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” but what you’ll gain is the skill of being able to explain things clearly and efficiently. This internship is company-based and best for people who feel excited about the company itself.

8. Video Production Intern

If your background or interest is in film and editing, this is your first-stop internship. As a video production intern, you’ll be taking your first steps in a potential film career. Who knows, this could be your first step to becoming the next Spielberg!

9. Blogger Intern

Hey there, writer! This type of internship is calling you. Maybe you’ve kept your own personal blog and are ready to give your experience a special boost. Maybe you’ve done other kinds of writing and want to expand your excellent writing capabilities.

Whatever the reason, if you like writing, this is your internship. It's also great for people who need remote positions as you can write a blog post from anywhere!

10. Photography Intern

This is the dream internship for anyone with photography skills, especially in a city as cool as San Francisco. This gets your foot in the door of the photography world as you will have the experience to put on your resume. You’ll go far in this internship if you’re a driven, creative photographer. Go live the dream.

11. Art Gallery Intern

Here, you’ll gain an inside perspective on the gallery, help coordinate installations, and strengthen your multitasking skills with events and receptions.

Be sure you know how to schmooze and execute plans effectively. This is great for anyone with studio arts, marketing, hospitality, business/accounting, design and communications experience.

12. Prevention Intern

This is truly an amazing internship. As a prevention intern, you’ll be fully trained in drug and alcohol abuse prevention and are placed with a tribe or tribal organization under a mentor. With the help of your mentor, you’ll build capacity for integrating behavioral health prevention services.

Many of the companies hiring these interns are most likely nonprofit, so be prepared with the skills to land a nonprofit job. This internship is ideal for anyone who has ever wanted to make positive change in a community.

You have the types, now it's time to find the company that is offering your dream internship. Get out there and gain some valuable experience!

Receive jobs in San Francisco, CA in your inbox.
Receive jobs in your inbox

I agree to Localwise’s Terms & Privacy