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HOW TO LAND AN INTERNSHIP IN SAN FRANCISCO AND IN THE “BAY AREA

bay area
During their time in San Francisco Bay, our Career Consultants Christiane Laloy and Fabrice Barthélemy interviewed institutional actors, former Sciences Po graduates and students on the career opportunities in the region. Here’s some feedback from students looking to land an internship on the west coast.

THE « BAY AREA » ECOSYSTEM 

The labour market is principally geared towards the « tech » and « start-up » world (proximity with the Silicon Valley) which brings together internationally well-know companies (the GAFA: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon). It’s a very dynamic sector and companies recruit continuously, looking mostly for engineers.  

THE PERCEPTION OF INTERNSHIPS IN THE UNITED STATES 

Internships are not an institutionalized practice in the United States and are not a prerequisite to work. Consequently, the notion and framework of internships in the United States are more akin to that of employment (traineeship/internship) or to a trial period, and the intern is considered to be an employee. 

American companies welcome students for different periods of time (from one week to a year), for internships or jobs as long as they are convinced of your interest and of your application’s relevance. You should therefore show enthusiasm and proactively in your approach to influence their decision.   

Interest in the digital and start-up world, appetite for innovation and change, flexibility and speed are the key factors to succeed in integrating the local job market.

TRICKS TO LAND AN INTERNSHIP IN SAN FRANCISCO AND AROUND 

  • Be visible on social networks such as Linkedin, Tweeter, Facebook, blogs (regular article publications, participation in discussions, events) 
  • Connect as soon as possible with a Sciences Po graduate or a French employee to make yourself known (just applying to online offers or without offering your services isn’t enough)
  • Highlight your originality and your experience (what I’ve done, what I can do, what I can bring to the table)
  • Demonstrate an interest in the Tech world, in entrepreneurship or innovation in general
  • Accept an internship or first job in a company which attracts you but not necessarily related to your professional objective
  • As part of your student exchange or double diploma, participate in conferences, « meet-ups », round tables in the target sector to meet local actors and attract their attention

TO FIND OUT MORE 

To know about the visa formalities for an internship in the United States 

Are you East-Coast or West-Coast ? 

Silicon Valley – an American Dream for entrepreneurs ? 

Being an intern in San Francisco

Last modified 2016-06-21
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