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Your Guide to Internships in San Diego

Looking for paid summer internships in San Diego? Start with this comprehensive guide.

Besides fulfilling your childhood dreams of living in an exciting city, interning in San Diego is a great launchpad for your career. San Diego is known for entertainment, arts, and business internships and has a rich and vibrant arts, media, and intern scene.

Summer internships provide you with many valuable experiences, giving a real taste of what it’ll be like to work in your preferred industry down the line. You’ll connect with potential mentors, learn trade secrets, and build relationships with coworkers with a range of expertise. Internships beef up resumes, provide valuable avenues to letters of recommendation, and can even turn into full-time jobs. If you consider all of these perks of interning and add the benefit of exploring a diverse city that’s full of opportunities, you have a very compelling list of reasons to intern in San Diego. Continue reading along for tips on how to find the best paid summer 2020 or fall internships in San Diego. 

Tips for your resume and profiles

Before you get started on sending out applications, make sure that you have your resume up to date and have fully filled out all your Handshake profile details. With a complete profile, an impressive San Diego internship is more attainable than ever. Recruiters are much more likely to message a student with a complete profile that says you want to work in San Diego than an unfinished one.

Tips for your internship interview

When you do land your first interview, be it a virtual interview or in person, make sure to come prepared and dressed to impress. Review your resume and cover letter to make sure you have specific examples of your experience to share, from clubs or coursework. You can even schedule a mock interview with your university’s career center or, if you’re tight on time, ask a trusted friend to grill you on some common interview questions.

Tips for networking at college internships in San Diego

Once you’ve landed an internship in San Diego and settled into the flow of day-to-day life at the office, start chatting with your coworkers. Whether they’re industry professionals or fellow interns, it’s important to treat them with equal respect. You never know what insights they could lend, or who could be a valuable connection down the line, five or ten years from now. Don’t be afraid to ask your new colleagues out for quick coffee chats, or request 15-minute informational interviews about their career trajectory.

Want more tips for getting the most out of your internship?

Looking for specific advice before your internship begins? Or are you hungry for further information even after your internship is over? A good way to delve even deeper into your career path growth is to attend a virtual event or two. Not only will you be learning more about your own career, but there will also be chances to network with employers, industry specialists, and other students sharing different perspectives.

Where can I find an internship in San Diego?

Here is a list of employers looking for interns in San Diego, including some of the best companies to intern for in San Diego:

Insight Global

Insight Global is a national staffing and services company specializing in sourcing information for accounting, tech, and others.

  • Industry: Human Resources
  • Types of roles: Advertising and PR Managers, Human Resources, Sales Agents
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Insight Global if you’re majoring in accounting, PR, or computer science, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable areas.

Nzyme

Nyzme is an IT consulting service.

  • Industry: Internet & Software
  • Types of roles: Computer and Information Research Scientists
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Nzyme if you’re majoring in computer science, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable areas.

Aerotek

Aerotek is a recruitment and staffing agency.

  • Industry: Human Resources
  • Types of roles: Advertising Managers, Sales Agents, Financial Sales
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Aerotek if you’re majoring in advertising or business, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable areas.

ScribeAmerica

ScribeAmerica is an international medical scribe company.

  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Types of roles: Biochemists, Social Workers, Veterinarians 
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at ScribeAmerica if you’re majoring in medical studies, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable areas.

CohnReznick LLP

CohnReznick LLP is an accounting, tax, and advisory firm.

  • Industry: Accounting
  • Types of roles: Accountants, Auditors, Bookkeepers
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at CohnReznick LLP if you’re majoring in accounting or finance, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable areas.

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific is a provisioner of scientific implementation.

  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Types of roles: Data Scientists, Product Managers, Machinists
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Thermo Fisher if you’re majoring in computer science or engineering, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable areas.

International Rescue Committee

International Rescue Committee is a global humanitarian organization.

  • Industry: Social Assistance
  • Types of roles: Adult Educators, Journalists, Legal Assistants, Marketing Managers
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at International Rescue Committee if you’re majoring in education or journalism, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable areas.

Octapharma Plasma, Inc.

Octapharma Plasma, Inc. is a company that collects plasma to help create life saving medicines.

  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Types of roles: Accountants, Environmental Scientists, Medical Assistants
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Octapharma Plasma if you’re majoring in health sciences, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable areas.

Teach for America

Teach for America is a non-profit focused on developing future leaders.

  • Industry: Non-Profit
  • Types of roles: Teachers, Marketing Managers, Data Analysts
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Teach for America if you’re majoring in education or marketing, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable areas.

Metron

Metron is a scientific consulting company.

  • Industry: Defense
  • Types of roles: Data Analysts, Software Developers, Product Designers
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Metron if you’re majoring in computer science, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable areas.

LPL Financial

LPL Financial is a retail finance advice company.

  • Industry: Investment Banking
  • Types of roles: Credit and Financial Risk Managers, Customer Success and Account Managers, Trading Agents 
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at LPL Financial if you’re majoring in finance or business, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable areas.

Tips and tricks to surviving your San Diego internship

If you’re a transplant or even if you’ve called SD home forever, it never hurts to review advice for living in the city during your internship. After you’ve figured out how to get an internship in San Diego, think about the other parts of your internship journey.

Use your car… or buy a Compass Card

No matter where your apartment is or where you’re commuting to in the city, if it’s not within walking distance it’s going to take a while to get there–even with a car. If you aren’t bringing your car, you’re going to need public transportation to your destination. Purchasing a Compass Card is highly recommended to make reloading funds a breeze.

If you’re frequently commuting and feeling savvy, go for the monthly pass! You’ll be able to mindlessly ride the metro during your commute hours and won’t have to think about counting out your cash every time you board. 

Don’t get (too) lost, download Compass Cloud

This app will help get you oriented to the city and find the right connections to wherever you’re going.

5 essential San Diego restaurants to try during your internship 

  1. Mien Truong
  2. Cotixan
  3. Lolita’s
  4. A-Chau
  5. Min Sok Chon

Things to experience during your time in San Diego

  1. San Diego Zoo
  2. Balboa Park
  3. Potato Chip Rock
  4. Ocean Beach Pier

3 neighborhoods to consider living in during your San Diego internship

  1. College Area
  2. Pacific Beach
  3. North Park

How do I find an apartment in San Diego?

Consider these resources to help your San Diego apartment search:

  1. Apartments.com
  2. Zillow
  3. ForRent
  4. Craigslist
  5. Join a San Diego Housing, Rooms, Apartments, and Sublets group on Facebook

Where to order food from in San Diego

  1. DoorDash
  2. GrubHub
  3. Postmates
  4. UberEats
  5. Check out your neighborhood’s local delivery restaurants

Finding an internship in San Diego

How do I find the best paid internships in San Diego?

When searching for a paid internship in San Diego, it’s key to use the location filters provided on Handshake. You’ll be able to pinpoint internships exactly where you want to intern just by selecting the city you want in the search bar. Easy internships in San Diego are just a search away. 

You can also research top companies in San Diego by visiting our list of Handshake employers and typing San Diego into the “Location” search bar. This way you’ll be able to see employers in your desired location. Once on the company’s page, you can read reviews from students who have interned there or study up on some interview questions.

Where do interns live in San Diego?

To find rentals, many interns use resources like Craigslist, Zillow, and other sites specifically for apartment hunting. If you have any connections in the city, it’s also always good to consider those first.

To start your hunt, try searching in popular neighborhoods like Pacific Beach, College Area, or North Park.

How can an intern live in San Diego?

Moving to a new city is equal parts exciting and nerve wracking–make sure you have all your details squared away for your internship before you pack your bags. 

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Have you checked out tips on how to land an internship?
  • Do you need your internship to provide compensation?
  • Are you renting in an affordable and safe neighborhood?
  • Do you have a car/bike or are you comfortable using the metro frequently?
  • Will the food options available work for you?

How can I get an internship without experience in San Diego?

If you don’t have previous experience and want to kickstart your first internship in San Diego, don’t fret! There are definitely ways to land that role you’ve had your eyes on. San Diego internships want you!

Start by reviewing your resume! Read it over a couple of times and then consider the types of internships you’re going to be applying for. Think back to courses you’ve taken at university, as well as any extracurriculars, volunteer work, or even organizations (clubs or greek life for example) that you’ve participated in. Organize the skills that you’ve gained from those experiences and add them to your resume and Handshake profile. Even though you might not have held an internship or job before, there are still ways to prove your worth through other skills and experiences.

Photo by Lucas Fonseca from Pexels