In Search of the Best MBA Internships in the Bay Area

Bay Area Internships

It’s not just the entrepreneurship and technology boom of the past thirty years that has brought San Francisco into prominence as a major city for business. In fact, the city’s legacy as a center for banking and finance can be traced all the way back to the years of the gold rush. From it’s nickname as the “Wall Street of the West” to its role today as a hub for technology and social media companies, San Francisco has long been a city where young business professionals can thrive.

MBA programs in the metro offer opportunities for students to connect with local organizations through Bay Area internships and corporate partnerships. These internship opportunities, the majority of which are arranged through campus recruitment or university networking, frequently open the door for full-time employment and ongoing career training. Below, we’ve rounded up just a few of our favorites.

The Best Bay Area Internships for MBAs

Amazon consistently makes the lists of top employers, both for full-time positions and summer internships, for graduates from universities like the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, SJSU’s Lucas Graduate School of Business, and the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

This likely doesn’t come as a surprise. With an extensive reach into the retail, tech, and entertainment industries, Amazon has made headlines in the past years for its vigorous hiring of MBA students and graduates. In 2015, the company was the number one employer for graduating MBA students, and it doesn’t look like that trend will change any time soon.

Amazon has hired more Haas MBAs for employment and internships than any one company has in recent history (33 in 2017). There are also currently 165 Haas alumni already working at the company, who continue to play a large role in the recruitment and onboarding process for new hires.

One reason that might explain the staggering number of Haas MBAs joining Amazon is the company’s vigorous recruitment process, which begins early in fall and provides practice for case interviews. According to MBA alum Carolyn Chuong, now a Senior Product Manager at Amazon, the Amazon corporate culture and Berkeley’s academic philosophy are a good fit for each other.

“Haas and Amazon have cultures that value feedback,” she said.

San Francisco’s role today as a hub for technology may help explain why Cisco Systems, an American multinational technology company headquartered in San Jose, is one of the top internship destinations for MBA students at schools like Haas, SJSU, and the University of San Francisco School of Management.

For students both in and out of the tech fields, Cisco offers internship opportunities in fields like marketing, security, supply chain, operations, human resources, and more. Schools like the San Jose State University even offers special opportunities through their corporate partnership with Cisco, such as a unique MS Software Engineering, specialization in cybersecurity available only for employees.

Listed in 2017 as the most visited website in the world, Google seems to have no limits to how far the company might grow. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Google now employs more than 85,050 people around the globe. Talented MBAs who can break into the company can make, on average, nearly $6,000 per month as an intern, not to mention attractive benefits like free food, gym membership and transportation. Simply put, a stop at Google is one of the most attractive Bay Area internships out there.

Not surprisingly, Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Berkeley Haas have the most alumni currently with Google. San Jose State University and UC Davis grads are also prolific at the company, among other top schools like Cornell, Harvard, and MIT. Landing an internship at Google can be an incredibly challenging process. With high rates of alumni from California schools working at the company, students can leverage their university’s professional network to make connections and get their foot in the door.

Tesla, a multinational corporation specializing in renewable energy, offers a large number of internships and co-ops for MBA students. With its headquarters in Palo Alto, CA, and a commitment to taking on some of the world’s most important problems, it’s understandable why students at schools like USFCA, UC Davis, and SJSU seek out internship opportunities with the company.

“My experiences as a Tesla intern are some that I will take with me for the rest of my career,” one Tesla intern said on her experience. “I had the opportunity to tackle problems that were challenging, unique, and relevant—and within several weeks, I was trained to weigh in on decisions that would affect an entire production line.”

According to Tesla, interns and co-ops will be matched with teams and projects based on their background and career goals. Many Tesla interns have returned to the company in a full-time role after graduation.


About the Author

Alanna Shaffer

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.

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