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Your Guide to Internships in Southern California

Looking for paid summer internships in Southern California? Start with this comprehensive guide full of tips and tricks.

As a hub of many exciting jobs and internships, Southern California is a great place to have an internship in! Popular cities for internships like Los Angeles and San Diego are just a few really amazing choices for those looking to explore! Summer internships in Southern California for 2021 are amazing for both expanding your resume and exploring a new city. Warm beaches and famous landmarks are great perks that pair perfectly with valuable internship experience. Continue reading along for tips on how to find the best paid summer or spring internships in Southern California.

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 Southern California 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 Southern California 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 your college internship

Once you’ve landed an internship in Southern California 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 Southern California?

Here is a list of employers looking for interns in SoCal, including some of the best summer internships in SoCal:

  • Amazon
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Tesla
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Riot Games

For the best summer internships in Southern California, consider the list above and apply!

Tips and tricks to surviving your SoCal internship

If you’re a transplant or even if you’ve called Southern California 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 SoCal, consider other important parts of your internship journey.

How to get around Southern California

Southern California is known for its traffic and long waits during rush hour. You should definitely have your transportation game plan figured out ahead of time. If you’re comfortable taking public transportation, then have the correct apps and bus routes figured out. And if you’re going to be taking your car to work and back, make sure both work and your apartment have enough parking spaces. It’s never fun to drive around in circles searching for parking.

5 Essential SoCal restaurants to try during your internship

If you’re a foodie, Southern California will definitely not disappoint.

  1. Cotixan (San Diego)
  2. Sun Ha Jang (Los Angeles)
  3. Pine and Crane (Los Angeles)
  4. Howlin’ Ray’s (Los Angeles)
  5. Seabirds (Costa Mesa)

Things to experience during your time in Southern California

  1. LACMA
  2. San Diego Zoo
  3. Balboa Park
  4. Disneyland
  5. The Getty Villa

How do I find an apartment in SoCal?

Consider these resources to help your SoCal apartment search:

  1. Craigslist
  2. Zillow
  3. Hotpads
  4. Join a Southern California Housing, Rooms, Apartments, and Sublets group on Facebook

Where to order food from in SoCal?

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

Finding an internship in SoCal

How do I find paid internships in SoCal?

When searching for a paid internship in SoCal, 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 Southern California are just a search away.

You can also research top companies in Southern California by visiting our list of Handshake employers and typing Southern California 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 Southern California?

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.

How can an intern live in Southern California?

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 neighborhood?
  • Do you have a vehicle? If not, are you comfortable using public transportation frequently?
  • Will the food options available work for you?

How can I get an internship without experience in SoCal?

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

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