Sitting about a stone's throw from the border with Mexico and leagues apart from its cousin Los Angeles in terms of collective stress, San Diego is where the California Dream is alive and well. With around three million people in its metro area, there are plenty that agree with this sentiment, having come here for the non-existent winters, plentiful Mexican food, the thriving surf scene, and the laid back attitude that has seemingly gone extinct in the go-go-go madness of L.A. and Silicon Valley.
This isn't to say that no work gets done in what locals call America's Finest City, it's just people don't freak out when that unimportant TPS report doesn't show up on their superior's desk at 3 pm … no biggie, it'll get done eventually. The world won't end if it takes another hour or two.
Interns will love getting on with a company in this city that kicks off its business shoes at 5 pm and trades them in for flip flops. If hitting the beach for a session in the waves, or for a marathon fish taco and beer session with your co-workers after work sounds like your idea of a dream internship opportunity, then read on. You might be finding yourself packing for San Diego before you know it!
What’s San Diego like?
San Diego is built atop a series of large mesas, or flat-topped hills with sudden drop offs along their edges. This gives the city a series of urban canyons, making this city a dream for outdoor enthusiasts that love to hike, run, or mountain bike. Add the fact that this city has a number of outstanding beaches that experience consistent surf year round, and it's not surprising to see why San Diego attracts tons of young migrants.
As if this wasn't enough, the weather here ranks among America's best climates, with the daily maximum getting above 70 degrees 201 days out of the year, and no more than 13 inches of rain per year. Despite the overall dryness, the sky does tend to be a bit cloudy in May and June due to an annual incursion of damp air from the Pacific.
Due to the microclimates of the San Diego area though, proceeding even five miles inland will allow you to find sunnier skies during this period, as the geography of the region effects sky state, precipitation, and temperature greatly.
As far as jobs go, San Diego is dominated by the defense sector, as the United States Navy maintains the world's largest fleet of battle ready ships in the area. This fact has led to the development of a number of defense contractors that build armor and weaponry for the most expansive military apparatus on the planet.
Second on the list of contributors to the San Diego economy is the tourism industry, as the warm winter days and summers that have just the right amount of heat draw visitors in ever increasing numbers with each passing year. Attractions like the San Diego Zoo and Seaworld entertain tourists in droves, while the historic downtown and its many beaches are interesting enough to most other visitors.
What kinds of internships are available in San Diego?
Many of the internships that you will find in San Diego will relate to the presence of the United States military here. While you might think this will restrict you from getting them if you're aren't a recruit, know that the American armed forces employs a large civilian workforce in addition to those in uniform.
Everything from marine biology to adaptive medicine is covered in internships available in the San Diego area, so it's worth a look for those of any background to consider working with the United States military … no basic training or pushups necessary!
Those into conservation, veterinary medicine or the tourism/hospitality industry will be well catered to by the San Diego Zoo and Seaworld. Both outfits work to protect animals and educate the public about how special they are to the world in which we live. Being that both of these facilities cater to tourists, interns will also learn a great deal about how to make a guest's experience truly special.
How to find internships in San Diego
If you're focused on getting an internship with the Navy, know that you will need to clear up any issues regarding your organizational skills, as this soft skill is highly valued by those in this highly regimented, routine-oriented environment. This means cleaning up everything from your resume to your daily routine and any doubts as far as your personal beliefs go. You need to be able to answer questions concisely and decisively, and be perceived to make judgments that are based on confidence and clear logic.
Those looking to get into a tourism related position like Seaworld should work on their interpersonal skills by getting comfortable with interacting with total strangers, as these situations come up everyday in this workplace.
Those that are applying for an animal-based internship with an organization such as the San Diego Zoo may want to volunteer with an animal shelter or another local organization dealing with our four-legged friends, as this will further bolster your chances against the pack of competitors that you will be going up against.