30 Days Later in San Francisco

Happy one month anniversary, San Francisco. Our first month together has been better than I ever could have imagined – reminiscent of how the first month of the majority of relationships begin. Mystery. Curiosity. Bouts of exploration. A growing comfort in the little things.

Like every summer, days flash by. However quickly my stay in San Francisco slips through my fingers; however much panic I feel that my time here is limited, I can undoubtedly say I’ve made some golden memories thus far. Hiking along the caramel cliffs of Land’s End with a friend’s black labrador. Counting the number of crimson bon fires that light up white sand at night like fireflies. Feeling the heat of a red Thai curry smolder the tip of my tongue for the first time. Laying down on the highest hill of Dolores Park with a new friend. It may come of no surprise to any of you my age that many of these memories take place outside of the traditional office setting. When in Rome, right? Not quite. Here in San Francisco, where the desire to innovate and grow is rampant, my internship at InternMatch is anything but traditional and everything is as riveting as the city itself.

From lessons on becoming a samurai with SEO (search engine optimization) strategy to learning how to craft the perfect email to catch the attention of a student audience saddled with cluttered inboxes, each and every day has produced new skills I can use in pursuing my passion for marketing entrepreneurial brands like InternMatch. As an intern at a startup, you’re an irreplaceable part of the team. There are no sidelines, no authoritative walls, no limits on your ability to grow.

This level of freedom has empowered me to gain as much new knowledge and do as much as I can with it. In the past month, I’ve launched InternMatch’s San Francisco Summer Intern Program. As a first of its kind, the program aims to facilitate connections between internship programs in the Bay Area through exclusive events created for interns in the city. Our goal with this project (besides to just kick back and have fun!) is to fulfill the desire many interns have to meet students working at big and small companies alike. Last weekend, I hosted the first event of the season at our headquarters, where over 40 interns took over our space to catch a Euro Cup match, chow down on pizza, and join in on conversation ranging from the latest TechCrunch news, to the problem their represented startup is working solve by the end of the summer, to the best Mexican-Korean fusion to try in SF. All in all, the first “internmingle” of the summer was a success and set the stage for an exciting calendar of events to come including happy hours, tech talks, cookouts, and even poker nights!

A second task I’ve been in the throws of is sharing our set of summer internship city and housing guides recently created to help interns in their move to a new city. For interns in San FranciscoSan Diego and DC, these guides are a must-read! The content honestly puts other (mostly non-intern friendly) guides to shame. I’ve been more than motivated to reach out to universities and students across online platforms like and get them to check them out and spread the word on their own site – a super effective form of inbound marketing.

All in all, there’s never a dull day here at the InternMatch office. I get to spend every week day with the coolest team of techies, marketers, and executives who have already become like family. We’re only sized at 10 people in the office, but don’t let that number fool you. With the growth I’ve witnessed in just one month here, I’m convinced that we have strategic insight of a first command army. And there’s no getting by without thanking those back at UNC who have taught me what it means to grow into a successful member of an entrepreneurial team – here's looking at you and your “What is Strategy?” lecture, Buck Goldstein!

There will be plenty of more experiences to absorb during the next two months I have left in San Francisco, both in and out of the office. I may be tempted to settle a little deeper in my routine here, but I refuse to “get used” to anything. I refuse to turn the dial on my curiosity down – to let the mystery fade. 

Check out Sara's blog for more posts on life in SF.