This blog was written by Jenna our campus ambassador from California State University, Chico.
Sitting on Bay Area Rapid Transit, better known as BART, I know I’m nearing San Francisco when the windows of the train car go black and we travel under water across the bay to the other side. Commuting from the east bay area, BART takes me directly to San Francisco and a few blocks from my internship at a national magazine.
It may be true that the majority of magazine internships lie clear across the country and about 2,900 miles away in the Big Apple (thanks, MapQuest) but this doesn’t mean San Francisco doesn’t have its own perks and opportunities.
Having lived in the area for my entire life, I often made use of San Francisco by taking day trips out to Ghirardelli Square for an ice cream sundae or to a venue like Bottom of the Hill to see my favorite bands play. However, working in the city is a whole different ballgame.
I often get on BART in my town under sunny skies and get off of BART in San Francisco to pouring rain. I was not expecting this in June on my first day at my internship. Lacking both a hood and an umbrella, I had to protect my hair from frizz as best I could and sprinted the ten blocks to my office building. Lesson learned: Always bring an umbrella for a morning in San Francisco. Also, it’d be wise to bring a coat. Being so close to the ocean causes some serious wind even on the sunniest days.
If you’re a coffee addict like me, knowing where the nearest Starbucks and Peet’s are is essential. In San Francisco, I was pleased to find that standing outside my office building, I was able to see a Peet’s and three different Starbucks. Finding coffee was not going to be a problem.
Taking public transportation can be a drag but in my case, driving would have been worse. Driving to the city takes about an hour with traffic (and there is always traffic). This means tons of gas money and no carpool lane for me. Also, since there are so many parts of the bay area, there are bridges. Bridge tolls have recently gone up in price and that alone would be $5 a day. Not to mention the fact that parking in my building costs $37 a day! No magazine internship stipend is going to cover that. I may have to stand on a crowded BART train being jostled around but its reliable and I’m able to read or get my notes organized on my way into the office.
One o’clock rolls around, my stomach is rumbling and I’m dying for some fresh air away from my cubicle. San Francisco, just like many cities, has tons of options in regard to where to eat. There is a Subway on every corner and many quaint little restaurants to be discovered. Getting fresh air is also easy – I’m able to walk a few blocks and hit the ocean at the Embarcadero. If it’s not raining by lunchtime, of course.
If you’re thinking of changing it up a bit and taking an internship in San Francisco, try the city on for size. I’ve found it to be a pretty amazing place to go to everyday.