OSB Internship Program

OSB Internship Program


Apply for an internship now.* See below for instructions.

*Minimum internship duration: 12 weeks (16 week commitment preferred). Flexible start dates.

Please note that this is an unpaid internship. You will earn experience and new skills (academic credit possible as well), but we are unable to offer a stipend at this time. 

The Office of Small Business (OSB) is honored to support the development of future civil servants and policy makers by offering internships to undergraduate and graduate interns.

Benefits of an Internship with the Office of Small Business

We are a small office, which provides opportunities for real, hands-on experience with public policy and public administration. Administrative tasks are just one element of the internship. We are looking for bright self-starters who can also take on much more than just filing and photocopying. Interns will get a sense of what it means to be a part of City government in City Hall, and will acquire new skills and experiences that would be valuable for future career success.

Browse our website at www.sfosb.org to learn more about our office's work and resources for the small business community. Check out the Legislation and Small Business Commission pages for information on the Public Policy & Commission Affairs internship track.

An internship with OSB will provide you with valuable government and policy experience, a chance to meet City officials at various levels, and the opportunity to network and make contacts for future jobs. We are happy to comply with any requirements that allow students to receive academic credit and we can provide letters of recommendation, but we do not offer stipends at this time.

Interns assist with policy research and analysis, as well as Small Business Commission affairs. Administrative tasks include preparing materials for Commission meetings, writing emails, and supporting office functions. Talented interns will quickly earn greater responsibility and access to various phases of the public policy process, including research, collecting data, monitoring Board of Supervisors activities, tracking legislation, writing legislative briefs, and attending stakeholder meetings.

Examples of Possible Activities and Tasks

  • Preparing materials for Commission meetings
  • Drafting meeting agendas and minutes
  • Monitoring legislation and Board of Supervisors Committee meetings
  • Public policy research and analysis
  • Delivering oral or written legislative/policy briefings to staff
  • Drafting legislative summaries for the Small Business Commission
  • Collecting, analyzing, and evaluating data for research projects
  • Organizing events, such as Commission and community meetings
  • Special projects (field work, data collection and analysis, outreach to small businesses around specific laws/policies)
  • Office administration

The OSB is interested in giving volunteers and interns a chance to learn new skills, as well as to utilize skills you may already possess. We are willing to work with you to develop work plans, and are committed to making the internship a valuable experience that develops your skills and your resume, while serving the present and future needs of our office and the citizens of San Francisco. 

Internship Program Details

  • We are currently looking for 1-2 exceptional Public Policy and Commission Affairs interns who can make a minimum commitment of 12 weeks.
  • Remote work may be possible.
  • Field research assignments also available.
  • The ideal intern can dedicate at least 10-15 hours per week. We will work with you to set a regular weekly work schedule that is compatible with your academic/course schedule. Our standard office hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday. Most work will occur during business hours, but interns may receive approval to perform some work remotely during other hours. 
  • The internship is unpaid. 


  • Excellent MS Office skills: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook
  • Good interpersonal/diplomatic skills
  • Ability to work under supervision or independently (as needed)
  • Strong writing, editing, and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to follow directions
  • Resourceful and self-driven
  • Organized, professional, and reliable
  • High standards regarding quality and attention to detail
  • Driven to learn new information and skills, to gain experience in government, and to build a solid professional reputation
  • A fantastic attitude
  • Consistently demonstrate punctuality and a great attitude.
  • Complete assignments diligently and according to deadlines. 
  • All written assignments should be carefully proofread and free of errors prior to submission.
  • Regularly solicit and accept constructive criticism (and then use that feedback to improve and grow!).
  • Take responsibility and initiative to promote your learning and development. Be proactive in completing assignments and communicating with your supervisor. 
  • Treat colleagues with respect and consideration.
  • Dress and behave professionally at all times (our office is in City Hall; business casual dress code Monday-Friday).
  • Always remember that there's something to learn from every experience and task!

How to apply

 What to submit:
1) Resume/CV
2) Cover letter that addresses all of the following:

  • Your academic/work experience (a concise, high-level summary)
  • Why you're interested in interning at the OSB
  • A few specific skills you'd like to be part of your learning objectives at OSB
  • A bit about your personality, work/communication style, and the type of supervision that suits you best (don't be shy!)
  • When you can join our office, for how long, and a little about your desired weekly schedule

​3) Professional/Academic References (2-3). Personal references may be accepted in special circumstances.

How to submit:

Send your application to sbc@sfgov.org

When to submit:

  • We gladly accept applications from talented candidates on a rolling basis throughout the year. Internship offers are subject to office needs and supervisors' availability. 
  • During rush periods (i.e., the typical internship application seasons), we consider batches of applications received by the following deadlines: July 31, December 15, and March 31. 
  • If you've missed a rush/seasonal deadline, please feel free to send us an email to find out if we have space for another intern. 

We will contact you if your skills and interests match our needs. Thank you for taking the time to apply for an internship with the Office of Small Business.


(If you find errors in this posting, please show us your skills by pointing them out!)