Professional Experience Internship (PEI)

About the PEI Program

Internships and work experience play a significant role in accessing professional and economic opportunities once students graduate from college.

Founded in partnership with Advent International in 2021, SEO Scholars’ Professional Experience Internship (PEI) program connects Scholars to paid internships with top companies, bridging the opportunity gap for Scholars at an early stage in their professional careers.

Rising high school seniors and incoming college freshmen are placed in various departments and have the opportunity to build relevant business skills, learn through hands-on experiences, network with professionals, and gain exposure to various industries and roles.


“Normally my friends work at fast food restaurants during the summer. This summer, I've been working on database projects for BRIDGE Housing, reviewing past applications for their Stein Scholarship, reviewing their Alumni Program to help fundraise money, and a Finance 102 worksheet.”

- Julian, SEO Scholars Class of 2024

Interested in partnering with SEO Scholars?

Contact Lucy Rivera (415) 529-4978 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who employs and pays the intern? What is the hourly wage?

    Scholars interns are employed and paid through the partner companies. 

    Interns will be paid $20/hr (approximately $3,200 for the full 4-week internship).

    Interns are expected to be paid for 40 hours of work per week. Length of lunch break (30 minutes vs. 60 minutes) and working hours (8-4, 9-5, 9-6, etc) are determined on a company-by-company basis and should be established and communicated to interns before the start of the program. 

  • Are companies required to cover commuting costs?

    Companies should be prepared to cover the costs of Scholar transportation. If your offices are located in San Francisco, interns will be expected to commute using BART or Muni and may require a Clipper card. For offices located outside of San Francisco, companies are expected to cover the cost of BART, CalTrain, or other commuter services.

  • Do companies need to send an offer letter? What about work permits and background checks?

    The intern onboarding process is based on each company’s independent practices. Typically an offer letter is required for any individual to be added to the payroll. 

    Some companies do not require short-term temporary employees to complete a background check. If required, please provide ample time for Scholars to complete and ensure your background check provider (if outsourced) can process background checks for individuals under 18 years of age.

    SEO Scholars works with students under the age of 18 to submit work permits on their behalf. Companies will need to complete a portion of the form, so please share the HR or supervisor contact information with SEO before the outlined deadlines.

    Full onboarding expectations will be shared during the Corporate Partner Orientation in March.

  • Is PEI an in-person internship program?

    In-person vs. remote work expectations will be determined on a company-by-company basis. In order for Interns to gain the most out of their PEI experience, we recommend students work in-office at least one day a week.

  • What projects can interns work on? Do you have any examples?

    Yes! We have samples of past intern projects. Please see the PEI One-Pager linked above to learn more. 

  • Can we extend our intern’s time at the company beyond four weeks?

    Yes! It is possible to work with the Scholar intern directly to extend their internship based on their school schedule – and please share the good news with SEO!

  • What is the time commitment for partners?

    We encourage direct supervisors to maintain your company’s employee expectations for Scholar Interns. Generally this entails supervisors having a 1-1 meeting with their Intern once a week, and providing consistent feedback and guidance on Intern-assigned projects.

  • What level of support is SEO providing for students and partners?

    Interns are expected to check in with their SEO Program Manager at least once a week to discuss their progress and current projects.

    If you are having trouble communicating or engaging with an Intern, SEO’s Program team will work directly with the Scholar to ensure they remain engaged and communicative with your team.