Entrepreneurial Summer Intern Program

The Entrepreneurial Summer Program (ESP) is designed to offer students an experiential learning opportunity that affords deep insight into the day-to-day activities of an early-stage company through internships at existing companies.

Companies benefit by bringing in affordable talent to solve pressing issues affecting their growth.

ESP includes programming provided by the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies for all students working at early-stage companies, as well as a matching living allowance for approved company/student combinations.

The purpose of ESP is to enable students to have experiential learning opportunities with early-stage companies that have promising business models and validation with customers and investors. Only host companies that can provide mentorship are approved.

ESP living stipends are for students and are administered by the Financial Aid Office. Donor funds to Stanford GSB are not intended to subsidize companies, although we do recognize that ESP host companies benefit from building relationships with Stanford GSB students.

Guidelines for Participation

Eligible Companies

  • Business must be operational, revenue-generating and/or funded.
  • They should have approximately 10 to 50 employees at the time of the internship.
  • Each must show that there is a financial need for a student intern to receive living-stipend support.
  • Each business needs to be willing to provide a dedicated mentor (see “Mentor Profile” below).
  • Companies should still be entrepreneurial in nature.
  • Interns should work at the organization’s place of business, not at home.
  • Companies acquired through a search-fund model must have been acquired in the last two years.
  • Companies must offer a reasonable share of compensation to go towards the targeted market average. See the MBA employment reports for market averages as a guideline.
  • Companies can participate for a maximum of two years (these do not need to be consecutive), and are typically limited to one intern per year.

Excluded Companies

  • Consulting, research, and brokerage companies or investment funds are not eligible
  • Companies that haven’t had a public launch are not eligible
  • Companies must not have been founded by current Stanford GSB students
  • A student must not have equity in the company before joining as an intern

Mentor Profile

  • The company needs to assign an internal mentor to work with the student, but the mentor does not need to be the day-to-day supervisor
  • We look for a “seasoned” industry expert and/or entrepreneur (with 10 to 15 years of experience)
  • We expect at least weekly interaction between the student and the mentor

Application/Recruitment Process

There are two ways to apply:

  • Companies who are interested in hiring a student but do not have a candidate identified, may apply to be preapproved and then recruit a student.
  • A company that has already identified a student intern may apply together with the student. After you have extended an offer to a student, the student will fill out a student application, which will trigger a unique company application.

Applying for Preapproval

  1. Complete the company application.
  2. Post your position through the Stanford GSB Job Board. You don’t need to wait for ESP approval to post the job. We will market the approved ESP opportunities to students via various methods. Each company must do its own recruiting, as we do not offer a matching service. If students are interested, they will contact you directly; you schedule your own interviews. You are not obligated to hire a student if you do not find a suitable candidate. Nor are you guaranteed a student.
  3. Once you have extended an offer, the student should submit his or her application to us for approval, along with a copy of a signed offer letter.

Applying Together With a Student

  1. After a student accepts your offer, ask the student to fill out the student application.
  2. An email will be sent to your company with a link to a unique company application.