Our Mission

We are an organization dedicated to removing barriers to opportunity, so people can live to their full potential. Established and led by Laurene Powell Jobs, we center our work on education, immigration reform, the environment, and other social justice initiatives. We use a wide range of tools and strategies—partnering with entrepreneurs and experts, parents and policymakers, advocates and administrators—to develop and execute innovative solutions that will spur change and promote equality.

The Role

At EC, we know that we can learn an immense amount from the next generation and that developing talent committed to social progress matters. For those reasons, we are excited to share our 2018 Summer Internship opportunities for undergraduate college students. Most placements will be in Palo Alto, CA unless otherwise specified in Location details.

Interns have an opportunity to apply to up to two of the following teams:

Social Innovation
This team leads grant making work at Emerson Collective across social innovation, immigration, education, food and environment, and policy. The social innovation and California-based immigration teams will be accepting interns this summer.

Education Technology
This team leads for-profit investments in educational technologies that have the potential to drastically improve student outcomes.

This team is focused on creating a balance between humanity and nature, with a particular focus on equity and social justice. The summer intern role will support programmatic activities, including events and convening of thought leaders, partnerships with conservation and clean energy organizations, media and creative collaborations, policy work and community and social innovation. Experience in environmental or energy sectors is preferred but not necessary.

Elemental Excelerator
This team works with a portfolio of 12-15 environmental startups per year that improve systems that impact people’s lives: water, agriculture, transportation, energy, and beyond. Interns will be placed at one of the Elemental Excelerator startups.

Engagement and Protocol
This team provides logistical and strategic support to the Office of the President.

This Washington D.C.-based team works with experts at every level –from advocates and economists to school principals and policymakers –to advance policies that live up to our values and enable aspiring Americans to thrive and contribute.

Marketing and Communications
This team uses the power of stories to elevate the leaders we partner with and advance the causes that animate our work.

Organizational Development
This team assists the CFO, CTO, and Legal Director support the growth and sustainability of Emerson Collective.

Public Affairs
This Washington D.C.-based team works to develop, implement, and execute smart, high-impact integrated and strategic communications and public affairs strategies that extend our influencer, media coverage, coalition development, message, digital presence, and stakeholder relationships at the national, regional, state, and local levels across a variety of our issue areas.

XQ Institute School Support Team
This Oakland, California-based team will help prepare, execute, and follow up on the XQ Annual Symposium, a multi-day gathering of leaders, teachers, students, and staff members from the School.

The work will vary from team to team, but could encompass the following:

  • Assisting with investment processes, including research, due diligence, documentation, and post-investment support of partner organizations and companies.
  • Supporting the Portfolio Manager, Director, or Managing Director, and our grantmaking and political teams as needed–you must embrace that credo that there is “no task too big and no task too small.”
  • Preparing reports, presentations, memos, and other documents for internal and external audiences.
  • Researching topics and organizations.


  • You’re passionate about social impact, particularly fighting poverty, improving schools, making government work well for all, environment, and/or immigrants’ rights.
  • You’re intellectually curious. You love learning new things. You learn quickly and independently. You respond to new ideas, projects, and tasks with enthusiasm and a sense of possibility.
  • You’re creative and resourceful when solving problems or completing tasks.
  • You have exceptional organization skills. You have strong prioritization skills, including time management and project management skills, and always follow through.
  • You have excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to develop materials for internal and external audiences. You can learn to communicate complex information clearly and concisely with everyone in the organization and with external stakeholders.
  • You maintain a team-oriented approach and thrive in entrepreneurial, dynamic environments. You’re comfortable taking on new tasks or projects with little direction and adjusting course quickly in response to feedback.
  • You have high standards for accuracy, quality, and integrity.
  • You respond to new ideas, projects, and tasks with enthusiasm and a sense of possibility.



Elemental Excelerator placements will be located with portfolio companies around the Bay Area. The XQ intern will be based in Oakland, California. The Public Affairs and Immigration interns will be located in Washington, D.C. All other roles will be based in our Palo Alto office.


The internship lasts eight weeks. The firm start date is June 18thand the last day is August 10th. There is a possibility for extension for those seeking a longer experience.


EC offers competitive compensation for this role – please inquire for more information. Lunch is provided.

To Apply

Undergraduate college students are invited to send a resume and a short (<250 words) note about your interest in the role to recruiting@emersoncollective.com. You are welcome to apply for up to two positions. In your application email, please use “EC Internship Application” as the beginning of your subject line. Then, please list the team* to which you are applying. For example: “EC Internship Application – Marketing and Communications.” If you are applying to two teams, please submit two separate emails and be sure to denote your preference in the note.

In order to keep the process fair for all applicants, we are unable to have informational conversations or meetings in advance of reviewing applications. Applications are considered on a rolling basis until March 25, 2018. Applicants will be informed whether or not they are continuing in the selection process by April 23, 2018; inquiries about application status will not be answered in advance of this date.

*If applying to the social innovation team, please list your sub-area of greatest interest: immigration or social innovation. For example: “EC Internship Application – Social Innovation – Social Innovation” or “EC Internship Application – Social Innovation – Immigration.