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  • Locations: San Francisco, United States
  • Program Terms: Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2022 09/01/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring 2023 10/15/2022 10/15/2022 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Program Description:

Discover San Francisco Bay Area with an Internship

The San Francisco Bay Area is often described as the epicenter of entrepreneurship and innovation. As such, the Wake West program is designed to give students the opportunity to learn, study, and engage in internships in the innovative and dynamic culture of the Bay Area. Internships will be available from a variety of disciplines such as Communication, Computer Science, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Technology and more! 

Apply early! Some internships require early applications.  
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Overview The San Francisco Bay Area is often described as the epicenter of entrepreneurship and innovation. As such, the Wake West Program is designed to give students the opportunity to learn, study, and engage in internships in the innovative and dynamic culture of the Bay Area. Each spring semester, students can experience life in one of America’s most energetic, diverse, and vibrant cities – San Francisco. Through the Wake West program, students pursue academic studies and simultaneously gain professional and practical experiences while working in the leading-edge career and industry sectors of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Taking advantage of the city’s status as an entrepreneurial, technological, and cultural hub, students also engage in a research project that complements their internship and ties together learning and experience. Further enriching the semester are weekly opportunities for students to hear from and connect with individuals and alumni within the Wake West network of organizations from start-ups to growth ventures to Fortune 500 companies.

San Francisco’s reputation as an exuberant and enterprising city dates back to the boom-or-bust days of the California gold rush. Today, it is thriving center of business, finance, technology, and culture. With its unique architecture, waterside views, and distinct neighborhoods, San Francisco ranks consistently as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  Live music, art, theater, literary events, and public parks abound such that one can always find something new to see and do. Given all of these advantages, the San Francisco Bay Area is an ideal setting for a challenging and rewarding academic and internship experience.
Location San Francisco, California, USA

Each spring semester, students have the opportunity to intern away from the Reynolda Campus while continuing their academic studies.  Students enroll in two courses that take advantage of technology and the Bay Area setting.  The courses incorporate visits to local businesses that may include Adobe, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and more. Moreover, students will engage in a four-day-a-week internship with a communication, entrepreneurship, or technology focus for which there will be academic requirements of independent research on a topic related to the internship. 

Internship Academic Credit for Wake West

Credit Hours:  6 
Internship (ENT 350, 3hrs) + Research component (COM 286, 3hrs)
*The above credit is standard credit that all students can expect to receive. Other courses/credits may be taken if specifically approved by WFU academic departments but this must be worked out individually with Dr. Gill and the relevant departments/programs
Grade:  Internship credit must be taken for a grade.  P/F not permitted.
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Rebecca Gill, Department of Communication and Center for Entrepreneurship,
Dr. Gill supervises and evaluates the academic work for the internship.  She will meet with you twice a semester in person and be in touch through email/phone/Skype the rest of the time.
Required Academic Work: Credit for the internship is awarded based on completion of a research paper on a topic related to your internship, regular reflective journal submissions, satisfactory review of your work by your supervisor at your internship site, and participation in program events/speakers. 
It is the student’s responsibility to speak to their major and minor advisor(s) regarding their abroad coursework and how (or if) it will count towards their degree plan.

Spring 2020 with Dr. Rebecca Gill, Communication and Entrepreneurship 

COM/ENT 250: Communication in Entrepreneurial Settings
This course takes as a starting point the rise of the “gig economy” and how organizing values such as innovation, agility, and excellence shape the work, worth, and well-being of today’s employees. In this course, we examine the kinds of organizational structures and work arrangements that permeate the gig economy—such as freelancing, different kinds of mobile work, co-working, zero-hours contracting, and so forth—and explore how communication constructs and shapes work today, how individuals communicatively navigate the gig economy, and the role of resilience in the face of precarious material and emotional labor.

Dr. Gill will teach this course as a hybrid arrangement between students on the Reynolda Campus and students in the Wake West program. The course will involve collaborative engagement between the students at each site such that students on the Reynolda campus are able to learn from the students at Wake West, and vice-versa. 

ENT 201: Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship: Developing Validated Concepts
Examines how individuals use entrepreneurial skills to craft innovative responses to societal and market needs. Using customer discovery and other evidence-based entrepreneurial methods, students participate in the progression of ideas into validated concepts. P - ENT 200.
This course will be taught by a local instructor.

Plus, 6 hrs of an internship with required research component. This program is a 12 credit semester.


Faculty Spring 2020: Dr. Rebecca Gill, Department of Communication and Center for Entrepreneurship,
Spring 2021: Dr. Rebecca Gill, Department of Communication and Center for Entrepreneurship,
Spring 2022: Dr. Rebecca Gill, Department of Communication and Center for Entrepreneurship,
Accommodation Accommodations are provided by the program.  Students will live together in self-catered, fully furnished apartments leased by the university near public transportation.  Students participating on the program are required to live in program provided housing.  
Excursions Fridays during each week will be an opportunity for students to get a variety of experiences in different areas. Job-shadowing, networking, and local excursions will be key components of the "Friday Experience." Excursions may include visits to Adobe, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and more. Additionally, students will have guest speakers, local parent mentors and opportunities to network with Wake Forest alumni working in San Francisco Bay Area.
Selection Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis until the program is full or the program application deadline is reached.  We encourage you to complete your application as soon as possible.  

Most successful applicants will have a minimum 3.0 GPA and a strong application. If your GPA is lower than 3.0, you are still encouraged to apply and to discuss your application with the Resident Professor. The admissions committee considers a number of factors in addition to your cumulative GPA. Student selection will be based on an online application with open-ended questions, an interview with the Resident Professor, and resume.  Students should schedule their interview with the Resident Professor after completing the other application steps.   
Costs Current Wake Forest tuition and room fees, which covers tuition and academic fees, fully furnished housing, orientation, transportation card/allowance, Internet access, group activities and excursions, and farewell dinner.  Meals, airfare, personal travel and expenses not included.  
Scholarships Federal and institutional financial aid may be used.
Contact Dr. Rebecca Gill
Director of Wake West
Larry J. and LeAnne E. Merlo Presidential Chair in Communication and Entrepreneurship
Office: Carswell Hall 117
Phone: (336) 758 5000
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