Today&s guest post is from Jessica Preciado, my campus ambassador for Vanderbilt University. Jessica is a junior majoring in communication studies & medicine health & society.
While many of you have probably had internships all over the United States, all cities aren&t the same. I interned in my native hometown, Los Angeles, all summer and I&ve listed a few things to consider if any of you decide to come join me on the golden coast.
1) While it&s true, Los Angeles is the "City of Angels", us Angelinos don&t have wings. With that, the ultimate must have for a Los Angeles intern is a car. Buy one, borrow one, rent one: whatever you have to do, do it. This summer I interned for the west coast editor of Vanity Fair and a lot of times I was running errands, and this would&ve been impossible to do on a bike. Also, housing that fits into a college student&s budget is hard to find, and chances are that your budget apartment won&t be the closest to your internship-- Los Angeles is a BIG city.
2) As you all know, cars = TRAFFIC. In Los Angeles, it is easy to mistake a freeway for a parking lot, especially between the hours of 12 pm and 6pm. That being said, a Google Maps application on your phone is extremely helpful. Google Maps can tell give you back-routes that will allow you to beat the traffic. Additionally, some Google Maps applications have traffic alerts, so you&ll know what streets to avoid ahead of time. And, Los Angeles, being the big city that it is, isn&t the easiest place to find your way around, so Google Maps will be especially helpful for Los Angeles newcomers (I even use it and I&ve lived there since the day I was born).
3) In Los Angeles cell phones have become more than an accessory, they&ve easily become a way of life. This summer at Vanity Fair, my boss& assistant sent me a lot of email notifications and if I didn&t have Internet on my cell phone, things wouldn&t have gone so smoothly. I know some may think this goes without saying, but everyone isn&t as technologically savvy as some; a cell phone with email and Internet is a necessity for a Los Angeles intern. Most of the time my boss or her assistant were too busy to call me, so only way to inform me of things if I was out of the office was via email. I would receive emails of maps, driving directions, photo shoot information, information for errands, lunch orders-- you name it, I got it. Moreover, since Los Angeles is a busy city and most employers know we&re in a rush, a lot of restaurants and other companies take email orders. This saved my life if traffic was holding me back and I needed to get food asap, I would just email in my order and it would be ready the second I got there. In Los Angeles many restaurants also have food trucks, this is a quick way to get your favorite food, but since these things are on wheels, they&re not the easiest to track down.
It&s hard enough being an intern, I mean, you want to do everything right! In Los Angeles the heat, the traffic, and the crowding, can definitely add some unwanted, extra stress to your plate. But, with these tips you&ll be ahead of the game and ready for action.