This is a blog written by our Intern Queen Campus Ambassador, Bianca, who attends Belmont University in Nashville, TN.
One of the best ways to break into the industry and get hands-on experience is to intern in a large city like New York City or Los Angeles. Spending a semester in the city is definitely possible, but it will take some work and planning to be successful. From housing to internship interviews, there are some important factors to consider when getting ready for your summer in the city. I&ve compiled a few tips and tricks that I’ve come across while planning my own summer away in New York City.
1. Spring Break is the Perfect Time for Intern Interview
While some companies may be willing to interview you via Skype or phone, many companies are going to require you to interview in person. When planning and searching for a summer internship, start looking at the interview timeline and process for intern selection as soon as you’ve made your decision to intern in the city. Most interviews will take place in March or April, which conveniently is the time of many university Spring breaks. Over your break, take a trip to the city and set up as many interviews as you can!
2. How to Approach Student Housing
While there are a number of student housing services such as Educational Housing Services, NYU Summer Housing, and Columbia Summer Housing, many of these programs have strict guidelines for room reservation and periods of stay. An issue I’ve come across is that some of the companies I’ve interviewed with don’t give me a final decision about the internship until after some of the housing deadlines have passed. If you are adamant on staying in the city regardless of an internship, go ahead and reserve your student housing as early as possible, but if you have to wait to hear back from companies, you may have to take a gamble and not reserve your housing until you get a word back. Many housing services run out, but you’ll probably be able to find another place to live. (Although it might not be your ideal choice.) Another factor to consider is when student housing opens in comparison to your internship. Some internships start earlier than student housing opens up, so you may have to find a temporary place to stay during that time period. Housing is one of the tricky aspects of spending a semester in the city.
3. Save Your Money
Living in the city is very expensive! Student housing is very pricey and often requires advance payment. Depending on your location, you may be spending money each day on public transportation. It’s also likely that you’ll be quite busy and always on the go, which leads to a lot of eating out. Everything is much more expensive, so be sure to save money throughout the school year. A summer in the city has invaluable opportunities, but there are expenses that are unavoidable. Plus, you want to have some spending money for the awesome activities and shopping!