This is a guest blog post written by Alexandria Magoon.
Since you read Intern Queen, you are probably a go-getting millennial genius. You want to travel, but everyone keeps telling you that you need to focus on getting internship experience and building your career. As your unconventional personal branding mentor, I am here to tell you that you can do both. Unfortunately, it might not be exactly how you think it will go. In order to “have it all,” you need to get creative with the approaches you take. Cue the out-of-state internship.
Every year, thousands of college students flock to cities like New York and Washington, DC with the hopes of making the right connections and gaining enough experience to pursue the American dream. Surprisingly, many potential interns limit their possibilities by searching for internships in cliché cities. In case you didn’t know, now all great companies are located in New York City. If you are looking to break into film, you don’t need to head out to LA. Atlanta is a great alternative. If you want to work for an airline, Minneapolis is budding with opportunities. You see where I’m going with this. If you review the list of the best companies to work for, you’ll find that many of them aren’t located in large cities that you would normally think of. Take a look at this list.
- Procter and Gamble: Cincinnati, OH
- Yahoo: Sunnyvale, CA
- General Motors: Detroit, MI
- Kellogg’s: Battle Creek, MI
- Walmart: Bentonville, AZ
- Lowe’s: Mooresville, NC
- REI: Kent, Washington
- Aflac: Columbus, GA
- Ikea: Conshoshocken, OH
- Nordstrom: Seattle Washington
You will get more bang for your buck.
When you are in college, landing the perfect internship in the ideal location is crucial. However, don’t ignore a program simply because it isn’t in the city you live in or close to home. Many large internship programs offer lodging and stipends. Some might not due to the financial crisis, but that is more reason for you to consider a smaller city. What you would pay to sublet an apartment in New York for one month would be the same amount you would pay in a smaller town for the entire summer. Fewer expenses and cheaper bills mean more funds to travel and explore your surrounding areas.
You can get far pretty inexpensively.
Whether you’re paid or not as an intern, you should use your weekends to not only explore the city that you’re in, but also explore the surrounding areas. This is a common practice during a semester abroad, but underutilized stateside. If you are interning in a city like Detroit, a bus ride up to Toronto for Caribana or to Chicago for Taste of Chicago is easy and inexpensive. If you wanted to get your fellow interns together and organize a larger bus trip, renting a charter bus from a company like Shofur isn’t difficult either. Indulge in everything a new city has to offer and don’t squander the opportunity to take in new sites while you’re there. Every weekend should be spent exploring and creating memories because once real life sets in, travel becomes harder and harder. Don’t hesitate to branch out and book a ticket somewhere you’ve never been.
You will become a master networker.
Networking will become essential now that you are in a new city away from home. One incredible thing that comes with experiencing a new city and job role is the obligation you have to yourself to meet new people. When you started college, you were open to making new friends. This time, in a new city, your drive to make friends is no different. It can be hard to put yourself out there, but finding networking opportunities inside and outside your office environment, will introduce you to very valuable people across your career trajectory. These people will be your peers and colleagues in a few short months after college is over. After all, your network is your net worth right?
Don’t be afraid to be to spend a summer away from home and take your next step to career success in a new city. It can be good for your wallet, Instagram and resume. Some of the best internships available are only a flight or bus trip away, so don’t overlook the potential to make a great impact away from home or campus.
About the Author
Alexandria Magoon is a 2016 graduate from the University of Georgia and is currently the content guru at GoGo Charters in Atlanta, GA. She enjoys long walks to the fridge and never matches her socks. You can reach her at all the places you love to visit.