Manhattan, the big apple, where everyone is constantly rushing around trying to become even more successful than they already are…or faking it until it comes true. This time three years ago I was heading there for an amazing summer of interning, and am so excited for those in my place this summer! Growing up on the east coast, the allure of endless opportunity in the city that never sleeps was always tempting and I was so fortunate to call the city home for a few months.
I must admit, I had the perfect, BFF Gossip Girl situation. I was living with my best friend Taylor in an adorable apartment on the Upper East Side. We actually did find it on Craigslist, which, if you have ever attempted to find a NORMAL, CLEAN, and SAFE (let alone well decorated) place on there you know this is quite an achievement.
I was also entering the city as a winning YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund scholar after entering the competition my junior year at UF. Through this amazing organization I had made connections well in advance and had found an great paid internship at one of the sponsor companies, Kahn Lucas. This definitely helped shape my summer as I was going to so many awesome networking events with YMA…more on that here!
What I learned from working a summer in NYC:
1) It really isn’t as glamorous as it seems. Almost everyone takes the subway and a morning commute of 30 minutes is something to be expected and not complained about. I actually got used to the subway by the end (there is just something nice about not having to worry about parking or traffic) but no, I never got used to cramming in like a sardine on the way to and from the office in the hot summer heat.
2) It is true, there is always something going on!! From casually stumbling upon one of my favorite singers, Passenger, performing in Central Park one Saturday afternoon (Part of the Summer Series, I highly recommend learning more about this), free yoga in Bryant Park, or the weekly Smorgasburg food festival in Brooklyn, there is never down time. See more on what to do in NYC here! Unfortunately, I found that working at an intern’s pay rate, constant events and shopping may not be exactly the best thing for my bank account. This Florida girl started missing the relaxing and virtually-free appeals of the beaches by the end of the summer!
3) Bring a change of shoes if you love your heels as much as I do. It is amazing how much wear the city has on your shoes..and no, you don’t even want to know what it’s like when it rains. I was only there three months and I broke 2 pairs of shoes from walking so much! I eventually realized that while my heels do look great with my dress, it wasn’t worth wearing them for the subway commute and walk to the office.
4) I may not be as fond of the big city life as I thought. While I made so many amazing memories that summer, I was pretty excited to go home to FL at the end! It may have just been the product of my environments at the time, but I’m looking forward to seeing how I like living in London this summertime see if my feelings towards city life start to differ.
5) It is SO worth all of the stress and hustling to get a summer internship. It may seem daunting to apply, interview (more than likely over Skype of you applied out of state like me), find a short term place to live/sublease your current place etc. etc., BUT in the long run it all pays out! Aside from amazing work experience that will help you get a full-time job after graduation, you get to take yourself out of your typical college environment and explore a new place. I cannot encourage you enough to take a summer internship out of state, abroad or even just in a new city… You certainly won’t regret it!
Good Luck to all of you starting your summer internships in NYC (or elsewhere), I hope you find it as amazing as I did! 🙂