The New York City Intern Life
By Katie Harty, Intern
Thousands of college kids flock to the big city for the summer to get a chance to play a part of the corporate world by being an intern. Twenty-something-year olds come from all over the world and file into vacant dorm rooms, small studio apartments, or bunk with a friend to partake in the glamorous NYC lifestyle. This summer it was my chance, I joined the millions of people who run, squeeze, and push their way on the commute into New York City. I was not sure what to expect, would I do coffee runs and file all day or would it be glamorous like Lauren from The Hills internship? I wondered what I would get out of my experience and would the NYC lifestyle welcome me or would I not be able to keep up. From my two internships I had this summer I learned a lot and gained a lot, and I am happy to say that with a few minor bumps on the way that I conquered NYC and got to experience the glamorous life.
1. What did I do?
I learned so much from my two internships. There were times when I had to do monotonous jobs, however I have learned that in any type of industry, companies value interns and appreciate the extra help. I was given tasks that would lighten the workload for fellow coworkers. It was work that the employees did themselves which made me feel as if I was a part of the team and that my work and effort was meaningful and important. From writing letters, creating contact sheets, and helping improve the website, I feel that I have made a difference and contributed to the team. It also gave me a chance to see what it was really like to be in that industry, which taught me a lot!
2. What did I learn?
Talking with fellow interns and friends about our experiences we all agree that the thing that you can really get out of different internships is what you like and what you do not like. Maybe you’re interested in PR but aren’t sure what type of PR to focus on or what type of agency you want to work in; maybe a big PR firm or maybe something smaller, maybe a PR firm that focuses on fashion or maybe one that focuses on technology, the possibilities seem endless. Or maybe from an internship you could find out that you want to do something completely different. One intern I worked with changed her major after her experience. Internships can really help someone find out their strengths and weaknesses or what they like and do not like. These are important ideas in moving forward with one’s professional career.
Another important item to remember when starting an internship is you can make mistakes…you’re human. It might seem like the end of the world when you make a simple spelling error the first time on the job; however your company realizes you’re an intern and that you’re learning. Which brings me to the next thought, ask questions! If you do not know what you are doing or don’t have anything to work on, asking questions and I guarantee your supervisor or manager will be responsive and thrilled that you took a proactive approach..
3. It’s all about who you know!
The tale old saying “it’s all about who you know,” might seem untrue or hard to believe, however I have learned that being around people who are in the industry really is a huge advantage. Getting your name out there and having the companies you have worked for know your name and remember you for a reference or for a job is extremely important! Another important point is someone, who knows somebody, knows someone else….connections, are extremely important. The more connections you make the more likely you will find out first when a business is hiring and you might even have an insider who can give you hints to what a company is looking for, or get your resume to the top list. Always have a two minute elevator pitch ready and you can really get your foot in the door.
4. Have fun with it!
You’re in the big apple living the dream! Meet new intern friends from all over the world and plan fun trips during lunch or after work; from fun little touristy things to shopping days. Get to know the people around you. Internships are an amazing experience and I would recommend that a person start as SOON as possible and do as many as they can.