Posts Tagged ‘interning’

My Junior Year Internship: The Bittersweet Taste of Corporate America

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

During my semester abroad in Madrid my sophomore spring, I tasked myself with finding an internship for the upcoming summer. My internship search took on a sense of urgency because I knew I couldn’t spend the summer in New York City without income. While I loved visiting my family and my hometown, I felt like I belonged in the city, and I yearned to be there. Sending cover letters into the void was discouraging when each unanswered application felt like a step away from the life I was building in the city. I couldn’t stop comparing myself to people in my classes, who had internships at Citibank and Morgan Stanley lined up before we even arrived in Madrid. 

What finally got me through was, for the second time, a referral from a friend, who gave my resume to her boss with a glowing recommendation. The company was Richard Attias & Associates, an international political and communications consulting firm specializing in high-end global events. 

Walking through Midtown Manhattan on my lunch break

After two Skype interviews, I was offered the position of Research Intern for the Community Team. Our team focused on event speakers and guests. The events I worked on included the Future Investment Initiative, aka “Davos in the Desert,” a financial and economic conference in Saudi Arabia; the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, the largest gathering of Heads of State outside the United Nations; as well as the Global Cybersecurity Forum, Women in Corporate Leadership, and the Olympism in Action Forum.

On paper, the job sounded glamorous. In reality, it was monotonous. I spent all day, every day trying to find business leaders and government officials’ contact information on the internet so that we could invite them to our events. I would put this information in Excel spreadsheets or Salesforce then send event invitations through Salesforce.

I worked a full 40-hour workweek that summer. For the first time, I felt independent, like a person living in the world rather than a child who relied on her parents for every rent payment and medical bill. Even though I was scraping by each month after paying rent, I still appreciated the independence immensely.

I now knew what it was like to be a young working woman in New York City, taking the subway each morning in sneakers, changing shoes when I got to work, and going to happy hour at 6 pm. I spent the weekday afternoons longing for the weekend. I even found myself looking forward to the start of the fall semester, when my days would have more variety and my mind would be put to use at a level closer to its potential.

A coworker’s Instagram story on a hot summer day

At the same time, this more fully-realized, self-reliant person that I felt myself becoming was scary, maybe because I thought that this monotony was all that was waiting at the other end of the tunnel that was college—a job where I would sit all day and look at spreadsheets. What seemed even scarier was that I felt a comfort in the monotony. After the stress of finding this job, I didn’t want to do another internship search. At Richard Attias, I was paid well, my coworkers were nice (we even had a party with Spanish wine for my birthday), and the environment wasn’t stressful. So I stayed for the entirety of my junior year.

I think this feeling, this unease I felt in a traditional corporate environment, is part of what planted in my mind the idea of going abroad again. During my junior year, when I wasn’t working, I began leaning into my creative interests. I enrolled in a photography class. I was still studying for the LSAT—I wasn’t ready to take the full leap into a more artistic and nomadic life. However, I was ready to take small steps toward living a life full of creativity and helping others.

Internship Search Tip:

Don’t be afraid to follow up after an interview. When I hadn’t heard back for two weeks after my first interview at Richard Attias & Associates, I sent an email to the supervisor reiterating my interest in the position and why I would be a good fit for the role. Less than a day later, I was invited for a second interview.


By Marisa Bianco

Marisa graduated from NYU in May 2020, summa cum laude, with degrees in International Relations and Spanish. She grew up in Nebraska, but she is currently living in Córdoba, Spain, where she works as an English teacher. You can find her eating tapas in the Spanish sun while likely stressing about finding her life’s purpose.

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Interning in NYC: Tips for Writing Your Cover Letter

Monday, June 7th, 2010

One of the most crucial components of the internship application process is your cover letter. Essentially, the contents of this letter provide potential employers with their first impression of you, prompting them to read your resume and decide if they want to call you for an in-person interview. Thus, it is extremely important that your cover letter represent you in the best possible light. While writing your cover letter, remember these points:

1. Write individual letters for each company. Standardized form letters not only lack creativity, but also imply a lack of interest in the position to the person reading it. Taking the time to write individualized letters shows the reader that you possess a sincere interest in the company and the position that you are applying for, which presents you as the better candidate.

2. Research the company. Make sure you know the basics of the position and the company that you are applying to, and be sure to add some of your findings into your cover letter (i.e. as reasons why you want to work there, why you admire the company, how you can help fulfill the company mission, etc.) Again, this helps to convey your personal interest in the organization and will help you land an interview.

3. Support any claims you make with specific examples. This is your time to brag about your accomplishments and show the reader why you would be an excellent addition to their team. So if you say in your cover letter that that you excel in the classroom, be sure to tell them about how high your GPA is or about your two years on the Dean’s List.

4. Use a professional tone and proofread your letter. You want to your future employers to think that you are serious about work and that you are capable of behaving properly in a professional environment. Making jokes or having any grammatical/spelling errors shows them that you do not care about making a good impression.

For more info and tips, here’s a useful website that I found while I was writing my cover letters. It not only gives you more information and tips, but also provides you with examples of good cover letters and other business correspondence, such as thank-you letters and networking letters. So have fun writing your way to an interview!

-Christina Brower

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Interning in NYC: Tips to Aid You in Your Search

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Landing a full-time job after graduation has gotten a whole lot tougher these days due to the present state of the economy. Jobs are few and far between and the competition for them has grown especially fierce, which is why obtaining an internship has become an important priority for most students these days. However, the competition for intern positions is just as ferocious. So how can you maximize your chances of surviving in such a cut-throat environment? Here are some things that I learned to do when searching for an internship:

1. Start your search early! For example, if you’re looking for a summer internship position, start looking for open positions in late January/early February and continue until late April/early May. You will be surprised how many positions are available when your search spans a couple of months.

2. Submit your application ASAP! Some students are under the impression that if they are one of the last applications that employers see that they will have a better chance of being remembered. This, however, is not the case. Applying hours before the midnight deadline can make you look like a procrastinator. In the work place, deadlines are extremely important, and most employers want someone who is timely with their work. So once the application period begins, submit your resume and cover letter as soon as possible to avoid being a part of the last minute rush.

3. Apply to as many positions as you can! I know this can be a long, tedious process, but believe me it is absolutely necessary. This spring, I applied to over thirty companies, and only received about five calls/e-mails for an interview. So put yourself out there to as many people as possible. It will make your chances of actually landing a position more probable.

4. Make use of your resources on campus! Most colleges and universities have a career services department, which provides students with resources, such as resume critiques, mock interviews, company tours, and weekly e-mails with new internship/job opportunities, to aid students in their searches. These people are trained professionals who have helped many students go from the classroom to the office and can help you become a better candidate for employment or put you in contact with the right people.

5. Utilize internet search engines! In addition to MonsterTrak and Craigslist, there are many sites available that are devoted to finding internships in a particular field. Just Google it and see what comes up. For example, after doing a Google search, I found a website called BookJobs.com, which was wholly devoted to internship/job opportunities in the book publishing industry and which is where I found the most openings.

-Christina Brower

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