Posts Tagged ‘internship’

Chapter 6- Returning to Boston and My First Internship

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

I feel like it would be too bold (and perhaps slightly cheesy) to say that studying abroad changed my life. It doesn’t feel like I was in London that long ago, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has warped my sense of time, so it’s hard to view that experience retrospectively. However, I can confidently say that studying abroad influenced how I approached my following spring semester at Boston University when I returned.

I wanted to be more outgoing and adventurous in Boston, like I had become in London. So, I decided to seize more opportunities to do activities outside of campus. For example, I went to two Beanpot games with a friend. Beanpot, for those not familiar with the Boston area, is a hockey tournament between BU, Northeastern University, Boston College and Harvard University held at TD Garden. I had seen hockey games on campus, but never fathomed going off-campus to see a game during a weeknight when I had class early the next day because I’m not a huge hockey fanatic. I thought it might be fun to go to a Beanpot game at least once, though, and it was. I’m still not the world’s biggest hockey fan, but I did enjoy watching the game intently and cheering on the BU team.

Beanpot game at TD Garden

A week after the Beanpot tournament, I went on a weekend trip to Philadelphia with some friends. I had been to Philly before with my family and we typically just went to the same places repeatedly, so when my friend invited me to go, I agreed. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to hang out with friends, be a little touristy and go to some spots I had never been to before. We saw the Liberty Bell, ran up the Rocky Steps (well, I half-jogged), ate Philly cheesesteaks, etc.

The best part of the weekend was definitely going to Philadelphia’s Magic Garden, which is an outdoor mosaic art gallery. It was stunning, and being surrounded by an array of intentionally-placed art pieces in the labyrinth was incredible. 

Exploring the labyrinth that is Philadelphia’s Magic Garden

I wasn’t just outgoing in terms of going out and exploring the city. The spring semester was also when I started applying for my first internships. Finding an internship was always something at the back of my mind, but I was so busy and stressed by classes that I decided to focus on my academics. By the spring of my junior year, though, I felt like I had learned how to manage my time well enough to handle having an internship. 

Also, it began to dawn on me that after the spring ended, I would be entering my final year before graduating. I wanted to start figuring out what exactly I wanted to do with my life. I had become an English major because I loved reading and writing and they were things that I thought I was pretty good at. This did not mean that I knew what I wanted to pursue as a career. There were people around me who had internships and knew exactly what they wanted to do after they graduated, which did, admittedly, put pressure on me. However, I was mostly eager to find out what direction my life would take. 

I worked hard on creating the perfect resume and cover letter and had a lot of help from the Internet. I Googled examples of both and tried to use them as guidelines to perfect mine. I spent a lot of time reading, reviewing and revising these application elements until the perfectionist in me realized that I was obsessing too much over tiny details. Then, I finally applied to a few internships that I found on Handshake.

I think that the freshman version of myself would have been panicking all day, every day, until I heard something back. I would have worried about whether I was good enough and fretted over the fear of failure. Fortunately, junior year me had a distinct mindset. Of course I would like to have an internship yet overthinking things that were outside of my control was not going to help me in any way. Even if it was challenging to do so, I just had to focus on the aspects of my life that I could control.

I was soon accepted into an internship with a literary agency. Basically, the internship entailed me reading over submitted manuscripts and providing my feedback. It was interesting to read the stories of various writers. It also reminded me how much I love reading for fun. Since I had to read so much for my classes, I really didn’t read for pleasure in college during my spare time. Looking through the manuscripts, though, it felt as if I was back in high school, when I used to read to pass the time. The internship also showed me how much I value storytelling. People have so many worlds, experiences and ideas to share in their writing and the thought of helping writers publish their works appealed to me. So, the internship certainly made me feel like I was taking a step forward in figuring out what I wanted to do with my future. 

If you are looking for an internship, my best advice is this:

  • Make sure to double-check your resume and cover letter. There are many examples of both online that you can check out. Also, your college’s career center might offer some helpful services, such as appointments to review your resume and mock interviews.
  • Don’t be afraid to apply to a variety of places. 
  • If you get an internship, seize the chance to make connections, network, learn new things and ask questions.

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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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.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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My Second Internship: The Highs and Lows of Interning Abroad

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

In October of my sophomore year, I applied for a semester abroad at NYU Madrid. At the same time, I submitted an application for the for-credit internship program there. In November, I had a Skype interview with the director of EUSA, a separate company NYU hires to run many of its abroad internship programs. During this meeting, we discussed the fields of work I was interested in, and she evaluated my level of Spanish fluency.

When I arrived in Madrid, I received an email notifying me that I had an interview in two days with the European Foundation of Society and Education, an education policy think tank. The interview process was a whirlwind. A few days before, I was pickpocketed at a nightclub, and my phone was stolen. To make it to my interview without a cell phone, I had to purchase an alarm clock and memorize the route to the office. Luckily, the foundation was in the city center and not the outskirts of Madrid, but I still had to transfer trains and ask for directions on the street. 

My neighborhood in Madrid

I was nervous because the placement information made the office sound like a strict and formal environment. However, I was greeted by a charming old man. He reminded me of a kindly grandpa as he offered me a cup of coffee and complimented me on my success at NYU. His name was Miguel Ángel, the President of the foundation. It wasn’t even a real interview; we just worked out my schedule and got to know each other. 

Contrary to my preconceived assumptions, the foundation was casual and friendly. I ended up wearing jeans every day. It was also customary to say “hola” and “adiós” to every person individually when you arrived and left each day. I even remember a coworker apologizing profusely one afternoon because she hadn’t said hello to me when she came in. 

The work was a mix of administrative tasks, translating, social media management, and research analysis. I also went to a required weekly class at NYU Madrid for the students in the internship program, which involved various projects including a capstone research paper at the end of the semester. The most challenging part was reading quantitative research papers that the foundation published in Spanish, then writing my analysis (in Spanish) in a blog post. It seems I did okay, though, as Miguel Ángel submitted two of my articles to a Spanish newspaper.

My article on civic education, published in the Spanish newspaper Magisterio.

Every morning, Miguel Ángel would ask me about my classes, exams, and weekend trips. These conversations were almost always interesting, as Spanish people tend to speak about personal topics more openly in the office than we do in the U.S. For example, I mentioned once that I had been baptized as a Catholic, and Miguel Ángel was so excited to tell me all about the importance of that sacrament.

At the end of the semester, the foundation invited me back for a goodbye party with coffee and snacks. They even bought me a Zara bag as a thank-you gift. I was sad to leave. I had genuinely enjoyed my time in the office, with its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, terrace for drinking coffee, and genial coworkers. However, when people ask if I recommend doing an internship during your semester abroad, the answer isn’t so simple.

Even now, after all of this reflecting, I still don’t know the answer. I am sure it looked impressive on my resume—job experience in a foreign country and in a foreign language. I could now prove my Spanish proficiency to future employers. I wrote about my work at the foundation in numerous cover letters and personal statements. For years, it has served as a unique experience that I can draw upon when promoting myself for a new job or academic program. More so, being a “working professional” in Madrid made me feel like I actually lived there, that I wasn’t just a typical study abroad student. 

At the same time, I don’t believe I was fully ready for the transition to life in Spain. I left my closest friends and family in New York to study in a program where I barely knew anyone. Then, I filled my schedule with classes and my for-credit, unpaid internship hours, so I didn’t often have time to connect with other students. For them, their time abroad was an “easy semester” where they slept in, went to clubs on weeknights, and traveled every weekend. Meanwhile, I was shut in my room during the week, trying to finish my homework in the little free time I had after work. I rarely succeeded—I constantly felt that I was behind in my classes. I still got to travel extensively, and I had the most lovely time jet-setting across Europe. But I was so tired, so anxious, and my support system was across the ocean. I wonder what would have happened if I had spent those 16 hours a week (plus transportation time) taking care of myself rather than working in an office without getting paid.

Interning as a student is a learning process. In Madrid, I learned that it is okay to take a step back from work when you need to. Being a student and being a human are jobs too. Despite my struggles, I do not regret my time at the foundation. I challenged myself, and growth always comes from facing challenges.


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.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Study Abroad, Get Hired: Virginia Yu, Copenhagen, Denmark

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

It’s hard to argue that there are many benefits to studying abroad, and for MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) graduate, Virginia Yu, it gave her a unique job opportunity as well.

“I’ve always loved traveling and learning about new cultures,” the 22-year-old says.

Yu attended the Danish Institute for Study abroad (DIS) in her spring semester of 2013. The school is located in Copenhagen, Denmark — “The land of LEGOs and awesome architecture!” she quips.

The tuition to study abroad was actually cheaper in Denmark than in Baltimore because Yu didn’t have to pay for extra on-campus fees. Her trip included classes, housing, two study tour trips, transportation in Copenhagen, and food expenses in the form of a prepaid grocery card. Yu also had grants and financial aid from MICA that carried on for her spring semester abroad, including a presidential scholarship and a MICA talent grant.

Virginia Yu smiles for the camera overlooking a typical Denmark scene.

Virginia Yu smiles for the camera overlooking a typical Denmark scene.

“[One way] I saved money was by not eating out and always asking for student discounts when I did eat out,” she says. “Copenhagen offered plenty of them because the majority of people were students.” Education is free in Denmark, so many people there are obtaining their masters. Because of this, many stores and cafes offer student discounts.

Yu ended up staying in Denmark for a total of eight months after she secured an internship with Seidenfaden Design Copenhagen for the summer.

“I felt really fortunate to have that opportunity because it allowed me to have more time in Denmark and to see the country more,” she says. “The best part, of course, was being able to work internationally and to compare the work environment to how things were like back home.”

She said that in Denmark there were better wages, more time off and less pressure — a very different working environment than one would find in Baltimore or New York City.

Brainstorming at work.

Brainstorming at work.

For college students, resume building is everything and having work experience abroad can really help someone stand out from other applicants.

“I gained a worldly knowledge, a chance to see the world, an opportunity to study overseas, which lead to working overseas, and lastly a once in a lifetime experience that I’ll never forget,” Yu says. “It has helped me become the person I am today.

“You learn to redefine what home is and you learn to infuse another culture to call your own.”

And really, isn’t that what studying abroad is all about?

Copenhagen landscape.

Copenhagen landscape.

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You can check out Virginia Yu‘s work at http://missyudesigns.com/

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Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram:slevitz

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