Posts Tagged ‘internships’

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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My First Internship: How I Got Paid to Eat Gourmet NYC Food

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

As I entered my sophomore year at NYU, I was feeling pressure to get an internship. I had spent the summer working in a restaurant in my hometown, collecting tips and saving them all for my semester abroad. While this was a perfectly normal and productive way to spend my first summer at college, I still worried that I was inadequate compared to my NYU peers who interned for hedge funds or theater companies. 

I came into Welcome Week sophomore year determined to land my first internship (or on-campus job). I was in the weeds trying to figure out work-study when an upperclassmen friend of mine posted in our sorority Facebook group about a job opportunity in public relations. My friend, Chehak, edited and polished my resume, then gave it to the PR company with her glowing recommendation. After a fairly straightforward phone interview, I was offered the job. I realize now that this experience is like an actor saying they landed the gig on their first audition—it would never happen again.

My Instagram story from my last day in the office

I dressed up for my first day but was surprised to find my supervisor wearing a flowy maxi dress and flip-flops. The office was in WeWork Williamsburg. I was amazed by WeWork, with beer on tap, fancy snacks, and trendy couches where people seemed to be lounging and working simultaneously. Huge windows poured light onto the coworking tables. The offices didn’t even have walls—just windows. It was a modern start-up world, completely different from any New York office I had seen in the movies.   

My position was at RVD Communications, a boutique public relations firm. Most of our clients were NYC restaurants and bars. I didn’t realize at the time how great I had it with this internship—I got paid weekly, including an unlimited monthly MetroCard, and I got to attend press and influencer events at some of the best restaurants in the city. I worked 15 hours a week, including a full day on Fridays. 

The best part of the job was working with my fellow interns, two NYU students who would become some of my closest friends. Each Friday, the three of us would claim one of the restaurant-style booths in the WeWork common space and spend the day there, giggling and sharing stories about the frat boys we were hoping to see that weekend while creating Pages presentations for the account leaders to present to clients.

A delicious churro I sampled while working an event at a Times Square food market

Many of New York’s food holiday markets are run by the same company, Urbanspace, which was one of our clients. I found the Bryant Park Holiday Market by accident my freshman year when I went to the New York Public Library to study. I was enchanted by this little world full of lights, art, hot chocolate, and lots and lots of food. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when my fellow interns and I were asked to work a press and influencer event at the opening weekend of the Bryant Park Holiday Market. For these types of events, we invited journalists and Instagram influencers to come to the market, take pictures, and write articles. Our job as interns was to track mentions of our clients on Instagram and online publications. At the event, however, we were given press passes and allowed to roam the market, trying dishes from every stall. We pretended to be influencers, taking photos and videos with our Belgian fries, mozzarella sticks, and Korean-style tacos. Even though I did not end up pursuing a career in PR, I am so grateful for my experiences in the industry. I learned how to speak up for myself in a professional environment and how to balance interning with schoolwork. Best of all, I got to eat some great food.

Tips: On finding your first internship and being successful in the workplace

  • Reach out to upperclassmen you know from class or the clubs you are involved with. Upperclassmen can become great mentors and great friends.
  • Don’t be picky. You are trying to get experience working in a professional environment in New York City. That experience could be in a variety of fields. I didn’t expect to work in public relations, but I ended up having a great time.
  • When communicating with your new supervisor(s), be clear about your work and school boundaries. Constantly evaluate whether you are working the right amount of hours for your major, class schedule, and extracurricular involvement.

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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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Confessions of a Recent Graduate: What Am I Going to Do with My Life?

Sunday, March 14th, 2021

The college years are supposed to be the time when you figure out who you are and who you want to be—or at least that’s what I thought when I was 18 years old and headed to my first class at NYU in a blouse-pants combo that tried and failed to come off as business casual. I knew I wanted to apply to NYU’s International Relations Honors Program and that I would double major in Spanish. (At the time, to graduate with an International Relations degree at NYU you had to be admitted in the honors program. Current undergraduates can choose to do the major with or without the honors component). I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with these degrees. I knew I was interested in expanding my horizons in the literal sense; I wanted to learn about the political and cultural complexities of places I had only read about growing up in a conservative Nebraskan town. I also knew I wanted to help people, which I admit is a vague goal, but I felt an almost tangible empathy for the people I met and the people I read about that I couldn’t ignore.

Graduating in my backyard!

I was sure that answers, or at least some sort of clarity, would come to me. I certainly didn’t expect to feel even more unsure of what I wanted to do with my life when receiving my diploma than when I was walking to my first class. I was about to graduate, yet I was reading articles and taking personality tests trying to figure out what type of career might spark my youthful spirit (or at least not smother that spirit under a pillow) and earn me enough money to live in an apartment that’s up to code. After three years of internships, I was still no closer to deciding my career path than when I fumbled to my first interview in ill-fitting heels.

However, I’ve realized that I don’t need to find or choose a career path. I’m already on a career path; it’s right there on my resume. I have years of workplace stories to share from at least three different industries. My eclectic ventures, swinging from job to job, have shown me sides of the world that I wouldn’t have encountered at a small college where the only available jobs are at the library or student center. 

Through this series of articles, I will attempt to connect the dots between my odd jobs, from New York City to Spain, and from public relations to public defense. At first, I wanted to shape foreign policy at the State Department. Then I wanted to fight for justice and work to end mass incarceration as a top-shot attorney. Through these experiences, however, I often felt a creative urge when I least expected it. There was a love for film and literature that I couldn’t satiate no matter how much I consumed. I still want to advance a global mindset, like a UN Ambassador, and contribute to the fight for justice, like an ACLU attorney, but I want to do it through the art of storytelling. 

I resisted this conclusion for a long time, as I was tempted by the increased stability of a more straightforward career path. Through plenty of practice (and years of mental health care), I have learned to accept and even embrace uncertainty. I am constantly discovering what I am interested in, what I am skilled at, and who I want to be. I believe that going to college in New York City is one of the best ways to open yourself to the array of possibilities that is your career and your life. I will share how I navigated the competitive internship market, the setbacks of rejection, and the brilliance of finding something you love to do. I hope to convey that it is more than acceptable to feel uncertain about your future during college. In fact, that uncertainty might propel you somewhere better than you ever expected.

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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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Back to School and Summer Wrap-Up

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

This is my last year at NYU. It’s amazing how quickly these four years flew by.

I spent my summer at home, where I had a part-time job and a lot of time to write. I ended up in the city a few days a week, too. The summer was an experiment in seeing if I can balance my time at home with my time with friends in New York.

I’ve only dormed at NYU, which is not the norm here, but it’s been nice. I moved in last Sunday and was immediately busy. My sketch comedy team produced and directed two sketches this week; plus, I had work and I was showing my brother around the city. He moved here for college too. It’s been busy, but fun.

Because it’s my last year, I’m looking for more internships. After interning for different TV shows for a year and a half, I decided to take some of my junior and senior years to focus on my academic requirements. Hopefully after I finish the last of my required classes, I’ll be able to spend more time in a hands-on environment.

Additionally, this semester I’m focusing a lot on my craft. I’m taking another screenwriting class, and I am hopefully producing more of my work, whether it be stage or video. Not only are the connections via internships important, but the creative content you produce as a student too.

I’m looking forward to making the most out of my last year at NYU.

Embrace the start of your school year!

—————————————————————————————————————

Erin O’Brien, NYU.

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What Recession?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual unemployment rate across the country has more than doubled since 2006. While the national unemployment rate for the month of April was 9.9, the unemployment rate for New York wasn’t too far behind at 8.4.  This is troubling, not only for the entire workforce, but for recent graduates as well. It seems that the end of the recession is never going to come and that all is lost. I beg to differ.

For the past two years of my life, while many have been running around in a frenzy, spreading the word that “there are no jobs because we are in a recession,” I have been denying what everyone seems to be saying. I’ve never really been too keen on statistics, as I learned how they could be altered, while completing my studies in undergrad. I often saw students change both words and numbers around, molding their PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets to fit certain ideas, even if the real numbers or real data didn’t match up to these concepts; sort of the way some journalists do with their “objective” stories. I’d rather base my opinions on what I see. And based on what I’ve been seeing, we are in no way, shape or form, experiencing a recession. I can prove it.

Exhibit A: I want you to pick a Saturday when you have nothing but free time or even a few hours, preferably mid-afternoon to three o’ clock PM. Take the train to 34th Street in Manhattan and walk along this street, from Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue in either direction. Take notes, look around, and take pictures if you want.  What do you notice? Is it desolate? If not, approximately how many people are walking the streets? Do they have bags in their hands? Are they going into stores? Do the stores seem crowded? If your answer to the last three questions are yes, then you have successfully proven my point thus far. Recession’s, don’t usually include the joys of shopping.

Exhibit B: Let us move on to entertainment. I have been to the movies about three or four times this year. Now that may not be a lot to some, but each time I went, I always felt that I was on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. By the way, I’d visited three different theaters and the environment was always the same, from Chelsea to Midtown to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, the crowds were always there; even on weekdays! I went out with a variety of friends for three weeks in a row to several restaurants around events around the city, and they were packed as well. Hmph, some recession!

Exhibit C: Now according to some, there are no jobs. Really?!? Then how come when I visit web sites such as craigslist.org or monster.com or the career web sites for the colleges I’ve attended, I see thousands upon thousands of jobs, internships, and careers? These are added on a regular basis and come from all industries as well as all career levels. But how can that be if we’re in a recession?

By now I hoped you’ve figured out the answer; just reread the title if you haven’t. So, keep looking for jobs, continue to shop, eat, and live. That’s what I’m doing because I live life by looking at what’s directly in front of me. Plus I’ve never really liked the news. It’s so depressing!

What will you do? Will you believe what the statistics say or will you believe what’s directly in front of your face?

Shana H

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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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