Four Tips for Surviving the New York Internship
very year, a batch of bright-eyed BYU public relations students land at JFK, hop in an Uber and make their way to their designated summer internship housing. After hastily dropping off their bags, they attempt to navigate the subway and embark on a journey to find their respective office buildings. As daunting as any first day at a new job can be, it’s the fast-paced city life that can take the most getting used to. This summer’s New York interns are revealing their tips and tricks on how to thrive in NYC.
Tip 1: Don’t change who you are
The city is full of different people, and although it may seem like everyone has it together, everyone undoubtedly does not. Brooke Tait spent the summer interning at Goodman Media, where she quickly learned that being different isn’t a bad thing.
Be consistent. Don’t change yourself, you are more credible that way.
Having grown up in Iowa, her lifestyle was in no way like the hustle and bustle of city life, but she fought to remain true to who she was. While one of her fellow interns struggled to adapt, and began “shifting herself to become more New York-esque,” Tait gained credibility from her bosses as she remained true to who she was the day she walked in, and ultimately gained more responsibility. While her fellow intern began to talk more like those from New York and changed her style to match those around her, Tait remained un-phased by both her personality and social differences and remained focused on the tasks at hand.
In Tait’s words, “if you like bowties, don’t stop wearing them, if you like your morning tea, keep drinking it, if you always say ‘ciao’ instead of goodbye, then do it. Be consistent. Don’t change yourself, you are more credible that way.”
Tip 2: Whatever you are, be a good one
Many students have the dream of being the intern who receives all the big projects, never runs a single errand and is offered a full-time position within the first month. However, not all internships work like that. Often, interns identify with the not-so-glamorous intern from The Devil Wears Prada, and that’s okay. Whatever the task or role is at hand, do the best possible and don’t get discouraged if it seems mundane or unimportant. The attitude and skill with which a task is performed will always be noticed.
Lauren Anderson was lucky enough to intern alongside a friend of hers at e.l.f. Cosmetics, where every day she was involved with new, unexpected projects. Anderson recalls that some days she was helping stage cool photo shoots, and other days she spent all day organizing 400+ makeup brushes exactly the way her manager wanted them. But Anderson knows that enthusiasm is what sets someone apart, not the importance (or lack thereof) of the task at hand.
Tip 3: You live in New York so take advantage of it
Take advantage of the incredible things the city has to offer as internships only last for a short period of time.
Bailey Fruit, a self-proclaimed art history buff, worked long days at Eric Mower + Associates and spent almost every weekend at art museums. From attending The Metropolitan Museum of Art five times, to The Museum of Modern Art three times, visiting museums helped Fruit recharge after crazy work weeks.
From Broadway to Brooklyn, museums to Yankees games, and Coney Island to Ellis Island, the city is nonstop and always has something to offer.
Tip 4: Take time for yourself
New York quite certainly is the city that never sleeps and everyone seemingly functions without it. Although that may be true, be intentional about setting aside “me time.”
As an intern, it isn’t a weekend visit to New York, but a few months stay. Taking a second to rest and recharge to be more successful the coming week is truly a necessity. Enjoy a good book on your commute to work, talk with friends in the park or go on a run in Central Park; in Anderson’s words, “take care of yourself or New York will eat you alive.”
Written by Claire Sonksen