A Day in the Life | Interning in NYC

TIA HERE with the lowdown on what it's like to be a summer intern in the City of New York. To give some background, I'm doing two internships--one that is three days a week and the other that is two days a week, both spanning in total from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday--basically a full time job. Both places are on the same street, coincidentally, so it takes me 35 minutes to commute (read: walk) each morning. My hope with this post is to give you the layout of my day and week, so if you are considering an internship in NYC, you'll have an idea of what that might entail.

Somewhere in East Village, I'm living in an NYU dorm with three roommates. Our room is set up as two doubles sharing a kitchen, bathroom, and living/dining space--all apartment style. NYU rents out its dorm space to students who are summer interns, have summer jobs, or are taking summer classes (I believe! So check it out if you're interested). It's not cheap, but in this city--what is? What's convenient is that I don't have to take the subway to work, which would cost me about $5 every day. Since my internships are unpaid, that would be an unnecessary addition to my already flourishing bill.

Each morning I get up anywhere between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m. to get ready for work. That means I lounge around for 15 minutes waiting to really wake up, then I brush my teeth and wash my face, get dressed and do my makeup, make sure my bag is packed with a lunch (saves money), and head out. Usually I eat breakfast at some point between cleaning and getting ready to step outside, but on occasion I will get breakfast from somewhere on the way to work. Either way, I have to leave at 9:25 to guarantee I'm at my desk at 10.

At my first internship, I spend the day working on scripts and audio/video for PR work. Without getting too much into the specifics, I usually just help out the producers with any tasks they need completed, from video logging to writing news releases. The environment is pretty upbeat and fun when there is work to do, but painfully slow when producers are out at shoots or there just isn't enough work to go around.

Normally, I bring my own lunch to this internship in an attempt to save money, and that means Kraft Microwavable Macaroni & Cheese Dinners (because I'm just overflowing with class) or Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup in the to-go cans or the stouter, plastic-lidded bowls. While this may not be the most stylish or interesting way to get lunch, when you're an unpaid intern, it does the job in the tastiest and cheapest way possible. (I'm a fan of these brands to say the least! But someday when I can afford better, I will go for better things instead.) Typically, I'll also bring a snack like popcorn or cereal as well, just to make sure I'm never starving.

One of the best parts about working in an office like this one is the existence of freebies. There are two 
Keurigs that I always go to for Chai Latte K-cups. It's life changing! (Make sure you do 8 mL though, because 10 mL just means 2 more mL of hot water--not flavor.) There's also a vending machine that dispenses free Snapple and soda. Now, to say I'm not about this life would be a lie--drinking 5 chai lattes a day is definitely the way to go, especially when they cost nothing.

I'll spend the typical day working at my cubicle, where I am provided with my own laptop/desktop computer, desk, and phone, or in an edit bay with one of the editors. I always try to go around the office and ask if anyone needs help with anything--because that's how you get work to do! Then, as the day winds to a close around 5 to 6 p.m., I'll head out and walk home.

My second internship, which is in the building across the street from my first internship, is only on Thursdays and Fridays and is specifically post-production video editing. While at my first internship I work with Avid Media Composer when I edit, at the second one I work with both Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro 7. I spend the day sorting through footage, scanning old newspapers, running errands across Manhattan, and editing videos together. These days are always busy from start to end, and while this office doesn't have Keurigs--nor do I have my own cubicle, although I do get a laptop and desk--it does provide a similar sort of machine and free soda, which is almost as good (clearly I have my priorities straight).

Then I head home around 5 p.m. Usually I eat the second I get home and maybe wander around East Village afterward. Because my two best friends in the city are either miles north (far from where I am) or working long hours, my weekdays are usually free to lead me wherever my feet may choose to go.

On the weekends, my friends and I always make plans to do something--from karaoke and wandering Manhattan to drinking bubble tea in Chinatown and exploring Brooklyn. We browse stores, eat nonstop, and enjoy the life of the city. That's definitely what I'm going to miss most when I'm back home.

Overall, interning in NYC stands against interning anywhere else because of the city itself, pure and simple. The people here are more diverse, incredible, and open-minded than anyone I have met elsewhere. On every street there is something to do, something to see, something to enjoy--it actually is a city of possibilities. While the dirt and stink of city life may be a turn off, the opportunity will always make it worth it. Although I can't say I'll want to live in NYC for the rest of my life, I do think that my twenties are the perfect time to be there. So hopefully I'll work in NYC in the years to come. 
Much love,

T.