InternTalk: A Crash Course on Interning in a New City

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Courtesy of Andrew Hitchcock.

You worked your network, polished your résumé and landed your dream internship in a new and exciting city. Now what? Next steps include packing outfits for multiple months — while staying under the 50 pound luggage limit imposed by most airlines, finding affordable housing and making the most of living in a new city. These aspects are often overlooked when considering an internship away from home or school. But don’t stress — this is the exciting part! You’ve already landed the dream position, so now it’s time to settle into your new role. Here are a few tips to help you do that well:

Dressing Like a Pro

Ask your supervisor and speak to previous interns about the company culture in your new workplace. If the whole staff is wearing jeans to work, you may seem overdressed in a pantsuit or sports jacket. On the other hand, if your workplace requires professional dress, you will need to pack accordingly. Whatever the work environment, transitional pieces will be your new best friends this summer. From polo shirts to chiffon tops, pairing a transitional shirt with a jacket or blazer may be a perfect for the office — and also perfect to pair with khakis or shorts for exploring on the weekends. Best of all, transitional pieces mean you can pack less and avoid any overweight baggage fees.

Housing on a Student’s Budget

Affordable housing, especially in cities known for their outrageous real estate costs, can seem impossible to find. Websites such as Craigslist and Airbnb are great ways to search for sublets and temporary housing in a range of cities. If you know any students living in the city to which you’ll be moving, don’t be afraid to ask them for help. Often, there will be an online group for students looking to sublet in the summer. Local friends are also a great way to ask for nonbiased opinions on the best neighborhoods to target in your apartment hunt. Sometimes an apartment near a metro stop in a neighborhood farther away from the office is more convenient than an apartment in a closer neighborhood.

Adventuring in a New Place

Living in a new city offers an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture. Many museums and other cultural institutions offer either free admission on certain nights of the week or heavily discounted tickets for students. Research ahead of time and plan your weeknights accordingly. Also check out websites such as Eater to find the best restaurants and food-related deals in your city.

Once you’ve got these topics covered, you can focus on making the most of your summer internship. Good luck!

What tips do you have for students interning in a new city?

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Intern Talk” is a guest column produced by Jonathan Hill, 2014–2015 vice president of career services. The column covers various aspects of the public relations industry, giving PRSSA members the tools to secure internships and make the most of their professional experiences. For more career resources, visit the PRSSA Career Manual and Internship Center.

This post was written by Veronica Mingrone, incoming vice president of career services. You can follow her on Twitter @veronica_min or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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One Response to InternTalk: A Crash Course on Interning in a New City

  1. Drew May 28, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    Having moved many times in my professional life I know the stress and pressure of being alone in a new city. The best way to succeed is to embrace the chaos. Jump on the nearest main road and get lost. Find your way around the town naturally. Take public transport to nowhere in particular; get your bearings as early as possible. Ask questions and introduce yourself to anyone – you’re the stranger, not them. As the stranger it’s your chance to be who you’ve always wanted to be without your past looking over your shoulder. Above all don’t give into the fear or homesickness.

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