academics, wellness

Interning in NYC: What I’ve Learned So Far + Tips

Yes, yes interning in New York City, (a.k.a the best city in the world) is pretty cool. I’ve only been interning at UNLEASHED by Kara Ross for about 2 weeks and I’ve learned SO much; from fashion and marketing to learning about myself– totally stepping out of my comfort zone. It would be next to impossible to document everything that I’ve learned so far, but here are a few tips to start:

People are nicer than you think.

I don’t know why, but there are so many misconceptions about New Yorkers (at least in my opinion). I’ve been to NYC dozens of times, but it wasn’t until living here these past 2 weeks that I’ve been able to fully observe how New Yorkers really are. One of the main observations is that people are actually nice.

There have been little things here and there, but last week I’ll never forget how nice this man was after he watched me go into a panic on the subway. I was rushing to get to a blowout hair appointment. If anybody knows me, then they know that I LIVE for getting my hair blown out straight. I have naturally curly, frizzy hair, so I’m not kidding when I say that I will pass up a meal to get a blowout (yeah, that’s def unhealthy but it is what it is). Anyways, I booked it at a Drybar (amazing) and when you make an appointment online, they keep your credit card on file. If you don’t show up, they cancel your appointment and charge your card $20. I had a 2:15 appointment and it was probably around 2:10 by the time I got to the subway. BUT, to top it off, I wasn’t paying attention and accidentally got on a train that was going downtown instead of uptown…. Once I realized, I asked a man standing next to me and he confirmed my mistake. I did one of those embarrassing look-aways where my face started to get red, eyes filled with tears, and lips pursed together. He was so sweet and asked me if I was late to an appointment. I  looked like I was about to have a mental breakdown (little did he know it was just a blowout appointment). He kept reassuring me that it’ll be OK, and that they will understand. I was about to get so upset I couldn’t even talk. I could tell he felt so bad and tried to tell me what to do and the fastest way to get there. That is just one instance that I think is funny, but there have been other times where I just think, Wow. That was so nice, what a nice human being. 🙂

Build in at least 20-30 minutes to get somewhere.

Maybe this is just me, but no matter where I go, I almost always give myself 20 minutes to get there. Especially in New York City, traffic and subways can be unpredictable. It’s always safe to build in a bit of time to get to your destination. Obviously map it out and see how long it will take, but it’s not a bad idea to build in an extra 20 minutes on top of it, at least until you’ve done that route a few times and you know what to expect.  It’s quite unpleasant to be in a major rush and find yourself actually running through the streets, bumping into people to get somewhere.

Tote bags are a must. 

I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a tote bag. My Longchamp fits my whole entire life; everything from my Mario Bedescu spray and phone charger to my notebook (also a must-have to make to-do lists) and umbrella. If you’re interning in the city, this bag is a must-have. Cross body bags are also convenient, but when you have to run around the city, or in an office all day, it’s nice to have (and be able to fit) all of the necessities with you.

Comfy shoes or die.

I love shoes– but I have such fat and weird feet, shoes ALWAYS fit me weird. So, I knew that I would be a bit in trouble when it came to finding shoes suitable for this summer. My third day, I wore cute chunky open toed booties from Aldo. When I tried them on in the store, they felt like I was walking on clouds. However, after one day, I can say that I will most likely never be wearing them again. As an intern, you get to learn so much in the office, but there are also times when you need to run errands. I thought that it would be a good idea to walk 15 blocks or so, in those heels… while it was raining… without my umbrella. I’m not sure why I did this; I guess I must’ve been feeling extra, extra confident in my walking skills that day.

Put yourself out there.

I’m a people person. I love talking to people, learning about people, being with people, etc. However, ironically, New York City can sometimes feel like one of the loneliest places. You’re surrounded by people all the time– it’s kind of like being in a fish bowl. Everyone is doing his or her own thing, you’re focused on what you’re doing, and it’s exhausting. Sometimes the last thing I want to do it have a conversation with someone—which, to me, is sad. With all that being said, it’s important to remember that it’s by far one of the best, if not the best, place to network and meet incredible people. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, in the office or outside the office, talk to people and get to know them. There have been a few times where I have been surprised by what I learn about people.

Call people.

This goes with the previous thought on how the city can be lonely. As I’ve said in previous posts, I am a caller rather than a texter. There are very few people that I text regularly, and most of the time I kind of dread it. I would much rather hear a person’s voice, have a meaningful conversation, than text back and forth. Calling people is so much more convenient too! Ugh it boggles my mind. Anyways, there have been times where I feel so lonely and bored; if I’m walking to the office, sitting in my room, or even eating. Picking up the phone and calling your family or best friend has the ability to brighten your day way more than you would think. (Side note: music is nice to listen to while walking, but calling someone makes the walk go by a lot faster).

Use Maps on your iPhone.

I simply can’t stress this one enough. ESPECIALLY when using the subway. I’ve gotten into the habit of plugging in my destination, clicking transit, and mapping out the fastest way to get somewhere. It’s kind of like training wheels; it tells you which subway station to walk to, how long it typically takes for a train to come, which train to take, how many stops, etc. Before you know it, you know (most) of the fastest routes to get to where you need to be in Manhattan. This also brings be to Uber Pool……. I didn’t know how cheap Uber Pool was—I don’t think I will ever be hailing a taxi ever again. If you’re carrying a lot of things, or like a suitcase, just do an Uber Pool.

That is all for now, but I’m sure I’ll add more in the future!!

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