Personally, I’ve never moved out of town for an internship. However, two of the coolest and smartest girls I know have. Alexandria Hodge and Kelsey Hutchinson both moved to New York City for their respective internships.
Alexandria worked as a literary awards, marketing and prison writing intern for PEN American Center. Kelsey interned at Elle Magazine as an editorial intern and also Nylon Magazine as their digital intern. Here they talk about the challenges and successes from their internships in NYC.
What was the most rewarding part of your internship, specifically relating to being in another city?
Alexandria- “The most rewarding part of traveling to another city to complete my internship was, of course, the personal growth that comes with traveling to someplace you don’t know and also not knowing anyone once you get there… I don’t know about other people, but I always have this fear that I’m incapable of making friends and that other people won’t welcome me into their already-formed social circles. But spending time in New York City made me trust in the goodness of others, and realize that other people really do relate to the feeling of being an outsider.”
Kelsey- “I think the most rewarding part of my internship was probably moving to New York City. I lived in Chicago for a little after high school and I just remembered how much I missed all the different things big cities offer. Growing up in Omaha, [Nebraska] there isn’t exactly a lot of diversity.”
What would have you done differently during your internship?
Alexandria- “If I could redo my internship, I would have done more research on the actual price of things in New York City and been better at money management. It goes without saying that an unpaid internship in one of the most expensive cities on the planet isn’t economical for a college student, but it was professionally necessary and so I worked very hard to save as much money as I could.”
Kelsey- “If I could do one thing differently it would be to network more. Even though you’re the bottom of the food chain essentially, it’s always good to reach out to your peers and even people above you if you admire them at all. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they got to their career level, etc.”
What did you learn about yourself and traveling from your internship?
Alexandria- “New York City was a wonderful experience, and a great learning opportunity. Although it is difficult to pay for experiences like these, I would encourage other students to not disregard them due to the price. A few months spent out of your comfort zone, both emotionally and financially, can make a world of difference. And internship experience is invaluable to your future professional success.”
Kelsey- “I learned so much about myself just from traveling. Interning, I learned that I could handle being [nagged] at for hours at a time and even when I was tired/hungover/or not feeling well you were still expected to give 100 percent. It was a good prep for being in the real workforce. As far as traveling, I learned not to be afraid to explore and spend time alone. I had never eaten at a restaurant by myself or gone to a movie or a sporting event alone. So I learned how to do things alone, which was completely liberating.”
Kelsey and Alexandria both struggled with various aspects of moving to another city for their internships but ultimately realized their own strengths and rewards of their experiences. Through personal growth and understanding their internship’s merits, they came out on the other side of their internships confident and better prepared for their future careers.