Here’s How To Make A Great First Impression At An Entry-Level Job

You’ve worked hard to earn your degree and even hard to lock down that first job after college. You should recognize and celebrate the successes you’ve had, but don’t underestimate the importance of starting your first entry-level job off on the right foot.

Here are 5 actionable tips to help you succeed beyond your wildest dreams in your first entry-level job:

Prepare for your first day. 

When given a start date for your new job, it can be extremely tempting to relax and passively wait for that date to come before you start getting familiar with your new job. That’s not a good idea. You should spend an hour or so each day getting more familiar with the company, the role, and the people you’re likely to work with. Here are some tips for getting on top of the job before it begins:

  1. Ask your hiring manager for any guides or information to ponder before you start.
  2. Get familiar with the industry you’re working in and your company’s place in it. What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  3. Do some additional research into the professional history (best to avoid personal history) of the other team members you’ll be working with. Where have they worked? What have they done?
  4. Ask the company to help you get in touch with previous entry-level hires in your role. They will have fantastic advice for you on succeeding at the company.
  5. Get coffee with your coworkers before you start.

Show up early and prepared.

There are going to be a lot of moving pieces on your first day. There will be new people to meet, new processes to learn, routines to establish, and the list goes on. Arrive early and create structure for yourself to make it less overwhelming. Here are some suggestions for creating helpful structure on your first day:

  1. Write everything down. It doesn’t matter where. What’s important is that writing things down helps you retain them.
  2. Start a to-do list and be diligent about checking items off as they happen. This will help you when your boss asks what you’ve done lately.
  3. Take breaks to reflect. Take 15 minutes at the end of the day to make any additional notes.
  4. Create a routine. Get lunch at the same time every day. Create structure in your daily agenda.

Be a humble sponge.

Recognize that there’s going to be a lot for you to learn and that your coworkers have a lot to teach. Be patient, respectful, humble, and curious. If you don’t know or understand something, ask for some guidance and help, listen intently, write it down, and take it to heart.

You might find yourself not agreeing with the way certain parts of the company or processes are run. That’s fine. However, it’s always a good idea to attempt to understand why the current processes exist before attempting to change them. You want to work in a place where your voice is heard and respected. Your fellow employees will listen and respect you only if you’re willing to listen and respect them first.

Set goals.

If you remember one thing from this list, let this be it. Nothing is more important than setting good goals for yourself. Ideally, you’re creating these goals with your manager so that you’re both on the same page with respect to the expectations for you in your role. Only once you know what you’re working towards and how you’ll be evaluating your success can you truly start making progress in your job. Good goals will help you push yourself to learn new things, meet new people, tackle new challenges, and get the absolute most from any job.

Learn How to Set Great Professional Goals

Be introspective.

Truly knowing yourself and attempting to understand what you find challenging and rewarding about your job will pay dividends. The better you know yourself, the easier it is for you to set great goals for yourself and achieve them. You’ll get more meaningful results faster in almost every aspect of your work.

So being introspective is important. Great. Now how do you do it?

  1. Consider what you’re hoping to get out of your first job. Are you assessing whether or not you want to continue a career in marketing? Or are you trying to figure out whether or not the industry is interesting to you? Why are you here?
  2. Ask yourself, how do you feel at work? Are you upbeat and happy? Or are you distracted and bitter?
  3. Dig into what you’ve actually learned each day. Is what you’re learning what you want to be learning?

Start using these actionable tips.

Sometimes success in a new job comes naturally and sometimes it requires a great deal of effort. Regardless of what situation you find yourself in, these tips should help you start taking control of the situation and ensure you make the most of your first job after college.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Entry-Level Job? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

Washington, DC Summer Housing Guide

With its perfect blend of tree-lined streets, colorful row homes and bustling city-life, Washington, DC is an amazing place to spend the summer. Whether you prefer 24-hour Internet cafes and dog parks or boutique stores and fresh farmers markets, DC has a lot to offer a newcomer.

Despite all of its glory, living in DC can be expensive. The recent influx of young professionals to the city has caused rents to escalate, which makes finding affordable housing difficult and competitive. With monthly rent averaging around $1000, we created this Summer Housing Guide so that you will have a leg up in your search.

While the list below contains descriptions of DC’s most popular neighborhoods, sites like Craigslist, PadMapper and Yelp are still the best ways to search for housing and read reviews about different neighborhoods.

LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale
Price: $$
Walking Score: 81
Weekend: Quiet

Duke Ellington and Jesse Jackson once called this neighborhood home. Young professionals, working class families and Howard University students and professors make up this neighborhood. LeDroit Park boasts a community-sponsored co-op garden and the kind of small cafes and convenient stores “where everybody knows your name.” Students choosing to live here will be no more than a 5 minute walk to the local buses and a 10-15 minute walk to the metro and U Street nightlife.

Columbia Heights
Price: $$$
Walking Score: 83
Weekend: Bring your headphones

This is probably the only neighborhood in DC where you can buy a bagel, a burrito and a bloody mary at 6am! CH has plenty of restaurants, internet cafes, dog parks,sports clubs, grocery stores, bodegas and it even has a Target. What doesn’t it have? Parking. The upside is that you can catch a cab from this area to any place in the city for under $12. We promise, you’ll want to go Vegan after a cupcake from Sticky Fingers. 

DuPont Circle
Price: $$$$
Walking Score: 98
Weekend: No inside voices needed here

Modern meets contemporary in this artsy hub of the city. With its French-inspired architecture, fountains and fresh bakeries, choosing to live here will almost feel like you’re in Paris — until you look up and see the National Monument. Even though there’s plenty of public transit in this area, you’ll never want to leave this neighborhood on the weekend because it has everything you need: froyo, yoga, a farmers market, bars and plenty of bookstores. Less than 10 blocks from the White House, those choosing to live in DP should be prepared to fork over a pretty penny for rent. Tip for grabbing brunch at Kramerworks? Ask them to seat you at the bar.

Adams Morgan
Price: $$$
Walking Score: 90
Weekend: Who needs sleep?

This is the kind of neighborhood where you can buy a piercing and a jumbo slice of pizza all in one sitting. There’s no shortage of dive bars, wi-fi or panhandling here. Searching for food around these parts is like a trip to the United Nations, everything is represented – from authentic empanadas and gyros to injera bread and baklava (and for reasonable prices). Bus lines are located on every other corner, but you’re in for a 15-minute walk to the nearest metro. If you like to party, then welcome home!

Price: $$$$
Walking Score: 89
Weekend: Did the Hoyas win or lose?

If you consider yourself a “bro”, prefer the collars on your shirts flipped up and take pride inyour 3-letter sorority/fraternity, then there’s no place like Georgetown. Full of high-end stores, restaurants, spas, small dogs and pedestrians, Georgetown is the neighborhood that people take visitors when they want to prove the city’s got class. With all of its bells and whistles, the public transportation in this area sucks: there’s no metro line and only a few bus routes to bustle people in and out. But don’t worry, Georgetown is the kind of neighborhood where friends are more than happy to visit you. After bruschetta and brunch, make sure you check out Blues Alley nightclub – where legendary performers like Sade and Bebe King have graced the stage.

Capitol Hill
Price: $$$
Walking Score:98
Weekend: Did you hear that pin drop?

Those serious about politics need only apply to live here. Affectionately known as “the Hill,” most of DC’s major politicos call this neighborhood home. During the day it’s bustling with lawmakers and Congressional aides and on the weekends you’ll find families with young kids hanging out in the park or folks running the steps of the Capitol Building. Eastern Market is a must-visit and the perfect way to blow a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Foggy Bottom
Price: $$$$
Walking Score: 91
Weekend: Is there a protest?

Foggy Bottom is home to the lawmakers and the lobbyist (and George Washington University). Living here will provide students with the most accessibility to some of DC’s most prized locales like the National Monument, the White House and cool neighborhoods like DuPont Circle and Georgetown. Apartments are expensive and they go fast, so if you want to take up residence here then you should start searching early. This neighborhood has all the trimmings of an upscale area: Whole Foods, Burberry and bistros. Since you’ll be sharing the block with the World Bank, be prepared for lots of protests. Otherwise, this is a great part of town with easy access to public transportation. Make sure to stop by Founding Farmers for brunch – you can thank us later.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

Washington, DC Summer Internship Guide

Congratulations on landing a summer internship in Washington, DC! With its plethora of free museums, national landmarks, world-famous cupcakes (more on those later) and a thriving political scene, spending the summer in the nation’s capital is sure to be one that you won’t forget. DC has such a rich cultural history: from its French-inspired design by architect Charles L’Enfant to the historic March on Washington, it has always been a place that both artists and activists could comfortably call home. Most of the young professionals who currently live in the city are transplants from all over the world, making DC a cultural hybrid of some of our nation’s most well-known politicos and changemakers. So whether you want to discuss foreign policy while sipping fair trade coffee or attend a concert by your favorite band, you’ll definitely discover your perfect fit.

We want to make sure that you get the most out of your summer in DC so we created this Internship City Guide to give you an idea on how to maximize your summer in the city. This guide covers it all: from transportation and housing to avoiding common pitfalls (ever had a boot on your car?). More importantly, this guide was designed for a person like you in mind – someone who wants a more unique, off-the-beaten-path experience.

Exploring Washington DC as an Intern

While interning in DC for the summer, you’re bound to visit the usual suspects like the National Monument, WWII Memorial (make sure to go at night), Embassy Row, Ben’s Chili Bowl and the Smithsonian museums, but the city has so much more to offer! From hidden gardens and espionage exhibits to discussions with journalists and policymakers, you will definitely find your niche.

There’s tons of great food but if you really want to eat like a local then join the FoodTruckFight, discover your favorite Ethiopian restaurant on historic U St., dine at the best Indian restaurant (Bill Clinton’s words not ours) Bombay Club and elbow strangers for a soul food feast at Ohhs and Aaahs. More than anything, a true DC resident knows great cupcakes and for good reason: they’re home to the first ever cupcake shop – Sprinkles. So if you really want to earn your local stripes then head over to their famous shop in Georgetown and taste one of their award-winning cupcakes (red velvet is our favorite).

Hidden Gems

If you’re looking for a calorie-free way to spend the day, then check out some of DC’s most overlooked treasures. Conveniently located on Capitol Hill, the U.S. Botanic Garden is a living plant museum and home to some of the world’s most exotic collections of plants and flowers. Treat yourself (for free) to a day of beauty and discovery. Another place that you don’t want to miss is the Newseum. It’s not free like most of the museums in the area, but it’s the only place in the world where you can experience 5 centuries worth of interactive media exhibits. Like the Berlin Wall, Pulitzer Prize winning photography or the Watergate door. Those with a serious appetite for politics should visit the Brookings Institute and the Center for American Progress. These think tanks usually offer summer events that are open to the public. Past speakers include Arianna Huffington, Timothy Geithner and Condoleezza Rice.

More than Politics

Washington, DC is more than just politics and the city also boasts plenty of ways to stay entertained and take a break from long days on the Hill. Sports fans can take the metro over to Nationals Park and catch a baseball game or sign up to play flag football or soccer in one of the cities summer leagues. The newly renovated Howard Theater
is a great place to take in a concert and if you want to spend the evening outdoors, check out WolfTrap’s summer concert series. If you enjoy spoken word, then stop by Bus Boys ‘n Poets, grab a cup of java and catch one of their late night performances.

Need a lift? The Need-to-Know About DC Transportation

DC is commuter-friendly and accessible by most major forms of public transportation. While the getting around part is easy, parking can be a hassle. Most of the city’s available parking requires meter fees (credit cards accepted and you can pay from your mobile) Monday-Saturday. While there are plenty of parking garages, most cost an average of $15 to $25 per day. On-street parking is available in some residential neighborhoods, so if you plan to bring your car make sure to register for a parking permit or be prepared to move it during odd times for street sweeping and rush hour. Meter maids in DC are really aggressive, so don’t get caught parking in the wrong space or forget to feed the meter, because multiple tickets can result in a boot.

Public transportation is the best way to get around DC! WMATA offers multiple bus lines and trains that run throughout the city and surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Beware of morning and evening rush hour. Plan your route ahead of time with WMATA’s Trip Planner or Nextbus to make on-the-go travel plans. One of WMATA’s newest implementations is the DC Circulator – a specialty shuttle bus whose route includes only the hottest stops in the city ($1 and they arrive every 10 minutes).

Paying for public transportation is simple. Pick up a SmarTrip card, available at DC Metro stations and local convenience stores. You can add value and manage your card right from your mobile device. Make sure to register your card, because you can redeem its value in the event that it’s lost or stolen.

There are plenty of other alternatives to the metro. DC has multiple Zipcar lots or you can participate in the Capital Bikeshare and grab a lift from more than 160 bike racks around the city.

Working Out

Just incase flag football and outdoor yoga aren’t enough to keep those endorphins going, there are several gyms to choose from in the city. Local gyms like Results and Golds are great for those serious about a hardcore workout or weight lifting. For an all-in-one health and spa gym, Vida Fitness and Mint are the perfect places to go. Their facilities are high-end, including a full health bar, squash court and tons of cool classes.

If you’re on a budget, then check out the Washington Sports Clubs and the YMCA. They often offer a seasonal discount to students. Yogis will want to join Yoga District, a non-profit yoga studio where you have the option to pay or volunteer in exchange for your class.

Getting in and Out of Town

There are plenty of ways to get in and out of DC. The three major airports are DCA, IAD and BWI. All three are accessible by public transportation, Shuttle Bus or a $20-$60 cab ride depending on which airport you choose.

DC’s great location means that it’s only a few hours away from Philadelphia, New York and Boston, so if you’re looking to hop on the bus for a short weekend trip then try the BoltBus.. Warning: weekend tickets go fast and they’re known to overbook so always purchase a round trip ticket and arrive at the stop early.

If you don’t have room on your couch for friends and family, then direct them to cool sites like AirbnbHotel Tonight, or suggest they rent a bed in one of the cities numerous hostels.

What’s Up Doc?

Searching for a new doctor or health clinic in a major city can be frustrating. Use ZocDoc to book appointments and search for a physician based on your location and insurance provider. If you’re in a real emergency then you can visit one of the cities local hospitals –Howard University HospitalGeorge Washington University Hospital,
or Georgetown University Hospital.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

Loudoun County Summer Internship Guide

Located just 30 miles outside of Washington, D.C. in Northern Virginia, Loudoun County is simultaneously a pastoral escape for history and wine enthusiasts and an economic hotbed for professionals working in the high tech, Internet, satellite and defense industries. Interns in Loudoun County live in the most highly educated region of the United States — 58% of Loudoun residents have a bachelor’s degree (while the national average sits at 28%), and the unemployment rate slashes the national rate in half at under 4%! Diversity abounds in this entrepreneurial county, too. Nearly one in four Loudoun residents were born outside the country, and the most common languages after English are Spanish, Vietnamese, Urdu, Arabic and Farsi.

Being so close to America’s capital city means that interns can visit national monuments, world-famous landmarks, museums, zoos and other attractions. There’s also plenty to explore in Loudoun County itself, home to the cities of Ashburn, Bluemont, Leesburg, Middleburg, Sterling, and Waterford, all within its picturesque landscape.

Exploring Loudoun County:

If you love the outdoors, there’s plenty of adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Potomac River, two of Loudoun’s natural borders. Known as D.C.’s wine country, Loudoun also boasts 34 wineries and several breweries. Depending on your interests, you may either hike the Appalachian National Scenic Trail — a 2,174-mile footpath winding from Maine to Georgia — or follow your tastebuds on the Wine Trail.

Historic Leesburg is the county seat of Loudoun County and draws visitors with its charming, old town atmosphere. Visit Morven Park, a National Register Historic Property, where Virginia governor Westmoreland Davis resided for 40 years. Its 1,200 acres offer three museums, an equestrian center, gardens, sports fields and hiking trails — not to mention interactive programs like Civil War reenactments and festivals. Take another trip to the past with the Oatlands plantation, which features a stately Civil War-era mansion, farmland and gardens.

With its reputation as the capital of horse country, historic architecture, tree-lined streets, quaint boutiques, and eateries, Middleburg is understandably a popular getaway setting for celebrities (try to spot Robert Duvall and Willard Scott while you’re in town!). Be sure to visit the Red Fox Inn, established in 1728 and steeped in American history. The inn also offers hearty meals and a fine arts gallery of animal and sporting art.

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the National Air and Space Museum in downtown D.C. Here, you’ll find the Boeing Aviation Hangar, the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar, an observation tower, an IMAX theater, and more!

Getting Around:

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Leesburg Executive Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) are all nearby landing pads for your arrival.

Once you’re in Loudoun, you can take public transit, but having a car is ideal.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

Mastering Your Summer Internship

Summer internships are special. While interning during the school year can offer a phenomenal experience, a summer internship is typically full-time, allowing you to put your full focus on developing professional skills and impressing your boss and peers. It can also help you line up a full-time job after you graduate. Many summer internships are also part of an internship program that can involve a number of other students as well as unique mentorship events like brown-bag lunches, and fun activities like company baseball games.

To make the most of your summer internship you should come into it with goals and have a strategy to make sure you succeed. Goals can be anything from getting way better at a certain professional skill like sales, or front-end engineering; or, a goal can be to network and meet as many other people as you can. To help you get the most out of your summer position, we talked to hundreds of students to learn more about what they wished they knew before their first internship and made a summer internship blog series covering key topics and activities you should study and complete. Our list is below:

Week by week advice to make the most of your summer internship: 

Setting Summer Internship Goals

Week 1:
10 Tips on Setting Goals with Your Manager

Week 2:
How to Accelerate Your Learning Curve

Week 3:
Get Productive and Learn to Manage Your Workload

Week 4:
Learn to Network With Peers and Co-Workers Early

Remember the 10 Must Dos of Networking

Explore these 7 Online Resources Perfect for Networking

Learn to spark more thrilling conversations

Week 5:
Build Your Personal Project

Week 6:
Check Yourself and Reorganize Your Space

Week 7:
Look Ahead to Maximize Your Impact

Week 8:
Learn How to Land Your First Job

Week 9:
3 Steps for Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

Week 10:
5 Things You MUST Do Before Leaving Your Summer Internship

Advanced Tips for Writing Memorable Thank You Letters

What’s Next?

Once you’ve knocked your summer internship out of the park, you’ll be on the hunt for another internship or an entry-level job. If you’re moving on to entry-level jobs, here are a few suggestions for starting your search.
If you’re think you’ll be looking at jobs outside of your major focus, we’ve got a few tips for you here.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

Montreal Summer Housing Guide

There’s a good reason Montreal is bursting at the seams with artists, musicians and all manner of vagrants: cheap, cheap living. Even at the heart of the trendiest neighborhoods with the best restaurants and the loveliest cafés,
there are beautiful three-bedroom walk-ups available for less than a thousand per month. In other words, intern paradise.

Depending on where you live, how many people you’re willing to live with and how much compromise you’re willing to make on location, this rate could drop even lower. If you’re set on living alone, Montreal is the place for you. There’s a neighborhood for every budget, a café for every type of music, a fresh bagel or smoked meat sandwich to suit any palate.

A Few Must-Knows

You’ll be expected to sign a year-long lease. Damage deposits of any kind are not allowed in Quebec. For this reason apartments always come with a lease, no exceptions. They run almost uniformly from July 1st to June 30.

  • How to get around it? If you’re on a short internship for several months, subletting is very common during the fall and winter semesters as well as the summer months. If you’re renting an apartment with several other people, the landlord will probably prefer only one person signs the lease for reasons of liability.
  • Lease Transfer is always on the table. It’ll be your obligation to find a new tenant to take over your lease but your landlord has very little right of refusal. Find someone cleaned-up and articulate who can pass a credit check and you’re golden.

Look for ads in both languages. In general, “francophones” (French speakers) use Kijiji while “anglophones” (English speakers) tend to prefer Craigslist. Forget the newspaper: the cost far outweighs the benefit of advertising in print. Occasionally there are deals to be had; no one is looking there, after all, but for the most part the local paper is a barren land.

  • Another tip: almost everyone is bilingual–as are their ads–so don’t be shy. Both Kijiji and Craigslist will have different listings so be sure to check both.

Neighborhoods To Look At

Trendier ‘Hoods on the Cheap:

Mile-End: This is the neighborhood where everything is happening. You’ll need to hunt a little for a good bargain but you will never lack for interesting adventures. The heart of the ‘hood is Café Olympico and Club Social, where you can find the best coffee in the city at the cheapest prices. A great place to people watch on a warm summer afternoon. The city’s most interesting music venues are almost all to be found in this area. It is also home to the world’s best bagels, which you can buy fresh from the oven twenty-four hours a day. A popular hang-out at 4 a.m.

Parc Ex: Many trend seekers and trend makers who’ve grown frustrated with the rising rents of Mile-End are seeking refuge in Parc Ex, which has better access to the Metro and an abundance of low-priced accommodation. The neighborhood has a bit of a colder feeling since streets are wider and the traffic is heavier. This is a popular area for new immigrants so the selection of cheap and exotic food is some of the best in the city. If you like, you can compromise on the in-between area people are starting to call “Mile-Ex.”

Budget ‘Hoods:

Verdun: Several decades ago Verdun was home to the Irish Mafia. In effort to staunch some of the criminal activity, the city revoked all alcohol permits and refused to issue any more until just recently. As such there is not a single bar in this neighborhood, which has stunted its growth considerably and made it a haven for all manner of vagrants. With three metro stations, Verdun has extremely easy access to any neighborhood in the city and some of the cheapest rents you can find. Also a popular neighborhood for new immigrants, it offers a large variety of interesting restaurants and independent grocers.

St. Henri: In the last decade this neighborhood has seen loads of growth and activity, while rents have been raised only a fraction. It’s full to the brim with enormous artist lofts at varying prices. The loft parties of St-Henri recall the speakeasies of the depression era. Expect live music, ultra cheap beer and well-dressed hipsters of all ages.

‘Hoods for the “Money-Is-No-Object” Intern:

Plateau Mont-Royal: Fifteen years ago the Plateau was no more than a ghetto. As artists began to flock here, so did the rents begin to rise. Today almost all accommodation has been rendered unaffordable for the very people who gave it its value. Despite the gentrification, the main drag is still one of the prettiest streets in the city. The neighborhood has quieted down considerably though as much of the action moved north. Beware, because property is so valuable, many stretch the Plateau’s boundaries in online advertisements, referring to cheaper, outlying areas also as “The Plateau.”

Old Port: Anyone interning in law, business or banking would do well to rent a place in the old part of the city, if you can afford it. It’s a hop, skip and a jump from the business district, it’s classically beautiful and also home to some of the best (and most expensive) restaurants in the city. If you can live with the tourists and you’ve got cash to burn, this is a great bet. You’ll find plenty of good company in this neighborhood, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find one person of modest income.

Cheap rent isn’t the only attraction. If you love music and culture of all sorts, Montreal is definitely the place for you. Public transportation is excellent and also very inexpensive. If you’re still a student, a monthly pass is just $45 and includes all metro trains and buses. You’ll need at least a working knowledge of French to score an internship, though most businesses will expect you to be perfectly fluent, both written and spoken.

* This article was written in partnership with Amy Knapp at InsideTrak.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

New York City Summer Internship Guide

Congratulations on making the big move to New York—one classic crooner tells us that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. You’ll be strutting on the same streets as some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and entertainment icons. There’s a lot to get up to speed on if you want to succeed at your internship in the city that never sleeps. Thankfully, we’ve put together this city guide to help you cut through the red tape to becoming a New Yorker. Pretty soon, you’ll be crossing city blocks in a New York minute.

Students coming to NYC may think there is a perfect apartment waiting for them, but the reality is that the apartment hunt is incredibly competitive. Sadly, few of you are going to find that Sex in the City apartment within a student budget. So keep your options open!

Where to look for an apartment

Despite the ugly interface, Craigslist is still the best way to find housing in New York City. However, due to the fierce competition for apartments, we also recommend that you reach out to your network, as seemingly everybody has a friend of a friend who lives in NYC. If money is no issue at all, you can hire an apartment broker (buyers beware: typical fees include 15 percent of the annual rent or 1.8 times the monthly rent). Additionally, some brokers will offer discounts to students – it never hurts to ask.


Financial District (Manhattan)

  • $2450 Non-Doorman Studio
  • $2792 Doorman Studio

If you are interning on Wall Street, there is no place more convenient that the Financial District (FiDi). Relatively more affordable in comparison to some of the hipper places in Manhattan, the FiDi offers newer buildings and more modern amenities. The benefits of better living conditions are a tradeoff for the lack of nightlife: most restaurants in FiDi typically shut down around 5 or 7pm, though it’s a good neighborhood for interns who want a quiet place to live. Good for interns who want a quiet place to live and a short commute to downtown offices.

Greenwich Village + East Village (Manhattan)

  • $2466 Non-Doorman
  • $2953 Doorman

Originally a neighborhood for bohemian artists, Greenwich Village today has developed into a hip neighborhood that no starving artist can afford to live in. The neighborhood is a popular hangout for NYU students and features many budget friendly bars. Apartment rent is another matter, though the buildings are older than the ones in FiDi and often come with no doorman or air conditioning. The trendy, young atmosphere drives up prices for the neighborhood.

Upper East Side + Upper West Side (Manhattan)

  • $1971 Non-Doorman
  • $2495 Doorman

The Upper East and West sides are a lot more family oriented than the other Manhattan neighborhoods that were listed. As a result, these neighborhoods feature quieter streets and more green space. Although home to the extremely wealthy, the fringes of these two neighborhoods offer affordable rents albeit at the cost of easily accessible transportation.

University Housing (Various)

  • $1100 for a shared room

University housing in the city often opens up to all students in the summer. This housing is relatively cheap and in centrally located in the city. However, spaces are extremely limited, so be sure to apply on the day applications open up. Schools with summer housing include New York University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Columbia and Polytechnic University. Also note that most university housing requires you to share a room, so it’s helpful to have a roommate in mind to sign up with, or prepare to make some new friends.


In New York City, the subway is king and it will take you almost anywhere you want cheaply. It is highly suggested that you buy a Metro card as soon as you get to the city. If you take the subway more than 10 times a week you should buy an unlimited monthly rider plan (see for pricing details). In a rush, take a cab which starts at $2.50 plus $.50 for each additional mile or minute of idling. Beware, the cost of taking cabs adds up fast.

Places worth visiting such as Washington DC, Boston and upstate New York are only a short bus or train ride away. These destinations make for some affordable weekend trips. Alternatively, splitting a Zipcar with friends is also an affordable way to escape the city. For trip ideas check out’s Weekend Getaways.

Dining on an intern budget

Belgian fries from Pommes Frites and pizza from Artichoke are popular late night student snacks after a night out on the town. For unique and tasty lunch options, head down to Num Pang for some Cambodian sandwiches. If you think you have seen all there is to Chinese food, go to Xian Famous Foods in Chinatown for dishes not often seen outside of China. Hankering for a good ol’ American burger? Look no further than the nearest Shake Shack, NYC’s answer to In N Out. Brunch is all the rage for newly christened New Yorkers, and you cannot go wrong with Café Condesa. Feel like splurging? Drop by the famous Gramercy Tavern for an updated American tavern experience.


During the summer there are a number of free concerts and movie screenings that take place al around the city. To never miss an event, check Time Out New York’s constantly updated event calendar and a “Best things to do this week” list that will keep you in the loop.

To watch a Broadway show on the cheap, grab some student tickets. Student tickets sell out almost as soon as the theater box office opens, so make sure to arrive there an hour or two before the opening time. If you are feeling lucky, many theaters run a raffle for discounted tickets a couple of hours before the show. Your odds of winning are much better than the lotto, but still far from assured. Same day tickets are also sold at a discount at TKTS booths
(the one in the Financial District is typically less crowded than the one in Times Square). TKTS also sells off Broadway show tickets, which are slightly less expensive than Broadway shows but still of the same quality.

There are a number of comedy clubs in the city. Expect a two item minimum along with the price for admission for each of these shows. Avoid the “free” shows being offered at Times Square, as they are tourist traps. Frommers has a good guide of the top comedy clubs in NYC that you can check out for guaranteed laughs.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

San Diego Summer Housing Guide

In your summer housing search, we highly suggest you use PadMapper because it allows you to see all the listings on a map and avoid the ugly Craigslist site. Start looking for housing sooner rather than later and respond to as many listings as possible, as short term and sublet listings are snatched up quickly by summer school students.

Below is a list of San Diego’s most popular areas for sublets. Remember to do your own research and if possible, pay a visit to the area before firmly committing to a lease.

La Jolla
$450-500 Double
$650-$700 Single

Many UCSD students live in the UTC area due to the proximity to campus and relatively affordable rent. There are a number of bus routes that run near the major housing complexes including an express line that runs to downtown San Diego. La Jolla is a quiet suburban setting with a small mall and grocery stores within walking distance or a short bus trip. There are a lot of college students who stick around to take summer courses and chances are your roommates will be college students as well.

*Local Tip: The UCSD area has the highest concentration of Zipcars.

San Diego State University (SDSU) Area
$450-500 Double
$600-650 Single

A more rowdy and slightly cheaper college town compared to La Jolla. Friday nights at SDSU can be quite happening, but during the summer it calms down as students head home. Nonetheless, there is still a sizable student presence during the summer. Being close to SDSU, the area features a number of bus routes that will take you to wherever you need to go.

Pacific Beach (PB)
$750 – 850 Single

If you want to be close to the party and be able to walk to the beach, there is nothing better than Pacific Beach. PB is the largest nightlife hub in San Diego, home to many young professionals and even a few students. In addition, there are a bunch of amazing and affordable restaurants in the area. The downside is that it can get pretty noisy, particularly Thursday through Saturday night. Also, traffic on roads leading out of PB can get pretty bad during rush hour and public transit is limited.

*Local Tip: Living in PB will allow you to surf before heading off to work

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

San Diego Summer Internship Guide

Settled on San Diego as your summer internship destination? That’s great because you have chosen to be in one of the most beautiful cities in America. San Diego is the land of sun kissed beaches, surfer dudes and some of the most laid back people on earth. It’s the California that everybody dreams about.

Of course, just because the beach is always at most a 10 minute drive away doesn’t mean San Diegans are all slackers. Quite the contrary, as the top biotech and life science cluster in the country and home to the largest naval fleet in the world, San Diegans embody the ethos of “work hard, party hard.”

At WayUp, we want you to get the most out of your summer in San Diego so we took the time to create an Internship City Guide that gives you a crash course in navigating the city. The guide covers everything from transportation and networking opportunities to things that only seasoned locals would know.

See our housing guide for a full breakdown of neighborhoods and summer housing resources.

Exploring San Diego

The hardest part about going to the beach in San Diego is deciding which one to go to as there are just so many. Always wanted to learn how to surf? Head on to Pacific Beach to grab some waves and maybe a beer afterwards at one of the area’s many bars. If you prefer a quiet beach, check out Black’s beach where there are tide pools to explore and play in, however, beware of wandering too far north as it becomes a nude beach.

*Local Tip: High above Black’s Beach is a place UCSD students refer to as “the cliffs.” Boasting magnificent views of the coast below, this is one of San Diego’s best kept secrets. The hard to spot entrance is on Whitecliff Dr. and La Jolla Farms Rd.

In addition to the beach, San Diego’s outdoors also offers great hiking trails. The Mount Woodson Trail
or better known as the “Potato Chip Rock Hike” offers great views and a photo opportunity at the summit. For something less strenuous, take a walk along the Sunset Cliffs at Ocean Beach, rumored to be the best place to watch the sunset in San Diego.

If you are in the city, the world famous San Diego Zoo is not to be missed. After the zoo, check out the surrounding museums in Balboa Park. Head to sea and climb aboard a decommissioned aircraft carrier at the USS Midway museum. If you time it right, you can catch a Padres game after all that museum learning before ending your day at a classy restaurant in the historic Glasslamp Quarter.

*Local Tip: On your way out of the city, consider attending a late night improv show at the
National Comedy Theatre.

Getting Around San Diego: Transportation

San Diego, like all of Southern California is an automotive city; expect your mobility to be severely limited without a car. Parking in San Diego is a pretty easy affair, there is a lot of parking and the lot prices are affordable.

Public transit in the form of buses is slow and often not on time. The trolley system is better than the bus system but mainly serves downtown San Diego. For frequent users of public transit, a prepaid Compass Card is a must and can be easily bought in a variety of ways.

Local Food and Drink Spots

San Diegans take food very seriously and it shows by the large number of world class restaurants in the city.

A short list of must try places include Truluck’s, a seafood restaurant in La Jolla that was named the “Best of the best” by San Diego magazine. Normally, it’s a bit pricey for an intern’s salary, but if you go during happy hour it’s quite affordable. If you want a great view with your meal go to George’s at the Cove in downtown La Jolla, where you can look over the beach while enjoying a reasonably priced lunch that serves the best that California farms have to offer. A stay in San Diego is not complete without a visit to Phil’s BBQ, hands down the most famous restaurant in San Diego.

Taco Tuesday

Every Tuesday, Mexican restaurants in San Diego offer highly discounted tacos. $2 can get you a fish taco, the local favorite and if you feel like splurging a little, give the lobster taco a try. The most popular destinations for Taco Tuesday are World Famous and South Beach Bar and Grille. Arrive early at (around 5pm), if you do not want to wait 30 minutes or more to be seated.

*Local Tip: Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, a hole in the wall taco shack in Pacific Beach serves a better fish taco than any of the previously mentioned destinations. In addition, it’s located near Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, which serves the best coffee in San Diego.


San Diego has perhaps the largest concentration of independent brewers in the country. The most well-known brewery in the area is Karl Strauss, which has multiple brewery restaurant locations. Every Thursday is cask night at Karl Strauss, where you can try an unique cask conditioned ale that is not available at any other time, in addition, the ale changes every week. Craft beer enthusiasts will need to head over Stone Brewing Company and
Green Flash Brewery, both well-known San Diegan brands. All the beers at these breweries are reasonably priced, and even more so during happy hour.

*Local Tip: Though you can usually get these brands on tap at a local San Diego bar, it is highly suggested that you go visit the brewery because they have a unique atmosphere, knowledgeable bartenders and a much wider selection on tap.

Asian cuisine

Hampering for some Asian cuisine? Head down to Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa where pretty much all of San Diego’s notable Asian restaurants reside. Grab a bowl of delicious ramen at Tajima (open
till 3am!), or hot pho at Phuong Trang. Avoid the Chinese restaurants as they tend to be expensive and quite bad. Wash that meal down with a cup of boba milk tea at Tea Station.

Staying Fit

Keeping in shape to look good on the beach is a must for many San Diegans. No surprise that there always seems to be some local gym or 24 Hour Fitness nearby. Yoga has taken San Diego by storm and there are probably just as many yoga studios as there are gyms.

For the more adventurous, San Diego hosts some of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) schools in the country. University of Jiu Jitsu and Andre Galvao San Diego Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy
are just two of many schools in San Diego that are taught by BJJ world champions. If you want to train like and with professional MMA fighters, pay a visit to The ArenaBlack House or Victory MMA.

Entrepreneurs Wanted!

San Diego has a fast growing startup scene and there is at least one networking event or workshop a week. Most of the events are free and provide a chance to learn valuable skills. In addition, it’s also a great way to meet interesting people over some great and oftentimes free beer.

*Local Tip: See all upcoming startup events at Sign up for the San Diego Startup Digest
and Ansir Innovation Center newsletter for curated lists of events.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

San Francisco Summer Housing Guide

Whether you’re an intern looking for a quiet place in the hills or a street bustling with coffee shops, boutiques, and pubs, you’re sure to find a place to call home for the summer. But figuring out where you want to live in San Francisco is a lot easier than actually finding a place to live, competition here is fierce and you have to be on top of your game when contacting landlords and tenants searching for a new roommate. Not to mention SF is one of the most expensive cities in the country with rent typically starting around $1,050 per month.

A great resource to use for finding summer housing in San Francisco is PadMapper. PadMapper eliminates the hassle of digging through rental listings on craigslist by providing a map that shows the location of each rental listing that’s on craigslist. Remember, competition is tuff in SF, so treat your house search just like searching for an internship, respond to as many ads as possible to make sure you have plenty of options when it comes time to choose.

Below is a list of San Francisco’s most popular neighborhoods to help you get a feel for each when deciding where to live. While we did our best to accurately reflect each area, we still encourage you to research each location thoroughly — considering things like cost, proximity to public transportation and safety.

South of Market (SoMa)
Price: $$$
Walking score: 94
Weekend: Quiet

During the week you can find this neighborhood bustling with employees from top tech companies like Zynga, Dropbox, Klout, Foursquare and Wikipedia, which makes this place a dream come true for someone interning at a startup. But more than just a tech hub, baseball fans will be excited to know that the San Francisco Giants are right in their backyard. SoMa also boasts tons of other perks like its central location to public transportation (Bart, Muni, Caltrain) — and major intersections like Van Ness, Mission and Powell Streets.

While there’s no shortage of bars and restaurants in SOMA, you can’t call yourself a local without visiting 21st Amendment — a popular brewery, famous for its local ale, energetic crowds, and SF Giants Preparties.

The Marina/Cow Hollow
Price: $$$$$
Walking score: 91
Weekend: Busy

If you have a soft spot for amazing views and architecture, then the Marina is the perfect neighborhood for you. With its panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, chic boutiques, expensive restaurants, countless spas and small dogs, people often refer to the Marina as the “Beverly Hills of San Francisco” — and the rents live up to the nickname! This neighborhood is all-access. Spend the morning jogging along the harbor followed by a fancy mimosa brunch or shopping on nearby Union Street.

Noe Valley
Price: $$$

Walking score: 86
Weekend: Quiet

Cancel your gym membership if you decide to live in Noe Valley, because you will get plenty of exercise from walking up and down the hills of this historic neighborhood. With its tree-lined streets, quaint cafes and Victorian homes, Noe Valley is a mixture of families and young professionals. This charming neighborhood is ideal for someone who wants peace and quiet after a long day.

Nob Hill
Price: $$$$
Walking Score: 96
Weekend: Busy

Nob Hill is one of San Francisco’s signature neighborhoods. Originally the home of wealthy tycoons like Leland Stanford (founder of Stanford University) and The Big Four (entrepreneurs of the Transcontinental railroad), Nob Hill is now the home to young, hip professionals. Very close to the Financial District and Union Square, its
location makes it a highly coveted place to live. The neighborhood boasts lots of fun cafes, vintage shops and most notably — the cable car!

The Castro
Price: $$$
Walking Score: 95
Weekend: Busy

One of San Francisco’s most popular neighborhoods, the Castro District is well known for its LGBT activism. Because of its rich history, busy nightlife and quirky stores, it’s a favorite stop for many. Notable landmarks include the Castro Theater and Harvey Milk’s campaign headquarters.

The Mission
Price: $$
Walking Score: 97
Weekend: Busy

The Mission is considered the melting pot of San Francisco. With young hipsters, activists, immigrants and working class families calling this area home, it truly lives up to its rep as one of San Francisco’s most diverse neighborhoods. Follow the savory smells and you won’t have to walk very far to find great food in The Mission. Tacos are rumored to be $1.50.

The Haight
Price: $$
Walking Score: 95
Weekend: Busy

This popular neighborhood should really be known as “The Hippie” because it was here that birthed the 1960s-70s Peace-Love movement, that’s most often associated with San Francisco’s culture. These days the area consists mostly of retail shops and restaurants. However, there are still plenty of mural-lined streets, quirky shops, and alternative clubs and bookstores, so that students choosing to live here can still enjoy remnants of the era.

All walking scores are based on ratings from which is a great tool when searching for housing.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?