Happy Friday! I hope you all enjoyed yesterday’s post about my NYC internship experience and what I learned. Today I wanted to continue the internship talk, but take things outside of the office. I am going to share five things I did for fun during my summer in New York and how they benefited my career, made me fall in love with the city even more, and how I made the most of my 10 weeks as a pseudo New Yorker. Let’s get started!
1. Attend Industry Events
Although this might sound like work, you should most definitely attend as many industry-related events as possible! Your summer internship will fly by, so make the most of having these types of opportunities and connections at your finger tips. As an intern at Hearst, I was very lucky to have a handful of events right in our building, such as a speaker series with Michael Kors, but there were also magazine hosted events outside of the office. For instance, I went to the book launch of The Glitter Plan, by the founders of Juicy Couture. I also found events through Eventbrite, social media and other interns.
These events can be exciting because you’re in close proximity to talented professionals, but also networking with like-minded peers. I tried to attend at least one event per week during that summer!
2. Attend Intern Networking Events
This is similar to #1, but attend events that are focused on interns! Although it’s cool to take Instagram pictures with high-profile designers and editors, there is a slim chance that you will land a job from your 30 second conversation or become BFF’s. I attended specific editorial events to meet industry peers but I also attended other public intern meet-ups and events. I went to happy hours, networking events, intern/career fairs and casual meet-ups. These types of events don’t have to boring or feel like homework. This was great experience to meet all types of people and grow my NYC network! I actually met my current SAK photographer at one of these events; we randomly sat next to each other and we’ve been working together ever since!
3. Play Tourist
I spent a majority of my weekends playing tourist. Although I had been to New York several times before interning, I wanted to soak in everything I could! I went to Broadway, free concerts, museums, food and art fairs, and even re-did a portion of the general tourist activities. It was fun to do this in a relaxed mindset versus running around Manhattan on vacation and trying to fit in 10 locations in two hours. I went with my roommates, friends or even just myself. Playing tourist in New York can always be fun!
4. Indulge in the Food and Drink Scene
Yes, yes, yes! Going out for food and drinks can definitely be a costly activity, but I made sure to spend wisely and also cook in my apartment a portion of the weekdays. But overall, I think I made some of my favorite memories during brunch with friends or meeting other interns out on the weekends. I suggest diving into the food scene during your intern summer – attend Restaurant Week, go to Smorgasburg, find your go-to neighborhood slice of pizza and bagel cart. It makes you feel a part of the city but it can also be a huge networking platform. Invite friends and co-interns, take some tasty Instagrams and network away with other attendees, because you never know who you’ll see or meet!
5. Explore and Get Lost
Last but not least, take some “me” time to explore the city. I love the hustle and bustle of New York, but what made me fall even more in love with the city was when I spent a few hours to myself on the weekend and went to a park to read, sat alone in a coffee shop and people watched, or just took the long way home. I highly suggest this! Whether you decide to walk to work instead of the subway or get takeout and sit in a park for dinner – whatever it is, discover the hidden gems of New York.
The things you experience on a vacation in New York – such as Times Square, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty are all great and fun to see, but there is so much more outside of those tourist spots, so I loved discovering my favorite neighborhoods, streets and real local New York places during my summer there.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Do you have a favorite part of New York? I’d love to hear about it below in the comments! xo