I realized in the last post I failed to mention anything about housing, which was arguably the most difficult part of the on-boarding process so I’ll explain the basics of that before I go into some takeaways from my first few weeks.
Housing: JPM gave all interns an initial housing stipend that was supposed to help with the first month’s rent, but after taxes it did not amount to much considering what the cost of living in NYC is. Other than this JPM provided us with an extensive list of housing websites, forums and subletting options, as well as guaranteeing University of NYC dorm housing for those who wanted it ( I opted out as this was very expensive). I ended up choosing to live in Brooklyn as I will save several hundred $ each month on rent & the 2/5 & Q subway lines run directly into Manhattan anyways. From a commuting aspect, living in Brooklyn does not make too much of a difference as all of the subway lines are packed tighter than sardines every weekday during the AM & after work. However, from a social aspect I do wish I would of paid the extra $300-400 to live in Manhattan as that is where everyone goes to happy hour’s, goes out on the weekends, and overall where NYC is the most social. That’s not to say that Brooklyn is lacking at all as some of my favorite places to eat & hang out are in Brooklyn, its more of my affinity for being a social person and always wanting to be around my friends that are doing something. Overall though, my place is great….its cheap (relatively speaking), isn’t a bad commute, and is full of nice people. If I had to do it again though I would recommend seeing what people could find in East Village (Manhattan) as it is where many of the recently graduated college kids move to & is a very upbeat and social neighborhood thats conveniently located in betweeen Brooklyn and Soho.
Some Great NYC housing apps/websites:
Roomi (app), StreetEasy (app), Facebook pages (GypsyHousing, NYC sublets, NYsublets, LetsBorough), Craigslist (be careful but some people found great places on here).
It helps if you can have someone in the city check out the place for you in advance, but if not most of these require a background check to have an active profile so the people are legit.
As I am starting to get more into real work there are a few takeaways from my first few weeks that I would like to share:
- Always be on time – whatever time it is you are scheduled to arrive, plan on arriving 10-15 minutes earlier as you will never be belittled for being early, but nothing is worse than being the person everyone else is waiting on -especially when the majority of them will be your seniors.
- Pay attention and ask questions – no question is stupid. This is something I had to learn the hard way as I made a mistake on a small project because I just assumed you did something one way because I didn’t ask. We are interns and they can’t expect you to know what you are doing from the start…otherwise you’d be on salary. We are there to learn & the best way to learn is to ask questions.
- Take Notes – You will be in more meetings and have more info thrown at you in a short amount of time than at any point in college and you have to remember it because I can guarantee your boss isn’t going to repeat something that they already know. Get a good notebook & take it with you everywhere.
- Network, Network, Network – It doesn’t mater who it is with, just talk to people and get to know who they are, what they do, and how that impacts your line of work. If they are able to possible help you out in the future, thats great. But even if they can’t it will help you deepen your understanding for the business & help you grow on your own. Plus, its a great way to get to meet higher ups in the company & to decide if this is really a job that you could turn into a career. No matter how awkward it might seem to send an email to someone you don’t know or to even approach them when they have some free time, it is the best thing you can do as it shows you are taking the initiative and are genuinely interested in them and their work….plus people (especially successful people), love to talk about themselves.
- Do work that you are proud of – It doesn’t matter if its getting coffee for your team, sending out an email, creating a PivotTable in Excel or presenting a project to your CEO. Everything you do in the corporate world is a reflection of you & its impossible to tell who that spreadsheet or email will make its way up to, so it always has to be your best.
- Have FUN – We had the privilege of hearing Mary Erdoes (CEO of Asset & Wealth Mgmt.) speak to us & she mentioned the important of balancing work & fun: “Work hard 51% of the time so you can play hard the other 49%”
It’s an internship. You have 8, 10, or 12 weeks to meet some of the most amazing people & make some of the most amazing memories of your life. Odds are you’ll be friends with some of these other people forever so why not have fun with them while you are young, plus hopefully you have a little spending money for once.