NYU Shanghai students share their internship and work experiences across the NYU’s Global Network.
Yesterday you read about career guidance opportunities available at the different NYU study abroad sites. Today, OCA explores how students experienced their internships and on-campus jobs while studying away at those NYU sites.
Barjeel Art Foundation
By Rong (Bridget) Sang
While studying abroad at NYU Abu Dhabi, I worked for the Barjeel Art Foundation in Abu Dhabi’s International Art Fair. It was a short-term internship which gave me a chance to be closer to Arab art and local culture.
There are several wonderful art classes at the NYU Abu Dhabi campus. I was enrolled in one called “Modern Art of the Arab World,” in which the professor introduced several internship opportunities in local galleries and museums at Abu Dhabi. Students also had the opportunity to do real case art design in a graphic design class. Art courses at Abu Dhabi are a great way to get opportunities or work locally. In addition to these courses, students can find internship opportunities from NYU Abu Dhabi’s Career Development Center (CDC). The CDC holds a career fair each year, so don’t hesitate to contact them. Abu Dhabi is a city really worth exploring!
By Kevin Pham
E.TV is part of Global Media Alliance, and is a local newstation based in Accra. I got this internship by signing up for a class called Internship and Seminar, where a select amount of internships for NYU students are introduced and if you want to work with them, you just send the company your application. For class you need to work at least 10 hours a week.
I really enjoyed the experience because if I hadn’t taken that then there wouldn’t have been a lot of incentive for me to go out of my comfort zone. I got to see some really incredible things, pursue some really interesting stories for news. Interns also have the opportunity to come up with news stories and present them to the organisation, which I did a couple of times. When I used to go out for assignments, I was almost always the only person there who wasn’t Ghanaian so people talked to me a lot. Sometimes it would get weird, but it’s all part of the experience. It’s a really interesting experience because it’s all about local Ghanaian news and it’s about things could on in the city that actually mean something to the people. I got to see things i would have never seen via a tour or by searching it up, and it really gave me an insight into what was going on in Accra and what people in the city cared about and what they were talking about. While I realized that I do not want to pursue news in my career, I also learned how to work better with people from another place because the Ghanaians had a different sense of humor and talking, which took some time to adjust to.
The best part about the internship was that it really did force you to go out. The dorms in NYU Accra are great so it is easy to get stuck in the NYU bubble and not go out. I really appreciated the fact that none of the experiences were filtered, like NYU Accra setting it up to make sure all situations were entirely safe. Sometimes things were a little sketchy but I appreciated the fact that I did not get to view things from the lens of an NYU administrator who would have only allowed me to explore some areas with strict supervision.
I would 100% recommend this internship, or any kind of internship or volunteering opportunity, to future students at NYU Accra because there is no point in going to Accra if you are not going to get out into the city and explore. Such opportunities really forces you out of your own box.
By Juan Carlos Gomez Carrera
While I was in Berlin, I worked as a bicycle mechanic for NYU Berlin. I think the first time I heard about the job opportunity was when I talked to Anne Strauss, the Student Life Coordinator. She explained that a job opening as a bike mechanic was going to be offered to the NYU Berlin students.
I learnt from this experience how to be independent in my job, as the closest thing I had to a boss was the RA. I had to fend for myself if there was any problem that could not be fixed, as nobody else could fix it. This experience taught me perseverance and patience, and I would definitely recommend the job. When I first got the job, I was simply handed a tool box and wished best of luck, as it was only the second semester this job was being offered so no one knew what to expend. At the end of the semester I got the school to buy a bike stand which made the job a lot easier, so I guess the new student-worker will thank me for that.
By Veronica Hernandez
There is an internship course in Buenos Aires that is pretty easy to get into compared to the other sites offering internship courses, but that doesn’t mean there is a reduction in quality as the program is very good. The program requires you to speak some Spanish so you do a placement test before you go to BA, and if you place into Intermediate 1 or 2 should be able to get into the internship program. A lot of the internship opportunities in BA are more community- or social-work based, like working with political or religious organizations because they do most of the charity work.
I was the exception because what I did was media based. I worked with a creative agency and helped brainstorm marketing campaigns and slogans, as well as work with street artists. I think my experience was really valuable because first off it was part of a course so I could only have work experience and not have to take another course on top of it. Secondly, I only had to go to class once a week and work ten hours a week, and there is not much homework other than a couple of essays so the workload isn’t bad. To future students going to BA, I recommend that if they do speak Spanish and want to get experience, they definitely should get an internship because it is a great way to practice the language, get to know locals, and learn a lot. NYU BA puts in a great effort to ensure you learn about the culture and people or Argentina, and living in BA is different from anywhere else, so an internship also gives you the opportunity to ask locals “I learnt this in class, is it true?” It’s also a good way to make connections, as I’ve used some of the people I met in BA for references and it really adds to your resume.
Financial Reporting Council
By Yanghe (Lily) Liu
My internship at London was actually an academic internship supporting by NYU London, in an agency called EUSA, a Financial Reporting Council form. I worked two days a week and also had to take a biweekly course which had around 25 people enrolled, all of them doing different internships. The class object is to have a teacher introduce us to different ways to explore the culture at London using the companies we were interning in. In terms of the application for this academic internship, any student that successfully applies to NYU London for study away can apply for the internship. The only requirement is a one-page personal statement about why you want to do the internship in London, and the selection process can be competitive since almost everyone going to NYU London applies but there are only twenty-five spots open. Therefore the personal statement really needs to illustrate your passion. After getting into the program, EUSA interviews the applicant and tries to match them with a suitable company. Upon reaching London, the applicant goes to the company for an interview with the prospective supervisor. As far as I know, NYU Tel Aviv and NYU Buenos Aires also have such programs.
In the class itself, a professor gives lectures on the business culture and working style in London. Students also often exchange their internship experiences, and the class requires a lot of reading, writing, and presentations.
World Youth Alliance
By Joanne Chun
Last summer, I interned at the World Youth Alliance, advocating at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It was an invaluable experience that helped me realize my true goal: to join the foreign service. Working with diplomats from all around the world, I was inspired by their exciting lives and meaningful careers. However, I became disillusioned by the United Nations. I felt like it was an extremely bureaucratic institution that did not have much influence against powerful countries like the United States or China.
Belleville Social and Cultural Center
I was enrolled in a course called “Internship Seminar and Global Fieldwork” at NYU Paris, because in France, it is illegal to do an internship as a foreigner without having an academic element associated with it. This 90-minute class met once a week for the entire semester to go along with the two-month internship component. Each week students needed to do a 10-20 page reading, submit a short comment on NYU Classes, and write three essays during the course of the semester. To enroll in the internship seminar, students must first apply to EUSA, the internship agency, which is followed by a pre-internship interview and then an interview with your potential supervisor upon reaching Paris. If the student gets the job, the student and the supervisor sign a contract and EUSA only checks in on the internship experience periodically.
I worked at the Belleville Social and Cultural Center, a community center that provides academic accompaniment for school-age children, as well as vacation programming and general academic enrichment. I worked between 20-25 hours per week, which is an intense workload on top of a 16-credit schedule. I usually returned home from work exhausted, because children require a lot energy, but I never regretted taking on the internship.
Despite my good experience, not everyone will enjoy their internship. Sometimes internships are not good fit for the students, and sometimes other problems arise. Based on the informal conversations I had with other students in Internship Seminar, though, everyone seemed to enjoy their placement. Students frequently commented on how much they had learned, as well as how confident they had become in their language skills.
You can read more about Sarabi.’s experience and recommendations for getting an internship at NYU Paris here.
By Richard Zhao
I worked as a campaign intern with Amnesty International in Prague. In that capacity, I edited and proofread English campaign letters and documents and posted them on Amnesty Czech’s website. Throughout this process, I was exposed to a wide range of human rights violations from all around the world, as well as the relevant international conventions and provisions in place to prevent these abuses from happening. On top of this, I also conducted research on topics such as LGBTI rights, capital punishment, women rights, arms trafficking and refugee crisis for Amnesty International Czech’s campaign effort.
It was not hard for me to pinpoint to Amnesty International as an organization I wanted to dedicate my time and energy to as have always been very passionate about human rights protection and wanted to understand the legal framework around this issue. That said, one of my biggest suggestions for anyone trying to find an internship in Prague is to know what it is that you care about and want to understand more. The Prague site offers a wide variety of internship opportunities, ranging from NGOs to local educational institutions. There is a career/internship fair during orientation or at the beginning of each semester to get students in touch with local organizations so it was not exactly difficult to get the networking opportunity. Don’t be turned off by language barrier (as Czech is the official language there) or the so-called cultural difference. Moreover, time-management may not be as big of an issue as it is in Shanghai or at other sites. Chances are you will have some free time in Prague – taking an internship might be a great opportunity to further explore the city/culture.
Embassy of Spain
By Jose Antonio Cabrera Sanchez
Interning at the Embassy of Spain in D.C. was such a meaningful experience. I not only learnt so much more about global politics, but also about my country’s role in the world. As an Economics major, I think it is important for me to also learn and grow in the area of International Relations as the world’s economy becomes increasingly connected. Although it was a very demanding internship, it taught me a lot about work ethics, commitment and passion. I am so glad that the diplomats at the Embassy let me work so closely with them, because their enthusiasm and guidance really made me enjoy the work. I am so thankful for the new mentors that I gained through my time at the Embassy and all the challenges it exposed me to.
This article is brought to you by the On Century Avenue Editoral Staff and contributed to by several authors. Please send an email to email@example.com to get in touch.
Photo Credit: LinkedIn