Elaina Atallah-Yunes ’16 shares her experience living and interning in a new city for the summer:
As a college student who attends school forty-five minutes away from my hometown, working in New York City for two months has been equally exciting and daunting. Navigating a new city and a new job has had its challenges, but has also led me to grow as a professional and as a person. The transition has not been as difficult as I anticipated, but I owe much of this result to a couple of key choices I have made, along with a little bit of luck.
I am currently working as a summer intern at Hukkster: a tech start-up that sends consumers alerts when the products they want go on sale. I am one of four undergraduate interns at the company. My fellow interns have been great people to talk to about the trials and tribulations of living in a big (and expensive) city, whether it be sharing restaurant recommendations or sharing our newest NYC discoveries.
One of the biggest obstacles college students face when coming to the city for the summer is finding affordable and suitable housing. Since I do not live in the tri-state area, I donʼt have the luxury of commuting to work. Instead, I chose to live in NYU dorms. Their buildings safe, affordable, and in convenient locations. I was lucky enough to score an apartment in Union Square, a 10 minute walk from Hukkster headquarters in the Flatiron district. My dorm also has a kitchen, allowing me to save money and cook for myself. I was assigned three roommates, all of whom were interning in the city as well. It is always fun to come home and compare and contrast the experience of working at a start up and the Fortune 500 companies that they work for, finding that each have their benefits.
Exploring the city has been my favorite part of living in New York. There are so many fun neighborhoods, each with its own unique personality. My two favorite places to go are Central Park and Soho. Central Park is absolutely beautiful and a lot of fun, whether it be going for a run or just enjoying the weather. SoHo, by contrast, is filled with a mix of cool restaurants and boutiques. Both are fun places to people watch.
Unfortunately, New York City is very expensive to live in. I have handled this by setting a strict weekly budget for myself, packing a lunch for work, and getting a part- time job as a hostess at a restaurant (where I also get free meals). My time in the city has made me more street savvy and adventurous. It has been a great experience that I will never forget.
Elaina Atallah-Yunes ’16