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Meet Carmen in New York!

Meet Carmen in New York!

Carmen started her internship in New York early 2020. Although returned early due to the pandemic, Carmen shares her experiences pre-pandemic!
Read the complete interview here 

Why did you choose to go abroad?
As an international business student, I am required to experience going abroad at least twice. Previously, I went for study abroad to Finland. Now it was time to go abroad for my placement. My dream was always to experience an abroad period in the United States, and therefore I decided to go interning in this country.

How did you find your internship?
I found my internship in my university’s placement portal. This is a portal that provides all companies names that provide good internships to students.

How do you feel about your internship so far?
My experience has been good so far. Everyone around me is very kind and welcoming. It is nice to see how a business works in the “real world”.
As students, we are learning lots of theory of course, but in the “real world” it often goes differently. That is interesting. Analyzing situations, with the knowledge you have gained so far, and try to understand what you see happening around you and trying to think of potential improvements if necessary, why things go like how it goes. This helps you with understanding, evaluating and self-development.

How does the American culture differ from your culture and what has impressed you the most?
So far, I haven’t seen huge differences compared to Dutch culture. The things I have noticed so far, are that the American culture is not a cooking culture. It is completely normal to go out during your lunch break. Not a lot of people bring their own food with them. Besides this, I noticed that people in New York (I do not know about other cities/area’s) are always in a hurry. Walking here feels almost like running. In my first week, I thought why do people do not have any patience? Why are they almost running to work, they could have left their house earlier. Well, I figured out that is most likekly a common thing to do. I have to admit I am doing it as well now, but I will keep it on adjusting to the New York culture :P

Could you take us through a day? What is your routine?
My routine is getting up around 7:00, taking a shower, and then having breakfast around 7:45. Most of the time, I leave the Webster Apartment between 8:00 and 8:15 and walk to my company. Depending on the time I start (most cases always between 8:15 and 8:30), I work till 16:30. Afterward, I walk home, relax a bit, and have dinner at 18:00. After dinner, I work on my project, watch Netflix or hang out. Three times a week, I go in the evening out for a run near the sea. That is pretty much it for the weekdays.
During the weekends, my friends and I explore touristic and local things in New York. 

What is your housing situation?
I live in the Webster Apartments, which has about 350 private rooms. We do have common spaces like a library, cinema room, small living rooms, and diner room. One of my friends lives here as well. The Webster organizes movie nights, sports sessions, etc. for social interaction if you are open to it.

Have you made any trips so far?
I have only been here for four weeks, so I did a lot of sightseeing mainly in New York. I still haven’t seen it all. Last weekend we rent a car and drove to Woodbury, which has a big outlet center, to shop a bit. After shopping, we just drove, without having a destination, for a couple of hours to see nature and other small cute American villages. Looking in the future, we would like to explore tourist and local things in New York. Moreover, we are also planning to rent an Airbnb outside New York somewhere where there is a lot of nature. And we are planning to go to Boston for one or two days. 

What are your future plans?
My plans are graduating and afterward start working in an international company in the Netherlands. I would love to travel once in a while to do business for the company. What my future job position will be is still unclear, but I hope this internship will be the guidance to figure this out.

How has this experience abroad helped you grow both professionally and personally? 
Even though I have been here only for a limited amount of time, this experience gave me already so much. You get used to stepping out of your comfort zone and you start learning knowing yourself- about what your professional and personal weaknesses & strengths are. This is of value for your self-development.

Why would you recommend others to do their internship/traineeship abroad?
It sounds cliché, but it is true, it is really an experience you will never forget. Being abroad, living in another culture, meeting new people, travelling it is so amazing. Yes, it is not always easy, you regularly have to step out of your comfort zone, but I can guarantee that going abroad is completely worth it!

If you could express your internship experience in three words, what would these be?
Fun, valuable, grateful