By Rhianna Kerr
Just over a month ago I packed up my life in London and hopped on a plane to begin my yearlong internship in the Big Apple! Having visited New York many times with family on holiday and on a school trip, New York has been my favorite city ever since I can remember. As a recent college graduate from England, this is the biggest step I have ever taken in my 21 years, but I am loving every second of it. I am currently interning with The Brooksville Company based in Manhattan, who as a part of Twin Pines Management, manages Spring Creek Towers in Brooklyn, NY. Once a week I get to spend a day onsite, learning about the management, community, and the daily running of the complex. During the rest of the week I am responsible for the overall running of the Manhattan office, whilst also having the opportunity to learn how to use new software and help plan office events, such as the upcoming Holiday Party.
I am in New York as a part of the Mountbatten Program, an exchange program which allows young professionals from all over the world a chance to live, work and study here. The application for the program was intense, requiring all applicants to write a CV, cover letter, attend an in-person interview and also a telephone interview, all of which has already definitely been worth it. It’s such an exciting program, providing the internship, but also roommates and my accommodations are based in New Jersey, (meaning we all get to live, hang out and explore New York together). Mountbatten also organizes various trips and events across the year, for instance, I attended my first ever basketball game last weekend – watching the Knicks sadly defeated by the Sacramento Kings at the one and only Madison Square Garden. In addition, leading up to the holidays we are going to New Haven to watch the Harvard vs Yale football game, with Mountbatten providing transportation to take over 50 of us to Connecticut to see the famous Ivy League schools on the football field.
Interning itself is daunting, however, interning in a country 4,000 miles away from home is even scarier. I have been here for six weeks now and I still am prone to getting on the wrong side of the PATH station to New Jersey and embarrassingly having to get off at the next station, even though I have confidently made myself comfortable on a seat. However, I can already see a difference in my myself and my experience in a first ‘real’ job, compared to what I would be doing if I was still at home.
Living and working abroad instantly means you are thrown in the deep end and have to fend for yourself. This comes with making friends, keeping up with laundry, buying groceries and overall surviving in a new culture. It means every day is a new achievement, whether it is discovering a common interest with a Mountbatten in the program which leads to finding out their whole life story, finding the cheapest place for lunch that doesn’t exceed $10 as everything in Manhattan seems to do, or even remembering to put your MetroCard back into your purse! Already, I have already learnt so much about communication, confidence, patience, self-awareness and safety in and around New York.
As the holiday season approaches, I am extremely looking forward to being able to cross off all of the festive things from my NYC bucket list. For instance, for Thanksgiving, a group of us from the program are heading down to the Hamptons to spend our first Thanksgiving together eating, relaxing and wandering the albeit cold Hampton beaches. I am also ready for the holiday season to begin in Manhattan, before I head back to the UK to spend Christmas with my family and friends! I plan to try out every single ice-skating rink I can find, watch the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center and see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. It is crazy that I can finally say, “I live in New York”, something that has been my dream since I can remember, but I guess I have a whole year to get used to it!
Photo courtesy of Rhianna Kerr