So I announced in a previous post that I’ll be interning in New York City this summer with Marvel Studios. (If you’re interested in reading about my application process and my decision to “go big or go home,” I encourage you to check out the post.) I applied for several positions back in early February, and I was offered the position April 12 (eek!). At that point, I realized I needed to take care of my housing situation quickly.
Guys, I’m so excited to be living in NYC this summer. SO. EXCITED. I’ve been to NYC several times before, to visit family (my mom is a Yankee!). I have cousins in Manhattan, but I decided to pursue student housing because I wanted to be closer to the Marvel office and because I want to meet other students/interns and make new friends.
The first thing to note is that NYC is a popular location for summer internships. The universities in Manhattan offer summer housing to both their students and visiting students, which is pretty great. But housing goes really fast, and you have to be sure to do your research. That’s why I’ve written this post, to chronicle my decision-making process and to make it a little easier for those of you who are overwhelmed with all the options.
So, yes, doing your research is really important. And do your research early, even if you know you can’t yet commit. In my case, I needed to know whether or not I’d get the position. I didn’t want to assume I’d be offered the internship, but at the same time, I wanted to be prepared if I did get the offer. Maybe you’re in the same boat. Maybe you’re waiting to be sure it’s a financially viable option. Whatever your roadblocks may be, my advice is this: do all the research you need to do NOW, short of putting down a deposit. Find the housing options/locations that work best for you, and be willing to shoot someone an email / give someone a call to answer your questions. Then, at least, you’ll be ready to move forward when you receive the offer, take care of your finances, etc.
Here are a few things you should take into consideration:
Location is everything, my friends, especially in a big city. Are you going to be in a safe part of town? Which housing options are closest to your internship? Can you find something within walking distance? Of course, there’s public transportation, so maybe it makes more sense for you to find something more affordable and commit to taking the subway. Which leads me to…
Obviously, this is really key. As much as we’d love to find that perfect single apartment in the trendy sector of downtown Manhattan, it may not be realistic. Work within your budget, and this will narrow your options considerably.
Are you willing to have roommates? If so, how many? Would you prefer to choose your roommate, or have one selected at random? The universities offer both single and double rooms. Even in a single, you may be sharing a bathroom or a kitchenette with another room. Single rooms are typically more expensive. These are the types of things you should check into.
Each of the universities is different. Some have private bathrooms while others do not. Some offer suite-style kitchenettes while others have communal kitchens. Laundry? Gym? Cable? Air conditioning? What amenities are you willing to sacrifice? What can’t you live without?
I decided to secure housing through EHS, Educational Housing Services. We found this site online – one of the top search results for “NYC summer housing.” EHS offers five locations: St. George Towers (Brooklyn Heights), 55 John Street (Financial District), 1760 Third Avenue (Upper East Side), New Yorker (Midtown West), and Marymount (Midtown East). You’ll want to take a look at each option individually, as prices differ.
I narrowed it down to 2 options: the New Yorker and Marymount. Both of these locations are about a mile from the Marvel office (10-min subway ride, 15-20 min walk). So I had to choose.
Another piece of advice is not to be afraid to ask questions. We contacted one of my relatives in NYC, and she recommended Marymount because she believed it was in a better part of town. (“Better” only because it’s a little quieter; the New Yorker in Midtown West is in the very touristy section of downtown Manhattan and I just wasn’t as interested in that. But that’s totally a personal preference thing!).
I submitted a request for more information through the EHS website, and received a few emails from Marymount housing advisors. Using the online instant chat feature, I asked a couple of questions – I wanted to know if it was possible to secure a “single” room and then switch if I found a roommate later (would I be refunded the difference in price?), and I wanted to know what their roommate-pairing process was like. I spoke twice on the phone with housing advisor Megan Hovde, who was very professional and extremely helpful. After speaking with her, I felt much more confident about my decision.
After accepting the internship offer, I acted fast. Megan Hovde informed me that “single” rooms were booked up, so I didn’t want to waste any more time and secured a “large double.” I asked to be put on a waiting list for a single, just in case. I chose the large double because I wanted the extra space and because it wasn’t significantly more expensive than the regular “double.” The large double typically houses 4 people during the academic school year, but only 2 people occupy the room over the summer. So I’ll have one roommate, and we’ll share a suite-style kitchenette with another room. We may have extra furniture in our room (which we aren’t allowed to remove), but I’m ok with that because #morestoragespace.
In filling out the online form, I gave my age, indicated that I’m a nonsmoker, and that I’m early-to-bed and early-to-rise. This is so that they can match you with a roommate in the same age bracket / with similar preferences. Also, I noted that I’ll be interning with Marvel, so here’s hoping they’ll find a student within a similar industry.
My application went through, it crossed Megan Hovde’s desk (it’s always nice to speak with someone who knows what they’re doing, who’s actively involved), and I received an email confirmation and receipt. I was also asked to sign an e-document with my electronic signature.
Move-in day is Sunday, June 4th, and housing lasts 8 weeks. So I’ll move out August 11th and fly home the 12th. I felt really relieved once I’d booked my housing, but there’s a still a whole lot to do. I recently booked flights. Also, I need to know exactly what I need to pack for the dorm. There’s a whole lot more information online – I found a photo gallery of the Marymount location on the EHS website as well as a list of amenities. And by clicking the “student life” tab, and selecting my residence, I was taken to a page with specific information regarding arrival info, policies, events, safety/security, and more. This is where I found the Marymount packing list. I’ll need my own linens, cookware, etc. It’s just like moving into a dorm (which is so exciting because I’ve never done that!).
Also, please note that EHS is not the only way to go. NYU also offers summer housing for students/interns. A friend of mine spent the summer in NYC and found housing with The New School. Clearly, there’s something for everyone! Again, do your research, reach out, ask questions, etc. If you have any questions/comments about my experience, feel free to comment / shoot me an email!