April 17, 2015 |

Tips and Tricks from CP:Interning in Philly In the Summer


We can now all utter a sigh of relief, as the spring semester wraps up, finals are on the horizon, and graduation is in the air for some of us. You know what that means? Summer. For those of you coming back to the city or spending a summer in Philly, there’s no experience quite like a summer in the city. Philadelphia is full of free festivals, good eats, and serves as a mecca for arts and culture during the summer months. For many students, a summer in the city is all about working at an amazing job or internship, in which you have the opportunity to both work and play. York College of Pennsylvania senior Ashley Howard shared her experience as a summer intern in Philadelphia and offered some insight into how to make the most of the experience.

Her first tip for being a summer intern in the city is to find an internship, of course.

“I encourage everyone to do an internship, even if it is not anything your school requires, just do it, ” said Howard. “It will help open up your mind to something you might not have even known was there.” Howard never thought she would want to work in a hospital. “However, now I cannot wait to have an opportunity to be able to work in a hospital getting to know people and patients like I did with my internship,” she said.

When choosing a summer internship in the city, it is important to first choose an internship that suits your personal and professional interests, or else you won’t get to really enjoy all of the perks. As a behavioral sciences major with a concentration in human services, it was only fitting that Howard chose to complete a summer internship with the Einstein Healthcare Network .

“The overall experience of my internship was amazing,” said Howard. “They took me in and made me feel like a part of the the team and not just another intern.”

Another perk of being an intern in the city of Philadelphia? The ease of transportation. Although a Philadelphia native, Howard said “I chose a summer internship in Philadelphia because it is easier for me to get around. Where I attend college there is minimal public transportation which would have made my traveling hard.”

Something to keep in mind when planning or considering a summer internship is transportation, and if it is an unpaid internship budget definitely comes into play. Fortunately, Philly has plenty of ways to get around from trains to trolleys, and if you’re lucky enough to score an internship in Center City, it is easy and cheaper to travel by foot.

A typical internship day for Howard consisted of “waking up at 5:30 a.m. and leaving at 6:30 a.m. in order to make it to the hospital before 8.”

“Then I would make rounds with my mentor of the patients. I would go through documents and make the necessary copies of things and organize clients’ folders, ” said Howard.

She described her internship days as “calm and cool.” Her internship work consisted of sitting in on therapy groups throughout the day and interacting with patients.

Don’t forget that internships are all about improvement: not just professional development, but bettering your overall skills, something that Howard can attest to. “I learned how to be a better leader and more outspoken. I used to wait for directions to be given to me before I would do anything.”

“After my internship, that has changed. My mentor taught me that it is okay to stand up and take charge,” said Howard. “Do not be afraid to speak your mind and do things alone.”

She also expressed the importance of balancing work and fun, and stressed the importance of finding fun in your internship. We’ve put together a guide to having fun in Philly outside of work, if you’re looking for any ideas.

For those with unpaid internships, she also suggested creating a strict budget and sticking to it! The same rule applies if you are also working a summer job in addition to an unpaid internship or if the position is paid. She also suggests putting some money away for savings. “That way in the long run you will have some money saved if you ever needed something,” she said.

Use Howard’s tips and tricks as you get ready to beat the heat with a summer internship in the city!


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