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  • Aly Seidel-Thorn 1:56 pm on July 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: finances, funding an unpaid internship, , journailsm internship, , , saving money, surviving an unpaid internship,   

    , Financially Surviving an Unpaid Internship 

    I am fortunate enough that I have two jobs this summer: my unpaid internship and a paying part-time job. While I might be drinking a little too much coffee, my part-time job allows me a little more financial stability. For those of us who are working the unpaid gauntlet, here are a few tips on surviving the summer.

    (More …)

  • Brittany Horowitz 4:20 pm on March 15, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , commuting, , , , saving money   

    Commuting Costs 

    There are a lot of important components to take into consideration when choosing an internship and job. I have always focused on the obvious characteristics: position responsibilities, reputation of the company, pay, and the list goes on. However, when I first started to intern, which was the summer after my freshman year of college, I did not take an important factor into mind: commuting. I would choose the positions that best suited what I desired in an internship, and then I would worry about the commute later. I have loved each and every one of my internships; however, I wish I had been better prepared for the commutes I had in store.

    I am the commuting queen, but I did not gain this title easily. One summer, I commuted from New Jersey to New York five days a week for a position. Another summer, I traveled from American University to Alexandria five days a week for an internship, and I would need to be in the office by 8AM. Last semester, I commuted to Silver Spring from my apartment near campus; however, I had a car, so it wasn’t that bad. This semester, I am commuting a shorter distance by bus.

    Looking at a commute of a potential job is important for multiple reasons. People typically just think of time spent traveling to and from work; however, there is more to it than just that. Of course, time is vital. If you have an hour commute each way, what time do you have to wake up in the morning? Are you getting home from work at a good hour? Will you have time to fulfill the responsibilities you have for classes? People might assume that those who prefer to sleep in a little extra in the AM are lazy; however, that isn’t necessarily true. Some people function better at later hours in the day, so they go to bed late, which makes getting up extremely early tough. A long commute probably isn’t the best for these types of people.

    What about cost? When I was first offered my internship last semester, I automatically assumed my commute to Silver Spring would be do-able since I have a car, but I didn’t factor in gas money and parking. I ended up saving time by driving, and the cost wasn’t too extreme compared to metro prices, but these are things to take into consideration early on.

    Lastly, there is quality of life. It might sound silly, but a commute can really drain a person. Traveling to NY from NJ was exhausting. When I commuted via train to Alexandria, I was always in a rush, and I hated switching lines (less nap time). At times, I have hated my commutes, which made me hate going into work on occasional painful Monday mornings.

    However, my passion for my jobs really helped me survive my commutes. You make friends with fellow commuters, you get to greet the Express newspaper man every morning, and you learn your way around the city. And, you value sleeping in on the weekends even more.


  • Brittany Horowitz 7:07 pm on March 13, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: budgeting, expenses, , ordering out, saving money   

    Managing meals while interning: Where did all my money go? 

    While interning, there is the added stress of worrying about what to
    eat during your workday. Swipes are no longer an option, and
    Eaglebucks can only take you so far. It is so easy to grab a coffee
    and bagel on the way to work and then to get a sandwich for lunch in
    between meetings. However, by the time you are on your commute home
    you realize you somehow spent almost $20 during your nine to five
    workday. How is that possible? Multiply that by how many days you work
    a month, and you’ll want to faint at the total. I am guilty of such
    behavior. Sometimes I am lazy, and I don’t feel like packing a lunch,
    or I will be in a rush in the morning, so I skip breakfast at home and
    make a pit stop at Starbucks before work. Unfortunately, my bank
    account started to seriously be affected by my behavior, so I needed
    to change up my routine.

    It’s okay to treat yourself to that morning coffee you so look forward
    to before work, but then it’s smart to pack a lunch to help balance
    out your behavior. Or vice versa – pack breakfast so that you can
    enjoy something different for lunch. Creating a budget for yourself is
    also really smart. Figure out how much you can afford to spend on a
    weekly basis, and then trim out those occasional coffees or pricey
    gourmet salads to help make the cut. Bringing snacks to work is also
    good because it’ll help curve your cravings in between meals, and
    you’ll be able to avoid expensive vending machines. If you have a meal
    plan, then I would recommend utilizing your Eaglebucks and Dining
    Dollars at on campus stores to stock up on snacks or lunch options. By
    doing so, you won’t be spending your own money, and you’ll be able to
    responsibly use your meal plan money. Dining options around corporate
    areas tend to hike up their prices because they know busy workers will
    pay anything to quickly grab a bite in between work; however, don’t
    get tricked! Check to see if discounts are given to local employees,
    or see if there are lunch specials to save money. Lastly, utilize
    daily deal websites to see if there are local eateries offering
    discounts. By doing so, you can save a lot of money!

    These slight changes in your routine will make a big difference in
    your wallet. A coffee here and a bag of chips there can really add up,
    so don’t get sucked into this bad habit! You can enjoy yourself while
    also easing the tension on your bank account.


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