17 Ways to Spot an NYC Intern... Or Avoid Looking Like One Yourself

It’s June, and along with the arrival of summer comes the arrival of droves of eager young minds looking to prove themselves in the big city (or just take some really cool Instagrams to make their hometown friends jealous).

Summer is the season of the college intern, and much like summer in New York City is identifiable by hot trash smell, air conditioner droplets falling everywhere, and crowded LIRR trains every Friday afternoon (OMG Montauk!), summer interns possess very identifiable characteristics, too.

To be young in New York City: the trash doesn’t smell that bad to you, the air conditioner droplets feel like blessings, and one of your summer goals is to meet a boy with a summer house.

Don’t get me wrong, interns provide valuable services and are worthy additions to NYC’s industry. But they’re pretty easy to pick out in a crowd.

You might be near an NYC intern if...

1. They’re wearing a tee shirt with the company name on it

Just because you get a free tee shirt with the company logo doesn’t mean you have to wear it on your office’s first casual Friday. It may seem like a good idea, but every other intern will have had the same one.


2. They have their work ID card clipped to their belt/ purse/ backpack

Freshman in college learn pretty quickly that wearing your student ID on your orientation-acquired lanyard around your neck is a sure sign you’re new to campus. Yet, college juniors/seniors seem to forget this valuable lesson as soon as they’re given a work ID.

3. They also have an NYU/ SVA/ FIT ID card

Unless they’re commuting in from Connecticut, Long Island, or New Jersey (in which case, listen to complaints about the MetroNorth, LIRR, and NJT), they need a place to live in the city. Enter: the summer intern dorm. With yet another ID card that they display far too visibly.

4. They apologize for everything

Yes, manners are important. But in New York, we don’t expect you to apologize for every single tiny thing. It’s okay! We know you’re new here! We were new here once too, and as soon as you gain a little confidence, you won’t feel so awkward, bumbling, and apologetic about taking up space.

5. They flock together for lunch

No intern wants to be the one sitting alone in the office cafeteria. Even if all the other interns are getting sushi to bring back and they haven’t yet acquired a taste for raw tuna, they’re sticking with the flock. Also...good luck to any non-intern attempting to infiltrate that group.

6. They don’t drink at company happy hours

Not because they don’t want to, but because unlike everyone else at the company, they’re not over 21. They’ll enjoy the snacks and whisper about where they can go next.

7. They talk about going to BBar / Phebe’s / Penny Farthing on the weekend

Every neighborhood has its notoriously young haunts every summer. Beware of anyone you meet there.

8. They wear heels everywhere

Look, no one on the subway cares if you wear “commuter shoes” and change when you get to the office. Save your feet and sacrifice just a little bit of style on your commute.

9. They still ask coworkers what their major is

Nope. Not relevant.

10. They take notes on everything

Nothing like ambitious young college students dedicated to making a good impression with extremely thorough note taking. We never feel like what we say in company meetings is so important as during summertime when every word that comes out is recorded.

11. They bring Starbucks to work every day

PSA: there are other coffee shops.

12. They use a tote bag or water bottle displaying Greek letters

You don’t need to ask them, they love their fraternity / sorority.

13. They’re actually excited to give promoters their number

Any attention involving outgoing dudes and no cover at the club seems like good attention to uninitiated interns.

14. They complain about missing their favorite on-campus hangover cure

Every school has their go-to fix, and although a compromisable (and likely even better) alternative can definitely be found in the city, it’s “just not the same!”

15. They post a million Instagram photos about how much they LOVE New York City

Yes, we know. We LOVE it too. We just don’t have to show off to all of our college friends who interned in less glamorous places.


16. They’re always Snapchatting pictures in Times Square/ at Le Bain/ in Central Park

Read above.

17. They think their summer fling will last long distance during their last year of college

Good luck with that!

[Feature Image Courtesy StyleCaster] 

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