Internship Relocation Challenges: Part 3 Mentally Relocating

By: Kirsi

Keeping busy the first few days relocating is easy while warming up to a new living place, co-workers, and tasks at work. It seems like all the boxes are checked…

I have a place to sleep at night.
I planned a work commute.
I’m assigned interesting challenges at work.
I have met my co-workers, management, and fellow interns.
I attend events outside of work like movie nights and laser tag.

…but it still seems more like surviving instead of thriving. It may even feel robotic. What is missing is mental relocation.

blue and red toy robot; text: internship relocation challenges, mentally relocating

Transitioning Into Work Mode 
One of the toughest hurdles to overcome in order to make the most of your internship is transitioning into thinking like an employee. Thinking like an employee is hard if it’s the first time. Although it is a different mode of thinking from past experiences – such as academics, military, sports team, or for yourself – skills gained from past experiences can help you. Now that you are interning for an organization, the organization, department, and teams’ goals become your goals. Instead of fretting about solely personal performance, the performance of a business, product, service, or team is an additional responsibility. New thought processes that may arise include…

  • What can I learn from other employees working on the same project?
  • I have found a problem but how can I propose a way to fix it?
  • What has not worked in the past?
  • How do I want to develop professionally?
road with mountains surrounding it.

Embracing Temporal Independence
After the workday is finished, it’s time for school work…. wait, there is no school work? When you clock out there is no take home work? What is there to do?! Now that evening hours are cleared out, there are opportunities for how to spend your time. This may seem daunting if your usual summer/ school break friends aren’t around to goof around with and no school assignments to tackle. Filling your time does not necessarily mean filling it with people and socializing. There are many things to do with allocated time…

  • Try a new hobby you have not had time to dig into
  • Pick up a new sport/ esport
  • Explore the new location
  • Hangout with fellow interns 
  • Chill at home
  • Host a board game night
  • Try new restaurants with fellow interns
  • Take a day trip to a city nearby
back of woman walking with umbrella on a rainy street

Managing Existential Dread
After harnessing a new mode of thinking as an intern and finding new things to do with un-allocated time, there may be some intermittent moments of doubt. When you are turning in for the night, the lights are out, the door is locked, and suddenly a new place can feel pretty scary. Trying something new on your own can be intimidating too. It’s not uncommon to lose confidence, question if you like what you are working on, and fear transitioning into life beyond college. Call a family member, friend, or someone you trust and share your worries with them. Additionally, you can contact counselors at the career center for big picture career questions like, “I have learned so much at this internship but I don’t know what to do next”, “I don’t know if I like what I am doing”, “I don’t like my major after having this internship, what do I do now?”. Career counselors’ goals are to help you take actions that will help you feel confident about your future.

Physically, socially, and mentally relocating, whew, didn’t realize there was so much involved in an internship after accepting an offer! Don’t let a new opportunity intimidate you. There is support all around and people who want you to be successful. Good luck!

Of Possible Interest: 
Internship Relocation Challenges: Part 1 Physically Relocating
Internship Relocation Challenges: Part 2 Socially Relocating
Internships – all our blog posts on the topic
Internships – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Kirsi’s other posts

Photo Sources: Unsplash | Rock’n Roll Monkey, Natalie Rhea Riggs, Patrick Tomasso

Internship Relocation Challenges: Part 2 Socially Relocating

By: Kirsi

Challenges relating to physically relocating for an internship were explored in my last blog post – finding the internship, locking down a place to stay, and navigating a new city. Sounds like a pretty concrete problem right? Exploring these tangible physical aspects addresses the bare necessities of relocating, but what about your social life? Netflix binge-watching, experimenting with Pinterest recipes, and re-re-rereading the Harry Potter series sounds appealing for a bit, but lonely after a while. How will I connect with people in and outside the workplace?

Person gazing up at night sky; text: internship relocation challenges socially relocating

Meeting Co-Workers
Start by getting acquainted with your mentor, boss, and office mates. Office mates are a one-stop shop for getting questions answered. Everything from questions about your project to “how do I connect to the printer?” Some teams may provide a handbook or on-boarding checklist with suggestions of who to meet first. Team leads may encourage to meet team leads from different disciplines. Your team may be big/small, multi-discipline/hyper-focused, or compromised of professionals from many different walks of life. Some teams request interns to give an introductory presentation sharing your major, where you study, and what you want to learn. Get comfortable with reaching out to others and saying hello!

Group of people on motorized cart tour large warehouse building.
by Kirsi, touring NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility

Meeting New Interns
You are likely not the only one relocating for an internship. Depending on your employer’s size, there may be a handful, dozen, or dozens of interns eager to meet new people. A great time to meet fellow interns is during the lunch hour. Most employers have a common dining area where employees buy lunch or eat packed lunch. There may be interns from outside your team and discipline to chat with and form an “intern table.”

Highly developed intern programs leaders coordinate networking events for interns to participate in, such as tours around the work site, group lunches on and off-site, and lectures from experienced professionals. Depending on how organized the interns themselves are, interns may schedule events outside of what program leaders coordinate. I have personally participated in things like laser tag, weekend trips to nearby cities, video conferencing with interns from the employer’s other locations, and fancy dinners. A week without three meals out was rare! Some intern groups are so organized that student made committees and bylaws are handed down from intern class to intern class.

Person sitting at desk watching 3 computer monitors
by Kirsi, video conferencing with interns from other locations

Professional Networking
Many employers offer professional development opportunities such as workshops, “brown bags,” volunteer/outreach groups, and meet and greet events with management. A brown bag is a more informal presentation when a topic is talked about over lunch. Sometimes during brown bags, a talk is given by a co-worker, someone from industry, or a video lecture is watched.

group of students with laptops listening to a presentation
by Kirsi, hosting a “How to LinkedIn” workshop

Co-workers are likely working on things related to what you are interested in pursuing professionally. Interview managers, group leads, and new hires around the organization. Ask about why they chose that company, why they are interested in their work, and what are they most proud of working on. Don’t be afraid to ask management about their work or to shadow them for a day.

If you would like more advice on relocating for an internship schedule an appointment with one of our career counselors.

Be bold, be friendly, and meet new people!

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Kirsi’s other posts

Photo Sources: Unsplash | Greg Rakozy & Kirsi

Internship Relocation Challenges: Part 1 Physically Relocating

By: Kirsi

So you want an internship. What does an internship look like to you?

Decent paychecks over the summer, gaining more experience in your major, or adding a new line to your resume?

Imagine your internship more tangibly.

In what city is this internship? What does your day to day work involve? Who will you be working with? What is the company culture? What does your day look like after the close of business?

In my upcoming blog posts, I am going to talk about solutions to the challenge of relocating for an internship. I will explore three kinds of relocating: physically, mentally, and socially.

Paper map, computer, camera - Internship Relocation Challenges Physically Relocating

Part 1: Physically Relocating
A major barrier students face is realizing you can intern with anyone you want anywhere in the world you want. (If you negotiated with Elon Musk to have a suborbital internship I guess you could do that, too.) You are not limited by interning in the city you attend college in or town your family lives in.

caucasian male holding video camera on shoulder

Enjoy using Instagram and love what they are all about? Apply for their 12-week Business, Marketing, or Tech Student internship program for the summer in Menlo Park, California.

Think nutella is super tasty and think food science is interesting? Apply for a summer Supply Chain internship with Ferrero in their US office or abroad.

In awe of watching how Sunday Night football‘s camera crew captures the tide turning touchdown from every angle? Apply for an eight-nine week NFL Films or Media internship.

The point is, whatever you are passionate about, there is an internship out there for you. Transform your passion into a profession.

You are an adult, now go out and do what you want!

disney castle

Where You Sleep
So you have locked down your dream internship. If your opportunity is in your home or college town, then housing may already be sorted out. However, if your internship is in lands unfamiliar, then you may have some legwork ahead of you.

Many employers offer travel and housing stipends. You may negotiate this amount while deciding who you are going to intern with. If there is simply no housing pay to offer, such as if the position was a US Government Civil Servant Pathways Internship, the employer will likely have suggestions on where to live. Due to liability rules, the employer may not be legally allowed to “recommend” housing, but they may have a suggestion list. Connecting with past interns on LinkedIn may lead to advice on safe and affordable places to live. For an internship with Rockwell Automation, they offered me a housing stipend and had a relationship with an apartment complex to offer shorter rent agreements for summer interns.

Some employers view housing as part of the experience and a way to connect with fellow interns. There may be a specific housing complex employers provide where all the interns stay. Disney Internship & Programs place their Walt Disney World Florida students in various housing communities. Disney interns have blogged about their housing experiences and have even shared Instagram-worthy spots around Disney Housing.

hand holding a smart phone

Navigating A New Place
Once you have a place to crash and your job site arranged, a logical task is to plan your morning commute. How early do I have to wake up? Do I take the highways, city roads, or toll roads? Is there public transportation or can I carpool? When I planned my commute for an internship in Houston I hopped on Google Maps, jumped into Street View and “drove to work” by clicking my way down streets.

Other landmarks to look for when familiarizing yourself with your new neighborhood include:

  • Grocery Stores
  • Hospital/ Urgent Care
  • Gas Stations
  • Police Station
  • Favorite Fast Food Spots

By being a U of MN system student you have access to a resource called GoinGlobal. You can look up details and characteristics about your new city in the states or abroad. Log onto GoldPASS powered by Handshake >> click on Career Center >> click on Resources >> select GoinGlobal

Good luck with your relocation! Embrace the change and enjoy the new adventure!

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Kirsi’s other posts

Photo Sources: Unsplash Raw Pixel | Jakob Owens | Gui Avelar | Praveesh Palakeel

Removing, Rebooting, and Relocating

By: Tori

Moving away from your ‘normal’ for the past 4 years is harder than you’d think it would be. When I accepted my offer to join the Leadership Development Rotational Program with Allstate Insurance, I was equally nervous and excited. I was ready for a fresh start but I continued to be reminded of the things I would miss out on, the people I wouldn’t see, and the difficult transition that was ahead of me.

For my final blog post as a Peer Educator, I decided to share a few lessons I have gained while learning how to remove myself from ‘normal’, reboot my attitude to optimism, and relocate to a new city!

Removing Rebooting Relocating Lessons for tackling life after graduation

The first lesson I have learned is that I am very blessed. UMD has provided me a platform for growing and expanding beyond my comfort zones, as well as opportunities to make new friends, connections, and gain more wisdom during this one phase of my life than I thought possible. From sporting events, study abroad, on-campus jobs, internships, hilarious roommates, Bulldog hockey, etc. Due to these experiences and people, I have more confidence that Chicago will hold similar blessings. It may just take some time.

The second lesson I have learned is that I’ve done this before, so I can do it again. It’s not that I hate change, it’s more that transitions are hard. They are exciting and offer new adventures, but they also are overwhelming, and often times lonely. I remember experiencing this after coming back from summer break freshman year. I was excited to be back in Duluth and conquer year 2 of my undergrad, but also missed the normal, the familiarity, and the comfort I had at home. This continued to happen to me as I would transition from living at home and working, to living in Duluth and learning. But the thing is, I ALWAYS moved past that transition phase and got right back into the swing of things. At times it seemed too much to handle, but then I reminded myself “you’ve done it before, so you can do it again’.

The final lesson I have learned is that if you prepare, you will feel more capable. In the midst of my senior year ending, my time has been consumed with final papers, projects, ‘the lasts of the lasts’, and meeting up with friends before we go our separate ways. However, I also have taken time to journal, process, and plan how to prepare myself best for this new move. Thinking through and having an idea in mind of places to hang out, get coffee, and attend church have helped me begin to form my life in Chicago before I’ve even left! Taking the time to think through these things has helped me remind myself I am capable of change and this time in my life will be one I won’t ever forget!

I hope these lessons help you as you begin your transition into the summer, your new job, or your new location!

Of Possible Interest:

Read Tori’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Jan Senderek

Checklist for Relocating

By: Ellen (Career Counselor, Guest Blogger)

In December, I was talking with a student (now UMD graduate) about their impending relocation to the southern part of the U.S. for their job. They were looking for tips on how to make the transition happen smoothly. I thought it would be helpful to share these tips with all of you. Most of these tips I have learned first hand because I’ve relocated twice (once for grad school and again for my current job).

Checklist for relocating

Find somewhere to live. Your new company may have information on where to start looking for housing in your new city. Your new city’s Chamber of Commerce website will probably also have relocation information.

Save up your money. Relocating is expensive, so take the time to save up some money before your move.

Find Healthcare. Where is the nearest hospital or clinic in town? I’m a child of a mother who works in healthcare…so it’s always on my radar.

Grocery Store. You need to eat. When I moved to Duluth, I found a grocery store a few blocks away from where I live. As time has moved on, I’ve explored more grocery stores and found my favorite ones.

Update your driver’s license. This could be as simple as an address change. I learned in my last move I had to take my written driver’s exam again because I was filing for a license in a new state. New plates for your vehicle if you’re moving to a new state. You usually have to do this relatively soon after permanently relocating. In Minnesota, you have 60 days.

Find your public transit. Figure out if this is an option for you to get around your new city.

Change your address in all the places. Start with the US Postal Service so all your mail will be rerouted until you get all the updates in place.

Figure out what you use and do on a regular basis and find the equivalent in your new city. This could include: coffee shop, farmer’s market, library, place of worship, gym, bank, parks, trails, and more.

Meet people. This could happen through your work, and/or you may have to step out on your own to meet people. MeetUp is a site that helps you connect with all different kinds of groups in your area. You could also look for things like cooking classes at a local kitchen store (or something similar in your areas of interest).

Explore your neighborhood and new city. Your new city should have a Visitor’s Bureau to help you get started. Sometimes, just walking around can help you learn your new city. You can also ask your new co-workers for recommendations of things to see, do, eat, etc.

Ultimately, relocating is both overwhelming and an exciting adventure. I hope these tips help to make the transition smoother.

Of Possible Interest:

Photo source: Unsplash|Hide Obara

Deciding to Relocate for Work?

By: Michael

One of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make over the past couple of years was whether or not I would be willing to relocate or move to a different city for work. I have had my own experiences travelling, studied abroad, and interning in other cities, but I was never faced with the concept of considering a ‘permanent’ relocation. The idea was initially terrifying for me, mostly because I would be leaving all of my friends, family, and familiarities behind and trade it all for something new and unexpected. I have spent the past few weeks gathering advice and talking to friends and family about my decision to move and assembling some options for cities I’d like to move to as well as companies I’d like to work for. To help aide others in what to expect if they decide to relocate for work, I’m going to describe some of the stresses and obstacles I’m currently facing and will expect to face in the near future. Hopefully some of this insight will help prepare some of you for the future if you decide to go a similar route.

1. Resigning or rejecting offers or commitments in the town you are planning to leave.

This one should seem kind of obvious, but there are some certain aspects of this that were uncomfortable for me. I had never had to turn down a job offer up to this point; it was awkward and a little nerve-wracking for me to figure out how to properly turn down a job offer. I also will at one point have to quit my current job at a bank, where I have worked for the past 2 years. I also currently bank at a local bank and will need to switch either to a larger bank or to a branch located in the city I move to.

2. Applying for jobs located in the new city.

The next step I undertook was to apply for jobs. I have been submitting cover letters and resumes to a number of different accounting firms and businesses in a number of cities that I am interested in moving to. This has been a little more difficult than it seems, especially when applying to larger metropolitan areas such as Chicago, where I am unfamiliar with the area and suburbs. It is hard to know if some of the locations you are applying for are a good fit for you without doing your research, which brings me to my next point.

3. Research the Location Before Committing to Move There.

I’ve been spending an extensive amount of time looking at different cities here in Minnesota as well as Iowa and Illinois. Initially I looked for cities with a significant amount of accounting positions available, compared cost of living estimates, population sizes, and crime rates (especially when looking at specific neighborhoods or suburbs).

These are a few of the steps I have taken thus far. I am still waiting to begin interviewing with some of the companies that I have applied for. Once I know more about which city I am moving to, I will likely provide more insight into the ‘transitioning’ face, rather than the planning phase of relocation. In the meantime, if any of you are considering moving for work, I hope this advice helps you as much as it has helped me this semester. There really is a lot that goes in to it and right now the best thing is to take it one step at a time.

Read Michael’s other posts

New Position…Relocation

By: Andrew

With the job and internship search comes many things; looking for your perfect position, an exceptional company, and a great location to work. Though you want to enjoy the company you work for, the city you end up living in sometimes gets overlooked. That’s why I am here! For my position this past summer and upcoming summer I will not be forced to have a drastic relocation, but a lot of my coworkers did, and will. So here are three things to consider about when it comes to relocating if you so choose to.

The City

Everyone likes something different, so it is important to think about what is important to you and where you can find that in your new home. Let’s take Minneapolis for an example. Minneapolis is known for its abundance of trails, lakes, and parks; perfect for the athletic person or someone that loves to be outside. In saying that, those three things only do one so much good in Minneapolis due to the weather. So there’s a quick pro and con of the city. It’s worth taking the time to make a pros and cons list of the city you may be moving to. Don’t compare this list to where you already live unless where you live is a viable living option for your future job. Again, knowing what you want to be doing with your free-time is a key to knowing if you have found the right city to be living in.

Relocation Package

Not all companies offer this, but many do. A relocation package is great at any point in your career, but fresh out of college it can almost be necessary for the financial state some of us are in (myself being one). All relocation packages are different, and they essentially are meant to get you and your belongings from your old home to your new home. I myself do not have one due to how close I already live to where I will be working. On the other hand, my sister moved from Denver to Atlanta and got help from the new hospital she worked for by having them pay for the cost of closing costs on her new home and on the expense of movers and a moving truck. As said before, all relocation packages are different and some people don’t even receive them. Everything depends on the employer and your location.

The Employer

Seems obvious, pick a good company to work for and that’s that. Not so fast on that one. Consider some things when deciding on working for a company. You will always receive an offer sheet with all of the important insurance coverage, benefits, salary, bonuses and so on. One thing you may not know coming in is where there is room for you to personally grow and move in the company. No one wants a dead end job (let me know if I’m wrong on that assumption), so it is good to try and understand where you could be with the company 5, 10, and even 20 years down the road. If you’re not asking that question, don’t worry, but do think about why you may not be interested in growing with the company. Ultimately, most people like the idea of moving up and/or across divisions and departments of a company. It can be a rewarding feeling and reminds you that your work is important and valued by the company. So, make sure you know what you can be doing in your future at your company of choice.

Remember, no company is built the same as another, so be aware of the differences between them when it comes to seeing if making a move to a new city and a new job is really what you want to do.

Read Andrew’s other posts