Guide for Future Interns

Guide for Future Interns

So, if you are anything like me, you are checking these blogs to see what you should prepare for in the city. What should I take? Should I just buy my work clothes in D.C.? How much money am I going to spend? What building do I want to live in? The questions are endless, but hopefully I can shed some light on some of them - as always, feel free to comment with more!


The Packing Stress

There is honestly nothing I hate more on this planet than packing (except unpacking, of course), so trying to figure out what to take for a whole semester away from home was frustrating! There are a few ways to make sure that you pack all of the essentials. First, do NOT just assume that it will be easier to buy things here, especially if you are on a college student budget. I am a bargain shopper, and the sales I find in Ohio are nowhere to be found in D.C., so definitely bring all of your own essentials. BUT WAIT - before you spend an extreme amount of money of suits, blazers, nice dresses, etc. make sure to check with your internship site on what the dress code is like. There are a few guys from Spain in one of my classes who each brought 2 suits in their suitcases, only to find that their office dress code was extremely casual. Usually, internship sites are business causal, so nothing too extreme. Also, shoes shoes shoes ladies… and guys too, I suppose. Please buy the most comfortable pair of heels or flats that you can find (and almost everyone wears flats, so don't  go crazy with the high heels). Most people who walk to work do so in tennis shoes and change once they arrive, but if you would rather not do that, makes sure those shoes are blister-proof! If you are coming in the winter, obviously be prepared for slush and snow; the shoes you wear to work should probably not be the ones you wear in the office.


How Do I Budget? MOM HELP…

My first trip to the grocery store was a bit of a shock; I may or may not have called my mom in a panic when I saw how much I had spent on groceries. A grocery trip that would cost me between $35-$40 back at home is around $60 in D.C. Considering not everyone is accustomed to the price spike, it is so important to budget well. The store that is closest to TWC apartments have savings cards, so definitely sign-up for one as soon as you arrive. Those will help you save a little; I have also learned to stay towards the deals that week and it could save me a little money. For all of the deals that say buy 2 for X amount, you do NOT have to buy 2 of them to get it for the discounted price, so keep that in mind! Also, bags are 5 cents apiece in D.C. so if you have reusable bags you can bring, do it;  if not, buy them on your first trip to the store.


Try to start thinking ahead on how you can save a little money. Whether it be not eating out every day for lunch or limiting your spending on the weekends, it is definitely important to budget. We are halfway through the semester right now and many of us are starting to panic a little; my roommates have officially buckled down on their eating because if they continue at this rate, they will not make it to December. A lot of my fellow interns who love their weekends out have learned that going out every night on the weekend may not be a cost-effective lifestyle, if not done strategically. Lastly, make sure you budget some money in for transportation, because the Metro gets pricey and Ubers do, too! You live and learn though; I'm just giving you guys some things to keep in the back of your mind as you prepare for your semester.


What’s the Nicest Apartment Complex?

This is the question many interns have, especially when you're ready to fill out all the housing information. I live at the RAF, which is the original residential building. There are a few students at Elevation and Flats 130 as well, which are the two extremely modern buildings with the fancy pictures on their website. Flats 130 and Elevation are very modern, spacious and located near the Metro. The RAF is very nice as well and many of the evening courses are held downstairs. I honestly love the fact that I can leave for class two minutes before class begins and still make it on time. If you plan on coming in the winter and do not like the cold, you may want to stick with living in the RAF. All of them have a pretty good community feel, but the RAF definitely has an advantage in that respect, because all activities take place or begin there and it is occupied only by TWC interns. I actually chose the other two TWC apartment complexes as my top choices (because they looked so nice online), but ended up in the RAF and honestly love it here.


Take Advantage of Adventure

The Washington Center has great opportunities for you to get out of the city and travel while you are here, so always take advantage of those. I just recently went on one to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was a blast: we got to visit a Civil War museum, along with all of the Gettysburg must-see places. We also did a pumpkin patch, hayride and corn maze to make sure we were getting our fall on! It was nice to step away from the city and see some corn fields again…


Below are a few of the million photos we took this weekend:


When From Ohio, You Must Pick Pumpkins In the Fall



Gettysburg Thanks For the Great Time




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