Internships can be acquired in any city or state. In some situations, students are offered the perfect internship — with the single flaw being its location, hundreds of miles away from home.
“Even before they land that internship, it’s really important the student realistically assess the financial side of it,” Bill Morgan, on-campus internship coordinator for MSU Career Services Network, said.
Morgan said housing is one of the biggest factors to consider because short-term housing may be difficult to find.
“It’s not like in spending the weekend in Chicago where you need three nights in a hotel,” said Morgan. “It’s like three months of short-term housing.”
Supply chain management sophomore Joe Slater took this semester off to intern in Nashville, Tennessee at Ozburn-Hessey Logistics. Slater said it was hard to find affordable apartments near the city, so he settled for a cheaper apartment 20 minutes outside of Nashville.
Slater currently pays $900 per month in rent, including utilities.
Some internships offer on-sight housing, like in the case of advertising senior Samantha Kaufman. Kaufman accepted an internship in Minneapolis working as a copywriter for Target Corporate when she was 19.
“I was really lucky because the Target Corporation provided a housing operation for out-of-state students,” Kaufman said.
The interns paid $250 per month for their apartment and were assigned a roommate.
“It was really convenient to not have to worry about finding housing,” Kaufman said.
Some students have an out-of-state internship they can drive their car to, but others might not be so fortunate. Morgan said it depends on the student’s specific location.
Slater drove his car to Nashville for his internship. He said he was fortunate to have moved when the gas prices were low, because he only spent about $80 on gas during his drive there.
“That was the good thing,” Slater said. “I filled up in Michigan when (gas prices) were like $1.70 and the most it was down here was $2.02 at the time.”
Kaufman said she was not as fortunate when deciding to fly home for the Fourth of July one year.
“The Fourth of July is more important to my family than Christmas,” Kaufman said. “So I actually paid $900 so that I could fly home for that weekend.”
Transportation costs can vary for each internship location. In a big city, Morgan said students have to be prepared for subway fares and taxis, and in a more rural area, students have to cover cost of gasoline.
Purchasing new clothes for a job depends on the type of work environment the student will be involved in.
“Let’s say it’s an office internship and you’re working five days a week,” said Morgan, “Are you going to wear the same suit every day for three months? Probably not, so you’re going to have to budget.”
Slater had to purchase new business casual clothing before moving. Slater found T.J. Maxx helpful while shopping because they offer polo brands for cheaper prices.
“I spent $300 to $400 maybe, and that covered everything like shoes, shirts and pants,” he said.
On the other hand, some internships do not require formal attire, such as for Kaufman. She said Target has a “dress for your day” policy, in which employees can wear casual clothes in the office.
Researching the company and surrounding area before applying or accepting an internship may be helpful for preparation.
“Put (away) a few extra dollars for the unknown, for emergencies, for fun, for exploring and for doing things beyond working,” Morgan said.