Eline during her amazing PR internship in New York City, wow!

It was overwhelming. I took the metro right out of the airport so when finally coming up in New York at Penn Station, I just saw lights, heard the noise, saw Empire State and The New Yorker.. It really sunk in I was going to do this, the moment before it all began.  

  • Adventure
  • North America
  • United States
  • New York
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1. Hey! Where are you from? Where do you live/study/work?

Hi! I am originally from Friesland and moved to Doorn when I was 17, which is close to Utrecht! I studied at TMO Fashion Business School for 3 years. 6 weeks ago I moved to New York to start my internship before graduating. It’s a sales internship at a high-end designer showroom.

2. What was the first thing you thought when arriving in New York City?

It was overwhelming. I took the metro right out of the airport so when finally coming up in New York at Penn Station, I just saw lights, heard the noise, saw Empire State and The New Yorker.. It really sunk in I was going to do this, the moment before it all began.  

3. What is the most shocking difference between the Netherlands and New York/USA?

Well the most annoying difference is the time difference. This makes it tricky to communicate with home and to stay in touch. What also shocked me was the crazy heat that just stayed for 4 weeks straight. I was actually happy when that hurricane arrived, I had not one drop of sweat left.

4. What does your typical day in New York look like?

I eat breakfast together with all the other Dutch girls at the Webster. After that I start at 9am at work and really every day is different. Right now it’s Fashion Week, so it’s super busy communicating with buyers who come in and out the showroom, I’m also a Jewellery model, take orders and keep the showroom representable. Usually I also take care of the aftersales and soon we are going to different stores to look at their collection and we will receive formal sales training. At 5pm I am finished and have dinner with my roommates. At night and in the weekends we’ll do some sightseeing and tick off our 3 pages long bucket list!

5. Would you ever be able to build a life in New York?

Absolutely. Everyday over here is so special and overwhelming, and I think I’ll never have enough of that. I also got used to the noise and how crowded it is everywhere, so for me there is no real reason to not build a life here.

6. Have you ever been homesick? If so, how did you cope with that?

The first few weeks that was not a problem at all, but last week I started to feel a little bit homesick sometimes. Because of the time difference there is not a whole lot of contact with the people back home and that can be tricky when things happen that are not so fun. Luckily I have build a great support system and talk about it with the girls over here, who recognize it and understand. We do so many fun things together but also help each other through the tough times.

7. What is a typical local thing that you could NOT imagine being a thing back home?

Well, the ‘shared dining’ is a big thing over here. When you go to a restaurant, you get huge portions that you are supposed to share with 2 or 3 people. I would actually love having this in the Netherlands, this way you can try lots of different foods.

8. What is the best thing you have experienced when staying in New York so far?

No matter how hard and busy it was, Fashion Week was amazing! I was allowed to go to press events, fashion shows and parties. For me it was an unfamiliar world and it was so cool to experience it from up close. But also our trips to Coney Island and Washington are definitely worth a place in my top 3.

9. Give us some tips who to befriend in New York. The French, Russians or the Americans?

Beforehand I told myself: “do not make friends with Dutch people! If you do this you can also just stay home!” Now I have to admit it is actually a very nice thing to have some familiarity when abroad, to be able to speak your own language now and then, there is something comforting about it. I have also gotten to know a lot of Americans and they are so nice as well! So the combination is perfect, I’d say.

10. Describe the New Yorkers in three words:

Kind, helpful and always in a rush. During my first few days I was often lost and didn’t understand anything of that whole metro system, but I didn’t even have to ask for help! The number of compliments I’ve gotten about for example my outfit or my blonde hair I can’t even count on one hand anymore. What is also typical is that a lot of New Yorkers are not bothered to wait for the green light at a crossover. Although, frankly I wasn’t too bothered by it either after a couple weeks haha!

11. What did you learn during your internship abroad? Details, we want to details!

Not only the experience abroad itself but also the preparation beforehand is a endless source of learning experiences. You become so independent! You are really by yourself here, have to be alert all the time and have to learn how to stand up for yourself. In the first week I had a gigantic jet lag, but I had to get out to take care of some errands that wouldn’t take care of themselves like opening a bank account and getting my social security number etc. When I had a problem, or didn’t know how to take care of something I couldn’t ask someone back home because of the time difference, this way I was forced to take care of it myself. It’s a good thing really, you become independent and all grown up without even realising it!

the most important thing I have learned so far, is that you need to network every second of every day over here. You have to show your face, small talk, make friends and get a great impression out. You can be so good at what you do, when nobody knows you are even there, it is pretty much impossible to grow or even get a job. In the beginning I was reluctant to do it, because speaking English is tiring after a while. But I quickly noticed it is the way to get things done here, it’s much easier when they have a great impression of you.