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Navigating the New York City Externship Experience: A Series #1: Deciding if the NYC Externship is for You

Anlly Palacios is a second-year CIPA student who is concentrating her studies on Social Policy. If you wish to learn more about Anlly, you may read her bio here.

For Spring 2018, I decided to enroll in CIPA’s New York City Externship Semester in place of taking traditional coursework in Ithaca. Deciding to participate in this opportunity was not an overnight decision. In fact, it took a year of planning, asking a lot questions, and creating possible back-up plans. In this blog series I will walk you through my journey of navigating the New York City Externship experience, from making the decision to commit to it, to getting an externship position and, finally, to the ins and outs of workplace and coursework expectations. I encourage you to view this blog series as a personal testimony of one individual experience, rather than bullet-proof steps to get you to New York City.

With that said, assuming you are in good academic standing (cumulative 3.0 GPA or above) after your first semester at CIPA, you are eligible to apply to the Off-Campus Externship Programs in either New York City or Washington, DC. There are a couple of reasons why I decided to apply to the NYC Externship. For one, as a student that went straight from undergrad into a professional program with little work experience, I decided that I would gain a better understanding of workplace challenges by actually working in an organization (it also looks really good on a résumé). Second, I want to work in New York City after I graduate from CIPA, so being in the city will afford me the opportunity to do in-person informational interviews, attend networking events, and learn more about organizations that exist in New York. Finally, as a Queens County resident, moving back to New York City is more convenient and affordable than staying in Ithaca (thanks mom and dad!).

I spoke with other CIPA students about their rationale for enrolling in the program. Many explained that they enrolled in the program because they were offered ongoing internships in the NYC-based organization that they had interned with over the summer, which allowed them to get a longer block of work experience). Others mentioned that they wanted the experience of living and working New York City before they moved on to other locations.

I encourage anyone interested in the NYC externship program to fully consider the reasons why you want to go to the city, and what you stand to gain. The answers to these questions will help you decide whether you are ready to commit to this exciting opportunity or not.

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