Where’s a Summer Intern Supposed to Live?

 Carly successfully secured an internship at a major bank in Manhattan after weeks of intense interviews and applications. She felt a sense of relief and believed that things would be alright. However, her optimism was short-lived when she faced the challenges of finding housing in New York City's competitive summer rental market.

During June, thousands of interns flock to the city, all vying for a place to live. The housing situation is hierarchical, with some lucky individuals having housing provided by their employers or having family and friends to stay with. However, for those relying on a stipend and luck, finding suitable housing becomes incredibly difficult.

The summer housing market in New York City is notorious for being competitive and expensive. Rental prices reach record highs during this period, making it even more challenging for interns like Carly. Despite having a budget of $1,800, she aspired to live in the East Village with a roommate, conveniently located near the subway and popular intern hangouts. She didn't think her expectations were unreasonable.

Carly initially searched on StreetEasy but found short-term leases to be almost non-existent. She then turned to Facebook groups, hoping to find a lease takeover or an available room. However, the few options that seemed promising were quickly swarmed by countless other hopefuls, leaving Carly with no luck.

Some individuals resort to apartment hopping, trying to piece together a situation through short-term sublets. However, this approach causes additional stress, as interns have to drag their belongings through the subway system every weekend. Others end up in subpar situations, like a finance intern who arrived at her furnished sublet only to find a mattress on the floor and a single chair.

As the search for housing becomes increasingly desperate, interns become more susceptible to scams and disappointing experiences. Carly, tired of the constant disappointments, turned to the intern housing industry, which resembles college housing. She ended up in a three-bedroom suite with two other girls, each paying a hefty sum of nearly $6,000 for 11 weeks. It wasn't ideal, but at least she could finally stop searching.

Carly reflects on her experience, acknowledging that she didn't expect living in New York City to be a dream, but she also didn't anticipate it being challenging and unpleasant. 

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