Isabel Shestopal, Norway
New York, Brooklyn
New Media design studio, Volvox Labs
1 year internship
How is the US work culture different compared to your home culture?
It´s really been a great experience. I have gotten to know my new coworkers on a personal level and I have been challenged a lot. I feel like my placement supported my growth from day one- and I have really grown in multiples! I still have much to learn though, so I am excited to stay and continue my education.
New York is full of talented and unique people. Everything is high speed. For some this might be stressful, but I find it very inspirational.
Why did you choose to work in the US?
I did not really choose US, I chose the studio and it just happened to be in the U.S.
What was different?
One expectation is that I thought I would work a lot more with art, but the company I am at does mostly advertising or commercial clients. I also had not considered rules for safety at work, so I can’t really work with any of the big machines at the office. I had not really prepared for how expensive New York is. Coming from Scandinavia I thought everything would be cheaper, but total costs of living in New York is actually higher than any of the Scandivian cities.
What was better than you expected?
I did not expect to fall in love with New York. American culture has never appealed to me. But I love it so much here. Everything from the fact that there is always something happening, the cherry blossoms in spring, the people who are so much more open and social than at home. I love my neighbourhood, Greenpoint/Williamsburg, I love all the crazy characters in New York and I love the view of Manhattan from Brooklyn.
I have so many great memories here I can’t choose one! When the weather is good life in New York is amazing. One thing that I have really appreciated is joining a running club. There are several of them here, both free and subscription based. For me it meant meeting new people in a safe space and getting to work out for free. It has even helped me on rough days or when I feel homesick. We run fun places, to nature walks or a cross the Williamsburg bridge, so I’ve gotten see more of the city with the running club too.
Want to know her top tips when coming to USA for an internship OR tips for the internship applying process.