Matt Gornick

Intern Guide to Success in Manhattan: Housing

Posted in Personal, Work by mgornick on June 22, 2008

If you are an intern in Manhattan, finding a place to live for the summer can be a daunting task.  You want time to be successful, spend time with friends, explore the city, and of course live in a somewhat decent apartment.  I firmly believe that the environment that you live in contributes to your lifestyle and success.  If you live in a complete dump, that is the way your life will turn.  If you live in a clean and functional apartment, you will be that much better off.

The old adage, “The early bird gets the worm,” applies here.  Obviously, your first step is to actually know if you’ll be working in Manhattan/New York City area.  In line with that, you should *speak* to your employer on the telephone and ask for any resources for finding a place to live this summer.  A lot of firms have recommended living areas or prearranged housing for those that act early.  If your employer doesn’t have any valuable information, start looking at the near by universities and educational housing services.  For example, search for *university* on Google Maps for NYC you’ll receive various locations of local universities, small and large, that can help you with your housing decisions.  Do some research of the top 10 university housing options you can find and call their summer housing department.  Most of the time, they can provide you with critical application deadlines, information about other housing options, and guide you through the application process.

If you missed the cutoff for the applications for the university housing options, you’ll need to do a little more work.  Look into EHS (http://www.studenthousing.org/) because they have housing options open relatively late in the semester and can place you on a waiting list to get into the apartment of your choice.  You can browse Craigslist of something similar but odds are you will be spending too much.  You’ll need to consider living in a different burrow of NY or moving far north in Manhattan.  At this crossroad, start to look at your commute time and cost of transportation.  I know a quite of few interns that live in several cities in New Jersey or Brooklyn Heights and commute to work.  This is completely acceptable especially if the living conditions in your northern Manhattan options are unfavorable.  Living outside of Manhattan can be a good thing if you are down to the last minute.

The key to remember is that 1) time is of the essence and 2) you need to find a decent place.  There are plenty of apartments that are more spacious, less expensive, and will still be relatively close to your work in other parts of the city/surrounding areas.  Don’t be afraid to ask around or talk to your recruiter for questions about the area or apartment you’re looking at.  Working in Manhattan is stressful enough, you deserve at least a chance to live in a relaxed environment.

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Personal Outsourcing for Success

Posted in Personal, Uncategorized by mgornick on June 20, 2008

Outsourcing is considered a cliché in today’s society.  Surprisingly, I find the culture in Manhattan very open to “personal outsourcing”; that is to say, taking tasks that you would/could normally do and hire/pay someone else to do them for you.  For example, I can go to the store and buy groceries.  Unfortunately, I work 12+ hours per day, want to go to the gym for an hour, better myself, and sleep.  Luckily for me, I can simply spend 10 minute online and order a weeks worth of food and have it delivered next day to my apartment at the time I choose.  This is a huge convenience for me and the people I spend time with.  This leads me to the point of personal outsourcing.

For those that have read The 4Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss , you know that the goal is to delegate a lot of tasks to others in order to gain free time to do the things you want to do.  Personal outsourcing is just that.  Look at what you want to do and find time to do it.  I’ve picked up countless hours throughout my week which has enabled me to explore Manhattan, try new foods, meet new people, and enjoy the activities I love. 

My first step in finding out what I can outsource was simple: laundry.  I have to wear a suit and dress shirt every day to work and washing/ironing/etc. every week is monotonous and a waste of time.  I started with 4-5 loads of laundry per week and now I’m down to 2 (these are very small washers/dryers).  The remainder I take to the dry cleaners and they wash, press, starch, and hang all of the laundry for me.  Yes, I have to pay for that, but this simple outsourcing enables me to focus on what I want to do.

Now I focus on work, helping with a university club, brainstorming new startup ideas, rock climbing, and cutting stress from my busy life.

Become Smarter: Audiobooks and Podcasts

Posted in Financial, Personal by mgornick on June 20, 2008

Audiobooks and podcasts are a relatively old technology, but surprisingly I just began using them to better myself.  Just this week, I found myself doing nothing on my daily commute to work.  I spend about 30 minutes total composed of walking and train travel.  During this time, I would usually have only a fraction of the time to flip through “The Wall Street Journal” each morning.  Here is where my idea came in.

I just started to download a few podcasts (listed below) and listen them on the way to work.  This keeps me up to date on the most recent news and culture for the day/week.  So far, I have been enjoying receiving my information this way because it is extremely focused in the particular topic and it allows me to make use of my daily commute.  For instance, I can get the top headlines as well as recent news pertaining to the stock market.  To be successful, you need to be aware of the culture, world, and events around you.  Soaking in the news via a podcast each morning is a quick and easy way to make use of your commute.

Additionally, I found that Librivox.org offers free public domain audiobooks to download in mp3 format.  I’ve been getting through a few books simply by listening to a chapter or two on my way to work or while I’m relaxing.  Yes reading can be relaxing, but for those who are crunched with time an audiobook is a great substitution.  Additionally, you will be (or at least seem) more worldly and understanding to the classics when talking to your friends/coworkers/date.

I’ve outlined some of the recommended podcasts and audiobooks to get started!

Podcasts:

1. The Wall Street Journal Podcasts: “What’s News” and “Tech Headlines”.  If you have a 30+ minute commute I would recommend their “This Morning” podcast as well (but its usually ~35 min).  The WSJ is the quintessential source for financial and market news.  If you don’t listen/read it, you’re missing out.

2. The New York Times: “Front Page” and “World View” for a different perspective on the news.

3. (Your favorite news source or another podcast of interest if you have extra time)

Audiobooks:

1. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli:  Written by a Renaissance hilosopher, The Prince is timeless novel that digs deep into how a ruler, company, or CEO should serve and rule his domain.  If you are interested in Investment Banking, Mergers and Acquisitions, or start-up takeovers this book is a must read!

2. Pick a book from: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/getting-away-from-the-daily-digital-noise-a-list-of-time-tested-classics.html

3. Or http://artofmanliness.com/2008/05/14/100-must-read-books-the-essential-mans-library/

Intern Lifestyle in Manhattan

Posted in Health, Personal, Uncategorized, Work by mgornick on June 16, 2008

I haven’t wrote in a while, but I’ve been adjusting to the Manhattan lifestyle.  Since I’ve only been here a few weeks, I thought I would post an update as to my current lifestyle for success.

Work: I’m early to bed and early to rise.  Before I got to sleep, I create my list of things to do for the next day and review them when I wake up.  I find that this greatly helps me focus on what I need to accomplish for the day.  I arrive at work early and stay late (10-11 hours of work per day).  I love the project(s) that I’m working on so I have no problem putting in the time.

Health: Before I start work, I go to the gym for an hour and then prepare for work.  I’m starting to prepare a healthy breakfast and lunch the night before so that I can just fill my gym bag and leave in the morning.  I’ve been eating pretty healthy and going to the gym 5 days a week with a various mix of cardio, strength, and supplemental workouts (e.g. rock climbing).  

Financial: It is obvious that Manhattan is extraordinary expensive!  I found that purchasing food via freshdirect.com was actually cheaper and more convenient that going to a grocery store in Manhattan.  So far, I received my first order from Fresh Direct and I’m very satisfied.  I can fill out my order the night before and have the groceries delivered to my apartment the next day.  I find that it should save me countless hours each week due to traveling and comparison shopping.  Also, cooking my own food and bringing my own lunch has enabled me to save money that would otherwise go toward restaurants.  I’ve noticed the average price for a meal to be around $10; so by purchasing my food and preparing it myself, I can save a good deal of money this summer.

I am planning on writing an “Intern Guide to Manhattan” post that will give specifics on how interns can be successful and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in Manhattan.