Perils of the summer internship housing hunt

Darden people are scattering this summer to every corner of the globe for summer internships in places like Los Angeles, New York, Sao Paolo and China. And that means we all have to find housing.

Some companies (like mine) find an apartment for you. All I have to do is show up with my clothes and I’m set. Others, however, expect you to find your own summer pad. Usually it’s not too difficult. Ask a friend, check out Craig’s List, even hook up with a realtor if the hunt is really difficult.

But a few of my friends have had a particularly hard time.

One friend of mine has a boyfriend looking for an apartment in San Diego. One promising studio on Craig’s List had a suspicious caveat: the owner and her boyfriend would use it for an hour or two during the day. “Totally sketch,” according to my friend.

Another friend, Julia, scored a great internship at Nike, which is just outside Portland. Which is a pretty, um, alternative, crunchy-type city. So Julia – who’s a Southern girl from small town Tennessee – has run across a few creative (and wordy) Craig’s List ads looking for roommates. Here are a few selections from one of her favorites:

“I am a part of Food Not Bombs. I like to dance and go out in nature. I’m spiritual and like conspiracy theories but I don’t talk about either to people who don’t want to hear it. … 420 friendly but nobody really partakes. … I have a tool shed that could be converted into a chicken coop if someone was wanting one and interested in helping convert that. I don’t eat eggs neither does Nicholas, but chickens would be a help to our garden. … I am a hypnotherapist and facilitate chakra meditations around town.”

But the winner of the Best Internship Apartment Hunting Story goes to my friend Lindsey. She’s interning at Whirlpool, which is in a teeny tiny resort town on one of the Great Lakes.

It’s tough to find housing because the town is so small and there aren’t any college students vacating their apartments for the summer. Lindsey started with vacation rentals, but soon found out she’d have to vacate them each weekend and summer holiday because they were already booked for those days. Then she looked at regular apartments but realized she’d have to rent furniture, which is super expensive. Whirlpool offered up a list of employees who were willing to rent her a room but each and everyone had dogs. And Lindsey is deathly allergic to dogs.

She seemed out of options. And then, on the last week of classes, I asked how her hunt was going.

“Oh, I found something,” she said with a smirk while she opened up her Web browser to show me the place. “I’m living in a nursing home.”

A nursing home??!?

Turns out the local nursing home has a few empty rooms and is renting them out to interns. Lindsey is getting a suite with a bedroom, bathroom, mini-fridge and microwave. The Web site says the place is just steps from downtown. There’s also a meal plan that Lindsey thought about signing up for – until she found out dinner was served early bird style from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Maybe the summer in a nursing home will be like an episode of 'Sunset Daze'

But she found a place, even though part of her summer might feel like a scene from Cocoon or In Her Shoes or, if she’s lucky, an episode of Sunset Daze. I’m sure we’ll all eventually find places to live just like we all eventually found internships. It just might be a little different from what we first imagined.

About missmba

What happens when a language-loving, mathphobic liberal arts major goes jumps on the MBA train. Follow my adventures at a top 20 business school.
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