Who would of thought having a balanced budget in D.C. actually could exist. Of course I am not talking about the federal government, I am talking about you being a role model and making a balanced budget.
Greetings, this week I am going to focus on a different aspect of the internship experience that you may not learn neither from a classroom nor from orientation given by your internship. However, we all need to do this especially college students. What I am about to discuss is something that college students and older adults tend not to do and that’s called making a budget. As I mentioned previously in my other posts, I do not live in the district because of the insane price for rent and other living expenses, but I live “outside the beltway.” Still I need to budget myself. When considering an internship, my first suggestion is to apply for an academic program. Here is an example, in which I did and also some of my colleagues:
The Washington Center is located in D.C. close to Dupont Circle. They offer a vigorous academic based internship program, which allows a student to earn up to 9 college credits to be transferred to an accredited university. They offer student housing, where students room with other fellow Washington Center interns. The housing unit contains a furnished room, full kitchen access, bathroom, and laundry facilities. Washington Center has three housing facilities around DC, of which I know about. I have to say honestly, two out of the three facilities I have actually stayed at and are fantastic places to live for a few months. Here is the kicker, the program costs $6000-$9000. Yes, that much! Good news, many schools actually offer a scholarship or financial aid to some programs, so it may cost substantially less. However, lets break some costs down using some numbers I have found to be good estimates.
Housing for June- August: $1200/month= $3600
Metro Costs average – $20/week for work= $200
Grocery’s average= $70/week= $700
Other activities= $200/month= $600
Tuition for school= you fill it in
As you can see these estimates are just my own personal experiences when I lived in the district in the past. After factoring in tuition, as you can see, it is well worth considering applying for an internship program. How do you earn college credit you say? First, the internships are usually 3 credits, a class with the Washington Center is another 3 credits, and some schools will even allow you to earn another three credits with other tasks and classes you could take while experiencing your internship. How amazing would it be then to earn so many college credits, plus you can graduate quicker. Remember, if you stayed at your school in the summer you could only handle one or two classes at a time plus you could not experience a cool new place or get hands on experience. Overall, grow your resume.
As for me, I live outside the beltway. I bring my lunch every day to work, I drive my car to a college campus and park it, my metro is paid for through a government subsidy, and my housing cost comes out of me working my part time job on the weekends. If I did not have a couple perks this is what my costs boil down to:
Gas per week average- $20
Groceries- $50 per week
Metro per week without subsidy- $50
Let me mind you I get no college credit and no perks such as networking opportunities and seminars. Through a program you can get so much more and it would be easier to budget. The reason why I do not receive college credit this time is, because I am no longer eligible to receive the credit since I received it last year. Therefore, I could have at least received 3 college credits if I was able to.
All and all the point is to make a budget, because some of these costs can be lowered, but still with some adjusting you can have a good time. Be smart and research before you dive into an internship, because we are college students and you want the most bang for the buck.