NYU student travels from NYC to Florida every weekend for internship – Business Insider

In high school, I ran my own travel agency. From that experience, I developed an appreciation for customer service and luxury hotel brands. When I enrolled at New York University last year, I decided to pursue an internship in the hospitality industry as a freshman.
However, given the relative scarcity of internships at luxury hotel companies in New York City, I broadened my search to opportunities nationwide. I got three interviews in three cities: Scottsdale, Arizona; Las Vegas; and Naples, Florida — all during midterm season.
Undertaking these interviews was a massive gamble, requiring me to invest over $1,500 in plane tickets and fly to and from each city on the same day. But, I knew I had to bet on myself.
I received two offers: one from The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, and another from a corporate office in Las Vegas for a different hotel chain. Having admired The Ritz-Carlton my entire life, choosing the former option was a pretty easy decision.
However, navigating the logistical challenges of super commuting —coordinating flights, securing accommodations, and managing my full-time studies — has been anything but easy.
I am incredibly fortunate to have a manager who has accommodated my unique schedule, allowing me to work exclusively on weekends. This arrangement makes my super-commute between New York and Florida feasible — albeit invariably tight.
My classes run from Monday through Friday — starting at 11 a.m. on Monday and ending at 12:15 p.m. on Friday. After class, I head to the airport, boarding either the subway or a train. Travel time often doubles as study time — whether in-flight or waiting at the gate. I typically take an Uber or a shuttle to my hotel after landing.
Generally, the total travel time from my dorm to my hotel ranges from five to eight hours, door-to-door, depending on the airport and hotel locations. However, flight delays, such as one that resulted in my arriving at 1 a.m., can extend this timeline significantly.
Thankfully, the Ritz-Carlton provides highly competitive compensation — particularly due to the extensive hours required.
After finishing on Sunday, I head straight from the property to the airport to catch my 9 p.m. flight, arriving in New York around midnight. I then take a train or subway back to NYU, ultimately returning to my dorm between 2 and 3 a.m. on Monday.
I will acknowledge that achieving this particular feat was largely made possible by a unique set of circumstances. First, residing in New York City offers access to almost unlimited flights, ensuring flexibility in timing and competitive pricing. I have five airports within a train ride’s distance to choose from.
On the accommodations front, being a Marriott associate has granted me significant discounts at Marriott hotels, keeping me profitable even amid Naples’ sky-high winter prices. This benefit — combined with a supportive manager who has been very accommodating of my schedule — offers a level of flexibility that would have been unattainable under any other circumstances.
Plus, money certainly is certainly an issue. I use almost all of my pay to afford this travel. In all, I’ve spent just under $10,000 on hotels, flights, and cars. That means I will not have much money left over when this internship is over.
The transformative experiences and incredible lessons I’m learning at The Ritz-Carlton are preparing me for the future, instilling in me the values of diligence, adaptability, and a deep focus on customer satisfaction.
Despite the challenges of traveling thousands of miles monthly, the rewards have been immeasurable. Plus, the connections I have made, both within the company and in the broader community — many of whom come from backgrounds different from mine — have significantly broadened my perspective. I have encountered dozens of fascinating individuals simply by sitting next to them on a flight.
I’m often asked how I juggle my role at The Ritz-Carlton, coursework, and various other projects without feeling overwhelmed. My answer is simple: I don’t see all of this as work but as the pursuit of my passions. Each task I embark on is driven by sincere interest and ambition, making every day an opportunity for discovery, learning, and personal growth.
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