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Career Focus: 6 reasons why you should gain work experience in New York City

28 Jul 2021 - Lizzie Cooper-Smith

Gaining work experience in the USA — either during or after your degree — will really help you to stand out in a competitive job market.

New York City in particular is full of opportunities, so let’s take a look at why you should gain work experience in New York and kickstart your career there.

1. There’s a diverse range of opportunities in different industries

Over 1 million businesses operate in New York City, so while the competition for jobs is high, there are lots of different industries you could choose to work in.

It’s well known that New York City is the financial capital of the world. Many big financial corporations are based in the city, including the world’s 2 largest stock exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

But it isn’t all about finance — hospitality, technology, publishing, media, advertising and fashion are also major employers. The fashion industry alone provides jobs for over 180,000 people in New York, making up 6% of the City’s working population.

Some of the top 100 biggest companies in New York City include:

New York City is also home to 62 community hospitals, including 11 public hospitals. In fact, there are more hospitals within the city limits than most US states have in total. This makes it a great location for aspiring healthcare professionals.

In addition, the city’s famous Silicon Alley provides many exciting job prospects for employees in the tech sector. There are also opportunities in arts and culture, education and academia. New York is home to over 100 museums and around 1,500 galleries, as well as top schools and universities, including Pace University.

Recent Pace international students and graduates have gone on to accept jobs and internships at employers including the Bank of China, Goldman Sachs, Spotify, the United Nations and more. It just goes to show that if you gain work experience in New York, there could be a world of opportunities open to you!

2. It has a great networking and social scene

Networking is a key part of finding a good job in New York. Pace University offers an innovative career preparation program specifically for international students called INSPIRE (International Student Professional Readiness Education).

The program will help you grow your professional network by connecting you with prospective employers and professional mentors, as well as organizing career fairs, panel discussions and work site visits.

As a Pace student, you can even network through student clubs. For example, Pace’s Graduate Finance Club regularly invite industry leaders to be guest speakers at events.

Pace holds 10 careers fairs each year, including one specifically for international students, and around 300 employers come to recruit on campus annually. In addition, many Pace professors have years of industry experience, making them excellent networking resources.

Download Pace's Career Services guide

It’s easy to meet people socially in New York too. You can use websites like Eventbrite to find fun local events to attend — many of them are free. There’s also Meetup.com, where you can connect with likeminded people who share your hobbies and interests.

Groups of entrepreneurs and startup companies also schedule meetings on a regular basis, so you might be able to expand your professional network that way too.

3. New Yorkers have higher salaries

While it’s true that the cost of living in New York City is high, the salaries are also generally higher than in the rest of the country. For example, the average salary of an executive assistant in New York is $63,341, which is 19% higher than the national average.

Overall, recent graduates from Pace University in New York make about $60,235 per year, putting Pace in the top 10% of US colleges that provide the best return on undergraduate tuition investment (Payscale.com, 2020).

4. It’s an iconic city to work in

New York city aerial view

The buzz of the big city makes working in New York an unforgettable experience. Countless famous movies and TV shows have been filmed in New York City — the high-rise buildings, yellow cabs and impressive skyline are instantly recognizable.

Many tall office buildings have incredible views of the city, and you can take a stroll in the city’s public parks on your lunch breaks.

In New York, the office is considered a hub, so there tends to be lots of other amenities and businesses nearby. It’s easy to step out of your office and find cafés, restaurants, pubs and karaoke bars. You can find good coffee, tasty food or something fun to do after work within a matter of minutes.

5. The public transportation system makes it easy to get around

You certainly won’t need a car to get around New York City. You can get across the city relatively easily on the subway or via the city’s bus network. The city has ferries and a public bike sharing program too, so you can get some fresh air while exploring your surroundings.

It’s often quicker to get around on foot than you might think, as parts of the city are quite closely packed. Walking is a great way to get to know New York better, and you can enjoy some cool views along the way.

The extensive public transportation system means that you can live in a very different neighborhood from where you work. So, for instance, you can choose to live in a quieter, more residential area of Brooklyn or Manhattan and then commute to your job in the bustling Financial District.

6. It attracts an international workforce

New York is a hub for global business, with many foreign corporations based in the city. International companies naturally attract a diverse workforce from around the world — nearly half of all workers in New York were born abroad.

With the help of OPT (Optional Practical Training), you may be able to work in New York for up to 3 years on your student visa. OPT allows international students with an F-1 visa to work in the USA for 12 months.

If your degree is in an eligible science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field, you can extend your OPT for an additional 24 months.

If you gain work experience in New York, there’s no doubt that you’ll enjoy some truly amazing opportunities. There are so many ways you can grow your network, learn new skills and develop your career when you work in New York.

With such a diverse range of companies based in the city, it’s one of the best places in the world to start your international career.

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