Frequently Asked Questions
Why Columbia Housing?
Unlike many other schools, Columbia Housing hires a team of 10-14 interns which offers our students a great opportunity to meet and network with undergraduate and graduate students from schools all around the country as well as professionals here at Columbia. We house 70 conference groups over the summer—one of the largest conference housing departments in the nation. You will gain experience in behind the scenes work, planning, preparing in addition to on the site work with hosting check-in and check-out events, acting as on-call/first-responder and assisting guests at our Conference Service Desk. Interns leave Columbia University in August with stronger critical and creative thinking skills, great leadership experience and in depth knowledge of organizational management and communication—all of which will help cultivate quality skill sets to pursue careers in higher education or in any field they choose to pursue. We value the importance of networking and work with our ACUHO-I interns closely with their interests to help connect them with ACUHO-I Alumni in their desired careers. ACUHO-I Internships at Columbia University prepare interns for all types of jobs and careers in their future.
Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.
Why New York City?
Interning in New York City is the most vibrant place to be over the summer. There are a number of free events and festivals that you can take advantage of during your stay here at Columbia: Good Morning America Concerts, Yoga in Central Park, Museums and Attractions (The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Hispanic Society of America, Museum of Biblical Art, Irish Hunger Memorial, Queens County Farm, Museum to name a few) Governor’s Island, The High Line, Botanical Gardens, Movies on the Hudson Pier and more!
Can undergrad students apply? Do I need to have housing experience?
Yes, we encourage undergraduate students to apply to our Conference Housing Assistant/Resident Advisor internship. Many of our CHA/RA applicants have a wide range of experiences within housing and residence life. Some have never worked in housing, but have worked in other fields within student affairs. We welcome all undergraduate interns to apply. Many of our CHAs/RAs apply for manager positions the following summer.
What are the start and end dates? Can I arrive early or leave later?
Start and end dates vary from position to position. The Intern Housing Coordinator and Student Accommodations Intern typically begin during the first week of April through the middle of August due to the amount of necessary preparation work needed for the Intern Housing program and Summer Housing. The Conference Desk Managers begin the first week of May through the middle of August while the Conference Housing Assistants/Resident Advisors begin the second week of May through the middle of August. If you have any questions about your dates and have applied through ACUHO-I, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your availability, we may be able to offer some flexibility.
What is the office dress code?
Managers (Intern Housing Coordinator, Student Accommodations Intern, and Conference Desk Manager) are expected to dress business casual and Conference Housing uniforms during major check-ins. CHAs/RAs are expected to where our Conference Housing uniforms while working at the Carman Conference Desk. More information about our uniform and dress code will be distributed after you are accepted into the program. Outside of work you are free to dress as you please. If you plan on exploring the city bring comfortable shoes/clothes. For those who have not been to NY layers are the best. Bring a sweater and jacket as weather can change unpredictably. We do have some pools and beaches in the city, so we encourage interns to bring their swimwear.
What is the compensation?
All interns will be provided with free housing in a corridor or suite style building as well as one daily (Mon-Fri) meal voucher benefit to use at a Columbia dining hall during the summer dining schedule. Managers and CHAs/RAs are paid hourly for their work at the Conference Housing desk. CHAs will also have RA related unpaid tasks that are required outside of the office.
What is Housing like at Columbia University?
Housing and Residence Life are two separate departments here at Columbia. Although we are separate, we work closely together to ensure the best housing and living experience for Columbia students. Our ACUHO-I interns work solely with the Housing department over the summer, but there are opportunities to meet and network with professionals from Residence Life. CHAs will have the opportunity to work within their residence on Intern Housing community building and programming.
What is the intern housing program?
Our Intern Housing program is available for non-Columbia students participating in an internship or summer program in the metropolitan area over the summer. The Intern Housing Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the entirety of the program—preparation for check-in, questions and concerns during their stay through check-out. They are also responsible for supervising the CHAs/RAs who will service as resident assistants for the intern housing program.
What types of conferences do you house over the summer?
We house a wide array of conferences—varying from language and educational programs, non-profit and for profit organizations, research based groups from all parts of the world. Our clientele are very diverse. All of our past interns greatly appreciated the ability to network with so many different professionals and organizations.
Would I be able to meet professionals in other departments?
Yes, absolutely. We encourage interns to network with our conference clients, commencement guests and alumni. In the beginning of the summer, we ask interns about their interests and different departments they would like to learn more about on campus. Whenever possible, we do our best to facilitate conversations and exchange contacts to make the most of their experience here at Columbia.