Advice on getting an internship in New York

Hello all!

I’m a Colombian Industrial Designer currently living in Sydney, Australia. I came to Sydney to study a Master of Design in Branding and I just finished my studies. As the Industry in Australia is pretty small compared to the Industry in the U.S, and also cause NYC is my favorite city in the world, I’m now looking forward to going there for a couple of months to work as an Intern Designer.

There are a couple of things I would love you guys to give me some advice on.

First, I only have my Tourist Visa to go to the U.S, so I can stay there for up to 6 months. there is a chance of getting a proper J1 Visa but the agencies that help getting this charge quite a few bucks, so do you thing that I would need to get a J1 Visa to get an Internship? or would it be possible to get one just with my Tourist Visa? I mean, the Internships are usually non-paid or they just give you some money to help you with your basic expenses.

  1. I love Furniture Design and I also have some experience doing so by working for a mid-size Furniture Manufacturing company back in Colombia. But I’m very interested in the Design of Branded Environments, which includes everything from the design of public spaces, offices, retail, building interiors, and corporate facilities, etc… but I do not have any experience on that, so when sending a resume I just don’t know the best way to sell my self to win the position!
    Any opportunity I get in Any of these areas would be perfect, you know… but I don’t want to sound like I’m just looking for “ANYTHING” that comes by.

How’s the Furniture and the Environments Design (branded) market in New York? what do you guys think is easier to find? and… do you know any companies I could write to?

  1. Although I have a place to stay in NYC, I would need a couple of dollars to pay for Transport, Food and basic expenses, do you thing that it is possible to get an Internship where they can help me with some US$ ? I mean, just the necessary to live!

  2. Finally, as there are a lot of software out there and every country has its own “most used” software, whats the most used software in the U.S for Furniture Design and also for Environments Design?

I hope you guys could give me some advice on the Market in NYC, and the best way to find an opportunity and to present myself when contacting the companies by email (as I am still in Sydney and I am planning on going to NYC in late June or August this year, depending on the opportunities I find).

…and, if you happen to know about any opportunity please let me know!!! my email is

Thanks a lot!


German D Salamanca


Internships will often pay, more than washing cars but less than a full-time position. Chances are a paid internship in NY will not cover your living expenses, you’ll probably have to come in with some savings.

Also, I don’t think you can work in the US without a work visa. You would have to apply for a work visa, but if you find a company that is interested in hiring you they may have ways of helping you make sure you’re all ready to come here.

Aside from that… look around for specific firms you would like to work for and send out some phone calls or emails. Putting yourself out there is the best way to get attention.

PS those work pieces you put up are very nice, but the watermark (if you can call it that) on the first image is somewhat distracting from the actual content.

Hi Spizzy, thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it. About the watermark, yes I was meant to get rid of it and haven’t done it. Someone already told me that a couple of weeks ago.