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Thread: Do I need a car to do internships?

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    Do I need a car to do internships?

    Hi. I'm thinking of selling my car and using public transit while in grad school. However, my friend mentioned that I might need a car while doing internships (to run documents around or do grunt work errands). Anyone out there who has done an internship, could you clue me in on whether I need a car (I'm guessing/hoping not). Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    What city would the internship be in? What may be possible in New York or San Francisco would certainly not be possible in Houston or Phoenix.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    First of all, it is very unlikely that you will need a car to perform job duties, since most employers will allow you to use a company car for these purposes.

    Now, if you're asking whether you will need a car to get to/from the internship, to socialize with your co-workers, and so on... well that is really not separate from the question of whether you can live without a car in general. Is it possible to get by without a car? If you ask most Americans in most American cities, the answer is no. However, you have already said that you believe you can get by without a car where you live (wherever that is). So the answer for you will probably be yes. If you do the internship in the same city as your school, the answer in that case should be yes as well.

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Really depends on where you will be (big cities make it easier to not need a car) and what kind of job it is (desk jobs using computers won't need a car as much as a field job.) Finally, not all jobs have a "company car" to use but large places often will. In smaller places you may be able to borrow a co-worker's car though.

    Good luck. Our family hung onto a one car lifestyle until the birth of Second Baby. Wish we could go back. A friend has three kids and they have no car but his wife doesn't work, which helps.

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    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I was back east for a week with no car. Drove me crazy. I see why people in Cities are so angry.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

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    Thanks for the replies. To clarify, my question is whether I need a car to perform on the job duties while interning, not getting to and from work. Another way to put it, will having no car cause cities/firms to not hire me as an intern?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    another case of too much information. Unless the job specifically requires it in the add, don't mention it. Get the job first, THEN bring it up.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by silverthorne View post
    Thanks for the replies. To clarify, my question is whether I need a car to perform on the job duties while interning, not getting to and from work. Another way to put it, will having no car cause cities/firms to not hire me as an intern?

    Again, it really depends on the city that you will be in. I don't know any firm in San Francisco that would require a car or not hire you for not having one (and certainly the city would not require one). Almost all of the people that I know here in the planning arena don't have a car. On the other hand, almost all of the people that I know in the Seattle area that are involved with planning have (and need) a car for their job (not just getting to and from). What type of internship are you talking about? And certainly, as was mentioned above, why bring it up unless you are asked? Unless you specifically are looking for an internship that does not need a car...

  9. #9
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    What type of internship are you talking about?
    I've never done an internship so I'll take whatever I can find, although I'd prefer interning in a city planning department
    Is it possible to get by without a car? If you ask most Americans in most American cities, the answer is no. However, you have already said that you believe you can get by without a car where you live (wherever that is).
    Believe it or not I live and will be going to school in Los Angeles

    ... why bring it up unless you are asked? Unless you specifically are looking for an internship that does not need a car...
    My concern is that many cities or firms won't give me an internship due to not having a car. As mentioned above, I've never done an internship, so I don't know how much on the job driving is involved (if any) for a typical planning internship

  10. #10
    Cyburbian MDGARD01's avatar
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    What city are u doing the internship?
    in Louisville, You'll need a vehicle

  11. #11
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Comic Sans MS
    Believe it or not I live and will be going to school in Los Angeles
    You probably won't need a car. I know several people who have done planning-related internships in LA car-free.

    LA may have the reputation of being autotopia, but it is starting to have better and better transit options, and the density in the basin has been creeping up for decades. There are many, many places in the LA area where a car-free lifestyle is possible.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plan 9's avatar
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    One question would be if you are interning for a public vs private organization. For a public one I would say you probably don't need a car. For a private company it is much more likely that they will expect you to have one. (And most planning company's don't have company cars, unless you are one of the partners)

  13. #13
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    I'd bet you'll be fine. I applied for an internship with an affordable housing group where they asked me if I had a car (I did) but I didn't get it, so I'll never know what they wanted me to use it for. I got an internship with the City of Sacramento having a car, but I did the math and figured that I was spending 8 dollars a day to commute to an unpaid internship, and took the bus every day instead. At least it gave me a lot of time to do my homework on the bus. Honestly though, don't deal with the expense and headaches if they only thing you would use it for would be an internship (unless said internship is decently paid)

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