Pete reports from New York

Pete, from Deakin University VIC, is currently living in New York and is 3 months into his Work and Travel USA visa. Pete provides some useful advice for anyone interested in working in the US, particularly in the New York area, in the current economic climate.

“I arrived with my girlfriend Becky in New York on July 15th, and we went straight out to the little town of Stony Brook, Long Island where Becky's mother lives. We were lucky to have a place to stay until we found an apartment and jobs in New York City.

For the next couple of months we looked for jobs. We searched employment websites and went to job agencies for interviews. We also started looking on for apartments to rent in the city.

The current state of the US economy meant that jobs in NYC were hard to find. My work background was in the hospitality industry, but I was hoping to get some form of office work. My lack of experience made it very hard for me to find any type of work in this industry. Becky had better luck, she had a few great interviews and a few jobs to choose from.

In the meantime we took a gamble and rented an apartment in New York City before either of us found work! We found a nice little studio apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Everything worked out in the end, Becky took a fantastic job at Calvin Klein working for the VP of Store Design. I found a great paying job at a Wine Store very close to home.

I'd definitely advise anyone coming to the US to have enough money to cover at least the first three months of living expenses. The job market is in a sorry state at the moment, and it's difficult to find work. There are definitely jobs available, but it takes some hard work to find it!

Also, we both found that employment agencies are basically useless when there is a shortage of jobs. We wasted many hours signing up at job agencies that ended up having no work to give. The best way to find work in my opinion is to go direct to companies and submit your resume to the HR department. If you're looking for hospitality work, just walk in and ask to speak to a manager.

I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone wanting to live in the US. The experience of living and working in another country is a great way of expanding your knowledge of the world. I'm looking forward to the next few months living in New York City!!”