Held at different points in its history by the Spanish and French, New Orleans possesses the most eclectic culture of any major city in the country.
Its heritage has influenced its architecture, cuisine and traditions, making it a top tourist destination for foreign and domestic travelers alike. While New Orleans is an amazing place to visit, it is also an excellent place for students and recent graduates to get an internship as well.
What’s New Orleans like?
Being a city situated near the Gulf of Mexico, its terrain is mostly flat, making it suitable for interns looking to bike to and from work. City officials are supportive of the culture here, as NOLA ranks 5th in the nation in bike commuters per capita, and it has been designated as a silver-level bike friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists.
New Orleans transit revolves around its streetcar lines and ferry routes, with additional support being provided by bus routes that as far afield as East New Orleans and Algiers. Those with a car can get away with getting accommodations in suburbs within Jefferson Parish to the east, and St. Tammany Parish to the north without being situated too far from the CBD.
Being at the heart of Mardi Gras celebrations throughout America, New Orleans is a place that party people will adore. While celebrations are at their peak in the lead up to Ash Wednesday, the city remains one of America's best locales for nightlife at any other point during the year.
The weather through much of the year is another big selling point for NOLA, as its subtropical climate keeps temperatures in the 60's throughout much of the winter, though snow will fall in the city on rare occasions, with it being recorded on 38 separate occasions since records began in 1849.
Summer brings uncomfortably hot and muggy weather, with 80% humidity and highs well into the 90's. Spring and fall see the best weather, with average temperatures in the 70's from March to April, and again from October to November.
The economy in New Orleans revolves around its robust health care system, petrochemical production facilities and tourism. Refineries and factories also make good use of the oil extracted in the massive offshore fields in the Gulf of Mexico, granting many opportunities for well-paid jobs and internships for those living in the region.
The immense amount of tourist traffic that come to experience the Big Easy's exotic and easygoing culture also makes up a significant portion of revenues for the municipal government, with 40% of its tax receipts coming from this industry alone.
What kinds of internships are available in New Orleans?
While the tourism industry is one of the biggest industries in the city, it is mostly centered around bars and restaurants, with low-skilled jobs not requiring an apprenticeship being the norm. The best prospects in New Orleans to land an internship is either with the Ochsner Health System, which employs 10,000 doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals, or with the many companies comprising the petrochemical complex in the outskirts of the metropolitan area, of which Shell is a major player.
Those seeking an opportunity in the latter industry will need to have their own transportation, as many of the facilities relating to the engineers, chemists, and occupational health and safety officers will be located outside public transport routes in the industrial parks of Greater New Orleans.
How to find internships in New Orleans
As with other internships in the healthcare industry, having volunteer experience with health units in your local area will help with your application when trying to get on with medical field employers like Ochsner Health System.
Exhibiting a great deal of empathy towards people in general in your written and interpersonal interactions with Ochsner officials will also elevate you above other applicants, as aiding patients in healing emotionally as well as physically is a key differentiator for anyone hoping to break into the health profession.
Being a business where you are always inches or a few data points away from a potential environmental catastrophe, Shell seeks applicants that are highly competent when it comes to analytical skills, and those that are decisive and confident in choices deriving from said analysis.
Being one of the largest corporations on Earth, it can also be assumed that Shell uses scanning software to vet its applications, so be sure to use relevant keywords when targeting your resume and cover letter when applying for a position with Shell in New Orleans.