Cheng Jing (China) – Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University
New York: A global city
“After my undergrad, I conducted a road trip from Shanghai to South Africa,” Cheng tells MASTERGRADSCHOOLS. “We actually bought a minivan and drove from Shanghai to South Africa [over] six months. We crossed third-world countries, three continents. This trip helped me to see the world. It made me want to pursue a more diverse environment and I think New York is one of the best choices. New York is just like Shanghai because they’re all big cities. I think it’s part of the culture that I want to be in right now.” (4:04)
New York City is multicultural, to say the least. More than 35% of the city’s population is foreign-born, hailing from countries like China, Jamaica, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, and Russia. New York City is also home to the largest Jewish community outside Israel, a quarter of the nation’s Indian Americans, 15% of all Korean Americans, the largest African American community of any city in the country, and more than one million Asian Americans.
This infinite diversity of cultures has a few perks, including food! “One of the unique parts [about] New York is that you can have all kinds of food [from] all around the world,” Cheng says excitedly. “If I want to eat some Chinese food, it’s always within 15 minutes of [commuting]. It’s amazing!” (6:20)
Networking in New York City: Competitive vs. convenient
One of the challenges of finding career opportunities in New York City is that “it’s pretty competitive,” says Cheng. Using standard methods like subscribing to job hunting websites might not be an effective strategy; for every job opening, there are thousands of applicants. Instead, you’ll have to harness the power of your network and find connections.
Fortunately, Chang explains, the central location of the Gabelli School of Business “means that you can reach out to many large firms within 15 minutes of [commuting]. Also, there are a lot of restaurants, bars, and cafes which means you can always arrange a coffee chat easier than most other options here, with potential employers and alumni.” (5:07)
Cost of living
One of the drawbacks of studying in New York is the high cost of living:
- The median rent for a studio apartment is around $1,889, while a one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartment come in at $2,098 and $2,499, respectively.
- A monthly transit pass costs $127 per month.
- Groceries in New York City usually cost around $471.34 per month for one person.
Luckily for Cheng, his program at Fordham University provides many scholarships, fellowships, and graduate assistantships. As a result, Cheng says, “I think it’s pretty affordable. Public transportation here is very convenient so you can always choose to live a little bit [farther away from] the campus so the rent will be way lower, but you can still enjoy the public resources, so that won’t be a problem here.” (11:26)
A note on hope, positivity, and belonging
“Once you have lived in New York and made it your home, no place else is good enough.” – John Steinbeck
“My year is actually a little bit special because it’s during the pandemic,” Cheng says. “Two months ago, people everyday at 7PM chanted in the balcony outside their apartments, just yelling cheers for the medical workers.”
“New York is one of the places that doesn’t judge people at all. Everybody has a life here and all you need to do is to focus on your own stuff and to excel…and you will lead a very good life here.”