Dream Job FAQs | Downtown Alliance

Dream Job FAQs

Lower Manhattan is the original downtown, and New York’s oldest neighborhood is new again. This summer, for three adventure-filled months, one storyteller will share the stories that show what an extraordinary place Lower Manhattan is and has always been. For more information on the Explorer In Chief contest, see the following FAQs.


What’s the catch?

There is no catch. You will live rent free and work at the Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc. (“Downtown Alliance”) as our Explorer In Chief all summer long and be compensated for your efforts. Really. Really really


Is rent really free?

Yes, you will live for three months Downtown and pay absolutely nothing for rent. Zilch, zip nada.


What should the video submission be about?


Be as creative as you like, the only requirement is that in your original video (60 seconds or less) you tell us why this opportunity excites you and why you should be Lower Manhattan’s Explorer In Chief this summer. You can speak to the camera directly, explore a hidden gem in your town, sing a song, write a poem, beat box, break dance, anything. The goal is to show us you can tell a story, and this story is about you! 

Is this a paid vacation?

Unfortunately, no. Explorer In Chief is a summer dream job, which means it’s still a job: This is a paid position, and you will be working full-time on our behalf. 


What is Lower Manhattan? 

Lower Manhattan is the one square mile of the island below Chambers Street. For marketing and content purposes, Lower Manhattan covers from the Brooklyn Bridge south. It includes the Financial District, the Battery, South Street Seaport, Battery Park City and a small part of Tribeca. 


What is the Downtown Alliance? 

The Downtown Alliance manages the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District, serving an area roughly from City Hall to the Battery, from the East River to West Street. Our mission is to provide service, advocacy, research and information to advance Lower Manhattan as a great place for businesses, residents and visitors, including the 14.6 million tourists that visit Lower Manhattan each year. 


Is this campaign happening again in the future or is this my only shot?

For now, this is your only shot. So treat it as the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it is and apply! 



If I win, are travel expenses covered?

If you are selected as one of the three finalists, the Downtown Alliance will pay your round-trip travel expenses to New York City for the final job interview. If you are our lucky winner, we’ll also cover your round-trip travel expenses for your once-in-a-lifetime summer in New York City.  


How many videos can I submit to apply?

You may submit only one video. If you submit two videos, only the first will be considered as your application. The video must be a new and original video created for this contest.



Does the video have to be original?

Yes. You must submit a new and original video of 60 seconds or less. Videos created for any other purpose will not be further considered.



Can the video include copyrighted material such as music or images? 

No. Please only use new and original content and only content that you have the rights to use. 


Where do I upload my video? Do I have to have YouTube?

First, upload your video submission to YouTube. You must have a YouTube account to do this, but with a gmail address, it’s super simple to do this. Then, paste the link to your YouTube video into the submission form where it asks for your video submission.


Do I need a certain amount of followers already to qualify? 

No, you do not need a certain number of followers. But your Instagram account must be public (not private). You must be active on social media. And you must be able to create and edit interesting video content. 


Is there an age minimum or maximum to apply? 

You must be 21 years or older to apply. There is no maximum and we welcome people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, races and backgrounds to apply. 


Do you have to live in the United States to apply?

You do not have to live in the United States, but you must have the legal right to work in the United States. 


Did my submission work? It says "Pending."

Yes, if you submitted your application and received a message at the bottom of the page that says "pending," that means your application was received. Don't worry! If you have any doubts, you can also email dreamjob@downtownny.com and ask us to check on your behalf.





Can I bring a friend/partner/spouse or pet to stay with me?

Your partner/spouse is welcome to join you, but they will not be paid nor will their travel expenses be paid, and they will have to pay out of pocket for their participation in activities if they join you. The only ‘free’ thing they’ll get is sharing the room with you. 


While occasional visits are to be expected, no friends or family members can stay more than five days in a row at the property.  


Unfortunately, no pets are allowed. 


What dates will I live in New York City?

You will live in Lower Manhattan from June 1, 2020 to August 30, 2020. 


What is included in the apartment? Are meals included?

Some meals will be included, like when you’re covering an adventure or experience on behalf of the Downtown Alliance. But on a daily basis, you will be responsible for paying for your own food and drink. Your accommodation will have a kitchen, with cookware and utensils, and will be serviced by housekeeping regularly. A procedure for approval of meals, adventures or experiences paid for by the Downtown Alliance will be included in an agreement between you and the Downtown Alliance.



What do I have to do? What’s the job? How many hours a week do I work? 

There is no exact hour count for each week.  You will be responsible for an agreed-upon set of deliverables each week and month which involves taking part in various activities. Your schedule will be full-time and vary in terms of times of day. You might do an excursion late at night, or all day long, maybe even stay up for a sunrise or two. The winner should be up for adventure and excited about exploring Lower Manhattan. 


What are my job expectations?

You and the Downtown Alliance team will agree upon a content strategy and a list of deliverables, sign an agreement prepared by the Downtown Alliance, and then you’ll be expected to deliver. We will help you in every way, and will approve and potentially edit all content. 


Do I have to stay all summer? What about vacations?

If you’re a finalist, during your interview you must let us know if you have vacation plans that will take you away from New York City for any portion of the summer, including weekends. 


Can I work for another company/myself while working for Alliance for Downtown New York? 

You will be expected to take this job seriously and consider this a full-time role. Any outside employment or consulting must be approved by the Downtown Alliance in its sole discretion.  Further in no event will you be permitted to work for other business improvement districts or chambers of commerce or similar organizations or have clients that are engaged in tourism, retail or other neighborhood business promotion during the term of this engagement.


Do I retain ownership of the content I create?

No, the content will be deemed a “work made for hire” and will be owned by the Downtown Alliance.  However, you will retain a non-exclusive free license, in perpetuity, to publish, use, retweet, repost all of the content you create for us including, without limitation, all photos, at no cost in all media throughout the universe.  


Please keep in mind you cannot monetize content you create from your experiences here in Lower Manhattan under the Explorer In Chief campaign. 


How will my content be used — during the contest period and beyond? Will I need to participate in press events?

The Downtown Alliance may use your content for all programming, advertising, publicity, marketing and promotional purposes (not commercial) in all media throughout the universe in perpetuity.  You will be expected to work with the Downtown Alliance and participate in interviews or other press events as determined by the Downtown Alliance.


Where will I work? Do I have to come into the office? 

You’ll have come into the office for meetings, and if you like working here, you can always come here to work, but you will not be required to come in daily. You will also have access to a co-working space Downtown. . Mostly, we want you out and about, discovering Lower Manhattan. 


Is this a paid position? How much? 

Yes, this is a paid full-time salaried temporary position. You will be paid $2,250 for every two weeks of work performed.  The payments will be subject to Federal, State and Local tax withholdings.


Will the Explorer In Chief create video content only? Or use other platforms as well?

This is a cross-channel content strategy that will use video, photos and written text on various platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, as well as other content channels. Whatever gets produced in addition to video, photos and written text will depend on the Explorer In Chief winner!


Do the candidates need to have their own following or the content will only be published on the Downtown Alliance channels?

Anyone who applies only has to show that they are adept at social media, can lightly edit video and has a public Instagram account. The exact content strategy will be nailed down once a winner has been chosen, but the content can live entirely on the Downtown Alliance’s channels. 


What kind of support the candidates will receive from the Alliance? (A team, local guides, instructions, etc.)

The Explorer In Chief should consider themselves a staff member of the Downtown Alliance and will have a marketing team to support their efforts, plan itineraries, set up excursions and outings and help in any way possible in service of this unique and exciting position. 


Do I have a boss? 
You will report to the Director of Tourism and Hospitality and have the support of our marketing team to help you. 


Read the official rules and full terms and conditions for Lower Manhattan's Explorer In Chief Dream Job Contest 2020.