Never in a million years did I ever imagine that my very first press trip would be to New York City (..more on that later). New York holds a very sentimental place in my heart because its had a lasting impact on my life. It’s where my career sort of took off …
Back in 2008, I was busy studying at university trying to earn my degree in Business and had singed up for the co-op program at my school. I’ve always been very ambitious and going to school was no different (no matter how much it sucked and how hard I struggled at times) so I thought what better way to get deeply rooted in my field and expand my skill set, knowledge, and network than to apply for the program, which basically enabled you with the tools to nail interviews, gain confidence in public speaking, access to networking workshops/events and the opportunity to set you up on two work terms which counted for extra credit towards your degree.
The first work term I had was the summer prior, where I worked in downtown Vancouver with a start-up media company that helped small businesses (with little to zero tech experience) build their company website. I treated that job like it was IT. And after the work term was done I basically represented their small team, heading up several different divisions and managing a small design team of three. I got a full offer once the internship was over, but had to decline for fear of never returning to school. I knew there was more.. just not sure of my path.
The following summer it was time to select my second and final work term to earn my credits. I remember it like it was yesterday, I got the listings from our advisor and I ran through the list but there was a minor problem. There was NOTHING I wanted to apply for. Like, nada. Nothing even remotely interested me, and in my mind (not to sound rude or anything) but these listings were nothing I couldn’t have gone out and gotten myself! I wanted morrrrre. Something that would allow me to propel into the next phase of my career, something exciting.
So I went home that night and took it upon myself to research different opportunities to do work terms abroad. After hours and hours of searching I came across a reputable organization that helped place university students on work-terms around the world. When I found one that was available in New York, I just about died. But how would I go? Would I get accepted? Would my university still approve my credits? A ton of figuring out to do, but the first thing I did was call up my best bud (who was also taking the program, also a go-getter) and asked her if she would be interested in going together (praying that we both get placements – small detail). Lucky for me this girl is always up for anything so we made a pack, and marched into our advisors office the following morning.
After careful negotiation, we got the school to OK using the company and our credits for completion – now all we had to do was apply, get accepted …. get a work visa, find a place to stay you know, minor things.
Long story short, I ended up getting a job at a guerrilla marketing firm right in Times Square (right beside the big Coca Cola billboard!) and it quickly became the best experience of my LIFE. If you followed along on my stories while I was there, you may have seen my old building. So, here we were, two Vancouver girls working hard and cutting loose in the city of dreams. We stayed for almost three months that summer and had the time of our lives. My friend got a job working for one of the Advertising firms that handles all of New York’s broadway shows so we were getting (free) tickets to shows every week of our choice, were enjoying our lunch hours in Bryant Park, lived in an apartment at the NYU campus near Union Square and soaked up every experience we could get our little hands on.
I will never, never, never forget that summer. That experience, that time in my life.
After my work term ended I was offered a full-time position working out of the New York office but again, sadly had to decline … again, I may not have finished my degree had I not. I know now, that that’s not the only reason I had to come back. Just a few months before I left for New York I met my (now) husband. We had just enough time to fall madly in-love with each other before I jetted off, putting things on hold until I returned. The rest is history!
I’ve never shared my experience on here before so I thought it was appropriate to share a little more about how I got started and my connection with the city. For any of you currently at university (or not), I would highly recommend applying for an opportunity like this. Any questions shoot them my way! Here are a couple shots from my most recent trip to New York last week, while I work on getting new travel posts up:
For my Canadian readers, hope you had an amazing holiday long-weekend!!