Everyone always asks why I moved to New York City. And all my answers hold the same gist: “A change of pace”, “I’ve always wanted to live in a big city”, or “I had nothing better to do”. It’s true. Newly graduated, I did not have any jobs lined up (and not for lack of want or trying). So I figured that I had the opportunity to at least control where I could go after graduation.
Basically, New York just kind of worked out. I had family who put me up while I looked for apartments and there were opportunities everywhere (if you knew where to look). And that’s perfect for someone who is faced with the so-scary, quarter-life crisis of “what’s my purpose?”
So this is what I have been up to, trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life:
Marketing and Sales for Li-Lac Chocolates
I get some sort of pleasure by way of mentioning that I work for a chocolate factory. (No, it’s not owned by a man named Charlie. No, I’m not an Oompa-Loompa (or work with Oompa-Loompas).) I work in the West Village store about twice a week (mostly because they really need another person in there over the weekends). This is enjoyable because (a) it’s really hard to be unhappy when you’re around chocolate all the time and (b) most people that come in are looking for a gift or just something to make their day a little bit better and there is just so much reward in helping them. (Not saying that it’s completely devoid of the nightmare shopper, but for the most part, it’s pleasant. Plus: I get free samples!)
The other thing that I do for Li-Lac, and my main title, is Marketing Assistant. Li-Lac is under new management (who took over in early 2012) and they want to improve the marketing strategies of the business. So far jobs have included combining the mismatched Excel spreadsheets of clients who have ordered from us in the past; emailing and sending out press releases to blogs, newspapers, magazines, etc.; and I will soon start to reach out to hotels in hopes that they might be interested in our chocolate as gifts to their esteemed guests. This part is particularly challenging in that it’s something the owner’s themselves are feeling out, and I’m excited about it! Not only is this a great learning experience for any type of business, but I’m getting to see the trial and error put into the process of marketing.
Learning Through Art with the Guggenheim (Internship)
I am so excited about this internship! I had my first day last Thursday, which is my day of the week where I will go to a public school in Chinatown and assist a teaching artist in the classroom with a year long project.
We’re working with 4th graders and our ultimate goal is to do abstract sculpture inspired by, well, the students’ character traits. Unfortunately, I will not be posting much (if at all) about this because I will not be allowed to post photos of the class (due to safety and rules and things). But maybe I’ll do a summary after the fact and I’ll be able to use the photos released on the Guggenheim’s website.
Green Door Labs (Internship)
This was the first “job” I got in NYC. I was sending out cover letter after cover letter with a piece of my soul attached to each one. Every now and then I updated Facebook, either to make light of my increasingly dispiriting task or merely to reach out for advice. An acquaintance reached back, saying that I should contact Kellian Pletcher who is also a Lindy Hopper and apparently very well connected in the museum field. I immediately sent her a message, because when you’re job hunting you don’t discriminate.
We immediately hit it off. She gave me some really great advice concerning my resume and pointed me in a direction. She also introduced me to Green Door Labs, her company that made apps for education institutions (like museums). Probably one of their most notable projects is Murder at the Met, a “Who Done It?” mystery you solve on your smart phone while wandering the American wing of the museum.
Kellian was the first positive experience I had had in job searching, so I did what anyone would do: be completely honest in how frustrated I was. She was more than sympathetic and pointed out how I have very marketable skills, it’s just getting that first foot in the door. She then offered me the small internship I have today, where I’ll do some content creation for their apps, help build demos, and now I’m helping by getting them more established in social media including, but not limited to: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Freelance Production Assistant
Probably one of the most exciting things I have done recently (and I mean, besides moving to New York, getting my first “adult” apartment, etc.), is that I got the chance to be a production assistant.
Easily one of the coolest (and hardest) things I’ve been a part of. I got to see these people transform a space into a TV studio so this company could broadcast in real time to Munich and the web their relaunch as Unify Communications. You can actually watch the relaunch and maybe, if you look closely, you can see me in the background of the news room. 😉
It was definitely an awesome learning experience and made me more confident to be a freethinker. I had to be. I wasn’t supposed to be micromanaged and instructed the whole way through. I was supposed to take direction but change things where I saw fit. I was not only encouraged but expected to see needs and fulfill them. It was exhilarating and engaging and made me hungry for more.