3 Highlights From Our Visit to the VICE NYC Office
By Caroline Cakebread, Junior Newhouse NYC student and MAG major
With 35 offices around the world, hundreds of employees and a recently launched TV network, VICE has come a long way from its humble beginnings as VICE magazine 21 years ago. Their bustling Williamsburg offices are evidence of their impressive growth, and on Wednesday, April 13, the Race, Gender, and Media class had the chance to visit the office and chat with Angela Zucconi, VICE’s VP of finance. Here are three highlights from the visit:
We have visited some amazing offices this semester, but VICE’s recently opened building might top the list for best view. The lobby has a bar and coffee counter, and large glass doors that during the summer open to a deck and lounge area that looks out on the river and Manhattan skyline. Our tour guide told us that employees are given laptops in lieu of desktop computers, and encouraged to work on the deck when the weather is nice. On another floor, an entire wall is taken up by all of the VICE magazine covers from the past 21 years. When VICE founders Shane Smith, Gavin McInnes and Suroosh Alvi first started the magazine in Montreal, it was called the Voice of Montreal. When the trio decided to move down to Brooklyn, they quickly realized that they might have a hard time competing with the already popular Village Voice, and simple dropped the O to become VICE. Despite the long predicated “death” of print journalism, Zucconi said that the magazine is an important part of the company, and doesn’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.
Why fast growth can be challenging
When Zucconi started at VICE three years ago, she had 11 people on her team. She now has 42. These numbers speak to how fast VICE has expanded in the past few years. Zucconi said that there is really nowhere to look for guidance on how to run a company like VICE. They are taking media and tech where it has never gone before, and don’t have anywhere to look for advice, and are essentially writing the roadmap for the tech systems and company model they need to continue their success.
Zucconi said that when she is evaluating potential hires, she looks for three things: smart, fast and competitive people. For her, these are the most important traits candidates must possess if they want to join VICE’s fast moving team. She also said that being low maintenance, and someone who will simplify instead of complicate a process is so important. Especially crucial for those just starting out in the workplace is the ability to just sit back, listen and learn. Being able to absorb what those with more experience are saying will be more beneficial in the long run than constantly spewing ideas she said. In her own career, Zucconi said she was lucky to have mentors who challenged her, and encouraged her to sit in on meetings with higher ups, even if it was just to observe.
Overall we learned so much from Zucconi, and can’t wait to watch VICE continue to grow!