Finding a Home in NYC
By Matt Alexander
On the first weekend of March, I went back to Syracuse—a city that’s a far cry from the towering buildings and endless number of people in Manhattan. It was good to see my friends back on campus and catch up with them. Of course, having visited during the summer internship application window, summer plans and career goals naturally became a frequent topic of conversation.
Some of my friends had plans nailed down—job, commute, housing. Others were still in the exploratory phase, not sure where to start.
At the time, I associated more with the latter. I had applied to a list of places, sure, but nothing was nailed down. Yet, I still felt a step or two ahead of everyone else on campus, a feeling that was undoubtedly a result of the two months I had already experienced in New York City.
Looking back at that visit weeks later, I am now able to better appreciate just how living in the nation’s biggest city has been so valuable for me.
To start, I feel confident living here. Prior to beginning my semester with Newhouse NYC, the thought of living in New York was real, yet also distant. Would I like it? Could I handle it? I had been to the city numerous times, but relocating for a full-time job? That was a bit overwhelming.
After a semester of “experimenting,” so to speak, I now have my questions answered. I do like New York—very much, in fact. And I didn’t find the city to be as overwhelming as I thought it might be. While some of my friends back on campus grapple with what cities to focus on for the job search, and how they may fit in to their new home post-graduation, I feel confident that any potential job in New York City will make me feel right at home.
But city living is just one part of Newhouse NYC. What I truly found to be most valuable was my work experience gained at my internship at the advertising agency Y&R, something else I wouldn’t have been able to gain exposure to on campus.
At Y&R, I split my time as an intern in the Global Account Management and Global Media departments, which has worked wonders in helping me formulate a tentative career path that I will try and follow.
As I soon found at work, I enjoyed some aspects of account management more so than I did in the media department, and vice versa. Being able to compare firsthand what I did and didn’t like allowed me to reevaluate what internships I would apply to for the summer and how I would convey my skills and interests on my resume.
I became convinced that internship experience really is valuable (and not just a cliché lectured to college students) when I was offered a Digital Marketing Internship at 360i in NYC for this summer. The supervisor that interviewed me specifically noted the different experiences I gained this semester at Y&R, and said it was exactly the kind of well-rounded skill set they were looking for in a candidate.
As my semester concludes in NYC, I feel satisfied with the experiences I’ve gained and the things I’ve discovered about myself. I continue to feel one step ahead of the curve.