Angela is a senior corporate communications and public affairs major from Houston, Texas. She is spending a week in New York City with other communications students networking and seeing the communications world in action.
Looking for Adventure
We slept in a little more than usual since we had such early wake up call the past two days, which was really nice. Brittan and I quickly planned all the different things we wanted to do and grabbed a very quick breakfast. We decided to be extra adventurous and take the subway, which is so much cheaper than cabs, to the other side of Manhattan to see the Statue of Liberty.
We got there pretty quickly and ended up at Battery Park. We found out that the ferry ride to the statue would take an hour roundtrip, so we decided we had way too many places we wanted to see to spend a whole hour at the Statue of Liberty. We tried to take as many pictures as we could before we got back on the subway to visit Ground Zero.
Sightseeing in New York
We had to walk a few blocks before we arrived to the World Trade Center site. There was a lot of construction because they’re trying to build a new transportation hub, but it was still incredible standing right there and seeing what the area is now and remembering what it looked like on TV.
We walked back to the subway and took it to the Garment District where we walked around the different shops and ended up at Rockefeller Center. It was so exciting seeing all the familiar sites and walking around the Rockefeller building. We stopped at FAO Schwarz and I saw the dancing piano they had in the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks. The whole store was a lot of fun even if I was twice as old as most of the people in there.
We finally ended up back in Times Square where we picked up our luggage from the hotel and got a cab to the airport to catch our plane.
I learned a lot in my few days in away:
- Always be prepared for plane delays and inclement weather.
- Always split a cab with someone or you’ll be broke before you know it
- Flat shoes or very comfortable heels are a must in a walking city like New York.
- Unless you tell the concierge your dinner price range, they will undoubtedly refer you to one of the nicest and priciest restaurants they can.
- Don’t expect the same kind of “southern kindness” once you’re in New York. You will get run over if you’re still crossing the street when the light turns green.
- Subways may be a less desired mode of transportation, but very economical.
- Keep all business cards, write thank you notes and ask for as much advice as you can. Network in New York!
- Take in as much of the historic city as you can, there’s so much to learn and see!
- Always carry hand sanitizer wherever you go
- Tell yourself you don’t need the recommended eight hours of sleep. Quick naps here and there will keep you energized enough to run around the city and have fun!
So Long to the Bright Lights
It was so sad leaving the city, especially when our plan took off and you could see the bright lights down below. It is such a fun city and I can’t wait to go back again. I know I’ll keep in touch with the people I met with, and especially all the new friends I made on the trip. Attending an event like this is the best way to meet people in your major and make friendships that will last even after college.
Quick Breakfast - Again
Tuesday morning we woke up early and everyone met at Pax again for a quick breakfast. Our first stop was to the Archdiocese of New York where we spoke with Joe Zwilling, director of communication. We were especially lucky to be speaking with Mr. Zwilling since the Archdiocese of New York was all over the news that morning for closing the Our Lady of Vilnius parish during the recent realignment process. Mr. Zwilling took time out of his very busy morning to speak with us about his career path and some current issues facing the church. The upcoming James Cameron documentary on Jesus’ burial site and the realignment process the Archdiocese recently finished are the most pending situations.
Next, we headed to Paramount Studios, which was in the heart of the Theater District, to speak with two people involved in field marketing and promotions department. They were very helpful in telling us what classes and experiences from college they use most in their job and how to get started in entertainment PR. They were even so nice as to give us “Dreamgirls” promotion shirts as we were leaving which we were all excited about. On our way downstairs we ran into Sway Calloway, MTV news reporter and radio host, so we stopped for a quick picture and were on our way again.
Good Cheap Hotdogs
After the meeting, we had about two hours to ourselves, so we got went and got lunch. I found a street vendor selling hotdogs, so I decided to see what was so great about New York hotdogs. It ended up being pretty fantastic and pretty cheap, too, at only $2, which was even more exciting. With the extra time, me and a group of girls walked around 5th Avenue which was just as busy and exciting as I thought it would be. There were so many shops and people everywhere; I looked like a total tourist taking pictures of everything I could.
Finally, it was time to visit our last location; the Inter Active Corporation (IAC). It was an adventure trying to find the location, especially since we thought it was much closer than it was so we didn’t take a cab. Needless to say it was a pretty long walk. We finally got to the office and spoke with Stacy Simpson who focused most of her discussion on the kind of internal and external communication she does and what do when you’re in your first job right out of college. She was so helpful and gave a lot of useful insight we can all take to heart and keep in mind.
We were done around 3 o’clock and had the rest of the day to ourselves. Many of us were exhausted from our packed schedule, so we went back to the hotel to relax. A group of girls and I went to dinner at a place called Dylan Prime in Tribeca which was very nice. We all hung around the Tribeca area before going home. Some of the girls had early flights to catch the next morning, but Brittan Dunham and I were both on a late flight back home so we made plans to hang out together the next day.
Finally in New York
Dr. Dixon and I arrived in New York around 10 a.m. and boy was it cold! There was snow everywhere from the storm that blew through the day before which was much different from the mild weather I left in Dallas. Dr. Dixon and I took a cab from the airport to the Hilton Times Square where we were staying, which was about a 30 minute cab ride. I was so excited driving into the city and seeing thy skyline and many of the historic New York landmarks.
We got to the hotel and had just enough time to throw our bags down in our rooms, change and meet the rest of our group downstairs in the lobby. Out of the 10 girls that were originally attending, only eight (including me) actually made it to the city because of all the flight cancellations and inclement weather.
My First New York Pizza
We all ran down to get a quick lunch at this really great place called Pax, and I finally tried New York pizza which was amazing! We all split up into taxis and headed for the Parsons School of Design (most popular for being the setting for Project Runway). We got to speak with Deborah Kirshener in the PR department for Parsons. We learned more about the history of the school, the different departments the school has, upcoming events put featuring the students and their work and got a tour of the building. It was such a fun visit, but we had to cut the tour short since we had to hurry to our next appointment.
We took another cab ride to Maloney & Fox where we got cookies and treats and a very engaging discussion about the guerilla marketing this company does. It was fun learning about the creative things the company comes up with to try and promote their clients, which helped us all understand the company culture a whole lot better.
After another quick cab ride, we ended our day at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Here we learned more about the inner workings of the U.S. Mission and how they play a key role in representing the United States’ stance on various issues. Our speaker was very helpful in explaining a lot of the policies and procedures a few of us didn’t quite understand, and left us all with words of advice for entering the public relations/communications field.
We were all so beat from such a long day that most of us went back to the hotel to relax for a bit. That night I went with some of the girls to a sushi place called Bond Street, ran to Duane Reade (New York’s version of Walgreens or CVS) to get some snacks and medicine (I managed to get a head cold from the crazy weather changes), then called it an early night since we had to be up so early the next day.
Finding a Flight
My Sunday morning started with a 5 a.m. wake up call from Dr. Dixon telling me my flight to New York had been canceled because of the snow storm in the North. She told me to see go to Love Field and see if I could get any flight close to the New York area.
The very helpful agent at Love Field said he could get me as close as Nashville, TN with a connecting flight Newark, NJ. Dr. Dixon said she was on the flight from Nashville to Newark and to schedule that itinerary so we could fly into Newark together.
New York via Nashville
I left for Nashville that afternoon and got in around 5:30 p.m. I waited for Dr. Dixon in the Nashville airport for about an hour or so until she called me and she said was stuck in Dallas because her flight to Nashville had been delayed and our flight to Newark had been canceled. Are you kidding?!
So the CCPA division was very gracious and got me a room for the night in a nearby hotel. Dr. Dixon had gotten us both on a flight to New York leaving early the next morning. The rest of my night was spent doing homework and watching the Oscars.
From Bishop to Broadway
At the age of 22 I'm finally getting to visit the Big Apple. You should have seen the huge smile I had on my face when getting the itinerary for our trip. I'm so excited! I will be in New York February 25-28 with nine other girls from the Corporate Communications & Public Affairs (CCPA) division and Dr. Maria Dixon (one of my current professors).
While in New York, we will see corporate and strategic communication at its best. Not only is this a great learning experience, but it's also a great opportunity to network at some of the top companies and organizations in the country.
Busy Days Ahead
Everyone will arrive in New York by Sunday evening and prepare for the busy days to follow. Monday we will visit Maloney & Fox, The Catholic Archdiocese of New York, the Parsons School and the UN. Tuesday we're visiting the Today Show, possibly stopping by the National Basketball Association, then going to Paramount Pictures and the IAC Corporation.
With such an intense schedule, I hope I can get a chance to experience all that New York has to offer!