I arrived in Boston three days before school started. I was all alone in a house where I would be spending the next year with two girls I had never met. It was Labor Day weekend - a holiday that I would later come to learn is taken much more seriously in New England than it is in the Midwest - and everyone was off at the beach, lake houses or the Cape enjoying the last bits of summer. That's when it hit me. I didn't know anyone and was about to enter an intensive one year program.
Turns out I was really lucky to be a part of this particular class. Forty-five of us from all over the world. We were all so very different, yet shared the same open mindedness and passion for adventure, travel and communications. We clicked and these people became like a family to me. We worked hard and played hard -holidays, birthday, projects and presentations. Before I knew it, we were living in the school library completing our final capstone projects and preparing for graduation.
I got a summer internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and spent my summer writing press releases, doing research and helping to compile the annual report. I found myself enjoying the opportunities not living at Emerson gave me to enjoy the city. As the end of summer approached, I decided I wasn't ready to leave.
At the time my internship ended, there were no full time positions available at the hospital and another classmate of mine was leaving an internship to move to NYC. Her boss was working on a job for Tufts Medical Center and she passed along my name to help continue with the project given my previous experience in health care.
I took the job and immediately started working on the rebrand and website upgrade/migration project for the hospital. I learned a lot and really enjoyed the project. As the contract neared an end I was so very happy in Boston. I had a great circle of friends and was out enjoying all that New England had to offer. The city had stolen my heart and I wanted to stay.
The only problem was that I needed to find a more stable full time role. This turned out to be harder than I imagined. The city is very highly educated and I still seemed to be stuck in between being over qualified for some things and under qualified for the rest.
After a few months of unsuccessfully searching for something in the city, I began to realize I may have to leave. I wasn't sure I was ready to go back home as I really enjoyed city life. Many of my grad school friends had migrated to NYC and I decided if I were going to find a job anywhere, it would be there.
A friend was looking for an apartment and said I could move in with him if I came down. I began sending out resumes in the city and prepared to move down.
I arrived in the city in October of 2008 - two weeks after everything started to fall apart with the economy. I started to worry as I moved in and one of my roommates was laid off from his job. Maybe this move wasn't the best move.
I spent the next three months job hunting and trying not to go crazy being cooped up in a small apartment in a city where I couldn't spend any money. There were a lot of tough days and a lot of times I questioned my decision to leave behind all that I had built in Boston.
In February I finally started working as the Digital Content Manager for Cornell's Graduate School. It was my work on the Tufts project that landed me the job. I was lucky enough to be the first in the role and was given the opportunity to build the position in the two years I worked there.
But soon I started to feel as if I had reached the limits of the role. Working in the Admissions office instead of working with public affairs was difficult at times and I was really itching to learn some new things.
In December of 2010 I interviewed and was hired for a Marketing Manager role in the custom content division of Rodale publishing. I never thought too much about the move until a friend of mine from Canada was visiting the city and her boyfriend introduced me to a friend of his as a friend of hers from London and the only one who had stayed in publishing. Which wasn't really my goal, but somehow I had found myself right back in a publishing house.
Soon my role at Rodale began to change and as my division started restructuring I began to explore my options outside the company. I was contacted by a recruiter at a large PR firm at the end of August for a Webmaster/Online Marketing Specialist role for the company's global rebrand. I was offered the role and accepted the position. I've now been working there for about a month and finally feel like this is where I should be.
It's ironic looking back though because I never dreamed I would be working for one of the large PR firms - especially not in the NYC office of one. I never dreamed I would live in Manhattan. I never dreamed I would love working on websites and that I would be lucky enough to find a career combining my love of marketing with my passion for writing.
But, looking back, the pieces all add up. In one combination or another they all came together to point me down the path to where I am now:
PR degree > Working at publishing company in London for PRWeek > London led me to the Global Marketing program in Boston
Living in London made me feel I could take on NYC > My work in Boston for MGH and Tufts helped me get the Cornell job > The Cornell job gave me a strong background in content management > My publishing experience and GMCA degree sent me to Rodale > All of the above led me to my current role
It scares me to see just how much sense it all makes now given the indecision and agitation each of these decisions caused me at the time.
So, you see, there really was no other answer to my friend's question and I'm looking forward to the next link in the chain...in time :)
Now that my story's complete, this really is my last post here. However, that doesn't mean I'm giving up writing. For me, the stories are never really told. In all honesty, I just don't have the time to maintain two blogs at the moment and I'm looking for a different outlet now.
Something that provides me more creative license and less structure. A collection of thoughts and stories that may not always follow a story arc. If you're interested in coming along for the ride, make sure to find me at Visible Ink.
Thanks again for reading!
6 years ago