Summer NYC

It’s hard to believe that my time in New York is already coming to an end. Coming in with so many unknowns was frightening, but as time went on the gaps began to close and my time here began to take shape. The past few months have been filled with adventure, learning, and a lot of walking. Living in such a central and lively location you are just steps away from so much. Something I will remember the most is being able to walk through the Union Square farmers market. Seeing the variety of stands people bring is incredible, and experiencing such large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables on the tables takes you out of the fast city mindset for just a minute.

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From both my internship and the Monday class sessions, I have been able to gain so many different perspectives. Within my internship I learn about the field of psychology that I wish to pursue, however the Mondays we have spent touring have been so valuable to me. To be able to go an explore places such as Bloomberg, CNN, and the Hudson Scenic Studios have been incredible, as these are places I will probably never have the opportunity to go back to. As we listened to Elon alumni speak, as well as others, it put into perspective how many opportunities there are in such vastly different fields.

Being on the tour of Hudson Scenic Company, the Lincoln Center, and the Gershwin Theater allowed me to learn about an industry I have not known much about. The intricate detail that goes into planning a single Broadway show, and the amount of people that are involved is fascinating. Being able to watch Wicked from the audience for the first time and then be able to see backstage the network of how everyone works with one another to pull something so intricate and amazing together is inspiring.

A Day At The Theatre

Yesterday marked the beginning of the first of our Monday classes revolving around Broadway and New York’s theatre scene. As a communications major whose knowledge of the theatre industry extends to what I know about the few Broadway and off-Broadway productions I’ve seen, I was looking forward to learning more about what it takes to bring a Broadway show to life.

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Train ride to Hudson Scenic Studios

We kicked off our day by meeting at Grand Central Station and taking a train out to Yonkers to visit Hudson Scenic Studios, a studio that creates set pieces for Broadway shows like Hamilton, The Lion King, and Aladdin. After a Q and A session, we were given a tour of the two huge warehouses where Hudson Scenic Studios builds and tests scenery. They are currently in the process of building sets for Hamilton’s upcoming Chicago performances, and it was so interesting to see how the fake wood and brick that makes up backdrop for Hamilton is created by hand.

After another train trip back into the city, we met at the Lincoln Center to take a tour of the David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Aside from a performance space for the orchestra, the theatre is also used for cultural and corporate events. VH1’s Hip Hop Honors were recently held in the space, and Lincoln Center’s upcoming Mostly Mozart Festival will also be hosted in the theatre.

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Our final stop was Gershwin Theatre, the very spot where I saw my first Broadway show (Wicked) nine years ago. We met with a panel of Broadway and technical theatre professionals, including an Elon alum who is currently a stage manager for the musical Waitress, to talk about working in the industry and life as a professional in New York City. After hearing from communications and business professionals for the past couple of weeks, it was interesting to learn more about the many professional positions that make up the niche Broadway theatre industry. It takes a range of people to create the magic needed to put on a successful show and, as a student who has mainly focused on studying communications during my time at Elon, it was intriguing to hear about the world of another industry and see how professional advice can carry over between the business, communications, and theatre industries. After an exciting Monday class, we’ll wrap up our first theatre-focused week by seeing a performance of Wicked. My group will be going to the Thursday evening show, and I’m so excited to be able to see one of my favorite shows with a deeper knowledge of the Broadway industry under my belt.

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The stage door at Gershwin Theatre

The End

20160701_190338.jpgIn five very short months I will be a graduate of Elon University. Writing these words two months ago would have been SCARY. Writing them today I am more confident and prepared for the journey I shall embark on after December. What is that journey? Well just like you I would like to know too! Over the past two months New York City has given me sweet friendships, unforgettable memories, a full belly, and the realization that public relations is not the career path for me. My internship was wonderful, but I realized more and more that my passion and purpose was meant for more. I could not be content sitting at a desk watching the computer all day. I need human interaction and exploration! I am thankful for that experience because without it I would have taken a path that I know I was not meant to be on. So as I write this blog entry I am focused on today.

Today I will explore Brooklyn with lifelong friends I have made on this trip and I will worry about my life after Elon once that day comes. New York has taught me to stop and breath; this is a city where that doesn’t happen much and for me it can be suffocating. I dreamed of a fast paced life two months ago and now I am happy to go home to peace and quiet, family, and lots grass. I am not sure where I will be after graduation, what I do know is that I will be where God needs me and I will be HAPPY!

To the many friends I have made on this trip your tolerance for my love of exploring and food was amazing. Y’all rock! To my professors, the outpouring of support and free outings was nothing short of incredible. Thank you! To my sweet mama and brother thank you for allowing me to follow my many dreams that are expensive, time consuming, and most of the times not what you expected! Grandma and Papa you are always there when I call, thank you!

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Until next time NYC, I may be back soon!

 

Learning Spontaneity

I didn’t realize until now that we have one weekend left in the city other than move out. I don’t know where the time has gone. The past few weeks have been a blur, exhausting and exciting all at once.

Living in and experiencing New York has been something I still have trouble wrapping my head around. This Thursday when I went to my internship my boss told me I was going to Baltimore on Tuesday for the staff retreat. I was shocked and excited and realized how spontaneous the city truly is.

I think that is what I have learned and adapted to most this summer, spontaneity. New York presents you with so many opportunities and it is up to you to make the most of your time here. There are so many things to try and places to see and everything is at our fingertips. It amazes me that there is such a variety of restaurants in the East Village alone. 

This weekend I was lucky enough to have my aunt visit who lived and worked in the city for many years. She came in on Friday and told me she had made dinner plans for later that night at a restaurant in the Lower East Side. I got off the subway and had about a ten minute walk in the still humid 90 degree weather. I arrived at the location she told me but it wasn’t a restaurant, it was a pawn shop. I was confused, until I saw people enter the store and go to the back and disappears through a door. Thanks to my new found spontaneous New York mentality I followed their lead and went through the door which hid the restaurant. Inside I found my aunt and one of the coolest restaurants I’ve ever been to. The restaurant is called Beauty & Essex and is considered a “speak easy”.

I am more in awe with New York the longer I spend here. With unsuspecting pawn shop restaurants like Beauty & Essex that only locals know about to the well known parts New York, it offers so much. With less than two weeks left here I’m saddened because there is still so much left to do and explore.

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Reflecting on NYC

For the past few days I have been anticipating this blog post and wondering what words to use to describe my experience in New York City this summer. Spending the past two months in the city has been eye opening to say the least. The amount of opportunities at our fingertips are innumerable. While the city can be amazing, it is also filled with 8 million people and won’t hesitate to eat you up and spit you out. Being a New Yorker means being aware at all times and to stay out of people’s way – overall just use your common sense and you’ll be set.
I was somehow blessed with finding my dream internship at the perfect company – my mom even argues that it was made for me. I landed a position at BMW of Manhattan as the marketing and event planning intern. Actually, today as I’m writing this, I am on the road with my internship in Michigan between Detroit and Ann Arbor. I was lucky enough to be invited on MINI TAKES THE STATES. MINI, a subsidiary of BMW, hosts a road rally every other summer where MINI owners can drive across the country from Atlanta to Palm Springs, California. The event lasts for two weeks and hits fifteen cities across the United States. I am out on the road with a representative from MINI of Manhattan creating promotional content along the way for the event and MINI of Manhattan. This event with MINI is one of the many opportunities I’ve been presented with so far this summer and I still have three weeks left to continue experiencing.
I was very nervous when I moved into New York City at the end of May, but I cannot say enough great things about our Elon program here. Meeting with Elon alum and visiting a long list of A-list companies like CNN, MTV, and ABC have really provided me with a real New York experience that I won’t forget.

From the Country to the Big Apple

It’s hard to believe that we are more than half way through our Elon in New York City summer program. It feels like just yesterday, me, a southern-state native was going to be traveling to “The Capital of the World” for the first time. Not knowing what to expect, besides what you see on movies, I could never fathom what it would really be like to live in NYC had it not been for this program.

As a North Carolina native and from a small town of about 18,000 people, living in NYC has been quite the experience. At times, I still find it unreal that I could walk a block and pass four or five restaurants/shops. Where I’m from, you would have to drive 15-20 minutes just to find a grocery store. Public transportation? Not where I’m from! If you want to go somewhere, you need to have a car because a Citi Bike or three-wheeled scooter will not cut it where I’m from.

Another aspect I can’t quite wrap my head around is how different each borough is from the next. While in NYC, I’ve had the opportunity to visit Queens. Let me just start off by saying, I love this place! Everywhere you turn there are people speaking Spanish to the point that it feels like Spanish is the first language. This is complete opposite from NC. It’s amazing. Don’t let me get started on the food either because there is nothing like it!

The transition to living in a huge metropolitan area hasn’t been easy. Nonetheless, it’s been an amazing experience and I can’t wait to see what I will find next. Every day is a new day filled with new sights to see and visit. Tomorrow, we will continue to learn more about the city and grow our network as we visit ABC News, CNN, and Ketchum, a global public relations agency. I’m thrilled! I can’t thank this program enough for this opportunity. Thank you Elon Study USA: NYC Program!

One of the shots I took while exploring the city.

This is one of the shots I took while exploring the city. More to come on our Instagram page! @elonglobal #elonglobal #studyusa

75 Hours in Iceland

This summer, my internship has allowed me not only to explore New York City, but also Reykjavík, Iceland. On Monday, June 27 during our first Media Monday with Professor Haygood I received an urgent email from my boss about an upcoming photoshoot. She needed me on a plane with her to Iceland that night. My jaw dropped and my heart started racing. Could I just leave the country with no notice? Did I pack warm enough clothes to go to Iceland? Did I even have my passport? Before I had time to think I was accepting the offer. I would meet my boss at her apartment in four hours to go to JFK.

When I arrived at 6 a.m. in Keflavik, Iceland I quickly answered one of my previous questions. No, I most definitely did not pack warm enough clothes to go to Iceland. Despite the sun being up nearly 20 hours a day, the air was still a bitter cold and the rain certainly did not help.

When we arrived at our hotel an hour later it was straight to work. Well, after a cup of coffee. After work it was the only time that I had the opportunity to explore the city of Reykjavík on my own. The small city was covered in soccer paraphernalia, as their national team was surprising the world by upsetting country after country in the Euro Cup. I asked a local where I could buy a jersey and was promptly told that “the entire city is sold out.” Despite this slight disappointment, I was in awe of the beautiful body of water right next to our hotel. Little did I know, I had many more amazing sights to see.

The next morning began at 8 am as I rode to the first location for our photoshoot. Already, this view was better than the first.

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The next location was a mountain covered in hot springs that were up to 200 degrees celsius.

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But it was the next day where my breath was truly taken away by the location. We drove an hour into the mountains to a location where the HBO show Game of Thrones has filmed, and it was a location for good reason.

 

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Although I hiked a mountain in my running sneakers, in the rain, with my hands completely full, I have never seen a more incredible place. I mentioned to one of the production assistant’s who had lived in Iceland his entire life that I was blown away by the mountain range. And even after living here his entire life he replied, “I am always amazed.”

But, after just three short days, my trip was over and it was back to New York. If it had not been for Elon in New York, I would have never been given this crazy, once in a lifetime opportunity.

 

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