The Brooklyn Bridge

Hi everyone!

For the past days, we’ve had an amazing weather outside with temperatures that can be compared to a Swedish summer. Therefore, I decided to walk and not take the subway home from my internship yesterday, which means that I had to cross the Brooklyn bridge by feet. I left my job located in the financial district and when i reached the bridge I was totally stunned. The wind that hit me was warm and it had the wonderful smell of water. This in combination with my favorite artist in the headphones and the amazing view had a strong impact on me. That walk was more than just a walk home from the job, it was an experience that I’m going to remember a long time. I recommend everyone to cross that bridge before leaving this city!

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BIG CITY LIFE

HI everyone!

Today is one week that we are in NYC, but it seems like three days. I love staying here, there is so much to do e to see. I started my Bertelsmann’s experience last Monday and I can consider myself lucky because I work with an amazing and knowledgeable team. They have been so friendly with me since the first working day. My shift is from 9AM to 5PM and this is cool because I am having the possibility of visiting the City. I am strolling around every neighborhood. Two days ago, I went to my mates’ apartment and we had a real Italian dinner, homemade by them: rigatoni with tomatoes sauce, mozzarella, bresaola and speck; I loved that moment; we had fun. Every morning, I can’t wait to start each day, to enter in the Penguin Random House’ building with my badge, to open my 20th floor office and to switch on my huge Mac.

A tip for future IIb students: you must find Trader and Joe’s market and buy their own Macaroni and Cheese; surely you will love them, exactly as I did!!

Expect the unexpected – An amazing day in New York City

This day should be different than all other days before – going to New York, conducting the first two job interviews and experiencing the Macy’s Fashion Show. Feeling the freedom and the diversity of New York City as well as getting in touch with the American Business Culture for the first time was an unforgettable experience. Already, as I left the Port Authority Bus Terminal, theDSC05337 difference between the life in New Paltz and New York City was noticeable. I have been overwhelmed by all the impressions and I realized that this feeling is the reason why I am taking part in this international program – to experience diversity. This feeling was a big motivation to do my best during the job interviews. Both interviews were totally different regarding company’s location, the building (outer facade), the interior and the people working for the company. I was impressed by both companies and its various working environment. All interviews have rather been an informal conversation than a formal communication which created a comfortable discussion.

After successful conducted interviews, Karina and I rewarded us by going to the Macy’s Fashion Show – “Macy’s Presents Fashion’s Front Row” – in the theatre at Madison Square Garden in order to gain valuable inspirations for our internships in the fashion industry 😉 Watching the season’s latest fashion and listen to the hottest music by Nate Ruess and Jason Derulo was an unforgettable experience. The show was definitely worth the money because of the show and Macy’s commitment to the awareness and prevention of HIV/Aids.

Even after the show the dayPicsArt_1444764398953 didn’t end. The day was still young and Karina convinced me to go for a last drink in the rooftop bar in the Hyatt Hotel (http://timessquare.hyatt.com/en/hotel/activities/hotel-activities/rooftoplounge.html). Without expecting anything Karina and I ordered a cocktail and enjoyed the beautiful view. Suddenly, one man was walking towards our table and talked to us in German. In the first moment I did not realized that he was a friend from Germany because I did not expect him at all. He told me that he was in New York for one week with his girlfriend. I knew before that Germans are everywhere but I never expect that I would meet a friend from my hometown at the rooftop bar of the Hyatt Hotel, approximately 3.800 miles away from Germany. All of us were surprised but we were very happy to meet each other incidentally. Unfortunately, it was only time for one drink because we had to take the last bus home to New Paltz. However, I was really happy of unexpectedly meeting friends. It felt like home.

It was an exciting and amazing day with a perfect final. Sometimes the unexpected can result into a really positive surprise. I like unexpected surprises like this. Thus, open your eyes and look around you, probably your home might be closer than you expect. Great experience!

Internship

During our time here in New Paltz we´re not only attending classes and getting to know the area. We are also constantly in the process of seeking for an internship. Many of us came with a dream on working at a big company in New York, and now it´s time to fulfill that dream.

The whole process can be hard, long and frightening. But we always have our advisers, Martha and Jeff to go to for advices and questions. Sometimes you feel that you want to give up, and sometimes you feel that you can do anything. The feeling you get after an interview that went great is aaamazing!

But you need to remember one thing, you need to put your time and effort to reach that dream. No one is going to give you an internship (as much as you sometimes wish for)!

The whole process:
Complete your resume and cover letter.
You will work with this during your business communication class, but as soon as you start, the better resume and cover letter.
Start look at company´s you would think is fun to have an internship at.
(This doesn´t mean that you will get those)
Have regular meetings with your adviser and discuss your possibilities.
 You will share what you have found, and your adviser will come up with suggestions matching these. Or, help you reach out to those you´ve found.
Have your mock interview.
This is a practice interview at the career center. This helps you be properly prepared and you can ask questions and get advices on what you should practice on.
Set up a phone interview.
If you have a company that is interested in you, set up a phone interview. Make sure you have enough time between you class and interview. Also that you have a room that’s empty and that you have enough money on your phone. Be properly prepared.
Set up a personal meeting.
If the phone interview turns out great, as I assume. You will set up a time for a personal meeting at the office in NYC. Make sure to dress properly, be prepared, and that you have enough time between your bus and the meeting, you can never count on traffic.
Get the YES!
Hopefully everything has worked out as it should. If not, just keep on going! Your time will come!
From here, you adviser handle all the paperwork and all you need to do is prepare yourself for your first day!

When you read this, this may sound easy. But don´t let this fool you. You need to work hard and be prepared to fight for what you want. Everybody will get an internship, it´s just a question of when. Don´t get lost in this internship process, try to enjoy this experience and learn from the interviews that didn’t work out as you thought. You can do whatever you want, just keep in mind, always be yourself!

MY DAY!

September, 21st was an unbelievable day for me! I left from New Paltz in the morning, taking the bus towards New York. I was scared because I had to be interviewed at 2PM by the human resources corporate of Bertelsmann group and my mind was focused on the target like never before. While I was in the bus Martha, my advisor, called me telling about another opportunity: I had to sit another interview at Jimmy Choo and it was scheduled at 4.30 PM. I thought … even if I am sat, i am going to faint. I decided to do whatever I love during that day because everything should has been perfect. I arrived early and I started taking care of myself with a tasty pumpkin spicy latte at Starbucks. At 2 PM I was at Penguin random house building, which is the biggest publisher in the world and it belongs to Bertelsmann group. I have been interviewed by 4 people and I loved that moment because I felt myself confident, alive and important. Later I went in the “Sex and the City’s shoes kingdom”, also called Jimmy Choo, and it was like reaching a dream! After these two big steps of my life I just had to pamper myself again, so I went to buy my drugs: trousers and sushi at Topshop and Wasabi. That day has been such a perfect one. I really believe that one of the best thing that a person can do is to fight for something, to get it and to treat himself after a success. Everything seems bigger if I think that i am just 23, I come from another continent and I live in a very small town… but I am able to dream, this is my strength!

 

Internship interview?! Don't panic, there is the "Mock"!

Friday 11th September at 9:30. This was my appointment at “Career Resource Center” in the Humanities building for my first mock interview.
Try to image you feeling when, for the first time, you enter in a huge building in NYC and you are waiting your interview. How many things could cross your mind?! Agitation? Nervousness? Mind completely empty? It would be normal, but … keep calm and take it easy! There are people ready to help you to prevent this terrible situation of uncontrolled stress.

During the IIB program, you can take advantage of all the opportunities that the SUNY University offers to its American students; one of that is the “Mock Interview”. This is a simulation of what will happen during the job interviews in New York City that you’ll face before your internship period. In this occasion you can learn to control your feelings and give your best to make a good first impression … without panic. You will seat in front of a girl, she will turn-on the camera and everything begins!

You need to prepare yourself: bring your resume and informed about the company you choose for your internship. There isn’t a specific dress code for this situation (remember that it is only a simulation), but the employees can help you in the choice of the best outfit for the job interview.

The mock interview is divide in two different moments: the first one is a facsimile of the real interview and the second one is an analysis about your replays. In the initial part Sarah (I did my mock with her) will ask you some questions about yourself, your previous experiences and about the choice of the company. Not embarrassing for the camera and be yourself! No one will judge you! Answer the questions explaining all your experiences with many examples and always analyze what are the lessons you learned or what were the results obtained. Remember: don’t forget to smile! While smiling you send a very clear message about your state of mind, not smiling creates an opening for many interpretations. At the end, around 30 minutes, the girl will turn-off the camera and you can review yourself: here start the second part. During the remaining time, Sarah and you will comment all your replays and she will give you some advices about your feeling during the speaking, your body language and more other aids about the best way to emphasize your experiences.

I really appreciate this time! Sarah taught me more things about the American job world (that is completely different from the Italian one) and many ways to enchant the people in front of me. She also, explained me the importance to analyze every time the results of my experiences, although they weren’t exactly what I expected, because also from the mistakes we learned something.

Therefore, in conclusion, never forget your resume and go prepared; this is a rare opportunity for you. You can test yourself in a different situation and prepare for what may happen in the following weeks.  Above all, remember: smile at people! “What does it cost to smile? Nothing. What does it cost not smile? Everything.”

First interview – done!

Today I went to my first interview for our internship this spring. I woke up early in NYC, got dressed and walked over to Union Square. The sun was shining and once again I fell in love with this city. After spending a few weeks in New Paltz I started to enjoy the small town life more than the city life but no, now I’m hooked again.

My interview was at a company called Wikia. Wikia is founded by the same person who started Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales, who is also a friend of mine. I met with the New York sales director and the Vice President at 10 a.m and it was so much fun. I just love going to interviews.

Everything went very well and we will see if this is the company that I will work for during the spring.

Let’s do this!

New Yorker's Life

Hi Everyone!!

 

Our second week here in New York is ended!

I’m starting to get used to the working life (even if is not easy at all!!) and everything is completely different from New Paltz here: the subway, the crowd, the office, the projects, the responsibility that you have to take,…

We have to grow up in a short time!

Personally, I love the life in the City: my supervisor is amazing (I just need to improve more my English, in order to understand everything), she is so patience with me and lets me learn a lot about our HR thanks to all the project that she gives me.

I have to be honest: I was extremely scared two weeks ago, because this is my first job experience and I wasn’t really confident with my spoken English. But all my fear disappeared the first day, when I saw how Julie and all the other people in my department approached me: they are extremely kind and they do as much as they can in order to teach me everything about their sector!

Thanks to their behavior, every morning I wake up and I’m happy to go to work!

I’m doing my best and I hope to improve my knowledge and work ability during the next weeks!

 

And what about your experience? In these weeks we haven’t met a lot as in New Paltz: are you satisfied of your work?

Interning at BOTEP

Starting my forth week as an intern at Beast of the East Productions (BOTEP) I can only say that it has been AMAZING. I now am in charge of one of the social media pages, I did the credits for one music video, helped organizing footage for a documentary and I have been doing a lot of research and readings. I now know from memory the Top 10 talent agencies that represent actors, directors, producers, and whoever is related on this business, and I’m really proud of myself for that ;). Also, I have been learning to use another editing program, Adobe Premiere; I already know one, but as part of my internship everyone at BOTEP want for me to know other editing programs.

I really like that each week has something different; last week I went to the “Green Carpet” event for Mythic Bridge, a non-profit organization committed to providing filmmaking education to the underserved. This was a screening of short films that young and future filmmakers did on the September workshop; and two weeks ago I helped on the shooting of a short film, it was AWESOME :D.

So now, I can only say that I’m LOVING this experience and I’m extremely happy to know that the people at BOTEP, Ramfis, Adam and Somer, really want for me to learn. Even though every day is a little crazy, and with a lot of work (even when I’m only reading), I know that when I finish my internship, my knowledge about producing and editing will be so much more than I had when I got here.


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The first week at Saint Laurent Paris!

First impressionshow did your first few days go?

I had an incredible start at the office. I am working close to the HR Coordinator and the Vice President of Human Resources at Saint Laurent Paris. These are the only ones working within the HR field at the office, so it is not that big as I expected it to be.  It is a very big organization,  including the other companies with the same owner, it’s a very big company. Besides Saint Laurent there also Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Puma, Tretorn, Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney and others, they are all in the Kering Group. The office is located right on the 6th floor above the Store on Fifth Avenue, so it’s really “close to the business”.

On the first day I really got thrown in to it. They showed me the showroom, I was in a conference call with a couple of other countries, they took me to an Employee Sale and I met the President of Saint Laurent America! They told me about what´s going to be my main focus project – To update and renew their entire Employee Handbook! Update the new labor laws, new policies and make it more “YSL-ish” since they made a lot of changes in the company after the last version was written.
I also went out for lunch with my supervisor and the Vice President of Human Resources, which was very nice. We talked about work but also a bit about more personal stuff. It´s feels good to learn more about them and get to know them, that makes it easier to work together as a team. I also set up a big excel file to review the participation in their Employee Survey. That´s one of my smaller project aside of the big one. Besides the participation, I do research for interesting articles and texts to post in their intranet to inspire and motivate the employees. I also screened resumes to help them with the recruitment of a new employee. So I had a busy week with a lot of different tasks, really interesting mix of projects.

My last day of this first week I was working until late, I left the office at 7.30p.m., and the last thing I did was to press the print button for the first draft of the new Handbook. That was a great feeling to give it to my supervisor. It is good to show them what I´ve actually been doing this week, and I´m really looking forward to hear their thoughts about it on Monday.

Was it a challenge to be on-time?

There´s not a challenge in being right on time. That is something really important and never an option to me.

 

Are you comfortable interacting with your colleagues and your supervisor?

The feeling when I´m at the office is really welcoming and warm. All of my colleagues are very helpful and nice. My supervisor introduced me to everyone at the office during the morning meeting. My supervisor is the HR Coordinator and I also work close to her boss, the Vice President of Human Resources at Saint Laurent. Both of them are very nice and helpful. They introduced me to all the people in the building and all the different functions they have in the company.

How is the work – are the tasks starting small as we discussed in the practicum?

The first thing I had on my desk was to read a lot of documents as a good start for my upcoming main project, update the Employee Handbook of Saint Laurent. I read the policies and the new handbook of Gucci, to use this one as a template for the updates. Gucci has the same owner as Saint Laurent so I read their Handbook to see which new laws and guidelines they use. Their Handbook and YSL’s Handbook are in many cases quite alike. So basically, it started quite small with a lot of reading and research. But I jumped on the projects right after that.

 Are you taking good notes?

I have my portfolio on my desk and I bring it to all meetings and to every talk with my supervisor. It is good to write everything down, even small things.

 

Feeling comfortable asking questions?

I feel really comfortable with my supervisors and also my colleagues to ask questions. I ask them questions about my tasks to clarify that I understood everything right. I am also asking questions about more general things. For example, we were talking about the part in the Employee Handbook that’s about that a work is based on “At will”. I asked a few more questions about “At will” and the Vice President of HR told me more about it. I wrote down all the information that she gave me, and that´s really useful later on. So my notes are not only about my tasks and meetings. There is also information, heads-ups and facts in there.

What may you need to do differently to help you get the results you are hoping for?

What I may need to do during my project with the Handbook is to have short meetings with my supervisor to make sure I´m on the right track. We had a small meeting like this before I started working on my first draft. But since they have a lot to do and especially the Vice President have a lot of meetings, it can be hard to have up-to-date meetings that often. It is important then to write down all my questions and thoughts to remember those until next meeting. I will keep taking a lot of notes, because that’s a very easy thing to do and it makes you feel more comfortable and you´re not taking the risk of forgetting important details.

What is one new strategy you may adopt for next week? (Catch an earlier train? Make a to-do list?)

There isn’t anything really special that I want to change right now. But I´m sure that there´s something I´ll have to improve or change during this week also. I am looking forward to keep on working with the Employee Handbook and also my smaller projects beside this one.