Livin’ the Dream

After completing six local journalism internships, I knew this summer was my chance to break out of my comfort zone and really chase my dreams. What it all boils down to is New York City. I’ve always wanted to live here and I’ve always wanted to work in the magazine industry. So after months of scouring for internships, frantically filling out applications and sending off my best work to people who didn’t know me, I waited.

And waited.

Whenever life got me down and I second-guessed my skills and education, I turned to two things. FRIENDS, and “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. The two completely capture the essence of New York City and the dreams that I want to achieve. “Empire State of Mind” became my theme song, my mantra to keep me motivated and inspired.

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of

There’s nothing you can’t do,  now you’re in New York

These streets will make you feel brand new

These lights will inspire you

Let’s hear it for New York

It didn’t matter that I grew up in wide open spaces, in a town with more cows than people. Or that our best option for a night out was a 30-minute drive to the closest movie theater with some friends and a bag of popcorn. All that mattered was that the glossy pages that came in my mailbox each month meant the world to me, and I needed to immerse myself in that world. New York City wasn’t about the hustle and bustle that people automatically associate with this place. To me, New York City was about livin’ the dream.

FRIENDS captures the homey, loving and endearing side of New York City, and it’s the show that made me fall in love with this place before I realized what journalism really was. It emphasized that New York City, again, wasn’t always about hustle and bustle.

Instead, it was about opportunity. It was about being carefree. It was about enjoying life. I wanted that life.

The witty banter and carefree friendships on this show captured my hometown and the people I wanted to meet while living my dream. Whenever I need to relax with a few laughs, I pop in one of the ten seasons (yes, I have each one) of this show and it works every single time. This show not only made New York City about fulfilling a dream, it became about getting the lifestyle I wanted.

Without these things, I’m not sure what my mantra would have been, what my support system would be like. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not doubting my friends, family and teachers who have helped me along the way. Without them, there’s no way I would be here. But you need to enjoy the small things in life, too. You need something to keep pushing you, to remind you of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. These two things do it for me. I encourage you to find yours.

There’s nothing you can’t do, now you’re in New York.

Let’s show ‘em what I’m made of.

Just Do It

Cloud nine can’t even begin to describe the state of euphoria I am in right now.

After working all day,  my fitness editor, Mary, asked me to attend a press event with her. Clearly, I said yes. Then I found out it was for Nike and we were testing their new products that are launching in July. I couldn’t have been more psyched.

After our car service dropped us off at 555 West 18th Street, we mingled with other editors in attendance and waited for the event to start. For those of you who are not familiar with the media industry, press events are attended by various editors, writers, staffers and bloggers from multiple magazines. The goal is to find out about new products and come back with any new, exciting information that could possibly run in the magazine. Usually, you get gift bags as well so that all of the promoted products can be tested!

When the program began, a lot of the new products were discussed and technologically explained. Nike’s new gear is launching in July, and it ranges from new sneakers to sports bras. Everything discussed today was geared toward women because, well, everyone there was female and worked at some form of a women’s magazine. I’d tell you about the new stuff coming out, but you’ll have to check out my health and fitness blog, The Pulse, for that insider info.

A huge surprise came next.

Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder for the 400-meter and 4 X 400 m relay, spoke to us about proper preparation for running. I was slightly star struck. To make it better, he also Skyped (possibly another system used, but I think it was Skype) with Sanya Richards, the defending U.S. and world champion in the 400-meter. She provided tips specifically for females to prepare their mind and body for running. But again, if you want that info, you’re going to have to check out The Pulse.

Finally, we were decked in Nike’s latest gear from head to toe, all the way down to the socks and sports bras. Everyone decided to run two, four or six miles and Nike brought in professionals to pace us throughout our run. I stuck with two because of my blood disorder, but I think next time I’m going to tough out four. Oh, and Michael Johnson ran with us two-milers! (I finished the run before he did, if that counts for anything.) And yes, we got to keep all of our gear, so I now have a ton of new fitness gear!

So this is just a few toes dipped into the ocean of things that magazine journalists are able to experience. I can’t wait to dive in.

Living the Crazy, Good Life

Life in New York City is crazy.

But in such an amazing, satisfying, beautiful way.

I’ve been so extremely busy at work but I love every second of my day. I work almost nonstop from 9 a.m. to around 5:30 p.m., but I love everything I’m doing. The days just fly by and then I have events to go to at night so I can get my networking on.

Tonight I went to a Microsoft preview event at Stage 37 with my ASME mentor, Lorelei, and my ASME coordinator, Nina. Technically, they were set up with me to help me succeed, but they’ve become so much more than that. They’re my friends, my confidantes, and they’ve got my back in this crazy magazine industry we all love to immerse ourselves in. Believe me, there’s nothing like having a few good people behind you to make sure you succeed in the end. And when you’re friends with those who have already broken into the industry, it’s even better.

So back to the Microsoft event. They had some pretty cool new equipment coming out — my favorite involved a system for the XBox 360 called Kinect. It tracks your movements through camera sensors and allows you to move around without any controllers. My favorite game was Dance Central, which was made in collaboration with MTV Games. It reminded me of Dance Dance Revolution, but it’s a lot less complicated and more fun. You can pull off silly dance moves (such as disco moves and chicken leg) and advance the levels through a wide variety of songs. We were able to test out the game right then and there, and it was a lot of fun. Personally, I rocked Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” This game is definitely going to sell.

But my night wasn’t over.

After we left Stage 37, we headed over to West 30th for Robert Verdi’s fashion event. It was held at this really high-end apartment (I wish I could live there) and we enjoyed casual conversation while learning about his new endorsements. I wish I had some pictures of the apartment for you, but here’s some of the stuff from the goodie bag.

There was a lot of other great stuff in the bag, but Lorelei, Nina and I split the bag.

So that was basically my day, once you add in a lot of work for FITNESS, too. Oh, and did I mention I had lunch with the Deputy Editor at The New Yorker today? Yeah, that also happened.

So yes, I love my life. I’ll have some more stories for you soon!

Getting into ASME

Working at a magazine is everything I’ve imagined it would be.

People keep asking me how great my internship is and whether or not I love what I’m doing, and that’s the only thing I can say in response. Working at FITNESS has been amazing and it’s only been a week. I’ve already learned so much; I’ve floated between departments so that I’m getting a taste of everything to figure out what I like.

I want to explain how I got this amazing internship so that future aspiring journalists can possibly take the same route. Beginning my junior year of college, I started looking for bigger internships because I had already completed my required one last summer at the Utica Observer-Dispatch newspaper (Journalism majors at Oswego State are required to complete at least one).  I always knew I wanted to work in New York City someday, so that was my first location to scour. Seventeen was at the top of my list because that’s one of my dream jobs. Then Professor Loomis forwarded me an e-mail to apply for an internship with the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), which operates under the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA). It told me that if I were accepted, I would be placed at one of 21 magazines in New York City as a paid intern. I was sold.

After a long application process and an even longer wait, I got the great news that I had been accepted! ASME is an extremely competitive program: only 24 interns are accepted, 21 to N.Y.C. and three to Washington, D.C. Later, I found out I’d be working at FITNESS, my number one choice out of the participating magazines! Life couldn’t get any better.

Now that I’m here, I’ve learned how competitive and how prestigious this program actually is. People in Human Resources look for ASME on resumes when deciding who’s going to get an interview. And the community here is incredibly strong. In the magazine industry, and many others, it’s all about who you know these days. Your contacts get you the interview; your skills get you the job. And once you’re in ASME, the community there has got your back. It’s often being compared to a sorority, and I just finished pledging.

So to anyone looking to break into the magazine industry: apply to be an ASME intern. You must have completed your junior year, heading into your senior year. You need two recommendations, an application, and a bunch of other little things. Download the application and start plugging away. This could be your foot in the door.

Oh, and don’t think that you can’t get in just because you go to a small school. Yes, I’m the first one to get in at Oswego State, but I’m confident I won’t be the last.

Define Chill: The Oswego Palooza of Factors

Everything about Oswego is relaxed. I always feel safe and I used enough of their resources to get my ducks in a row.

I love having a state police station on campus. I was looking at graduate schools again and most of them list “certified security service”. At Oz standards, I am not impressed. I would do graduate school here, but for my maximum benefit I think I need to go to different school to get a different perspective on business. However, I am not excited about pudgy men on golf carts chasing vandals at my other schools, I would much rather have Robo Cop taking care of business, even though he never has to because no one messes with him anyways. I only wish he could yell at my credit card company too though, they are nutty, I am going to have to call and cancel them like Robo Cop cancels crime!

I was happy though, today I got an award at work! It was the “Most likely to fit 26 hours worth of activities into a 24 hour day”. It totally fits me to the tee.

I also narrowed down the job search to two candidates…..A fortune 500 company or a five star hotel. The fortune 500 company wants to pay me a butt load of money though, it is lucrative (compared to my standard minimum wage).

So much going on, village tours are coming up, I am moving with 5 of my friends into the village in the fall for my senior year, also doing a PR internship then too :)

Doing GMAT prep and working along, going to take it in late May and hope for the best, my job will start in June. The stars are aligning for graduate school, a job and a life. I am excited, career services paid off.

My summer goals include beating my boyfriend at golf, saving money, open a Roth IRA, get a mutual fund, apply for graduate school, talk my dad out of selling his motorcycle and give it to me :) and pass my GMATs. I think I will add more but I think this is a good place to start.

Got a plan and a goal, celebrating my 21st bday on Wednesday, looking forward to Questmas eve tomorrow as well. If you don’t know what Questmas eve is, ask jr or sr, they will know :)

Off to do homework by the ambiance of my electric candle and Kenny G.

Be Ozzy

That is way too scary

Micro video blogging…OK, it is not scary, just different.

Today again I want to talk about micro video blogging/micro sharing and how I want to feed it into my blog. I have talked about it a while back but once again my technology is not cooperating. That is a really long story though and involves way too much ranting about brands, low quality products and being really broke as most of us are :)

However, micro video blogging is an interesting topic. Would you want to post a short video of yourself once a week? I would, but I am really extroverted. Does that mean that only the extroverted people will get involved for personal micro blogs, or does it mean the introverted people will be more inclined as they could perhaps find it more freeing?

While micro video blogging/sharing is mostly about sharing videos and media of all kinds. I am unsure how Oswego readers would react to my videos as opposed to text. I don’t think I would always do them of myself. I still like the idea of Meg’s Multicultural Minute but the real question is…what do you think and why?

Be Ozzy

“Summer Lovin’” and new apartment :)

Heyyyyy Oswego people!!!  Hope everyone is enjoying their summer, and if you are an incoming freshman you better be super psyched to be entering the best years of your life!  Atleast that is what it has been for me!  I’m going to be a Senior this year and it’t soo hard to believe :(  One more year with all my friends here, and one more year with the thing that has ruled my life for the past 3 years; SWIMMING.  As most of you know, I’m on the Swimming and Diving team here at Oswego, and I have loved every minute of it.  Sometimes I forget that I’m here for school :-p  To incoming freshmen, or anyone that did a sport in high school but didn’t continue in college:  Get yourself involved in athletics!  It helps you make great friends and believe it or not keep you structured and organized for your classes.  I know my coach is always on us about school, and if someone is falling a bit behind, he wont hesitate to tell them to shape up!  It’s a great thing to be involved in, and if you are serious about sports and fitness check it out!

Right now I’m actually working on getting in my new apartment for next year!  I’m at home now, but  going up to Oswego tomorrow with my sister to start getting stuff in there.  I’m moving in with a couple of my fellow teammates, who are also amazing friends by the wayy…..shout out to Marianne Munson and Kelly Williams!  I’m going to get everything all settled there, and work at the YMCA in Fulton for June before going home for the rest of the summer.

Well, I think that about covers it for my life as of late….. but I’ll be back in to tell how everything is going at a later date :)  Until then, enjoy the sunshine!!!!

So Much Work!

I still cannot believe the time that a college lifestyle demands of you. I am writing this on a Saturday, and I haven’t experienced anything that could be considered a normal weekend activity yet. I haven’t read for pleasure, no music just for the sole sake of music, no watching TV or movies and very little talking to friends online (I do that during the week as it is). Being a college student is not as easy as it sounds, not unless you’re someone who pushes assignments off and doesn’t worry about them and instead goes out to party. There’s no way that all of these students I see going out don’t have any homework.

Two weeks ago, for example, my History professor encouraged us to begin reading Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle on a Wednesday and expected us to finish it by Monday of the next week, giving a quiz on that Monday. The quiz was taken off Angel on that Wednesday, so in other words, we had less than a week to read a 395 page novel, which is pretty slow and dry, mind you. This is especially ridiculous when you keep in mind that there are other assignments as well, such as reading out of the textbook, not to mention work for other classes. It just frustrates me when professors seem to think that their course is the only one you’re taking.

I’m not going to lie. Although, for the most part, I get all of my work done, there have been times where I have skipped over a minor reading or something like that, because I just don’t find it possible to complete every single assignment and read every single assigned reading that you receive. This Saturday, today, I have done nothing but read and write all day. It’s a bit much sometimes.

However, as strenuous and as stressful as college is sometimes, I have my mind on the winning prize, which is the success and the happiness that college is going to result in. I want to be a high school English teacher one day soon, and all of this work is helping me achieve that. That’s what I’m keeping in mind. So far, keeping that in mind is working. I just wish I had more time to enjoy and less to stress about. I am wondering if this is a relatively common concern of the average college student or if I’m doing something wrong.

New Job & Tornadoes

Its Christmas time and much of last week I dedicated my time to finding a seasonal job around the Dallas area to save up a few $ before I head back to Oswego.  Last March – May I worked  at the Dick’s down in Clay to save up/pay for all my trips this year so I figured I would try my luck at the new Dick’s that just opened a month ago in Allen (5 minutes away!).  When they first called me I was honest about only being in town for 4 weeks and they weren’t to sure temporary is what they wanted.  However, they did a little background check with the Clay store and I guess I was given a great recommendation because I was offered a job the next day.

I definitely lucked out.  A lot of the other places I looked, both small and large businesses, where not hiring seasonal this year or, at the moment, at all.  If anything, most businesses said they were rehiring the college students that had worked there in the summer.  Maybe it also had to do with the economy?  Either way the job market right now appears to be the pits so I wish the best of luck to anyone looking for a seasonal, or even more permanent, job at the moment.

If all else fails you can always go door to door with a rake and leaf blower…well at least down south.  That was my back-up plan.

On a more interesting note.  Last night I woke up to the sound of the Allen tornado sirens.  When I looked out the window I saw large hail and a nicely rotating funnel coming out of a wall cloud…I am not sure whether a tornado completely formed (touched the ground), but the first thought that came to mind was…isn’t it December??

I’ve grown up around extreme weather.  In 1988, an F4 tornado sprouted across from my house in Raleigh, NC.  It was around Thanksgiving time and it did a tremendous amount of damage to the area.  I remember looking out the window and watching the large, dark funnel in the distance which at one point seemed to be headed our way.  Thankfully it changed directions and disappeared over the lake 1/2 a mile down the road.

Hurricane Fran hit Raleigh in September 1996 and my brothers and I missed school for 3 weeks straight.  The main mall at the time, Crabtree Valley, was flooded up to the second level due to the tremendous amount of rainfall.  A friend of my mother’s house had 41 pine trees fall on it that night.  All doors where blocked in by the falling logs and in order to get out of the house they had to climb out a window.

The most memborable part of that night for me was the eye.  I remember listening to the 120+ mph gusts of wind and seeing trees bent over so far that their tips touched the ground.  But nothing was more intriguing than the silence and stillness that characterized the eye; a calm in the midst of chaos.

Today it is 40 degrees out and really windy a severe contrast to the 70 degree stillness we had yesterday…

Christmas! (Or Whatever You Celebrate)

Who’s excited for the holidays? Can you believe that we have less than three weeks until we go home again? It’s really crazy, and it’s probably just me, but it seems like the second semester is going to be really short. We get back from break near the end of January, and then the school year is over in May.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Christmas seemed so far away to me, and now it seems so close. I can’t wait, because I love Christmas and not just because of the gifts, although, I’m not going to lie, that’s a part of it. I love the spirit. I love the music, the decorations, the lights and, most of all, the tree. Of course, I won’t be home to see it until the last week this year, so I am hoping that the campus provides that for us, but so far, I don’t see that as being a problem. The night before I left for Thanksgiving break, I ate at Lakeside, and they had lights and decorations up. I mean, I know not everyone on campus celebrates Christmas, and I’m not making that assumption, but I think lights and decorations basically put everyone in the mood for the holiday season in general.

The main reason I’m excited gift-wise is because I asked for the third and fourth installments of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I’ve read the first book and will soon be reading the second book, and I know that this is going to sound really nerdy, but there’s nothing better than spending break with a good read, especially two. I just really hope that the next few weeks go by quickly, especially since with all of the work I have yet to do and finals to study for, they’re going to be pretty stressful.