I think everyone who has been to New York will agree with me that this big city gives you the feeling that you stepped into a completely different world. Some people believe that New York’s charm is being surrounded by things you can’t have. I believe the absolute opposite: New York’s charm is making you think you can have it all. As I took a yellow cab from the airport to Times Square, I had a moment of appreciation and was very thankful for another exciting opportunity. But what was I doing in NYC? I’m going to tell you!
The University of Alabama provided some of their students in the Culverhouse College of Business to go to the Student Program of the National Retail Federation Conference 2019 in NYC. ‘The NRF Foundation Student Program exposes college students to the limitless, exciting and rewarding career opportunities available in retail.’ During the program, we got the chance to hear from CEO’s and senior executives from H&M, Nordstrom, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Nike. In my opinion, one of the coolest things was that we got to talk to some of the employees and senior executives from for example Macy’s, Kohl’s, McDonalds and Brooks Brothers. Every 20 minutes for 2 hours long, we got a different person at our table who would share their career advices with us. Thank you NRF, it was a well-organized conference with a career fair at the end to connect with recruiters from different retail companies.
First we eat, then we do everything else!
After many useful hours of speeches, networking and learning, it was time to enjoy the city. Little Ray’s pizza, frozen yoghurt, cheesecake, milkshakes, (vegan) burgers and fries. Just simply had to try it all! We were so lucky to stay at a hotel on Times Square. After going down 32 floors with the elevator and walking outside, you couldn’t get around all the crazy billboards and lights. During our free time we ate, strolled down 5th Avenue, ate again, walked through Central Park and probably ate again.
‘It’s all about connections’
If there’s one piece of advice from my father that I will never forget, it would have to be that life is all about making the right connections. Whether this is on a friendship or business level, connections are what provides opportunities and growth. And to be honest, the first couple times he said this I wasn’t paying too much attention to it. I was still young and had zero experience, but I can’t thank him enough for this because he’s so right! Networking during this conference was so essential and I left New York with many new connections and hopefully one of these connections could be a life changing one.
Besides making business connections, I made some new friends and had an absolute blast in New York City. The only thing I would change about this trip is that I wish I would have brought a pair of gloves, because NYC in January is a bit nippy. NYC is such a big motivation to me to work even harder than I already am doing. Pursue your dreams! Let the world catch up to you and don’t dumb yourself down for the world. Let your talent be great and big!