In My Life, I've Loved Them All

First Power Lunch

A few months back I went to AWNY’s VIP Auction. It was an awesome event and I give myself a pat on the back for going all by myself, networking and meeting many other friendly Young Executives. I walked away with an awesome gift bag of goodies, my Barbara K! Tool Kit (raffle prize… still unopened), and most importantly: a lunch with Stephanie Kugelman, Vice Chairman, and Chief Strategic Officer of Young & Rubicam.

Yes, joining AWNY and subsequently attending the VIP Auction were all steps in my master plan to get on the Account Management track in an ad agency. Once the bids had closed and the dust had settled, I was very happy with my win. Y&R is a respectable agency… and coincidently handles the Campbell Soup account ;) After several phone calls with her lovely assistant Phyllis, rescheduling twice and a change of venues, I was finally able to sit down with Stephanie Kugelman at the Bryant Park Grill.

And things couldn’t have gone better…

Of course, I Googled Stephanie Kugelman before the meeting… found out she was the former CEO of the Y&R New York Office before taking her current job, and that she was also on many boards etc etc.

I was sad we had to change locations, I was looking forward to a lunch at Eleven Madison Park but oh well, I was more than grateful that Stephanie was able to fit me into her schedule at all… Bryant Park Grill was alright, the food was not overwhelmingly notable, but it is right behind the Library and on a nice summer day it’s an excellent location. We ended up ordering the same things, iced tea and the salmon… I ordered 1st so I wasn’t trying to copy, though I did find it interesting… maybe that is just the standard “safe” meal to order… maybe I am over analyzing… at any rate the meal didn’t seem to be anything more than what I could have prepared at home… the upside was their kitchen had to smell like fish to make it, not mine :p

The conversation was flawless! I told her all about my interest in advertising, working so passionately in college for the FLA USA-Visit Florida campaign, how I’ve wanted to work in advertising since jr high… all in a very casual yet confident manner… as if talking to your Aunt, not a Top Ad Agency exec. She told me about her job and how she had started at Y&R right out of college, and never left. I think she said she’d been there 34 years! Oh my! She started in the Account Planning side, which usually doesn’t lead to CEO/top management levels… but she was on the right campaigns at the right time. She also asked me about the other aspects of my life… which when I say them out loud does sound like quite a tale… made the jump across the country to go to college, moved to a new city to find the post college career I know I want, re-founding APO on the GW campus (had to through that in ‘cause I knew she was interested in corporate philanthropy )... in the end she was impressed that I was so independent (which growing up definitely wasn’t a word I would have used to describe myself). She could also see that I was genuinely interested in the Account Management side of the business. I didn’t even have to ask (not that I would have, it would have been too tacky)... she told me to send her my resume and she would be sure to arrange a meeting at Y&R. She also offered to look into which recruiters in NYC were best for finding account management jobs beyond just Y&R! Fabulous :D

Literally, not even 2 hours after our lunch, Stephanie emailed me a thank you note and reminded me to send her my resume… I would have taken the first step, but I did not have her email address and she did not bring a business card to lunch (surprisingly). As of today, Stephanie has spoken with the Managing Partner for Account Management and Account Support and it is just a matter of coordinating a meeting.

It was such a wonderful lunch; I got exactly what I was looking for :D I left feeling so proud of myself… and it was nice to have a good experience in what up until then had been a very miserable week. And so my search for an awesome account management job continues….

“In my heart there lies a memory, and there you’ll always be.”

Cody and Me Good Cody Four Campbell Kids

... lyrics from Fox and the Hound… one of the saddest Disney movies ever. Kristi and Cody But it is true, Cody was a good dog and I have nothing but fond memories. I’m to the point where I can think and talk about Cody without bursting into tears… though looking at pictures is still hard. I am considering going to Texas for Labor Day and I sure it will really hit home then… when Cody isn’t running to the door to greet me, or shedding all over my clothes, or staring at me while I’m eating popcorn hoping I drop a kernal. I’m such a dog person… if I wasnt away from my apt for 10 hrs at a time or if I had a yard I would so get one to keep me company. But I just couldnt do that to a puppy… maybe I’ll get a fish.

“I’m in an overemotional way…”

baby cody

Cody died yesterday. And I am just devastated. He was only 6 years old, which even for a large dog is very young. I can’t believe my baby is gone…

The story on how we found Cody is really a good one… Kristi, Mom, Dad and I headed to Hunington Beach one Saturday morning in mid January in search of Winter Formal dresses at he Jessica McClintock outlet store. Well, we got there before it even opened… so mom and kristi sat in the car reading and dad went to go buy some coffee. I, liking neither reading nor coffee, heard some puppy yelps in the distance… wouldn’t you know, a pet store was right next to the dress store, and it was OPEN.

The whole front of the store was lined with glass pens w/o tops, so you could reach in and pet all of the puppies! Cody was there with about 5 or 6 brothers and sisters… and after seeing all of the puppies i just had to drag my sister and mom in to see them. Well, the dress store eventually opened and we went to find just the right gown… my dad, having no real interest in dress shopping, hung out in the pet store instead. I can remember my mom coming into the dressing room and whispering “I think dad wants to get a dog!”

On a side note… you must understand at this point in time, our house was a mess and the “lets get a dog” issue had been vaguely brouht up, and shot down just as fast, cause a dog would just chew everything in site, pee on the rug, and who would be the responsible one taking care of it… ALSO, dogs arent impulse buys! You research the breed you want, shop around, go to official breeders or even the pound, prepair your house for the new arrival… no one EVER buys a dog from a pet store, it just isnt done, who knows what their history is!

Anyways, it turns out my dad had been taking several of cody’s brothers and sisters out and playing with them… to see which one he liked best… some just stood there when you set them down, 1 ran straight for the food, but Cody was the one who really seemed to be friendly and want to play :D It had been a long morning, so we left cody in his own pen with a sign that said “Do not touch, this dog is sold!” and went to IHOP for lunch. We spent the meal contemplating names… Dad liked the name Max, but you arent supposed to give pets 1 syllable names because commands are 1 syllable… we also liked the name Jasper, it would have been so cute, except that was my great grand fathers name, and he had died only a few weeks before.

When we returned the shopping center, we picked up 2 formal dresses, a new fuzzy ball puppy, and all of the doggie paraphernalia (we seriously had NO dog stuff to speak of!) ... had to pick up a leash, harness, bowls, bitterapple spray (which supposedly stopsdogs from chewing :p)... and we carried our new family member out in a small blue handeled carton. It was on the ride home, as we listended to Matchbox 20, that we agreed on the name Cody :) Once we got home, the 1st person I called was my friend Marla.. she came over with her sister Lisa and we all gushed over Cody… he was so cute in his little blue harness, looked like a little sled dog. Marla later told me she was nervous that the puppy was going to be ugly, because 1/2 huskey 1/2 german shepard was a hard thing to picture. But oh he was just too cute for words.

To be continued… so I don’t start crying in my cube…

My Cody Album

My Little Creation

mousetini This is my humble entry into the NESTLÉ® ‘Swirled to Perfection’ Photo Contest. Its layers of swirl morsels, a vanilla mousse and whipped topping… not the most creative thing in the world but hey, gave me something fun to do for a day… and an excuse to bust out my kitchenaid mixer :D I decided against adding a fruit sauce layer so it turned out to look a little boring (white mousse with black and white chips)... so I thought HEY why not make the whole picture black and white… how artsy of me… and it is first and foremost a photo contest. Ture, dont know much about photography or photoshop, but oh well… a fun way to waste some time on the weekend ;)

Job vs Career

ziff logoAs you may have heard, I was contacted by UniversalMcCann a couple weeks ago… the HR girl that originally interviewd me at Ziff Davis now works at UniveralMcCann (the media-buying arm of McCannWorldgroup), where she did the exit interview for my friend Kelly. Apparently, the HR rep was laid off at Ziff, but still “keeps in contact” with Ziff employees. Well, she had me come in and interview for the position of Traffic Analyst for their Interactive group… silly me I thought such a position would involve some sort of analysis element. After 2 hours at UMi I learned the position was no more than trafficking ads (like I do now) and compilying reports (like I do now)... except I would be the only trafficker at UMi (aka LOTs more work).

Earlier this week I was offered the job. Today, I offically declined the offer. It was actually an easy decision when it came down to it… only a couple days of over-analyizing the pros and cons (as opposed to a couple of weeks). In the end, I reasoned that taking the job would only dig me further into the hole of ad trafficking… the very hole that I am trying to get myself out of. The job would have meant more money, but I am choosing personal well-being over a larger paycheck. I want to work on a team managing an account for a specific client. And I’m too young to give up on what will make me happy (maybe if I hit 30 I’ll settle for a job that will just pay the bills). Most importantly, the Traffic Analyst position has no clear career path/growth opportunity. It’s adult time now, and I have to accept the fact I need a career, not just a string of jobs.

Not taking the job at UMi doesn’t mean I am going to stay at Ziff for all of eternity. I am getting involved in AWNY, networking, and even have a lunch with Stephanie Kugelman next week (Vice Chairman, Chief Strategy Officer of Young and Rubicam, oh my!)... still plenty of opportunity out there… just need to find that right company with a job that will let me shine :D

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