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The Magic Happens Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Leaving your comfort zone is scary; it’s very inconvenient and at the same time it’s the best thing you can do. The tricky part about it is that you’re not even aware of its existence until you have to leave it behind. In my case, this was when I had to quit my job for an internship at The New York Times.

In the course of the MSC Marketing Program I had the chance to spend the fall semester at Baruch College, one of WU’s most sought-after partner universities. Baruch, located in the heart of Manhattan, belongs to the City University of New York and offers a wide range of undergrad and graduate classes in finance, marketing and business. Being someone who is very interested in advertising and brand strategy, New York City was like a dream come true. The city was full of ambitious and talented young people from all over the world who had come to hunt for jobs in fashion, finance or advertising. On one hand, it was frustrating to realize that nobody out there was waiting for me. On the other hand, knowing that I was so close to the big fishes in the pond gave me the certainty that I wasn’t ready to go back home yet. It turned out to be very helpful that I had already built a strong network. After countless follow-up emails, Facebook messages and LinkedIn requests, I got an offer to intern at T Brand Studio, the New York Times’ in-house content agency. Although I didn’t even know if it would work out because of legal issues, I had to quit my job in Austria, cancel my flight and pay a small fortune to a sponsorship organization for my visa. Trust me, it didn’t feel right to do that at all but in the end it paid off.

I joined T Brand in February, a group of incredibly talented editors, designers, developers and strategists, who were the pioneers of native advertising. The world’s most valuable brands work with T Brand to find the best stories, a process called “Story-Mining”, and they tell it in the most compelling way. To give you an example: Instead of writing an article about the outstanding services of its client, one of the largest banks in America, T Brand curated a fascinating piece of branded content on the biochemical processes happening in our brains when we make important decisions, such as how to invest our money. In fact, some of T Brand’s clearly marked pieces of branded content got higher click rates on the NYT website than newsroom articles.

There’s something about New York City that always keeps you going. It makes sleep unnecessary and changes the way you think. It’s like an addiction and it’s incredibly hard to get over it. I like to think that the city’s unique energy has become part of me: Austria at heart, New York in mind.

Best,
Karoline

 

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