What's it like to live and work in NYC?

Trainee Ginelle Appau tells her story

The GME experience so far has been nothing less than amazing. When applying for the program, I was keenly aware that we live in an increasingly global marketplace, in which many employers are looking for candidates with international experience. Besides hopefully making me more attractive to prospect employees, working overseas has allowed me to broaden my knowledge, intercultural skills, and has challenged me to perform well in an unfamiliar environment.

I work within a small digital agency with a team of less than 50 marketing professionals all working to service leading global brands. Working at a small-sized agency has allowed me to get to know every member of the company, which in turn cultivates a greater sense of community at work. I feel it’s important to form great working relationships, and the team at Vertic could not have made this any easier for me. In my first few weeks on the job, I was able to help with a website launch for a large global brand. Although this meant several late nights on what was my first month, I thoroughly enjoyed working on the project as I was able to dive right in and learn a tremendous amount in a short space of time. I received great reviews from my manager and team which was a great confidence boost, and reassured me that I am equipped and have a team keen to help me tackle the various challenges I will encounter throughout the year.

Besides the great team and interesting work, my office is located in arguably the best part of downtown Manhattan. Working in SoHo has exposed me to great shops, restaurants, bars and people! My office is also located on the highest floor of the building, which means I have the most amazing view of what is the most iconic skyline in the world. The view never gets old!

Having a mentor during my time in NY has also been invaluable. With his breadth of digital/agency experience, my mentor has given me some great tips, and I’m learning valuable business and life skills from hearing the lessons he has learned along the way – both successes and challenges – through his past experiences. Discussions with my mentor have also stretched my thinking, as he’s provided me with an outside perspective, as well as the benefit of his vision, which comes from his wider experience.

There have been numerous highlights so far both work related and socially. However, I’d definitely say winning a three-day trip to any destination in the Caribbean – from work – certainly tops the list! Living in the cultural capital of the world means that no two days are the same, and that I am constantly presented with new, exciting events and people. New York is truly a 24-hour city, where you can eat anything at any time, my favorite pastime. You don’t need to travel outside the boroughs to be exposed to a host of different cultures. It’s amazing living a city in which there is room for innovation and tradition to coexist, and I have very much enjoyed learning more about the rich history of the city, visiting museums, famous sights and landmarks.

I feel very fortunate to have a placement that matches my career goals and personal interests so well. Gaining work experience in a city renowned for producing fantastic marketing campaigns will hopefully give me a greater advantage when seeking roles in the future. Working abroad has also allowed me to build my network through attending social and professional events. If I could give one piece of advice to future GME trainees, I’d tell them to take advantage of every opportunity to meet new people, and go to as many events as they can – both social and career-related, and they can’t go wrong.