Congratulations! You’re a fully-fledged GME’er. You submitted your application form, nailed the interviews and are now on your way to the Big Apple. Here are my top five tips for how to make the most of the city that never sleeps.
1. Make an effort to meet new people right away
You’ll undoubtedly meet awesome people through your GME work placement, and you might already have a few friends in the city, but don’t let that stop you from meeting new people. NYC is full of interesting and creative individuals who love to meet like-minded and interesting people. Just put yourself out there. Join meetup groups, volunteer, go to networking events, join a team sport or even just head to a bar and strike up a conversation with a local!
2. It’s ok to be naïve
Whether simply exploring the city, and even when you’re at work, you’re not expected to be a know it all. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to find out why your company does things the way they do; it may even lead you to offer recommendations on how things could be done better and more efficiently. You can apply the same mentality when exploring the city. It’s easy to turn to blogs or Yelp for recommendations of what to do, but talking to a local and finding out places from the those who’ve lived in the city a long time is even better. I find it fascinating talking to locals about the different neighborhoods in New York and how they’ve changed over the years.
3. New York is bigger than Manhattan
Yes, when you think of New York you think of Manhattan – but I promise you there’s more to the city than the towering skyscrapers and Central Park. New York is incredibly diverse and rich in culture, and much of it is concentrated in its outer boroughs. For example the ‘real’ little Italy is in the Bronx, Queens has more languages spoken than anywhere in the world and Brooklyn is a mecca for ‘avocado on toast’-loving hipsters.
4. Find mentors
One of the most fantastic things about the GME program is that you’re provided with an industry mentor outside of your company, someone who’s invaluable in providing you with guidance, industry expertise and marketing knowledge. Not only should you utilize the wealth of experience your GME mentor has to offer you, but also, don’t hesitate to look for mentors within your company. If there’s someone at the you deeply admire, invite that person out to lunch or coffee, pick their brains, and let the relationship bloom from there.
5. Have fun
The move to a big city like New York can be daunting and at times you may feel a little lost…but that’s all part of the experience. Strike up a conversation with a local, visit the many museums and galleries, stuff yourself with $1 pizzas, go hiking upstate, venture out of the state and…(on weekends) stay out till 4am…and beyond (they call it the city that never sleeps for a reason!). After the work is done, you’re here to have fun.