Travel Diary: New York

New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of…

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had fascinations with things in life that seemed untouchable.

At age 3, that untouchable thing was probably cookies in the cookie jar, or a slice of lemon cake that I had to wait until after dinner to eat.

At age 5, that untouchable thing became my mom’s makeup that I would get into when no one was watching.

At age 8, it became every Disney Channel star you can remember, from Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay was my girl!!) to Demi Lovato (I cut bangs in my hair to look like her and regretted it immediately). Somewhere in that time frame, I also became very fascinated with big cities. I would often romanticize what it would be like to be a fabulous city girl, running around in my Christian Louboutin’s with a coffee in hand, and a Chanel bag swinging in the wind as I raced from one important meeting to the next. I remember watching Kimora Lee Simmons Life in the Fab Lane (yes, I was an extra child) and thinking, “I want to be HER.”

During that time in my life, my dream was to live in New York, become a fashion designer, and be a fierce, doesn’t-take-no-for-an-answer business woman. I created a list in my head of the steps I needed to take in order to achieve my dream of becoming Kimora 2.0, with step one being to get to New York. might have taken me 12 years to accomplish, but my 8-year-old self can finally check step one off the list, albeit I went about it in completely different way than I had previously imagined.

Much to my surprise, my first visit to New York was not for Fashion Week, although that is still a dream of mine, or for vacation. I was given the opportunity to go to New York, with my business program, and visit companies on Wall Street. My eight-year-old self would be crushed if she knew that she would never get a degree in fashion design, but instead end up pursuing a career all about numbers. However, that is another story for another post lol.

All jokes aside, I had the most amazing week of my life on Wall Street. I learned so much about the finance sector, investment banking, private equity, and how accounting is vital in each of those areas. In five days, we met with 13 companies ranging from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan to Deloitte Touche. We even had the opportunity to be on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange! The best part about the trip was meeting all of the alumni from my college who have found their way to New York. They were all so kind, open, and willing to be a resource for me as a young professional, and I enjoyed networking with them. My Wall Street trip was an eye-opening experience, and I am blessed to say that I participated in such an amazing program.

For all of you who have never been to New York, I’ll let you in on five things that I learned while being in the city:

  1. The energy of the city makes you feel as though you can accomplish anything – if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

  2. NY is a city filled with peculiar smells – but don’t worry, after a few days you will become desensitized to it.

  3. The opportunities here are endless – there is always an opportunity to network with someone who has gotten to where you want to be.

  4. NY is magical at night – it’s almost as if you’re in a movie.

  5. I will absolutely be back – don’t miss me too much, my love!

Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York!