Learning So Much (But Not At College)

Ever since I moved to New York City to pursue my hopes and dreams, a lot of them have actually been coming true. In fact, the things that I thought I wouldn't be able to experience until after I had gone through years of school are happening within my first months of moving to the city. I think the most important thing to keep in mind when chasing after a dream is to work hard and never give up. Optimism is also beyond rewarding. One of the first things that I do when I meet someone is ask them what their dream job is, because I want them to think about it and then I want to know what they are doing to head in that direction. I don't think that any dream is too big or far-fetched to reach.

Also, the direction that I saw myself going in life is changing. The one thing that I am learning more and more about every day is myself. Photography is something that I have been passionate about for years now, but the more that I witness and see in the world makes me find new loves and passions. I do not think that is such a bad thing either. The reason that moving away from home was so important to me, was so that I could get away and figure out what I am supposed to spend the rest of my life doing. Of course I will always be making art and making photographs, but maybe there is something else out there that I could be even better at, or have more fun doing.

I have classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and I decided to not waste those four days that I am free every weekend. I started emailing people from every end of the spectrum, from photographers to magazine editors. I actually got tons of emails back from people looking for interns, but there was one of them that stood out from the rest. I took an internship at Condé Nast International, and loving every second of it.

Condé Nast is the publishing company that owns the most influential magazines in the media industry. They own Vogue, W, Vanity Fair, Details, Glamour, GQ, The New Yorker, and so many more of the top magazines in the world. Currently I am an International Fashion Intern in their international offices on Third Avenue. Since I started working there about a month ago, I have helped on shoots for GQ Russia, Vogue Japan, and Vogue Italia. I have met some of the coolest photographers in the world, and helped dress some of the top male and female models from around the globe. My boss is also one of the coolest, most laidback people I know. Among the millions of other things that I have learned from him since getting the internship is how fun life can be. His energy is so laidback and he makes everyone feel comfortable. That is probably how he got so far in the industry at such a young age. Working for someone that you respect but also feel relaxed around is such a blessing. I cannot say that you would be able to be picky about who your boss is, but it makes so much of a difference when they are as cool as my boss is.

Success in this industry is all about the people you and the contacts that you make. That is why every person that you meet is so consequential. There are so many talented, fun, and interesting people in this city. The fact that I get to meet them and learn more about where they came from and where they are going is so extraordinary.

New York City has been casually called the "city of dreams," but maybe that title is more accurate than people imagine. For me, this is the place to come and make the things happen that you are passionate about doing. This is the place that I have been able to take the things that I have always wanted to do, and make them a reality. Maybe I could have done it anywhere, but the opportunities here made it accessible immediately. The things that you are passionate about are most likely different than the things that I am. Go where you need to go for your specific aspirations. No matter what people say, or how far out of your comfort zone it may be, you are the one that has to pave your path to your life. Another thing that you have be willing to accept is that it's not your school's fault if you aren't learning everything that you thought you would be learning. It is up to you to give yourself an education, even if it doesn't come from "school."

One of my favorite quotes is from Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. He once said, "Seize this very minute; What you can do or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." The sheer fact of you believing in yourself, and actually making the moves necessary to achieve your aspirations, can take you a long way. Actually, it can take you all the way.