Kayla Green—Last week, I had the privilege of attending Brockport’s trip to New York City sponsored by the Alumni Association. To say this experience was beneficial is an understatement. I am still riding on the amazing time I had, even a week later. Let me start from the beginning!
In order to be eligible to attend this trip, I had to apply. I applied back in the spring semester and I found out in October that I had been accepted. This was only the second time they ran this trip, and I will admit that I applied last year but was not accepted. Looking back, I am so glad this happened. Why? This trip was so much more beneficial to me as a sophomore than it would have been as a freshman. I am closer to looking for jobs, I am currently looking for internships, and I am more acquainted with Brockport and my life as an adult than I was last year at this time. I would encourage anyone to apply, but don’t get down on yourself if you don’t get accepted right away- your time will come!
Just as a quick rundown, the trip lasted from Thursday – Saturday. We left around 8 a.m. on Thursday and returned on Saturday around 3:00 p.m. Our itinerary included arriving in the city around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, relaxing in the hotel, going to the alumni networking event from 6:00-9:00, then having free time in the city until 11:30. On Friday we were on our way to our first site visit by 8 a.m., second site visit by 11 , lunch around 12:30, third site visit at 1:30, SUNY Global Center visit around 5:00, then free time in the city until 11:30. Saturday morning we left the city by 8:00 a.m.
First, starting off with the alumni networking event. This event was held at the Tribeca Grill, a nice restaurant in the city, and there were around 20-30 Brockport alums there to talk with us. There were appetizers and drinks, and we were free to work the room and put our networking skills to use. I met a few amazing alumni, but one that really stood out to me was a 2014 graduate who had the same major as me. I talked with her and some of my friends who are also journalism majors, and we bonded over professors we knew, projects we completed, and just Brockport in general. With her having graduated so recently, there was so much we had in common and after talking to her I felt like I had known her for years. We exchanged cards and emails and I know I will be keeping in touch with her over the years. Making this connecting was very exciting, and I am glad to know that I have someone in the city who may be able to help me with an internship or job down the line.
This trip is beneficial for all majors, but the majors that will get the most out of it are communications, journalism and broadcasting, business, finance, and marketing. The reason I say this is because of the locations we visited. Included in the trip were 3 site visits to places where Brockport alumni currently work, these 3 places being the New York Stock Exchange, Fortune Footwear, and CNN. These places are apt to change each year, but they will likely stay mostly consistent. Although CNN benefited me the most being a journalism and broadcasting major, seeing the business side of both the stock exchange and Fortune were extremely interesting as well.
Because CNN was my favorite, I will go into most detail about that one. First off, I will say that I was absolutely mesmerized by the whole experience of being there. Joey Jackson, the alumni who works there and led us around, is everything I want to be in life. He was personable, successful, confident, and gave us such an inspiring talk. After Joey’s talk, he introduced 2 of his colleagues who are producers of a crime show at CNN. Both of them were also very inspiring, and they gave me a lot of motivation to keep going to get where I want to be. I exchanged cards with all 3 of them and also followed them on LinkedIn. After hearing from them, we went on the tour, AKA my favorite part. We first got to see one of the floors where the editing, writing, and researching takes place. Walking by people working on Adobe Premiere Pro (the software I currently edit with here at Brockport) was so exciting to me, and it really made me realize that I am well on my way to a real job doing what I love to do. Just a floor below us, they were shooting a live newscast, and although we were unable to go on that floor while this was going on, it was cool enough for me just knowing what was happening below me. We then went up to one of the studios, which was probably the most amazing part. I stood on the stage where the CNN anchors deliver news every day and I realized that I was where I am meant to be.
Exploring the city with my friends at night was an adventure I will never forget. Walking through Times Square, eating dinner and laughing all night, wandering around Central Park, and longingly staring at NBC studios in Rockefeller Center are just a few of the many highlights of our fun evenings in the city.
Although this trip was short, I know it will go down as one of my favorite experiences I had at Brockport. It was informative, eye-opening, fun, and one of the most beneficial things I have done. Walking through the streets of New York in my business clothes, I could really see myself there in a couple years, anchoring at CNN, editing video at the Today Show, or wherever it is that life will take me. There is really no way to know where I will end up, but I am so thankful to Brockport for this incredible opportunity to start looking toward my future and making valuable connections.
As many alumni stated at the networking event, “If you’re walking down the street and you run into a Brockport grad, an automatic level of trust is established, and an automatic connection is made.” I believe this to be true, and I can’t wait till I am an alumni who is able to help out students just like myself who called Brockport home for 4 years.