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Hey, I'm Sydney. I'm a 22 year old art director hailing from Birmingham, Alabama with a weird knack for cheap flights. I'm on a mission to travel deeper not wider. Join me on my adventures!


Nue York

Nue York

Creativity is magic. Truly, I believe it is. 

And not just because it can transform your mind (because it can, p.s.). Nah. Creativity is magic because it possesses the capacity to change your entire interaction with your world-- if you’ll just unleash it. 

For 7 days, I’ve let my creativity play without bounds. For 7 whole days, my abounding soul has filled every crevasse of the city and has been caressed by every little beautiful thing in its path. I feel so whole- like my soul is brimming at the top, and as if with any sharp movement, some of this creativity might spill from my very being.

Oh, what great happiness has filled this week.

Because this week has been more of a business trip than a vacation, I don’t really have anything super interesting travel-wise to share. The majority of my days consisted of back to back to back agency tours with breaks for food in between. 

On Sunday, we attended the One Show Young Ones kick off party. There was an open bar (I love the advertising field) and plenty of opportunities for us to mingle. Because we had been working non-stop on pitch, I hadn’t eaten most of the day. Thankfully, the venue for the Young Ones party was in a room above the Chelsea Market food hall.

 Chelsea Market- one of the many food stalls

Chelsea Market- one of the many food stalls

 Around 6pm and after a few beers, I made my way to the downstairs of the food hall with one of my best friends and One Show partner, Britt. We hurriedly scoped out the food scene and decided on different food stalls. I ordered a vegan duck noodle bowl, while Britt opted for a Japanese inspired taco. I must say, the vegan duck noodle bowl was easily the most delicious meal I consumed in NYC. 

The rest of Sunday was spent rewriting our pitch (yikes- yes, we really did re-write our entire script and redo our slideshow less than 24 hours before). I am truly concerned that I’m making a habit out of redoing things last minute. I did the exact same thing in Tampa during my advertising competition at 22squared. Now that I think about it, we won honorable mention for that, too. Maybe I’m catching on to a trend here…

On Monday, my Flight Plan team and I competed in the Client Pitch competition, which we placed honorable mention in. As I said earlier, we spent the previous two days preparing our pitch and learning our parts. Who would have thought that practicing that speech of sorts could be so time consuming. 

 a super por quality pic of our "stage". We're famous, Mom!

a super por quality pic of our "stage". We're famous, Mom!

Monday morning was a war with my nerves. I was finally able to calm down around 10am, and only because my group and I found ourselves in the most ridiculous situation.

Our professors led Britt, Brett, Ryan and I (my One Show team) to the Highline to practice our pitch. The Highline is the neatest area- it’s a repurposed outdoor subway line that has been turned into a modern, lush walkway. About 2 minutes into our hunt for the perfect spot to practice on the Highline, we stumbled upon a stage. No joke, like we literally just came upon a stage. It was either magic or devine intervention, I swear.

Originally, we thought we had just lucked out to have found somewhere where we could just practice being on stage with our professors sitting in the benches in front of us. About 2 minutes into our group practice, we quickly realized that the hoards of people passing us by on the highland didn’t realize we had just stumbled upon the stage. No, no. These poor people legitimately thought they had just stumbled upon a live rehearsal for a show. We were all dressed pretty nice, we had our "audience" of professors, and our stage had a sign behind it that titled our production “The Delicious Show”. So yeah, these poor people thought they were lucky and we were famous.

The whole practice session was hilarious. Tourists walking on the Highline would whip their cameras out and gape over us. “This is the filming for the new ‘Delicious Show’!!” we would hear them whisper, as though they had heard of the show and knew exactly who we were. We would smile for the tourists who blatantly photographed us and smirk for the ones who pretended to be interested in the city view only to turn their cameras on us at the last second. Hell, we hammed it up. We were too amused to blow our cover.

Unsurprisingly, our makeshift hour of fame was the best practice I got for the actual client pitch. 

 My team! Brett, Ryan, me and Britt

My team! Brett, Ryan, me and Britt

Client pitch begun at 12:00 and my team was chosen to go first. The client pitch judges were representatives from the companies who sponsored the pitch: the United Nations, TOMS shoes, and Partners Global. It was so nerve wracking standing in front of organizations I admired so much. Overall, I was extremely proud of our team’s performance and success. Heck, I was just proud that we were chosen to do pitch on top of winning a pencil. 

Immediately following Client Pitch was an hour and a half session of portfolio reviews. That’s basically a time where recruiters from top agencies meet with students and review their books. A “book” is a fancy way of saying our collection of our best advertising campaigns that we’ve worked on. If you’re interested in mine, you can do that here. I was extremely pleased with the way Portfolio reviews went. I got great advice and feedback, and I truly believe I made meaningful contacts.

 I was having a portfolio review with an Agency called MILK here. Thanks for the photo, One Show!

I was having a portfolio review with an Agency called MILK here. Thanks for the photo, One Show!

There was about a two hour window in between portfolio reviews and the One Show Young Ones award ceremony. I was exhausted, but knowing that my parents were flying into NYC for my award show kept me awake and excited. My parents make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Truly, I would not be half the person I am without them. They are my support system and source of encouragement everyday. To have them there to support me was a dream.

 My One Show team in times square!

My One Show team in times square!

The awards ceremony was preceded by yet another open bar (#blessed). I introduced my parents to my professors and friends and had a blast mingling. During this time, I was approached by some of the judges of Client Pitch who gave me their business cards and told me to be in touch (the President of one of the organizations include… EEK).

 

During the actual awards, our category was hosted by an industry professional who gave us the most flattering introduction. We were awarded a bronze pencil by the One Show in the experiential category for Flight Plan. We were actually the highest placing team in the category, as no other team was awarded a gold or silver, nor another bronze. 

 These are the pencils! EEk!

These are the pencils! EEk!

The experience was truly like no other, and I am humbled beyond belief. It doesn’t feel real. We won a pencil!!! AH!

 We got to walk the red carpet like true celebrities!

We got to walk the red carpet like true celebrities!

In between Tuesday and Friday, I did a whole bunch of industry stuff. I toured agency after agency. I listened to the most creative of Art Directors and Copywriters and experienced a surge of creative energy unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I have never been more certain that I’ve found the right career for me.

On Friday night, we attended The One Show. This is the Advertising Industry’s equivalent to the Oscars or Academy Awards. I must admit, the party that was thrown on Wall Street that night was unlike anything I will experience again. I had the thrill of walking a red carpet and networking with industry professionals. There was another open bar (Did I mention I love open bars?). We watched the agencies of my dreams accept awards for the advertisements that haunt me on the daily because of their creative genius. The whole experience was something I cannot wait to do again. I have literally begun the countdown until I go again next year.

 The Cipriani on Wall street was the nicest venue of my life...

The Cipriani on Wall street was the nicest venue of my life...

Needless to say, I’ve got New York on my mind. 

Salam from Egypt

Salam from Egypt

Perspective

Perspective