Friday, January 13, 2012

Let's hear it for New York

New York. IM OBSESSED. I’ve been waiting my whole life and I finally got the opportunity to go! The best part was that Ernst & Young (one of the big four accounting firms) paid for my trip! It was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. We listened to some of the most successful, inspiring people speak and I got to get a picture and talk with the CEO of EY. I was there for four days and I learned so much and fell in love with the city. 

My first day, I arrived in NY at the same time as this girl named Mariana. I met her at the airport and it was love at first sight. Haha but really, I got so lucky, shes a way cute girl and we had so much fun that week. That night, we went to Times Square and Rockefeller Center. 

Times Square!
Rockefeller Center 
Dinner at Carnegies.
Next day: The conference started at 2:30pm. So we had until then to EXPLORE NYC. We started early and you'll never guess how much we accomplished. Starting at 8:00am: Empire State Building, then Madison Square Garden, Penn Station, Down to the statue of Liberty, Across the ferry to Staten Island, then up to Wall Street and the 9/11 memorial, then to Soho, saw John Mayer's house, China Town, Little Italy, Grand Central Station, up to the MET, and walked back by central park to our hotel. ALL IN SIX HOURS. It was crazy and exciting, just like the city. We are pros at using the subway now.

Empire State Building!!
Wall Street 
Statue of Liberty!
9/11 Memorial 
China Town
Madison Square Garden! Justin Bieber performed here!
Pizza at Little Italy 
Soho! This is the building that John Mayer lives! 
Grand Central Station 
Steps of the MET, we sat on them just like Serena and Blair would :)

That day at the conference:
A bunch of people spoke with us but my favorite speaker was Jim Turley, the CEO of Ernst & Young. I think listening to such successful people is so interesting. They are so smart and talented at what they do. One of the things he said that really stood out to me was that a big part of being successful is just being able to connect with people. In the business world today, you not only have to be smart but you have to have social skills and know how to network. You could be the smartest person and have the highest GPA, but still not be successful because people can't connect with you.

Here he is!

That night we had a scavenger hunt! It was SO fun! The people at this conference were hilarious and all so nice! I didn't get any pictures because I didn't have my camera but basically we had to run all over Times Square looking for certain things and statues.  My group almost won....... almost.

Third day:  7am-9pm speakers and activities! It was amazing. I had two favorite speakers:
1. Dot, the Americas director,  talked with us about her career. I really enjoyed hearing from her because she is a mom with 3 grown children, yet she is very successful.
2. Ken Bouyer talked about how we can all do great things. He grew up in hard circumstances. When he finally got out, he got a summer job fueling airplanes. His job made him work that much harder at school because he realized that he didn't want to be fueling airplanes for the rest of his life. He talked about three things that really stood out to me.
a. You've got to be hungry. Don't be happy just being there. If you have big goals, you have to make them happen.
b. Average is your enemy. We are all unique and we shouldn't try to be like everyone else. Be bold. Bring new ideas to the table. He talked about being a peacock in a land of penguins. Let your colorful wings show, they are beautiful.
c. Your reputation and your brand is everything. Build it wisely. Once you have credibility, people will have your back because they know you are a hard worker and you've proved that you deserve to be there.

I really liked his talk because it reminded me of my father who has really shown me that we really are in charge of our future. You can come from the poorest, hardest, situation and because of your choices and decisions, you can make a better future for yourself. It's really cool because I'm at the point of my life where I am making some of the biggest decisions of my life. Things that will determine the rest of my life. It's pretty intimidating at times, but I really love it. I can do anything with my life, and I'm going to make it great.

Oh! And one last quote from Oscar Suarez: "You have to be able to inspire yourself first to be able to inspire others."

dinner at Carmines :) SO good.
After all of the amazing speakers, we had a two hour break before dinner. Mariana and I took the subway to Roosevelt Island where they were filming GOSSIP GIRL. We didn't get any pictures with them. And we hardly could see them but just to be in their presence was enough! That show is amazing. Chuck & Blair, Nate, Serena... Darota. I'm obsessed. SO. we went on our two hour break, and the film crew told us to come back by 10 pm because they would be done then and we would be able to catch them. Bad news, when we came back after the dinner, they ended early and had already finished filming. But we got to meet the film crew and we were both like crying because we were so excited. 
this is the hospital they were filming at! 
We at least got to talk with the film crew... 
My last day: Woke up super early, did my accounting homework for three hours and then walked around central park and got back just in time to make the 8:15am breakfast.
Central Park!

On our last day, we listened to more great speakers and then we all made skits. They were hilarious. I was laughing so hard. It's really amazing to see everyone's creativity. 
My final group :) 
The conference was amazing. Amazing people, Amazing place, and what an amazing company! And what a winter break! From as far west and south as I could go in the US, to North West, to just about as East and North in the US, back to my home in the middle. And on top of all of that travelling, I moved from Lanai to Alpine Village. It's been busy. But it's great to be back, and I love being able to have my best friends as my roommates. We're heading down to Zion for the weekend! :) Happy Martin Lurther King Jr Day!