By: Erika R. Patten | College of Business Marketing Student
Travel & Live
"Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind." --Anthony Bourdain
Making My Dreams Come True
One summer, one city, one chance to make my dream come true. I spent the summer in New York City working for Home Box Office (HBO). All of the movies can prepare you for what New York is like, but actually living among all of the different types of people draws the most unique form of energy. This energy turns the city into a living, breathing organism with the desire and drive to become the very best that you can become.
Every story has a beginning, but my beginning started at the end. After my sophomore year of college, I could no longer define myself as an athlete. All that I had known was now just a memory. Little did I know this would become the greatest blessing in my life. I was in a rut, but I had received a clean slate so I decided to make myself a promise. I promised myself that I would put the energy I had in my sport, and apply it to following my big city dreams pursuing a career in live entertainment marketing.
An Interview Away From a Dream --> Reality
When you catch the bug to turn your dreams into your reality, your life becomes a train, you start taking any job you can, just for the experience. Leading into my junior year, I had experience working in sports marketing, radio, graphic design, and had recently become the manager of the swim team. Working four jobs, balancing a full schedule, and being involved in clubs was manageable, but then I got the email. An academic advisor sent me an email suggesting that I apply for a position with HBO. I simply replied back, “Is this the real HBO?” The answer was almost immediate, and it was one simple word that changed my life, “Yes”. So I did what I do best and put together a resume and cover letter to submit. The next thing I knew, my phone was ringing with back-to-back interviews, and a plane ticket to North Carolina. I had become an HBO Campus Agent at Wyoming. During training, there was an announcement that HBO had opened the summer program in New York City for anyone in the United States. Again, the pattern continued, I filled out the application and sent in my resume. Before I knew it, the phone call came in, “When can you move to New York?”
New York City
Living in New York was like living in a whole other world. It is an incredible city, where you are surrounded by some of the best and brightest minds in the world, but it also exposes you to the human condition. You see things that you would never wish upon people, things that break your heart, yet in these things come some of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced. I knew nobody in New York City, so I had to rely on myself, my faith, and my will to turn my dreams into my reality. My journey to New York opened my eyes to independence and to adventure. I have seen the entire island of Manhattan, I have danced with free-spirits in Central Park, and I have watched the sun rise over One World Trade.
I can talk about these experiences and memories for hours on end, but I think the thing that New York taught me was that life truly begins just out of your comfort zone. New experiences have a way of taking everything you thought to be true, shaking it all out and you must figure out how to piece it back together to make your life, your reality. You discover where you root your morals and you begin to realize that life is what you make it. As you begin the journey of turning your dreams into plans, life will feel like a runaway train, but there is only one thing to do when this happens. Hold on tight and embrace every experience you can, while you can.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the College of Business for letting me write about my experience. I would also like to thank my family and friends who would answer their phones this summer no matter what time it was. And lastly, I want to leave you with one last little piece of advice: If you have a crazy dream, chase it. Nobody but you can stop yourself. If that means moving halfway across the country, then do it. It will change your perspective on life and it will leave marks on your soul.
As for me, upon returning to Wyoming, I have landed my dream job at Cheyenne Frontier Days and will continue in the position after graduation. Take the risk and chase the dream, I am living proof that your dreams can in fact become your reality.
If you have any further questions or just insights please comment below.