Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…

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New York was amazing!

I returned from my fall break trip to New York with a heavy heart. It has only been a few months since I had left my hometown of Penang, and being a city boy, I loved every bit of New York City; the traffic, the buildings, the noise and even the rude people.

Yes I realized that I am a city boy after all. Even though it may be more stressful, I somehow like being in the fray.

It was a really short trip. We (a group of 25 international students) managed to cover quite a few sites in our brief visit to the Big Apple. We saw the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ground Zero and the Empire State Building… all in one day.

It was my second trip to the city that never sleeps. I was pretty indifferent when the bus approached Manhattan. But what I loved about arriving at New York City was watching the reactions of my peers who were about to visit arguably the most famous city in the world for the first time. Some were ecstatic, others speechless and one started playing Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” from her iPhone. Priceless.

The one thing that really caught my attention this time around was the diversity of NYC. Everywhere I went, I heard different languages being spoken by different people. Even in Chinatown, where one would assume the common language to be Mandarin Chinese, I heard at least five different dialects of Chinese. All of which I have never heard of. That is strange for me…because I know three dialects. It is amazing how these people come from all over the world to make a living and could all coexist in one big city. Not to be stereotypical, but I also noticed a pattern in how certain groups of people have certain jobs; especially in the Times Square area. I will not, however, specify the groups and match them to the particular jobs that I’ve taken notice of.

I felt pretty sad when we left New York. But I made a promise to myself that one day I will return to New York. It wouldn’t even matter what the reason is for my return. In the meantime, it is back to Alliance for me, but hey, Alliance is a nice place too.

Till next time, New York.

Goodbye. Adiós. 再见. Selamat Tinggal.

Off to Nueva York!

Off to Nueva York!

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There’s just something about New York that really draws me to it.

I’ve been to New York before. A short trip before I came to Mount Union. I figured, since I was going to transit at JFK International Airport, I might as well spend a few days at the Big Apple.

Don’t get me wrong, Alliance is pretty cool. Alliance is laid back and quiet; peaceful if I may say so myself. There’s just something about New York City that I really love. I mean, who doesn’t love New York, right?

Maybe it’s the skyscrapers. Maybe it’s just how modern the entire city is.

Every fall break, the Center for Global Education at Mount Union plans a trip to the city that never sleeps for the international students of Mount Union. This year is no different.

I have never been on one of these trips myself. Since coming to America, most of my trips to famous American cities were by myself. I enjoyed travelling by myself. I control everything.

I do realize that travelling with a big group of friends could be fun as well. That’s why this time around, I took up the offer as soon as I heard about it. So yes, New York, here I come!

This trip, I plan to cover as many landmarks as I can. Armed with my ever faithful Nikon, my goal for Fall break is to take about 500 (yes, 500) pictures. It shouldn’t be too hard, I’ve once taken 2,000 pictures when I went to Xi’an, China for a week. New York should be a lot easier.

This can only mean that my upcoming blog post(s) will feature pictures from my New York trip. Hopefully, I can capture the moments instead of just the scenery. I prefer moments. They mean so much more than just plain pictures.

The buildings. The traffic. The fast-paced lifestyle. So New York.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m just meant to be a big city boy after all.

Our field trip to NYC

Our field trip to NYC

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Last Wednesday, I took a trip with some of my fellow sport  business students to New York City for a long, but exciting day.

Aside from being able to take in all of the amazingness NYC has to offer, we were all able to learn from professionals about how to become successful.

If you are about to stop reading this because you’re not a sport business major — don’t. The advice and expertise gained on this trip can apply for any student, any major or anyone who just wants to hear some good tips.

After landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York, we hopped in some cabs and headed over to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. We were greeted by Katie Mahon, the director of ticket sales. She took us on a tour around the ballpark where she explained some of the field’s high selling points. During our tour, we noticed that every TV in the park had “NY Mets welcome Mount Union students” on their screens. Talk about a warm welcome! Mahon wrapped up our tour and took us to one of the park’s suites where there was a beautiful breakfast waiting for us including fresh fruit, bagels, pastries and, of course, a lot of coffee.

It was in the suite that we met with Leigh Castrogine, the vice president of ticket sales and services. Castrogine and Mahon had some other employees from their departments there to give us advice on how they all got to be where they are today.

While Mount Union is always pounding the importance of internships and experience into our heads, it is always nice to hear it coming from professionals in the businesses we would like to get in. They could not stress enough that it was so important to fill our resumes with experience. Coming in at a close second, the Mets preach that networking is a huge factor to being successful. This goes along with the cliche; it is all about who you know.

Some other advice the Mets gave us was the importance of learning. They said to read books, talk to people and find out how other industries work. No matter what your career path, you can learn from other industries.

The speakers we heard from at Citi Field were all about passion. They said that once you lose your inner passion, you are on the wrong track. You have to work hard and prove yourself all while finding and following your passion. These are all very important tips on how to make yourself stand out.

“If you want something, no one is going to just give it to you,” said Castrogine. “You’ve got to ask for it.”

After our meeting with the Mets, we got in the car and went straight to Madison Square Garden(MSG) where we met with Adam Campbell, the director of inside sales and season subscriptions.

Campbell gave us an inside tour of MSG including the new renovations of the arena, the fabulous suites and, yes, the seats that are courtside.

It was no surprise that Campbell discussed the important of internships. He believes, however, that the purpose of an internship isn’t to find what you want to do, it is to eliminate what you don’t want to do.

He believes also that the willingness to learn complements a hard worker.

“Treat your internship as an X-month long internship,” said Campbell. “Always have your game-face on.”

Campbell talked next about what to look for in a job and in an employer.

“No matter what job you take, make sure you work for good people, people who care about you and your success.”

Campbell’s opinions on networking went hand in hand with the Mets’ views, however he contradicted one part.

“It is not about who you know,” Campbell stated. “It is about who knows you.”

When we were finished up at Madison Square Garden, we had about an hour to kill before we had to be at the National Hockey League (NHL) offices. This meant we had a short amount of time to wander around Times Square. We all went our separate ways to get some shopping and eating done. My group and I found a cute little pizza shop down the street from the heart of Times Square and we all picked up some delicious slices of pizza. We got it to go, however, because we wanted to make sure to eat our lunch on the bleachers in Times Square. Gotta get the whole NY experience, right?

The hour seemed to fly by and before we knew it we had to get to the NHL offices.

We were introduced to Nicole Allison from the Club Consulting and Services Department. She brought in Kelly Patterson, the manager of consumer products and retail, and Scott Jablonski, the director of club and financial reporting to help teach us more about the NHL.

They explained to us the differences of working for an actual team versus working for a whole league. In a job like this, they said, you have to look at it as any other business; it has the same functions as a business that has nothing to do with sports.

They taught us what kinds of fans the league has compared to other leagues and how they use these facts to be successful. This was all pretty cool because you never really realize or pay attention to the business side of sports. Especially in a league, you can’t pick a favorite team because you have to be fair to all and your job gets difficult because you can’t control the outcome of the games.

Of course, they all had advice for us on how to be successful. Jablonski was a big supporter in being a hard worker right from the get go. ”The biggest question you can ask yourself is, ‘What can you do on day one?’”

He also was a firm believer in the networking aspect.

“Everyone knows somebody,” Jablonski stated. “Everyone started out at the bottom and worked their way to the top.”

After the NHL offices, we had another hour or so to walk around Rockefeller Center and enjoy the scenery. That time went quickly once again and soon we were on the subway on our way to the Bronx to visit Yankee Stadium.

We were greeted nicely by Dan Rosenthal, the manager of inside sales for the Yankees. He took us on a great tour of the stadium. We were able to see the amazing suites, the awesome VIP areas and all of the history throughout the ballpark.

Rosenthal had nothing but great advice to give us. He, too, was a firm believer in networking.

“Build relationships and connections with people,” he said.

He knows that it is important to know your limits and what will make you successful.

“Put yourself in the best position to succeed,” Rosenthal said. “Go to a culture and place where you can grow your career.”

To have such an important role in such a great organization like the Yankees, Rosenthal has to know what it takes to land a job  like that. He told us the five things that he thinks makes a god worker.

First, you must have a tremendous work ethic. Second, you must be passionate about your craft. Next, you must be open to learning and be obsessed with wanting to get better. You must also have a positive attitude that is contagious. Lastly, you must be a leader by example — be someone who does something little that leads to something big.