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1st Column Lucette Voogsgeerd

1st column: 'Starting a NYC adventure… one more time'

My dear friend Lucette Voogsgeerd (Dutch, 1987) decided to quit her exciting job as a Senior PR manager in Amsterdam to move back to her favorite city in the world: New York. Lucette and I became very close friends after we met each other in New York in 2009. I am really glad to have her as a friend, she’s such a strong, ambitious and intelligent woman. She always goes after the things she wants in life, that inspires me a lot and hopefully you too, because she will write 3 columns for The Newton about her exciting life and adventures in the city that never sleeps. Find out in her first column below why she decided to follow her dreams!

Column No.1: ‘Starting a NYC adventure… one more time!’
By Lucette Voogsgeerd / November 2015

Writing a column while living in NYC sounds very SATC, at least.. to me it does. Actually thinking about a topic and put yourself behind your laptop to start writing is harder than you think, believe me. But there comes the easy part… there is no specific experience or adventure necessary if you live in NYC, all the cliches are true. New York has it all!

So here I am, writing this column from The Palace Hotel in Midtown New York. Yes, I have also watched too much Gossip Girl, so this place kind of made sense. Let me tell you a bit more about myself, and how and why I am back in New York for 3 months. When Frances and I met seven years ago, we were both new to the city. I moved here in 2008, because of my internships for fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) and fashion label alice + olivia while I studied at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI). Frances and I quickly got to know each other. For about a year, I like to believe I was living my perfect NYC life (or bubble) for a 21 year-old; that included lots of dancing, lots of champagne and many broken high heels, because of Meatpacking District’s impossible cobblestones streets.

Arriving in NYC 7 years ago was a real shocker; I was ready to work day and night, learn a lot and get ready for my career. Reality was that in my first week at DVF I was put in the basement to count every hanger in the building. In my second week I got promoted to keep the kitchen clean and make sure everyone got their Pumpkin Spice Latte (with an extra splash of non-fat vanilla and a double shot of espresso) right on time. It was tough and I actually didn’t love it that much; the turnaround came when I offered to babysit (emergency; the nanny was sick!) for one of the VP’s. She was happy and since then I got invited to all important meetings, VIP appointments and got my own cool projects. Sometimes all you need is to help someone out and it all turns out for the best. Both my experiences at DvF and alice + olivia stimulated my strong will for working hard and getting things done.

After New York, I moved to Paris to study French at Université Sorbonne for 7 months, I really wasn’t ready to come back to Amsterdam yet. It was an amazing experience full of interesting people, opportunities and of course living a beautiful Parisian life, no city as beautiful as La Ville Lumière.

In 2010 the time was right to move back to Amsterdam and I started working for jewelry brand Soho Hearts and afterwards at Tommy Hilfiger’s European HQ. Both brands with a strong connection to NYC, I think it always made me feel like an opening for coming back to the city at some point. As it turned out, both companies were not what I was looking for at that time in my life and on a Saturday morning in 2012 I got a text from a friend who asked me if I would be interested in working for a PR agency called Mooi PR.

I’ve worked at Mooi PR for 3,5 years and had so much fun, learned so much and met wonderful people. I was responsible for the online and offline PR of several accounts such as OMEGA, Swarovski, Hunkemoller, OPI, Smashbox and Filorga; all within the fashion and beauty industry. While having a great job, the idea of coming back to NYC again was still in my mind and I can never get rid of things that are in my mind for a long time; I have to try them. About a year ago, Frances just got back from New York again and we were talking about our memories over dinner. It occurred to me: what if I quit my full-time job (and I knew there were many girls wanting my job, so kinda risky!), leave my boyfriend having the house to himself and start a NYC adventure, one more time.

There were so many thoughts going through my mind; will I find something as good as this? Or even better? What do I want in a few months? Is this a good thing to do while being in a serious relationship? And then come the practical things; how much should I have saved? Will this be enough? Do I need a visa again? Where will I live? I can keep going for hours, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I am in my late twenties, living together with my boyfriend (very happily, so no reason to escape there!) but it was still pretty simple to leave the life I was living. Who knows what your life looks like in a few years?

During my years working in PR I have seen so many changes; the job changed completely in a few years. Digital developments are so important and that has its effect on managing your public relations as well. I decided on specializing more on this topic and started my search for the perfect course in NYC in Digital Marketing. I ended up finding a Digital Marketing Professional Certificate at NYU (New York University). For this program you take five courses and according to your grades, you can obtain the certificate.
There wasn’t really one moment which made me decide to actually go for it and follow the feelings I had; I think it was a process where a certain desire became a goal and to reach your goal you need to make a plan. During the summer (2015) I quit my job (with shaky hands!) and I slowly started to tell more people; everyone’s reaction was so positive and it actually became clear there are so many people with a similar idea in mind that it made me even more happy to realize I was about to really start my new adventure.

I can tell; it costs a lot of energy and time to make the decision and organize everything, but the moment you take the step, the word is out and you’re drinking a fantastic cocktail; the adventure and your personal challenge really starts! I remember a few nights before my departure I got an adrenalin rush while packing my suitcases. I was thinking which outfits to wear to the great cocktail bar I heard so much about, or a Sunday brunch Upper East Side style, or if I had to pack my glitter dresses which haven’t seen daylight since years… so i turned up the music, had a glass of red wine and had a ‘packing party’ by myself. I loved it!

The moment of arriving in NYC and slowly seeing the Manhattan skyline, while taking a cab into town, it all became very real. Waking up the next morning and going for a walk in Central Park and writing down my to do/eat/drink/dance/see list made me realize I have to enjoy and be thankful for every New York Minute I get.

I will tell you all about my experience of studying, living alone and my life in NYC in the next 2 columns. Things I have all done before, but are so new to me again at this stage of my life.

With love,

Lucette

Ps. Thinking about doing something similar? Contact me via l.voogsgeerd@the-newton.com and I’d love to talk about it over coffee.


Lucette is wearing:
Jacket by Filippa K
Top by Maje
Leather pants by Tommy Hilfiger
Necklace by Zara
Handbag by Van der Borne

This post is checked & updated : 2016
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