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2nd Column Lucette Voogsgeerd

‘What is it that you're looking for?’

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. You can find her second below, click here for her first column.

Column No.2: ‘What is it that you’re looking for?’
By Lucette Voogsgeerd / January 2016

There are many reasons why someone would decide to leave everything behind and start a new adventure, whether it’s temporarily or indefinite. Are you trying to run and hide? Are you looking for something you think might be better or more fulfilling? Do you want to get to know yourself better or is it just about being curious and feeling adventurous?

I got many questions about my reasons to leave the Netherlands, even if it would just be for 3 months this time. I guess people were wondering why I would leave a good and comfortable life in Amsterdam.. Actually, I’ve been thinking about this a lot myself, it’s good to try and understand what it is that keeps giving you this search for adventure? In my case I had amazing memories from my time in New York 7 years ago. I imagined things would be completely different this time but couldn’t really picture in what way I would experience NYC this time. But was very eager to find out. There were also practical reasons; my boyfriend is Italian and works as an expat in the Netherlands for an Italian multinational. There is a big chance we will move somewhere else in the world in the coming years, an intensive specialisation at NYU is something recognisable all over the world. Anyhow, back to the topic… a study, course or certificate to specialise in a certain field seemed to be an interesting thing to do. You force yourself to think about what you’re good at; what is it that you always wanted to do, what is your experience and could you use some extra knowledge on a specific topic?

In my case; I love to work with people, organise, build concepts, I’m creative, commercial, a problem solver and love to work hard. All things that worked really well for me in my job as a PR manager but that doesn’t mean I have to keep doing that the rest of my life without adding new knowledge or stop developing myself. digital marketing is a very hot topic for the past years, all sorts of companies see the importance of digital marketing. I personally chose to specialise in DM because I saw the lack of knowledge on the brand side, especially for luxury brands. In my personal experience, I saw that more mass brands sometimes have a better understanding on how to connect with the digital world than famous luxury brands, perhaps because they are afraid of their brand image and the fast communication that’s going on online. I see so many opportunities for luxury brands to improve and be more creative, that’s something that inspires me. At the same time, the basic principles of digital marketing is something very useful for everyone to have, especially when you have your own company or work for a small company.

I started taking five digital marketing classes at NYU in September. Before I left I was kind of afraid it wouldn’t be enough to fill my days so I also signed up for an Italian class, looked for companies I could help as a freelancer and took a subscription at Equinox (a gym) to finally start that healthy lifestyle everyone around me was already talking about for years. After the first few classes and doing my homework I kind of realised it was a pretty intense schedule I made for myself. The certificate should be obtained within 2 years which means you usually take one class at the time. Since I didn’t work and went to New York only for the certificate I thought it would be very doable to do all my five courses within 3 months. Well…. that turned out not to be as easy as expected ha ha! Anyhow, I paused my Italian classes for now and I focus fully on these five classes which is going very well and is a fun challenge! I am surprised how fanatic I get; after I got my first homework back and I got an ‘A’, I asked my teacher why I didn’t get an A+… ‘We don’t give A+ at NYU, an A is the highest grade you can get so you should be happy’. I can assure you I didn’t ask these kind of questions during my high school or studies but at the moment I want to get the highest grades possible. I guess that’s something that can change over the years.

I really didn’t know what to expect from my first class; we were in a NYU classroom with almost 30 women (apparently it’s mostly women taking these classes), most of us around 30 years old. A few days before my first class I told my parents on FaceTime I wasn’t really expecting to make new friends for life, I am blessed with many very good friends in my life and I wish I could spend more time with them so it wasn’t my main goal in NYC. And then… the first class started and we all introduced ourselves. There was a girl sitting next to me who I already spotted because I loved her coat and it turned out we were working in the same field and exchanged our phone numbers by the end of the class. Two days after we met for a coffee which ended up hours and lots of wine later and I thought she was amazing from the beginning. We’re spending a lot of time together; from homework to ice skating (or at least a try to ice skate!), Monday cocktails, lots of dancing, wedding planning (she is getting married in 2016 and it’s my BIG passion!), and spending too much time at the cosmetic departments from Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys to analyse our favourite products (we share a passion for cosmetics as well;-)). It’s something really special to me to share this time with a person I didn’t know 3 months ago but that I feel very connected with, I love how unexpected these things can happen!

So… studying again has definitely become a different experience to me; I’m very eager to get the highest grades, spend a lot of time on my homework but I am still not sitting in front of the class and I still like to chat and have fun during class (still a bit of the 16 year old me inside). Living alone again was very strange in the beginning because I’m so used to share my daily adventures, struggles and happy moments with my love. And now all of a sudden I see so many amazing things during the day but I can’t possibly share everything with the other side of the ocean constantly. However, this has also become something to me I really appreciate. If you can have fun all by yourself, go for a great lunch alone, entertain yourself and don’t care about walking with a big smile alone on the streets of New York, those are the experiences which are very valuable to me and I won’t forget the rest of my life. And what a great position I’m in? I know I’ll be coming back to a great guy after this time, we both appreciate our time together even more.

For now, I’ll just be enjoying my morning walks in the West Village, the Sunday brunches in Upper East Side, the unexpected parties in the middle of the week (so not used to that anymore!), my favourite pizza at Eataly, all the secret bars, the amazing sunsets, the crazy people walking around… And the fact I can wear my big black sunglasses even when it’s raining and still nobody cares… I LOVE it!

With love,

Lucette

Lucette is wearing:

Dress: Diane von Furstenberg
Biker jacket: Iro
Bag: Rose + Nine
Boots: Stuart Weitzman
Nails: OPI, Lincoln Park After Dark

This post is checked & updated : 2016
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