Dec 10, 2010

DAAP Student Co-ops at Christie's and Lippincott in NYC

How did you decide to co-op in NYC?
My fourth grade teacher ignited my passion for NYC and the summer after my fourth grade year, I actually went to the city for the first time and had an amazing experience. When it came time to my first co-op, I applied to Christie’s and really wanted to work there because my dad worked there while I was in middle school. I was excited to find out I got the co-op at Christies and couldn’t believe I would be spending a whole 3 months in NYC working in Rockefeller Center. On my first day I was overwhelmed walking by the Today Show and I couldn’t stop thinking “I’m only 19 and I’m doing this!”

Where was your co-op/internship located?
I co-oped 3 times in New York – twice for Christie’s and once for Lippincott.

How did the move to NYC go? Did anyone help show you the ropes in NYC?

I had been to NYC many times with my family prior to my co-op so I knew how to take a subway and knew how to get around. The first time I co-oped I lived in Brooklyn and had to get used to the morning commute of 50 minutes on the train – I ended up reading lots of books and listening to music.

Every day after work I couldn’t help but look up and pay attention to the millions of things that New Yorkers had already forgotten. After work I would go on some sort of mini adventure that brought extra life to my co-op. Every Monday morning we would have progress meetings and my Creative Director encouraged me to share what I had been doing in the city. It was neat to see the people in the office see the city in a different way as I shared what I had been doing and how I was falling in love with NYC.

What was your favorite mini adventure in NYC?

I went to the Pierre just for fun. I just wanted to hang out and see what it was all about. I went in there and I was really looking around and admiring the spectacle of it all. The workers started whispering to each other and I started to wonder if I was doing something wrong. Well come to find out, they thought I was a spy from the Waldorf because I was looking so intently at everything. They felt bad about the situation and sat me down. I ended up establishing a relationship with the people that worked at the Pierre. Every once in a while I would go to the lounge and a worker would take my umbrella or bag and put them away and another worker would come and bring me olives, nuts and a 7-up. They would tell me stories about the history of the Pierre. They saw me as a genuine person and not someone that would make them serve them, but the still made me feel like royalty.

Can you explain your experience co-oping/interning in NYC? What types of projects did you complete at your co-op?

There was a catalog project that I did with Christies looking at cross marketing between the post war contemporary and English furniture. I got to work directly with the creative director, the specialist, and with the London office. They ended up doing the same thing we did in London. I also worked on a project with one of the creative directors in Hong Kong. Working with another language and thinking about how the meanings of colors differ in other cultures, was really interesting and forced me to think globally.

At Lippincott, I was thrown into the mix and I got to work on some really big name clients and logos. Their office is on 59th and Park so still being in the heart of the city and all of the action. I got many opportunities. It wasn’t just making copies and cutting out boards, I was right there with all of the designers working to create functional art.

Then through Christie’s I was talking to my creative director and I was saying I was interested in looking more at Swiss design because DAAP is Swiss based. I could fit a quarter in of going to school in Basil. My creative director said, “Oh, well I’m from Basil and I grew up in Basil. I have a ton of people I know in Basil.” He shared with me some friends of his that also went to school for design that are still in Switzerland. I interviewed with one of them and ended up co-oping the next two quarters in Switzerland. Co-op gives you great networking opportunities to make connections and use them to work and think globally.

What did you walk away from the experience with? Can you compare yourself before and after the experience?

During the first co-op I was looking for an apartment for I’d never seen. I was going from the dorm to the apartment in NYC so I was learning how to cook, go to the market and function in an urban environment. I had to grow as a person. I realized I was able to endure the pressure and push of NYC. If I would have stayed just in Cincinnati, I don’t know if I would’ve grown to be the person I am today.

Anything else you wanted to add about your co-op or living in NYC?
The first time I co-oped I created a huge list of everything I wanted to see and then I didn’t finish the list. Then things kept getting added and I realized I will never finish that list. It’s so cool to know when you move to NYC you have the whole world at your fingertips. You’re able to see the world by just hopping on the train, going two stops and entering into a new place. I love NYC because you are able to experience so much and push the way that you think. You can walk down a block every single day and it will keep changing. I love the idea that NYC is this liquid, ever-changing city.

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