Claire Tedesco has moved six times since she got to The Big Apple. She has not stayed in a residence for over a year at a time. Claire doesn’t mind. She loves the city.

“Being in the city is my dream,” Tedesco said. “I like to go out of my comfort zone and move around.”

The hectic and fast-paced atmosphere of New York City can be overwhelming for almost everyone. Thankfully, we as Saint Joe’s students have a large network of alumni at our disposal to help guide you through this momentous transition should you decide to move to New York.

Read below to get the 4 important takeaways from a panel session with SJU Alumni who work in NYC. Claire Tedesco, a category manager for HelloFresh, Tara Spillane, the senior vice president of Piton Investment Management, and Jillian Roberts, a project manager at 21st Century Fox, were able to give a first-person account of the reality of New York for young people and give current students tips to make their lives easier once they get there.

SJU Alumni Panelists
Photo by: Kate Gogel

1. Know your network, use your connections

The panelists emphasized the need for us as fellow SJU students to use our connections and resources to help further our professional agendas. Since there is a long list of former Hawks living and working in New York City, there is now a newly formed Alumni Chapter in New York that is incredibly useful for new graduates to use for networking. The panelists explained that there are multiple ways we can reach out and work with the alumni chapter. These include LinkedIn and the Career Development Center right here on campus.

2. Get involved outside of work, immerse in the community

Another useful tip to get the most out of the New York experience is to simply immerse yourself in the community. The panelists each have their own personal examples of what extracurriculars they take part in throughout the city. These include volunteering at an animal shelter, playing on a recreation soccer team, etc. The idea is that if you get out of your comfort zone and take part in various activities, you will meet new people, have new experiences, and learn more about the city, and yourself in the process.

3. Understand how the living situation in NYC works

Understanding how the living situations of New York City work and the most effective ways to find good housing are important. For students who live off-campus here at Saint Joe’s, we know just how stressful this can be. Panelist Claire Tedesco stressed to the audience, “Location is key, try different neighborhoods because each neighborhood is like a different city.” Tara Spillane added onto that point saying, “look for different methods of transportation.” 

4. Take advantage of your location

Walking around the city is the best way to get used to it and learn about your surroundings. There is an endless list of things to do in the city and it’s up to you to go out and find these things. While the city can be hectic there are places like Central Park to escape and have time for yourself. The panelists also emphasized how people from everywhere on earth come to New York and that there is an infinite amount of culture to enjoy throughout. On top of all of this, Tara Spillane explained that while New York is thought of like a big, bad city, “New York is a much safer city than you think. Just keep your guard up and be aware of your surroundings.” All in all, living in New York has so much to offer. 

Alumni Claire Tedesco connecting with a current SJU student
Photo by: Kate Gogel

From Wall Street to Madison Avenue, New York City is home to endless possibilities for employment. On top of the bustling business side of this great city, there is just as much to do for fun and leisure. 

There are a lot of cities that you could choose to live and work in after college. While New York is one of the biggest and most beneficial for work there is so much more to it than just that. Hopefully, this helpful insight into how to navigate the Big Apple will help should you decide to write your next chapter there.

Alumni perspective of living in NYC
Video by: Regina Schliep


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