Where in the World was VCU? Working in Times Square

Meet Kristina Hipolito, a senior at VCU who spent her summer working in New York City as a communications fellow. Learn more about her adjustment into living in New York, her experience of being in Times Square during New Year’s Eve and more in this edition of “Where in the World was VCU?”

Can you start by telling me your name, year and major?

Kristina Hipolito, senior, majoring in public relations and minoring in business

Where in the world were you this summer?

This summer I was in New York City working at Times Square Alliance as their communications fellow.

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What did your job entail?

As a communications fellow, I create digital content for all Times Square social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I also copy write and copy edit other promotional materials. In addition, I conduct research by monitoring social media analytics and assisting with event evaluations. Currently, I am working on a social media campaign strategy in partnership with The Strand bookstore.

Was this your first time in New York City? How hard was it to adjust?

My mom moved to New Jersey when I was 10 so I’ve visited New York every year since then! It’s been my dream to come here since I was a little girl. I will admit it was hard at the beginning to adjust, mostly because this was my first time really on my own. It’s definitely been a learning experience. I feel like I’m more independent now.

What was your favorite part about your job and being in New York City?

My favorite part about my job is that I’m heavily involved in all the work that Times Square Alliance does. Everything I do for the organization gets used. I really feel like I’m making an impact. Also, I really love being around all the tourists. If you ask any New Yorker, they’ll say that hate being in Times Square because the tourists, but I genuinely enjoy seeing visitors’ reactions to the area. They’re excited and in awe and it’s cool to think I’m somehow a part of it.

My favorite part of being in New York is that there’s always something to do, especially in the summer! Also, I’m a huge foodie and the options here are endless.

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What was your most memorable experience?

My most memorable experience so far has been seeing the NYE ball up close! The fellows were taken to the rooftop to see it in person and it was awesome! I’ve watched the ball drop every year for as long as I can remember and getting to be that close was amazing.

Was your job how you imagined it to be?

I was really nervous about working in an actual office environment and getting a taste of the real world, but I shouldn’t have been because it’s not that bad at all! My biggest worry was working full time (Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m.) because I had never done that before. Honestly, the day goes by pretty fast, especially when we have meetings. I’ve learned that work culture is very important and, luckily, the Alliance has a great work environment! Also, I always thought that going into a job you’d be expected to know everything and that’s not the case at all. A lot of it has been learning on the job!

Were you excited to go home or do you wish you could stay longer?

I love New York and it will always have a place in my heart, but I do miss Richmond and I’m very excited to finish my last semester at VCU. Every year since I started at VCU, it was my goal to make it to New York before graduating. I worked multiple internships, work part-time and did everything I could for my resume. Now that I’ve done that, I’ve realized I need to relax and enjoy my collegiate experience because it’ll be gone before I know it.

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