Meet Julia. Age 25. Buffalo, New York. Content Marketing Specialist.
What is your favorite thing about living and working in Buffalo?
It’s a very exciting time to be living in Buffalo, given the recent growth and development. While it’s hard to pick a favorite, I’d have to say being located downtown (both my home and office) is my favorite part. I’ve been living at the Hotel Lafayette since it re-opened two years ago in May and it’s been amazing to see the city change and evolve right before my eyes. I feel like I live in the epicenter of the city’s development.
Since I live so close to work (the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is about .5 miles away from the Hotel Lafayette,) I can walk to work every day. I walk by some of my favorite buildings (City Hall, the Gold Dome and Shea’s) on my way to the office and that tends to start my days with a smile. My role at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is a great fit for me. I love the work that I do and am inspired daily by my colleagues who are driving, or assisting with, some of the projects that are helping to transform our city.
As a Long Island native, what brought you to Buffalo, and what keeps you here?
I didn’t know much about Buffalo before I came to school at the University at Buffalo, which is what brought me here. “Snow” and “chicken wings” were the only words I heard when I told friends that I was going to UB, but I quickly warmed to the idea of being neighbors with Canada, and just an hour away from Long Island by plane.
As an aspiring business major, I had read up on the programs that were offered by SUNY schools and decided that UB was the perfect fit because of the 3-2 program, which enabled me to graduate with my Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in Business Administration in a total of five years.
It didn’t take me nearly that long to be converted into a full-blown Buffalover. By winter break of my freshman year, I had fallen in love with Buffalo’s people and sense of community. Buffalo had given me such a warm welcome and, despite the flack I got from friends for moving there, I was thrilled to be living in the area. By winter break of the last year of my MBA program, I had so much love for the University, and for Buffalo as a city, that I had a very hard time thinking of leaving. So, I started thinking about staying and making the city home.
There was one pivotal moment that reaffirmed my decision to stay in Buffalo: I was cashing out at Wegmans and, after checking my ID, the cashier remarked on my not being from here. I told her that while I wasn’t originally from Buffalo, I was leaning towards staying here after graduation because I loved the people here. The cashier smiled. Then, the woman behind me in line touched my shoulder and said, “I don’t mean to be rude, but you seem like a lovely young lady and I just wanted to tell you that I hope you do stay. Buffalo is lucky to have you.” That night, I decided I wasn’t going anywhere. I’m really not a winter-person, so the fact that I’ve been here for eight years and counting is just a testament to my love for the community and the people in it.
What did your career path look like on your way to your position with Buffalo Niagara Partnership?
I started my career in Buffalo working at The Buffalo News as a Digital Project Coordinator. While working at The News, I was able to expand my knowledge and interest in social media marketing, search engine optimization and project management. I had the unique opportunity to work with one of my old professors from the University at Buffalo on a marketing consulting project. It was a great launching pad for my career, as it also enabled me to work on my writing skills through producing a blog series for Buffalo.com about gluten-free eating. Writing that series and working alongside a very talented team made me realize how much I love to blog. I was fortunate enough to find a role at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership that would allow me to do just that. As Content Marketing Specialist, I manage our blog’s content editorial calendar, as well as our website and social media accounts.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
I’m a morning person, so a typical weekday for me starts with waking up around 5:30-6 a.m. I love working out before work, so if time permits I’ll go to the gym or Power Yoga Buffalo on Elmwood. I’m very close with my family, so I call my grandma every single day on my walk to the office to catch up, discuss the local weather and share a piece of advice to start the day off on the right note.
Once I’m in the office, I’ll spend the morning reading the local news, making calls and doing some social media scheduling and analysis. I spend the rest of my day doing a variety of things: editing content, updating our website, interviewing Partnership members for our blog, analyze our web traffic or working on a marketing plan.
After work, I’ll attend a networking event or head straight home to do a little work for the nonprofit I volunteer for, The Senase Project. My day usually ends with cooking a gluten-free dinner and journaling and/or watching mindless comedy television before bed.
What advice would you give to other young professionals in Western New York, or those just starting out in their fields?
Network, network, network! Also, don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get involved. Buffalo, despite its growth, has a small-city personality. Everywhere you go, you meet someone who shares at least one mutual connection. It’s the sense of closeness in the community that makes it so easy to get involved and make a difference.
There are so many incredible organizations that are in need of passionate individuals; take the time to research what opportunities are out there to volunteer and build your network.
Similarly, Buffalonians are friendly and genuine by nature, so don’t be afraid to approach people who you’d like to connect with. Reach out to the individuals in the community that work in positions you find interesting, or organizations you find attractive. The most meaningful experiences I had that helped me start my career were informational interviews and “shadowships” which helped me get a realistic sense of what working in that industry, position or organization would be like.
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
While I love to blog because I find it extremely cathartic, I would have to say my favorite thing about blogging is receiving feedback. I blog about a lot of personal matters, so my favorite part, and the reason why I continue to blog, is hearing that one of my posts helped someone get through a tough time or helped brighten someone’s day. The ability to spread joy and positivity to others (sometimes strangers) through my writing is definitely my favorite thing about blogging.