tribeca skyscraper nyc

The other day, while walking from an appointment near Wall Street to one in the East Village, I found myself in Tribeca. I’m not used to seeing skyscrapers much anymore since I moved to Palermo, so I usually have my head in the clouds (literally) when I’m in New York.

My eyes landed on the art deco AT&T building and I felt a warm, familiar feeling of being at home even though it was a freezing afternoon in January.

10 years ago, with a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, I started my first internship at RAI (Italian TV) in this very building on 32 Avenue of the Americas.

I remember wanting nothing more than to live and work in Italy, and landing a spot here was almost as good as being across the pond.

My morning commute was spent trembling on the C train, as most of my daily tasks were in Italian − and I was painfully shy and foolishly afraid of making mistakes as I spoke in another language. Donatella, my boss at the time and still one of my most beloved mentors, would gracefully push me out of my comfort zone to speak in Italian and try to find the words to express myself.

I learned so much during those months, and had the incredible opportunity of working on freelance projects for the years to follow before the office was sadly shut down. I imagine that I would have been perfectly happy continuing a career there, but there were bigger plans for me as I moved to Milan to start a Master in communications at Università Cattolica.

In a few hours, I will be on a flight back to Italy. To my home in Palermo. It still feels funny to say that, but there’s no place else I’d rather be going with so many new ideas for my business. The most important thing I will be bringing back with me from this trip is gratitude for having the privilege of living in the most exquisite country in the world.

What was your first job? Tell me about it in the comments.

Elena CipriettiComment