new york

Beyond My Borders: Joe Vassel

I’m originally from Long Island and went to the University of Southern California where I majored in Business Administration and Marketing. I graduated in May of 2012 and worked at a technical recruiting firm before transitioning over to a sales/client services role at a digital advertising firm. I made the drastic move from Los Angeles to New York earlier this month and it definitely came with its fair share of uncertainty.

Although I technically moved “back home” after living in LA for 6 years, it was not an easy decision to leave sunny California. It was very comfortable living in LA, since most of my friends from college stayed after graduation. But I’m 24 years old and am too young and restless to live somewhere just because it’s easy. Growing up, I’ve always wanted to live in Manhattan and I had the opportunity to transfer offices with the current company I am working for. What better time to make the move than now? You’ll never be 100% certain that you are making the “right” choice but you have to put yourself out there and just go for it. The experience will just make you that much more well-rounded and cultured.

When I told my friends in LA that I was moving to New York, I had a lot of people asking “But why would you leave the great weather”, saying “You’re going to experience winter and come back in a heartbeat”, and letting me know how abrasive the people that live in NY are. Hey… maybe I will move back, maybe I won’t. But maybe I will love it and never leave. If I didn’t do this then there would have always been that little voice in the back of my head saying “What if?” Don’t let anyone make you second guess yourself.  You only live once (yes, this phrase is very played out but at least I didn’t say #yolo).

Get out there and experience the world people! You won’t regret it.


Being that I have a few family members that live in and around New York, you could only imagine how difficult it was to watch the news. However, the biggest thing that got me through was the hope of life. I made this for them and any other person who was impacted by this horrendous natural disaster.

Even though it was last October the effects are long-lasting. They still need (y)our help. Help out today.

16. Building Britches

To   Jonathan Weiss , Gabriella Navarez , Matt Sanders , and Leah -whose name I apologetically cannot recall so please forgive me. To all four of you I say thank you. Thank you for not getting to big for your britches. Thank you for helping me fit into mine. Thank you for words that surely did not fall onto deaf ears. Thank you for hope.

I’m sure as you can tell from previous posts on this blog I am on the journey to finding my dream position. It has been a hard and daunting trail but it is because of people like Jonathan, Gabi, Matt and Leah that trotting along has not been as difficult as I had imagined. 

 All four of them and 50+ others recently traveled with a few professors to New York for an agency tour with some of the biggest ad companies out there. W+K NY, McGarryBowen, and Huge just to name a few. While they could have soaked up all they could and then came back to Oregon without anything to share, they did just the opposite. This career field is a competitive one so it would have been understandable if they did not divulge any information but like Matt said, "Drop the competitive. We can be on a team and do everything together."  The fact that they were willing to take time out of their day to relive the moments that I and many others weren’t there for, I find that one of the greatest things anybody could ever do for someone.

So with that said, I now pass on the most prominent points I got from them.

It’s all about intrinsic motivation. Nobody is gonna tell you to do it, you just have to. - Jonathan

Stay around people you admire. It will keep you… sane. - Gabi

It’s about making the commitment to stay after hours. // There is an eagerness to be a part of cool sh*t. // I know I’m good at everything but what am I really great at. I shouldn’t be ashamed of that. // You just gotta get in where you fit in. - Matt  (I think I soaked up the most from him because I felt like we had the most in common with our “uncommon” way of thinking.)

Have outside interests. Make pie! - Leah.

Also, a big shout out to ALL the companies that hosted the #UONYC . I know I was not there to share and partake in the glory that was the Big Apple but seriously, I love when people who have been helped out never forget to turn around and do the same.