I left school early for a job that sounded like a dream for me.
I got to cover the NFL and NBA (plus high school sports) for a tiny afternoon newspaper. I moved to Morganton, N.C. I slept in two three-hour shifts. One after my desk shift ended around midday.
The other, at night, after I filed my story from Hornets home games (Sometimes, I got up extra early to write instead.)
Rebecca Reid took a more global approach to that fresh-out-of-college job. She’s my guest for #GirlsRock today. I met Rebecca in Target during her 4-month stint in Charlotte. We became friends, and her story of success intrigued me.
I wouldn’t trade my first work experience out of school for anything – and I’m sure Rebecca would feel the same!
Please give Rebecca a warm CD welcome, and check her Instagram and blog. Globe-trotting is on hold for a bit. Looking back on this interview made me look forward to the day things open up again.
Eli: When you were little, what did you think you’d grow up to be?
Rebecca: I always changed my mind on what I wanted to do when I was younger and throughout university I was the same as everyone else, trying to figure out where my place would be in the world. Growing up my mind ranged vastly from ideas of wanting to join the military, to being a primary school teacher. But there have always been two overriding themes; wanting to work in the presenting and media space, paired with the idea of traveling and business.
This is what prompted me to study International Business at University in Edinburgh. A year in, I realized I wanted to pursue my passion in the communications arena and this is what prompted me to shift my focus to a more niche area of study. I moved home to Northern Ireland and completed my degree in Communication and Public Relations which gave me a great insight into the many opportunities there are within this industry.
Eli: Which opportunities appealed to you most?
Rebecca: There are endless opportunities in the world of business. Coupling my business acumen with my love of travel and experiencing different cultures, led to the idea of exploring the international realm of it. The opportunities in the communications industry, in particular, are what appealed to me most about business, therefore, seemed like a natural path to take.
The possibilities in Comms and PR are endless. This is what I love most about this industry as there are so many different areas you can work within, especially from the presenting and media side of things. Opportunities in the sports, health, and wellness, entertainment/events and politics sectors are the areas that excite me the most! It seems like a very broad list but they can all fall under the umbrella of communications which is what makes it so great!
I have been so lucky and managed to secure an amazing job when I graduated last year. Although it does not directly correlate with the sectors I spoke about above, as it is a financial and technology consulting firm, it has allowed me to explore my passions in communications and also tap into different areas of business.
The cool thing about my interest in presenting in the comms space is its accessibility. It can be a side hustle alongside my day job and, as you are aware, I am currently working on tapping into this space by kick-starting my own blog in these areas.
Eli: Yes, I know about the blog plans – and I’m excited to work with you on that! Tell me a little about the job you have now.
Rebecca: Once I secured my current job I was flown out to Dubai in September 2018 where I would be based. My role started out in global recruitment, however, having voiced my ideas, my focus soon shifted into marketing/PR and events.
Throughout the past 10 months within the company, I have had incredible experiences of working in various locations across the globe. Notable instances include working in our Times Square office in New York City; the CitiBank global headquarters in Tribeca; Charlotte, N.C.; and in the next couple of weeks I will be moving my base to London!
The purpose of my New York and Charlotte trips, amounting to four months overall, was to lead content design for a new partnership with Microsoft and on a separate occasion to work on the CitiBank account. My role has now shifted in line with the business development team and this is why I will now be based in London.
Eli: What has been the best part of getting to spend extended time in different parts of the world for work?
Rebecca: It’s so hard to narrow it down to just one thing that I have loved the most, but being able to live in different countries for good amounts of time has given me the chance to be able to fully immerse myself in the culture of the city. This has been great as it has allowed me to live like a local! I have been able to make some amazing memories and great friends in each of the places I have traveled to.
As well as all the usual excitement surrounding New York City, such as Broadway, Central Park and the general buzz of the city, working and living in Times Square during November and December allowed me to experience the most magical place to be at Christmastime and Thanksgiving which was pretty cool. The Christmas markets, Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree and Macy’s were just how I imagined they would be at this time of year.
Enjoying the 4th of July celebrations in Charlotte, N.C., by the lake all day and BBQ’ing and fireworks in the evening were also incredible!
Living on the beach in Dubai has been a surreal experience, visiting the old town souks, eating in the tallest building in the world, quad biking in the desert, staying in the Atlantis and going to their massive waterpark, weekend trips to Oman and other Emirates, representing Dubai at the Netball inter-gulf tournament, boat parties and fun at brunches are just some of the things I have got to enjoy in the UAE!
I love health and fitness so it’s been really cool to try out different gyms, workouts, and classes in different cities that I have visited. A few different concepts I have tried include, F45 (absolutely love), ClassPass and different types of boxing, pilates, and yoga. I have an online PT as well which has been very helpful when I have been limited to a usually not so glamorous hotel gym! I have also been able to test different meal prep services and got to experiment with vegan, vegetarian, whole30 plans.
Eli: What incredible experiences! So how are things different and the same as far as work in all these places?
Rebecca: Because of the office space and each city collectively that I have worked in being so diverse, I haven’t noticed a massive difference in terms of processes and people. One notable difference, however, is how America operates compared to other places in regard to holidays and paid time off. I was shocked to find out that it is standard in the States to only get 10 paid days off per year in comparison to the customary 22-28 days off in the UK.
I couldn’t believe that maternity leave is set as standard at 12 weeks unpaid leave compared to getting up to 52 weeks in the UK (where 39 of these weeks are paid).
These figures may be slightly distorted but they are what I found online when I decided to delve into information surrounding paid time off in the US. Britons take advantage of using their well-deserved holidays but Americans are renowned for not even using all of their 10 days which is crazy to me! I think this is the main difference culturally about the work environments, as, in America, people live to work versus more of a “work hard play hard” mantra in other parts of the world.
Eli: We Americans go, go, go. All these incredible experiences would make a great blog, you know that, Rebecca?
Rebecca: Haha I am working on mine at the moment and will hopefully get it up and running soon! 😊 I want it to reflect various passions of mine. I am hoping to cover a vast array of topics such as health and wellness, sport, lifestyle, and travel.
Eli: Is there anything I haven’t asked that you feel is important to know?
Rebecca: I think you have covered just about everything!! Thanks so much for involving me in your blog- I have loved being a part of it 😊
Eli: What advice would you give young women about working globally?
Rebecca: The advice I would give to young women about the possibilities of working globally would be to grab every opportunity that you possibly can and say yes to things that may be outside of your comfort zone as you never know where you might end up!
E is for End-of-your-career awards
F is for Frank, my uncle
H is for ✊🏻 haiku (my quarantine journal)
L is for learn
P is for purify your mindset
Q is for quarterback