My first job out of college was in the media office of Columbia University. I worked as an editorial assistant on a weekly newspaper distributed mainly to faculty and alumni. It was a great position; being part of a tiny staff, I was forced to jump in quickly and do a little bit of everything. Naturally, the majority of the grunt work fell to me, but within weeks, I began attending important press conferences and interviewing world-famous professors.
Working on an Ivy League campus in the world’s most dynamic city was pretty exciting. But at the time, most of my friends were regaling me with tales of their jobs in big corporate offices in midtown Manhattan, and I longed to experience that life (I had, after all, just left a college campus). So after 11 months, I moved on to another position at a company that published specialty magazines. It was several years before I looked back and began to miss some of the perks of working at a college — generous time off, tuition reimbursement, and the mental stimulation that comes just from being in an academic environment.
Since that time, I’ve spent a few more years in the working world. And I’ve come to realize that what I’m looking for in a job (and in my career) will change and evolve throughout my life. But it’s sure nice to know what is out there. I — along with the rest of the staff — was thrilled to discover that there is such an array of employment opportunities here in the Hudson Valley, none of which require hopping on a commuter train. Many of the nation’s top companies (including IBM, Verizon, FedEx, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and many others) have a large presence in our region and offer a wide variety of well-paid jobs with outstanding benefits (we profile some of these corporate giants beginning on page 34). We also give you the inside scoop on what it’s like to work in several different settings. Think a job at Vassar College would be fun and rewarding? Read on. Do you want to combine helping others while experiencing great adventures around the globe? Then maybe a career at Outward Bound, headquartered in Putnam County, is for you. Besides large companies like IBM, lots of small, innovative firms also call the Valley home. I think the greatest perk of all is offered by Ulster County-based Kiss My Face: employees who stick around for 10 years earn a trip to Greece. I’ve never stayed put that long (my current record is six-and-a-half years), but just the thought of an all-expenses-paid island escape seems like a guaranteed way to inspire company loyalty.
And while work is a huge part of our lives, it’s not everything. Why not spend some of your hard-earned cash on that favorite American pastime, shopping? Assistant Editor Liz Stein has turned the quest for fashionable bargains into a fine art in her weekly blog, “Valley Vogue.” She happily fills us in on local sales, great deals, and important fashion tips (like how to wear a winter hat). Find a link to her musings on our Web site, www.hvmag.com.
So, happy shopping — and don’t forget to check out our Valentine’s Day gift guide (page 20) to find that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for your special someone.
Happy New Year!
Olivia J. Abel
Editor in Chief