Name: Una Casey
Professional Field: Fashion Marketing
Hometown: Ennis, Co. Clare
Years in NYC: Less than 1 year
What inspired you to leave Ireland and come to New York City?
As a marketer with a strong interest in fashion, New York is my mecca. If you want to be the best in your field, why not go to the place that is the best? I didn’t even consider another US city, it was New York or nothing.
Tell us about your career path so far?
I started my career with Dubarry of Ireland, a premium lifestyle brand based in the beautiful county of Galway. As Dubarry is an international brand, I got great exposure to the inner workings of an international business, in terms of consumer differences, product choices, geographical social media advertising and more. In addition, the brand has a great story, formed in 1937 to combat unemployment, and rising to be the success story that it is today. I love the storytelling aspect of a brand.
What differences have you noticed between job searching here in NYC and back home in Ireland?
In Ireland, when one is job searching, the first step, in my experience, is to reach out to your personal and business contacts. Here, when you have no contacts, you first must make the contacts and then convince them to take an interest in you. But it’s a good thing, here you must be a bit more ballsey, you have to go it for, a generic email just won’t work. In general, I found people really helpful in terms of their willingness to meet for a cup of coffee – if you make it easy for them and avoid lengthy life bios, people are generally open to helping you.
What is the most surprising thing about your experience in NYC so far?
I was so surprised at the length of time it took me to get a job, in this land of opportunity. I had done lots of research before I came out on what brands I like that were hiring and there appeared to be so much out there. On reflection, I was so naive. I arrived mid-July and I fully expected to be working on August 1st. In reality, it’s a lot of sitting in front of a laptop, trying to reach out to people, filling out applications on LinkedIn. It’s a process though and without it, I don’t think I would be in the position I am. My resume changed continuously as I met people, saw job applications and even learned the “American” way of saying things!
How does living in New York City play into your professional and personal goals for the future?
Professionally, I would stay here forever. I want to rise to the top and I want to do it here. This city is so competitive but you can reap the rewards if you are willing to work hard and learn constantly. If you want to be the best, I think New York is the only place to do that. But, personally, home is home. Right now, I am in love with the city, the lifestyle. I don’t know if that will change.
What's the best thing about living in New York City?
Anything can happen in a given day.
What made you join the New York chapter of the Irish Network?
Originally, I joined the Irish Network group to meet professionals, especially those whom I would consider mentors. But having attended some of the events, it’s more than that. It’s talking to people that have just gone and done it. People from all corners of Ireland that are killing it out here. It’s inspiring and addictive and the best motivation there is.
What would you say to young professionals in your field that are considering moving to New York to make a new life for themselves?
I wouldn’t tell everyone to go for it. New York is definitely not for everyone. It’s a fast, hungry place and to succeed you have to be driven, you have to put yourself out there and you have to have some broad goal to achieve, to be constantly working towards something. If it is for you, do your research before you go. Look at the brands you would like to work for. Budget for double the amount you think you need starting off. And reach out – the Irish Network is there for everyone.
Una is the Communications Director of Cynthia Fields & Company, a luxury dress brand for the professional working woman.