California has always been an aspiration of mine. Beyond just living there, it’s a place I’ve always wanted to exude the qualities I love about it and learn more about everything happening there.
To me, since I was a kid, I’ve always seen California as a place of creation that’s practically magical. All the movies I love? Produced in Hollywood. The shows I love? Probably filmed on a lot in Burbank. The ads that go in between the shows I love? Created by agencies spread all over Los Angeles. The technology I have always been fascinated by? Born and bred in the Silicon Valley.
While I haven’t always planned on moving there one day, the more I thought about what my goals were during my junior year for my ~future~, the more I realized I needed to do all I could do to end up out there. I went to work by networking with as many people I could, researching nearly every advertising agency in Los Angeles, and lots of prayers and dreaming.
After blindly shipping my carefully-crafted and repeatedly-reviewed to any agency with a submission box, it came time to wait. Would people even take a second look at a resume from a guy who goes to a small school literally in the middle of the Midwest?
I waited to see who would give me a chance, and the positive feedback began to trickle in.
One moment of the entire process I will never forget is during my interview (with the company that would end up being my future employer, Saatchi & Saatchi). I was sitting in my room doing a FaceTime call. I was nervous and wearing a collared shirt and tie paired with Nike shorts. Dylan (my future boss) noticed that I had a Los Angeles pennant hanging up in my room. He asked me why I had that, and what got me so excited about LA.
Until that moment, I couldn’t put into words why I wanted to go there so bad, but I knew that’s what I wanted to do. At that moment, I realized that it all goes back to the stories my parents have told me.
When my parents were first married, they moved out to California so my dad could work at a Yoplait plant off Crenshaw Boulevard. I remember years ago finding a polaroid of my parents’ old convertible that my mom would drive on the PCH to work in Long Beach. I thought it was the coolest thing.
The stories they told of their time in California were always so exciting to me, and I just thought it was so cool that my parents lived in the place I saw as a dream that couldn’t actually be real. But, it was real to them, and it could be real to me. And their amazing experiences there made me want to have my own California stories.
So, it all came down to the wonder of possibility. In the overlap of my interest in the creativity in every area of the state and my parents’ newlywed adventures, I see California as the ultimate place for me to pursue my interests in art, culture, storytelling, human connection, and technology, and to discover my own adventures.