While in college I stumbled into an interesting part-time job as an
EMT. Eventually, I was hired by the NYC Emergency Medical Service to
work as an EMT on the streets of South Jamaica, Queens at the height of
the city's crack epidemic.
Shortly after joining NYC EMS, I had the chance to apply for a position
as uniformed staffer in the Public Affairs office. As part of the
interview process, we each had to write a fictitious New York Times
article about what the agency would do with a $2 million increase
in its budget. To my surprise, I actually wrote the best "article," and
got the job.
In my subsequent five years as a public information officer, I served as
a spokesperson at crucial events like the 1993 World Trade Center
Bombing, the Happy Land Social Club fire, and a number of aircraft
crashes. I also served as a deputy press secretary to Mayor Giuliani,
worked at Howard Rubenstein's shop, and served as corporate spokesperson
for Con Edison during its nuclear emergency last year at Indian Point.
Twelve years and several different PR challenges later, I am still very
grateful for the opportunities and experiences I have had, and I have
that first PR job to thank for it.