Business

An Interview with Anthony Galanda New Norms and Job Hunting In NYC

Anthony Galanda recently graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Communications, specializing in Advertising and Public Relations, from CCNY, The City College of NY.  Last summer, Anthony worked as a junior account executive intern for VMLY&R Miami which gave him experience with client relations and client engagement.  He took those skills into his senior year at CCNY and began a student-founded startup.  The student-led startup pitched a prototype and marketing strategy for a hospitality app that won second place in the 2020 Zahn Innovation Center’s Startup Competition.  Anthony graduated from CCNY summa cum laude with a 3.9 GPA and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, as well as the National Society for Leadership and Success.

Anthony Galanda is currently focused on finding work in the advertising and public relations field because of his passion for engaging with clients and helping them to accomplish their goals.  He was raised in New York and had a lot of diverse work experiences, including working in hospitality, retail, and real estate, before he decided to go back to school as an adult to complete his college degree.  His background, previous work experience, and outgoing personality makes it easy for him to quickly connect and engage with clients.  He is skilled at identifying their needs and expectations, particularly in the service industries and helping them accomplish their goals.

How has your industry and job hunt been impacted regarding COVID-19?

It has been greatly affected.   Everything about client relations and client engagement is face to face.  I do not think a Zoom call, or a video chat can convey my sincerity to the client.  So much of selling is based on nonverbal communication which is harder to see through a video.  You cannot gauge in-person body language when you are talking to somebody over a Zoom call.  It is just not the same.  It takes away from the passion that I want to be able to express to a client.

I feel like I have had to put my job hunt on pause because of corona.  Again, I want to interview in person.  I want to be face to face with someone.  My strength is in-person communication and connecting with people and bonding.  I feel it has halted the job hunt for me because I want that normality back so I can perform at my best.

Of course, I am not giving up on my job search.  I have seen job ads online.  People are hiring.  It’s out there.  There is a chance to get hired, of course, but the normality in the process is not there.  This is a new world and we need to adapt, but the advertising, public relations, sales, and marketing jobs rely so much on skills of meeting the needs of customers that comes from in-person connection.  Not being able to personally connect takes away from what this industry encompasses, which is bonding and connecting.

I have an outgoing personality and not being able to connect in the same way has been difficult.  I am very outgoing and never shy.  Some people say their biggest fear is public speaking.  My biggest fear is not being able to speak.

What keeps you motivated during this time at home?

I am in South Florida now passing the time until things get safer since New York is a little crazy right now.  Florida is a nice place to pass the time.  Anything that has to do with athletics is motivating for me, like going for a jog, as well as meditation.

I stay busy and productive by reading.  Also, I love paying attention to the stock market.  Buying and selling stock is like a job in itself.  That really passes the time for me.  There are rock bottom prices right now so that is an interesting thing to pay attention to.  You can double or triple your money in a couple of months down the line.  I am really into investing because you have to think about the future.  You won’t get the same return in a savings account as you would by buying Amazon or Google stock.  That is a challenging thing that keeps me motivated and productive.

Suggestions of good ways others can cope during this time.

Eating healthy and making healthy choices is really important at this time.  Health is wealth.  You may need to change diet and be smarter about what you put into your body.  Think twice before you eat.  Everybody is wearing masks, but the real protection we need comes from antioxidants and eating well to protect you from the inside.  I believe that we have to build our defense and our immune system on the inside to cope with the coronavirus.  Get vitamin C and minerals by eating oranges or leafy green vegetables.  That may provide more protection than a mask.  People need to eat the best they can, take vitamin C, take zinc, and boost their immune system.  I try to live by the words that you are what you eat.  It is important to make good decisions.

What does your typical day look like now versus prior to social isolation?

I have not had to be as isolated in Florida as was necessary in New York.  Here in Florida I am able to spend time with family in a safer environment.  I want to be responsible, but I am not going to live in fear because of the virus.

How does working remotely change how businesses can support their customers?

Businesses will have to continue to adapt to reach customers.  Adapting is everything in this life.

What advice would you give to fellow graduates who are also looking for jobs in COVID-19?

Keep looking.  Don’t let things discourage you.  The world is going to go back to normal soon.  Don’t become complacent.  Stay productive in any kind of way.  Keep your mind active even if you are not working.  Don’t get discouraged.  I will push through to getting a job.

What are some things outside of finding work that you are doing now to stay busy?

Here in Florida I am able to eat in some restaurants.  There are more businesses open here.  Employees are wearing masks, but customers can come in.  There are a lot of rules in place, but it feels a little more normal here.  In New York, all that was available was takeout.  Being in New York felt like an alternate universe.

Here I am also near the beach and that is enjoyable.  Now, I am getting vitamin “sea” in addition to vitamin C.

Do you think a work and life balance is important and how difficult is it in these circumstances?

A work/life balance is everything.  You need health, wealth, love, and happiness.  Those are the four things that I live by.  If you can achieve a fair balance between all of them, I think you would be living your best life.

What are some of the lessons you have already learned from having to work remotely and tips you can give to the readers?

I had to work remotely quite a bit while I was finishing school.  It is important to get familiar with Zoom and make sure you are prepped for video calls.  Don’t be complacent.  Don’t be in your pajamas and only give yourself five minutes to throw yourself together before the call starts.  Give yourself time to handle things if there is a technical glitch.  Make sure your background and lighting looks fine.  Make sure no one in the house is going to talk or open the door.  Hearing someone else yelling in the house will be unprofessional.  Be aware of your surroundings in your house.  You need to be in a quiet space.  Any background noise or even the wind if you are outside will be extra sounds that makes it more difficult.  Make sure your environment is quiet and suitable for work.

What is one piece of advice that is getting you through these current times?

Never give up.  Don’t lose faith.  Don’t lose hope.  You can’t put yourself down or think that it is all over from here.  This can be a new beginning.  You just have to adapt, maintain, and have hope for the future.

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Paul Wafula

Paul Wafula is a serial entrepreneur who has founded multiple successful businesses in the field of writing, content marketing, web design and also SEO. Ever since graduating from the University of Nairobi, in Kenya, content marketing and writing has been one thing that Paul has been passionate about and now help's entrepreneurs and businesses alike get their story heard across the world.