GenNEXT Profile: Stefan Schröder
Stefan worked at Langland in the U.K. for two years before transferring to the agency’s New York office eight months ago and beginning his exploration of the Big Apple.
What brought on your move to New York?
I had been coming to the states for many years on holiday, and had actually moved to North Carolina with my family for two years while I was growing up. The U.S. had become a bit of a home away from home. When Langland opened up our office in New York, I was eager to move out. Having lived in London for two-and-a-half years, I wanted a change and where better than New York.
At first, I was super-nervous about making such a big move—it is another continent, after all. Despite the nerves, I would much rather go somewhere and know I disliked it than forever wonder, “What if?” What was the worst that could happen? If I didn’t like it after six months, I could always go back to the U.K. I asked my agency if I could be considered for an open role in the New York office, and luckily I was selected.
What has been the biggest change since your move to the city?
I’d been to New York before, here and there, but you don’t truly know a city when you visit for a few days at a time. When I first moved to New York, I had absolutely no clue where anything was. I remember searching for apartments and not knowing where on earth I was, where people go to eat, where to shop — all of the important things. After feeling extremely comfortable in London, it was pretty unnerving. Having been here for eight months now, my biggest change is that I finally feel comfortable and fully immersed here — New York has become my home.
What was the biggest obstacle in your transition to a new country?
Having lived in the U.K. for most of my life, I had a solid group of friends from school, university, work and others I’d met along the way. Moving to America meant making completely new connections, which is difficult in a big city. I am lucky enough to have had friends already living here and friends of friends I’d been put in contact with, but after being so used to people asking me what I was doing all weekend, I had to start making a big effort. One of my friends told me before I moved out to say “yes” to everything, and so I have (within reason, but probably not enough reason). It’s building and building, and I’m enjoying all the new people I’m meeting.
What advice would you give to yourself at the start of your career?
Don’t run before you can walk! I’m extremely enthusiastic, so sometimes I need to take a step back.
What are you most excited about for Publicis in the next year? The next five years?
To see how we (Langland) as an agency grow within Publicis, both in New York and potentially other international locations. I’m also looking forward to the launch of Marcel and what may follow from that.
If you were not doing what you do today, what would you love to be doing?
I’ve always loved art and design, so potentially an architect. I also like the idea of being a TV presenter.
GenNEXT is Publicis Groupe’s business resource group (BRG) for young professionals and is dedicated to supporting our next generation of talent by providing guidance, empowerment, and specialized resources to young professionals within our network.
The week of October 16, 2017, is GenNEXT Week. We will be hosting a series of events covering a variety of topics relate to professional and personal development. We’re also profiling GenNEXTer’s on social media every day to share their stories about their experiences in new places at the start of their promising careers.