In this edition of Faces of AWNY, we meet Bernadette Archibald, a Marketing Executive and global explorer. Her passion for people and culture has taken her around the world and she has become an expert in efficient business travel.
Tell us about yourself: Where are you from? What brought you to NYC?
I’m originally from Melbourne and lived most of my adult life in Sydney. I would say I am a Queenslander now. Before moving to the US, I lived in China, Kazakhstan and Singapore. I moved here to network into global offices of the kinds of companies I am targeting to work for. I’m still looking for that elusive job. I lived here when I was a teenager for a while in small town America, where I learned the most about this fascinating country.
Given that you’ve lived in various parts of Australia, what makes you feel like a Queenslander?
Although I lived for long periods in Melbourne and Sydney, for school and work, my love of Queensland is somewhat of an “age and stage” thing. I attended university in QLD and I love the weather, the relaxed lifestyle, and the affordability of south-east Queensland. I have family members in Brisbane, Ipswich and the Sunshine Coast, so I am usually there when I return home on holiday.
What do you do?
I’m a Senior Executive in Marketing, Strategy and Business Unit Lead in businesses that thrive on brands. I have worked on Australian and international icon brands and developed and launched some too.
Since you’re actively pursuing a job search in NYC, what roles are you targeting?
I am targeting a senior leadership role in marketing or strategy in a brands business because my expertise lies there. It could also be a business unit lead role depending on the structure of the organization or I may end up consulting to the industries that I have worked in and consulted to previously.
Tell us more about your job search approach, and the challenges and lessons learned along the way?
My job search entails a three-pronged strategy: applying for jobs online, leveraging my network and targeting senior leaders and talent acquisition teams in companies I would like to work for. I have also continued my learning, by undertaking courses in leadership, innovation and digital media strategy.
The challenges that I have in my search are around my seniority and the shifting landscape that seems to come with senior roles in organizations. Often after several interviews and much preparation, the strategy is changed and the role is no longer being recruited.
I am realizing the importance of having a solid network in the US. Whilst I have worked for US companies almost exclusively and undertaken projects here, my line responsibility is mostly in Asia/ANZ and this means I’m not so well connected in this market. Interestingly, I thought that my Asia experience would have been keenly sought after in today’s global business environment, but the US lags in terms of changing internal structure and processes to align to a truly global approach.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given about living/working in NYC?
Culture is in the detail. At the gross level, US and Australia are similar but the differences in the detail are what creates the culture. Learning why they are the way they are is what is interesting. To compare is trivial and unproductive since our differences are what make us who we are.
As a professional in NYC what are the differences to working in Australia?
Australians are more “can do”, whereas with Americans self-belief gets them through.
Any advice for other Professionals working in NYC?
Respect for the hierarchy in the US is counter cultural to Australians, who are (much more) egalitarian. It will catch you off guard.
You’re also engaged in broader professional and business interests – tell us more about these:
I am a qualified executive coach and have secured some clients with a focus on my passions: leadership and how to get the best from teams.
I’ve also built a website which is a “how to and hot tips guide” for people who travel on business. If you want to know about how to get through airports quickly, how to optimize loyalty programs and more, you can visit my website at: www.executivetraveladvantage.com.
Any advice for people moving to NYC?
Like anywhere, it is what you make of it. Go for it!
Favorite NYC cultural hotspots?
The MET, Central Park (I recommend using the Central Park Conservancy app to find your way around), and the New York Public Library
Favorite NYC brunch spot?
Georgio’s Country Grill
Favorite NYC cocktail spot & cocktail of choice?
Any…only Americans know how to make cocktails (if they are not American and know how to make a cocktail, they were taught by an American).
What’s your “only in New York” moment?
The smell of the Subway from the street (I think it is metal on metal).
What do you like about being part of AWNY?
The fun events hosted by AWNY and it’s a fantastic group of volunteers.
Who are some Aussie ladies doing awesome things in NYC who are currently on your radar?
Belinda Jackson, Gabby Tooma, Miranda Kalinowski
What things do you do to keep homesickness under control?
I have never been homesick in the 4 countries I have lived in outside Australia – it is only a plane ride (or two) away.
What are your top 3 tips for friends visiting NYC?
Get on the bus, take the ride and go back to all the spots you thought were interesting. Then you will be walking and walking to see them all.