"One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years."
Cuban American, Cessie Cerrato, has been living and breathing the New York City dream for the past three years. Not only did she leave her native city of Miami to take on the Big Apple, but she has truly embodied what it means to shift your dreams and purpose and still make it out alive and kicking. From a young age, Cessie always wanted to be on television, specifically as a news reporter. She attended the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, and truly believed that it was her calling, but as most of you know life happens and dreams change.
“I had an epiphany, while I was covering a story I wasn’t passionate about for a small local station I was working with and I realized, I wasn’t in love with the industry as a whole, only party of it. And an industry like that, you’re either all in, or you’re not. I didn’t love what I was doing.”
We could all relate to this in some shape or form. We have all had a moment in time where we felt like “this is not for me.” The reality is that it’s okay to leave a career when you don’t love it anymore and it’s okay to leave all you’ve ever known because perceptions change. Cessie did just that! She took a life experience, and used it as her fuel to look deeper in herself to figure out what she wanted and how she was going to get it. “I started to think about who I was and what I was good at and thought I’m a people person. I’m sociable. I love to travel, I love telling a story, and I am passionate about connecting- so I decided to try public relations.”
She started working in PR at small media agencies which translated to opportunities in the hospitality and luxury travel industry that ultimately landed her an opportunity with Palace Resorts. Seven years later, her successes and performance within the company granted her the opportunity to leave Miami and work remotely from NYC.
“It was always my dream to live in New York City and my hard work spoke to my abilities to be able to do my job remotely. After all, New York City is the center of the universe when it comes to media, it all happens here first.”
Cessie currently serves as the Senior Director of Public Relations where she has the opportunity to do the things she loves: promote the luxury & hospitality industry, travel, network, connect people and bring stories to life.
She has visited numerous major cities, met great people, been a part of some huge global hospitality ventures, but most importantly, learned that while her work progression is important she wants to continue to give back to her community. Cessie mentioned that while she worked hard to get to where she is, she recognizes that there were significant people who helped her along the way and in return she hopes do the same for others. “I’ve had awful bosses, the kinds that show you what you never want to be. And then the rare kinds that take the time to grow you, while mentoring you and help you achieve greatness. Both are essential in the journey, because each teach you invaluable lessons. I want to do the same for others, because I think there is a huge gap in the role that women play when it comes to helping each other, versus competing against each other. I currently serve as mentor for the PRSA NY chapter and I am supporting them with “Dress for Success” initiatives.
"My future in NYC is an blank canvas really, the opportunities are endless.”
Cessie is continuing to explore all that NYC has to offer and is doing it fabulously. You can check out her NYC adventures on her blog where she is highlighting her journey, while continuing to dedicate herself to growing professionally and personally. Cessie has learned that while NYC can be challenging, (and the city is painfully expensive), there is nowhere else she’d rather be.
"NYC has something in the air that makes you want to hustle harder. The hustle is real."