My desk lines the south side of our PR creative center – an eight by four foot hourglass-shaped oak desk, set to seat six. The bow and truss design of the building hangs overhead, where modernism meets industrial cool underneath the high ceilings of what some have called “The Castle on the Corner.” From the custom-designed oak desk, two steel posts extend upwards, meeting a long horizontal wooden beam, which suspends three Hudson Valley Light fixtures. Just below that you will find me – pitching, working on press releases and writing blog posts such as this, among a number of other tasks.

After working here for two years, I think back in nostalgic sentiment to what it was like starting, knowing practically nothing about public relations, marketing or any industry for that matter. This was my first real, “legit” job. It’s interesting to parallel the progression of my life in relation to my time at DRS and Associates. The last two years have been amazing; few things have been constant, as is the norm for someone who is 20, but working here and spending time with this family at DRS has been one of the few consistences. This is a time where I’m surrounded by friends and acquaintances whose lives are changing dramatically. We’re just starting to think about things like what kind of person we may want to marry; or how maybe we won’t get married; or “Oh, screw it, I’ll have a boyfriend and girlfriend at the same time!”; or “Do I want to work in an office for the rest of my life?”; or “Money vs. passion, or a combination of both?” These are only a few of the hundred questions that I ask myself every week – and not to say that there hasn’t been any change, difficulty or anxiety that DRS provoked – but in hindsight it has been a consistency, nevertheless.

If you want to know the ins and outs of our business, read our website, or better yet come into the office firsthand. I can tell you some things that you won’t read on our blog, social media accounts or that our clients will never know (until now I suppose). Working here won’t magically change your life, and it has not done so for myself. It’s like anything else, but even more so: if you apply yourself, you will succeed. There is no glass ceiling at DRS and Associates. David and Natalie will give you the world if you put your heart into the greater cause of this company. I can say that this has been true for myself. When I first began in December of 2013, my first task was to actually help move us from one building into the one that I described above. For a while, I did administrative work, filed magazines and what have you. Our CEO David Schlocker saw promise in me and took me under his wing. When I wasn’t studying Shakespeare or modern Irish literature, I went to what I called “part-time business school” – aka I went to work at DRS.

I’m a passionate guy to say the least (which is probably why I am so good at romance and so bad at first dates), and I really do stand by the idea that “to live with a passion is to succeed the many failures of mediocrity.” I have given a tangible extra effort, and it has paid dividend. I’m grateful for everything that I have in my life right now, and a good chunk of it I can confidently dedicate to working here. Last month I sent off my applications to transfer to a four year university. My top two choices are UC Berkeley and UCLA – respectively ranked number one and two as the best public universities in the United States (and among the elite of the world). Four years ago my life took a bit of a turn, and due to situational issues that were unavoidable at the time, I found myself in a place far from where I expected. While my friends were at traditional colleges, meeting new people, partying and enjoying a newfound and very prized reckless liberty, I was in Los Angeles attending community college. But at DRS and Associates, I learned how to be an adult. I found out what it takes to be successful in the professional world, and most of all, with due credit to David Schlocker, I realized what happens when you are “all in,” as he would put it. Maybe I won’t get into either school, but if I do one day read, “Congratulations, you have been accepted into the class of 2018,” it will be one of the most emotional days of my life. I couldn’t have done it without you, DRS.