“I’ve made a few great decisions in my life. One of them was joining the military, another was this.”
It’s not always easy to pick up and move to a new place. It can be intimidating moving from New York City to The South, but often times it can be just as rewarding. I called up Gary Crayton last week to find out for sure. Gary is an FDM Consultant about a year into his first placement with UBS and a New Yorker through and through. Last July he was placed in Nashville and he hasn’t looked back. While working in Tennessee may not have been part of his life plan when he joined FDM, now that he’s been there for a year he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I wanted to stay in the tri-state area,” Gary told me about when he first joined the FDM Careers Program in March, 2014. “To me the United States was the East Coast, the West Coast, Florida, and then all of the stuff in the middle.”
We both laughed when he made that comment, but the reality is that it’s not an uncommon perception of the US for people who have grown up in New York. Sure, Gary - a former student at The Ohio State University - may have said that in jest, but it’s easy to get lost in the enormity of New York. Once you live in the city, you sometimes forget that it’s not the entire world packed into one 13 mile island.
As FDM Group grows in size, we continue to expand to different cities around the world. Last year we opened a new Academy in Toronto. Earlier this month we opened a new center in Leeds. In the United States, it seems like every other month we’re signing new clients in new cities and it’s the Consultants like Gary Crayton, who opt to remain geographically flexible with their placements, who take the most advantage.
“The biggest change is the pace of life – it’s a good change though. The people are so friendly here!”
One of the first things Gary noticed when he moved to Nashville for his placement is just how different the people act. Tennessee doesn’t have the same hustle and bustle of the city life New Yorkers have come to know.
“The folks here are very approachable,” Gary said. “When you go to a restaurant, if you don’t start a conversation with the table next to you first, they’re going to start one with you.”
“Golf, music and tons of places to eat. There’s so much to do in Nashville.”
When Gary first moved to Nashville he picked up a hobby that he never expected. A full team of FDMers were placed at UBS along with him and a few of them were avid golfers. Now Gary says they’ve become regulars on the course on Friday afternoons. With an early morning schedule set to give their team easy contact with the UK, they get out in the early afternoon with plenty of sunlight left to hit the links.
Nashville has also lived up to its nickname – The Music City.
“It’s not just country music like most people think. I’ve seen live jazz, I’ve seen live blues,” Gary began. “I went to one club and all of these guys were playing Miles Davis together!”
Gary went on to compare Nashville’s Halloween party to the Village Halloween Parade – “You don’t even need a plan. We just went down to Broadway and had an incredible night.” – and talked up New Year’s Eve, which is complete with a big guitar drop to replace New York’s famous Times Square Ball.
“You open yourself up to a rewarding experience. You open up to being absorbed by the culture.”
“Without a doubt,” Gary says he would recommend remaining geographically flexible when working with FDM. You never know what you’re going to end up with. He had originally thought his placement was going to be local to Nashville, but it turned out to be so much more. “We support the UBS teams in the UK so we have a global focus.”
Gary has been placed with UBS in Nashville for almost a full year and has helped the company grow. “When we got here our floor wasn’t even full. Now they’ve opened up two new floors (in Nashville) and are planning on opening another soon.”
“With all the great relationships FDM forges – you never know what it will bring. FDM made the process very easy,” he said of the actual move.
For Consultants being placed outside of the tri-state area, Gary left with some parting advice: be proactive about making your arrangements.
“Reach out to someone from the area or someone who is already on site. Find out about the best neighborhoods to live and the best restaurants to eat,” he suggests. “Some of the other guys were much better at those things than I was so that’s what I’d definitely recommend doing.”
FDM Group offers consulting positions in cities around the world. If you want to take advantage of these opportunities and expand your horizons like Gary Crayton, apply now. You never know what the future may hold.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License
29 June, 2015