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  • laurenesimpson

Wow, EIGHT Years in Atlanta, GA

Wow, I just hit EIGHT years since I relocated to Atlanta, GA! Time sure goes by FAST! Like can we hit a slow-motion button, please?! I love Atlanta! So let me first start by saying I love my hometown of Nashville, TN as well. Back in 2012 Nashville was not the city it is today but I still wanted more diversity, opportunity, and most of all things to do. So I graduated with my Masters on August 10th, my lease was up in August, and I wasn't in my field of interest full-time either. I quit 3 jobs, rented a U-Haul, and took my $700 savings (wow) to Atlanta.

Okay, so I kept applying for jobs even using my Line Sister's address at that time here but no luck. I stepped out on faith LITERALLY and just went. I did start my Doctorate program on September 5th in Atlanta. But networking seemed to be the name of the game for Atlanta. I moved to a beautiful industrial 3-story townhouse in East Atlanta with Jimika. It was not easy in the beginning! Here I am in a new city with limited funds in bomb weather. However, DJ Crisis introduced me to his connections right away that allowed me to attend Luda Day weekend straight out the gate! Heck, even my third day here while job hunting in-person I ran into Andre 3000 in a parking lot in Buckhead. He was so cool. I took another photo with him 4 years later with the same hat! I felt it was destined for me to be here for sure but what solidified it was what would happen next.

That year for my birthday I got groceries from mom. Talk about priorities I was like whew something has to shake ASAP! I was able to get a job as a floater at Macy's in Lenox Mall in cosmetics at the end of October 2012. They knew how much I loved Chanel and put me at their counter mostly! But of course, that wasn't going to cover it all. After meeting a Sorority sister at a chapter meeting she passed on my resume at her job, which landed me a job as an Assistant Director of Admissions (a fancy name for campus recruiter) at the Art Institute of Atlanta with a 15K increase from my previous job. But guess what? that is not even the best part! I didn't know until I attended the informational they had an education benefit and I already attended their sister school (God planned that there is no way I haven't heard of either before. Talk about ordered steps). I WOULD NOW RECEIVE MY DOCTORATE DEGREE FOR FREE! Here is where God really shows out. The original education benefit stated after 1 year of employment. However, that April the benefit changed and I was able to get it immediately!

That is how I knew God was behind this idea. I tried to move sooner when applying for Grad School but it wasn't my time. Belmont is the only school that accepted me (I hated the GRE). I love Atlanta for the culture, people, food, diversity, events, etc. I have met so many amazing people and so many opportunities. I bought my first home here in 2014, I started my business in 2016 after losing the job at AIA, started my Nonprofit organization in 2016, and so much more.

Atlanta is not the answer to everything for everyone! It is not for everyone. It was a good move for me because I love the culture but more importantly, it is only 4 hours away from my family! Some people are destined to make their hometown better but for me, this move helped me to grow as an individual. I was no longer in my comfort zone. I could not call my mom for every little thing, I had to find my way to the airport, and had to create my new routine. I took the time to learn and fully experience the city. I must say it is one of my best decisions even though it was scary walking into the unknown but that's life. Here is to 8 years in the A! THANK YOU!

*Hits play on Outkast ATLiens*

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