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Where in the world: New York, USA

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Have you ever fantasised about jetting across the pond and relocating to New York, the city that never sleeps? Kyle Wagner, talent acquisition manager at Condé Nast, explains how realising his dream has enhanced his career.

Why did you move to New York?

I was transferred from Condé Nast in London to our headquarters in Manhattan.

Did you always envisage yourself moving abroad?

I am originally from South Africa, so the move to London was my first. Moving to New York was a dream from a young age.

Has this move enhanced your career?

Experiencing the same company on both sides of the ocean is a great learning curve. In London, I recruited across the whole business. In New York, I specialise in creative recruitment, working with some of the most inspiring art directors and editors in the industry. Money can’t buy that.

How did you feel about moving abroad?

I was apprehensive, but a year later, I feel settled and so thankful for the opportunity.


How do talent practices compare?

We have a vice president of talent who oversees eight fulltime recruiters (and freelancers) across the Condé Nast brand in the US. Each recruiter is responsible for a different business area within each brand. This creates structure. I was the sole recruiter in the London office, thinking on my feet was a daily occurrence, as it was fast paced. I loved that environment and it taught me how to be the recruiter I am today.

How does the cost of living compare with the UK?

Rents are much higher in New York than in London. For example, a studio apartment in Manhattan will cost the same to rent as a two-bedroom flat in London. Buying food in grocery stores is very expensive, however New Yorkers don’t cook (well, hardly ever). The subway is practically free and clothing is slightly cheaper. Just a reminder to everyone: you pay tax on top of the listed price in New York, so what you see on the label is not what you pay!

"You can live in New York City your whole life and not do everything."

What do you do in your spare time?

You’ll find me drinking red wine, meeting up with friends (which probably also involves red wine), or discovering the gems of this great city. A good friend once said that you can live in New York your whole life and not do everything… they were so right!


What advice would you give others moving to New York?

Relocate in the summer (a New York winter is no joke) also, fly into JFK airport (cabs from Newark into the city are ridiculously expensive). This city is 24/7, take it slowly and give yourself time to settle in. If you give the city a chance, it will eventually give you a chance too. Try to open a US bank account through your UK bank before relocating – this is one of the hardest things to do.

Do you have any regrets?

Only one – I didn’t drag my partner onto the plane to relocate with me.

I miss …

Marks & Spencer – can anyone tell me where I can buy Percy Pigs in New York?

I don’t miss …

Non air-conditioned tube carriages.


Restaurant? Marc Forgione for dinner, Little Park for dinner or for lunch, Harry’s Café & Steak for the best Saturday brunch.

Tourist attraction? The 9/11 Memorial and Museum – it is very moving.

Activity? Running down the West Side Highway, walking over the Brooklyn Bridge (the views of Manhattan are breathtaking) or just sitting in the park with a glass of wine, people watching.

Shopping? Roaming around Soho or heading to Macy’s.

Emily  Sexton-Brown

By Emily Sexton-Brown

Emily is the commissioning editor at Changeboard

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