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A Social Girl’s Guide to Winning a Trip to SXSW

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

I had first learned about South by Southwest, the Interactive festival in the heart of Texas, while studying at Syracuse University. The Newhouse School was sponsoring a trip for 5 lucky students, and I had my heart set on being part of the “Fab Five.”

That dream was crushed when I didn’t make the cut for the second year in a row. Coming up on my last few months of undergrad, I was convinced my next opportunity to attend the SXSW would be light-years away.

Fast-forward to 1/23, when MRY announced the #SendMeToSXSW contest was open for entries; three employees would secure an all-expenses paid trip to the festival in Austin. I knew instantly that this was my year.

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Speak up and reach out.

There’s real power in networking. Going into the competition, I, of course, had an outreach strategy. I had given special thought to how I would approach each network: university professors and alumni, sorority and club connections, professional and work colleagues, friends and social advocates, (and of course, Mom & Dad)!

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Fearful of seeming too desperate, at times, I was hesitant to ask certain people for the favor. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic responses I received. You wouldn’t believe how many people took hours of their day (and night) to help make this dream come true. Side note –

 Dear voters,

You rock.

And the winner is…

On 2/2, the winners of the competition were announced, and I was one of them!

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Who knew a few memes (and a little determination) could win me a trip to SXSW?

As I begin planning my agenda and browsing all of the amazing panels this year’s festival has to offer, I couldn’t be more excited for this adventure. Thank you, MRY, for this incredible opportunity!

And with that, I invite you all to come along for the ride here.