August 17, 2023 / CPOVs
CP Abroad With Dana Wantman
Dana Wantman, Senior Partner & Chief Client and Integration Officer
I missed the opportunity to study abroad in college. It was offered, I was just a bit too lazy, or maybe immature, to take advantage of it – one of my few regrets. You can’t go back in time, but when the opportunity to live and work in Ireland for a month through CP Abroad presented itself, I wasn’t going to miss out again.
I was lucky enough to be part of creating the Abroad program and I was excited to see how it came to life. Putting the program on paper is much different than really experiencing it. The intention behind the program was a simple one. Create a program that would spark curiosity…live, learn, explore, be inspired, and bring all that back home to share with co-workers and clients.
So off we went….
We booked short-term housing, sight unseen (for someone with control issues this was a very uncomfortable endeavor), in an area of Dublin called Sandymount, and boy did we nail it – walking distance to the CP Office, the beach, and a great little downtown area where the Pubs outnumbered the grocery stores 4-1. It truly felt like a storybook town.
One of my favorite parts of this trip was getting to walk to work. Twenty-five minutes of calm and quiet walking through beautiful neighborhoods, with a cappuccino in one hand and an umbrella in the other. I love our office in Dublin – the location is amazing and there’s a great energy. It reminds me of the early days of the CP Boston office when we’d just yell to each other over desks. There’s still great energy in Boston, it’s just different with 80 people as opposed to 40. Getting to work with, meet and just “be” with the team was one of the key motivators behind the CP Abroad program. The team was incredibly welcoming to me and my family. We got great recommendations about what to see, where to eat, how to get around, etc…they made us feel like neighbors, not tourists.
I also had the opportunity to attend an IAPI event (Ireland’s version of the 4A’s). It was a recap of Cannes, and as a community what it would take to have a better showing next year. And rather than people lamenting that the judging was unfair, or that clients were too conservative or didn’t have big enough budgets, it was a discussion around what it would take to be better, to do better work and drive clients’ business… There truly is a close-knit and talented creative community in Ireland. I left feeling excited about what our team could do and how we can inspire the entire organization with the same focus on strategic and creative excellence.
But it wasn’t all work. We did all the touristy stuff too.
- We explored Dublin and the Irish Countryside
- Stayed at a beautiful resort with the most incredible gardens. Truth be told, visiting gardens wasn’t high on my list of priorities, but they were truly spectacular.
- Played golf in Ireland (bucket list ✔️)
- Walked up the Arc de Triomphe. That’s a lot of steps.
- Shopped along the Champs-Élysees
- River cruised down the Seine
- Went up the Eiffel Tower (only to the second observation deck. Go ahead and judge me, that thing’s high.)
- Got lost in the neighborhoods of Paris. Breathtaking…
- Saw the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Parliament, Piccadilly Circus
- Toured Kensington and Buckingham Palace
- Took a double-decker bus tour
- Shopped in Harrods
- Toured Stamford Bridge
I can’t look back on this trip without a tremendous amount of gratitude and appreciation. A total immersion into a different culture, the opportunity to meet countless great people and hear their stories, and work alongside some incredibly talented people…. memories for a lifetime.
I’m excited to bring those experiences and a renewed cultural curiosity back to Boston.
We started CP Abroad with a simple premise. Create the kind of connections, experiences and curiosity that would inspire our team and benefit our clients. Mission accomplished.