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Monday, October 3, 2011

Alumni Spotlight: from "Opera" to "Theater Bar"

Nicole Rose Stillings is a “go-getter girl” if I’ve ever seen one. Having recently met the author of The Go-Getter Girl’s Guide, I can tell Stillings is exactly what she had in mind.

Young, ambitious, and fabulously stylish, Stillings is making a name for herself in New York City. She graduated from Emory with a double major in international studies and sociology and a minor in French in 2009.

Stillings began her career in marketing and public relations in Atlanta at Weber Shandwick. The summer before she graduated, Stillings worked in the Beijing branch and, after graduation, made the move to New York City and it stuck.

While in Beijing, Stillings grew to appreciate Chinese culture, and when she moved to New York, she spent time hanging out in Chinatown. Stillings frequented a bar there called Apotheke where she and the owner, Albert, became friends. A year and a half later, the two became partners and opened Theater Bar, a bar in the Big Apple.

It was just the opportunity she’d been waiting for: a way to incorporate the things she loved into a lucrative enterprise.

So how did she get into the nightlife and entertainment scene in the first place? Well, she can thank Emory for that one.

While at Emory, Stillings took advantage of all that the Atlanta nightlife had to offer and even worked as a DJ in her spare time. From the Highlands to Buckhead to Downtown to Midtown, she scoped it all out, while meeting dynamic and interesting people. In fact, many of her business contacts from the early stages of her career she met because she ventured outside the Emory bubble.

As a jet-setting, young professional, Stillings remarks that “You can never get anywhere in life unless you go out and meet people.”

This is a value she’s lived by all her life. She mentioned she found her first job in Atlanta using Emory’s vast Alumni network, and she still stays in contact with her sociology advisor to this day.

“Everyone has knowledge they are willing to share, and what bonds us first is Emory, and after that, it’s up to you,” Stillings said.

When Stillings moved to New York, the first thing she did was connect with alumni and got involved with various alumni groups in New York.

“I wanted to be part of a smaller community in a large city,” she said. “Emory gave so much to me. I figured I’d give something back in return.”

And somewhere between owning a bar and running the Alumnae and Women of Emory (AWE) chapter in New York City, Stillings has put together a classy, fabulous, and stylish event called Sip & Shop at Theory.

Be there, Wednesday, October 26, to mingle and shop with New York alumnae.

--Cindy Okereke 12C, EAA communications assistant

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