Vicki Rox: Making it Happen
August 20, 2015
A charming voice answered a four o’clock phone call on a warm summer afternoon. The voice on the line, Vicki Rox -self-described as “Ukrainian born, Atlanta bread, 1989 Jewish immigrant with an idyllic childhood and fond memories of the Chatahoochee River and hiking the woods” -radiates kindness, confidence and self-worth. Vicky Rox is the ultimate self-starter. She quickly made her way up the competitive New York marketing ladder after the sudden, devastating departure of her father in a divorce and subsequent six-month solo backpacking trip around SE Asia. But wait, that’s not all, she’s also a writer and competitive storyteller, recently published in Vice magazine and made the top three in The Moth: True Stories Told Live.
Vicki proves that hard work and dedication are key to success. She literally embodies the American dream and is an inspiration for individuals looking to lead a balanced, self-fulfilling lifestyle. Accordingly, I’d like to retrace her steps just to demonstrate why; Vicki Rox is my latest girl crush. After graduating from Georgia Tech with a Degree in Business and Marketing she had a secured job that was pulled last minute because of the 2009 economic crisis. As a response, she bought a one-way ticket to Vietnam and ended up traveling alone for six months. I don’t know about you, but personally speaking there nothing is more admirable than a strong independent gal who isn’t afraid of hopping around the world on her own.
After her trip she packed her bags again and “accidentally” moved to New York City directly to her sister’s couch for 8 months. Her sister recognized her personality would flourish in advertising, and so she began her fruitful career with The Guardian shortly followed by The Daily Candy and is now with Amobee helping fortune 500 companies connect with their clients across all digital screens. It’s not far fetched to label her an anomaly, especially given that she has been the youngest account executive in every job that she has ever held. Not too shabby for a 28 year old. Her clients adore her. Her colleagues surely envy her, but she doesn’t seem fazed as she continues to pursue her dreams with no acknowledgment to haters and sincere concern for clients, friends, and the receptionist at her doctor’s office.
Her talent for hustle will be featured in an upcoming presentation for a Mind Hack group in New York. When we inquired about this venture Vicki straightforwardly confirmed that her hustle comes from heritage, chiefly being familiar with her family’s stories and what they sacrificed in order to come to America. More specifically, she grew up with her father relentlessly reminding her that he didn’t leave his life in the Ukraine for her to be mediocre. “If you’re anything less than extraordinary it will be a slap in the face,” he once said to her.
Vicki considers her immigrant background and humble beginnings in America as the source of her relentless push to thrive in whatever field she has stumbled upon, whether it was the numerous internships she completed throughout college, approaching the manager of The Four Seasons for a job, a small gig as an inflatable airplane or the babysitting empire she built throughout her teens.
“We were so poor when we moved here, my mom couldn’t even buy us 50 cent ice cream from the ice cream truck. One day, my three year old self said ‘Mama can I just taste the ice cream with my eyes- you won’t have to buy it then’ and hearing my mother retell this story to me, I realized how hard she worked to make sure my kids would never be in that position. So it’s as much a motivation, as it is a gift to know how far we’ve come thanks to my mother’s hustle- she’s my biggest inspiration, she’s my hero.”
Evidently, Vicki is a successful go–getter carving her own unique path, but she’s 28, South Florida, you know what that means, she’s only got two years left to find a suitable husband, get married and start popping out little rug rats. Or not. We all know that as we move forward into the 21st century people are reinventing the conventional family and case-by-case scenarios are making headway. That means that women don’t have to freak out at the end of their twenties and frantically start shopping for a husband. Today it’s perfectly acceptable for women to forgo the almost inevitable late 20’s last minute wedding and concentrate on whatever they wish.
Hitherto, science has come along with the possibility to freeze your eggs in order to prolong fertility and expand your personal and professional horizons. Celebrities have done it and its popularity is on the rise. Mainly because women are then allowed to pursue their career, other aspirations, travel or just be with themselves until they decide they actually want to have children because of authentic desire and not external pressure. The beauty of it all is that you get the opportunity to make your own timeline. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Vicki, a girl not looking to settle down any time soon, decided to undergo the egg freezing surgery proceeding intensive research.
Unfortunately, her surgery had a nasty twist that landed her in the emergency room; in spite of it, she was able to take a possible tragedy and flip the switch on it. Her words still resonate: “even if it’s tough it’s not going to be like that forever”. As you might have guessed, Vicki survived her surgery and a more detailed account of her experience has been published in Vice magazine alongside an upcoming article about breast cancer –her passion for writing is matched only with her penchant to bring awareness to issues that matter to her generation. The medical complications she underwent pushed her storytelling career into forward motion and is allowing her to speak about health issues affecting women on a higher demographic, which is simply grand. Her intrepidity to stick it to conventions makes her the type of person who is keenly aware that women don’t have to feel guilty for wanting a career and a family and that they can now have it all on their own watch.
The surgery bought her some time to concentrate on what matters to her most now, which includes aspirations to create a life where there is no traditional concept of home or work. She wants to become location independent and be able to work from the South of France, the mountains of Utah or her future dream beach house in Santa Monica. Vicki thinks that:
“In America we easily fall into the hamster wheel: graduate college, first job, promotion, second better job, without really having a moment to reflect on how your natural strengths could transcend other industries.” And when she reflects on why she froze her eggs at a controversially young age she says, “ I did this for me, I bought my freedom from societal expectations, from my biological clock, from feeling like I had a rigid timeline to achieve all these dreams and it was the best decision of my life because now everything is a possibility. It’s a deeply personal choice, but it’s the most liberating thing I’ve done for my soul. I’m dreaming bigger than I ever have before and it’s a really beautiful place to be.”
What we can learn from Vicki is that in spite of society’s inherent desire to label individuals into categories, schedules and deadlines for the walks of life, we are slowly moving to a place in which individuals are recognized as such and not as a previously prepackaged deal. Vicki’s personal experience with it shows us how far from the truth we can be when we bow down to stereotypes. She further relates on this topic with personal experience:
“The most tangible form of labeling is American vs. immigrant because I think you do grow up differently even in the household, yet it’s easy to categorize people by how they look, but I don’t fit into that mold, not until they know my story”.
Since Vicki doesn’t embody the Ukrainian stereotype that most people envision (blond hair and blue eyes) she has even been featured in magazines as a Latina hair model. It’s ironic and amusing how far we can steer from the truth through labels and expectations. Even if society’s desperate cling to categorization persists it’s obvious that it hasn’t halted Vicki from following her dreams, if anything it has fueled her drive and shifted it into high gear. For taking her professional, personal and reproductive objectives into her own hands and her unapologetic attitude towards her unconventional lifestyle, Vicki is our new girl crush and leading lady in our upcoming series on women who don’t give a fuck.
Follow Vicki on Twitter: @VickiRoxNYC