Describe your current position and what led to your job.
I work in the Office of Alumni Relations at UD. My main focus is to plan Forum & Reunion Weekend, UD’s premiere all-alumni event held the first weekend in June. I also manage the reunion classes that will celebrate their reunions during Forum & Reunion Weekend (FRW) - the 5th, 10th, 25th and 50th class reunion years. The Student Programs piece of my position involves programming that helps students start thinking about becoming engaged alumni and our Spirit Ambassadors group helps us to accomplish this goal.
The Office of Alumni Relations experienced some change last summer and posted 4 new positions. My resume was passed along to my director and I was called in for an interview. There were over 350 job applicants for the 4 positions, so I was excited to even get a phone call for an interview.
What has been the most rewarding/challenging moment in your career?
The most rewarding moment in my career was completing my master’s degree at Northeastern University while working full time. It was a grueling and challenging 18 months in the process, but it was worth it because I felt so proud in the end.
What is the best career advice you have received?
The best career advice I’ve received centers around the fact that anyone can learn a job task, but it is the personality and attitude of that person doing those tasks that will propel them to the top in their career.
Another piece of advice that I’ve always kept with me is that if you have a problem with someone (in the office or outside) take them to lunch and find out what the problem and find a solution for it. Don’t be afraid of conflict and to find out what makes people different. In the end, you will understand that person better and will be able to work better with them as a result.
What would you recommend to someone interested in working in your field?
Event managers need to be adaptable and flexible and always thinking ahead. The stereotypical descriptions about event planners are also a huge help- being detail-oriented, organized and thorough.
Especially from working in Disney World, I understand and recognize the importance of a positive customer experience. You always want your client (in my case- an alum) to feel welcomed and positive about staying in touch with the University of Delaware.
What skills are necessary or what prepared you the most for your career?
The internship that I did at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce while taking the Experiential Education class at UD prepared me for my career and taught me how to deal with situations that arise. It was both a lesson about event management and about work culture and functioning in an office setting. There is no class that can teach you that valuable real-world information!
What professional associations have aided in your professional development?
I currently do not belong to any professional organizations, but there are a great deal in this area and in Philadelphia. MPI (Meeting Professionals International) and ISES (International Special Events Society) are 2 examples of quality organizations that event managers can join. I have also considered getting my CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) certification but have not had the time to pursue it.
Back to Spotlight on UD Alumni