How did you get interested in the meeting and event industry?
Ever since I could remember I have always loved being involved in and around some kind of event. In high school, I was accepted into a university program for Theatre Arts where instead of pursuing acting and theatre, I found a love for the art of production. I have always enjoyed embracing creativity with a hospitable approach. When it comes to planning an event I like to understand what people desire, learning details, and bringing their true vision to life. I have done this through family gatherings, school and work, which has eventually led me to what I love now - planning events.
What made you decide to attend Johnson & Wales?
When deciding on which college to attend and what major I wanted to study, Johnson and Wales stood out to me because of their city campus and the appealing major of Sports/Entertainment/Events (SEE). Although I started as an undecided hospitality student, I quickly realized that I belonged in SEE where I would be able to learn every aspect of the event industry, which was where I felt I belonged.
Describe your role as the President of the JWU MPI students chapter?
Being President of the JWU MPI student chapter has been the greatest experience for me so far at Johnson and Wales. It has given me the ability to succeed as a leader, positively influence the JWU community and take on a responsibility I did not know I could. The executive board of our chapter meets on a weekly basis and everyone dedicates time and effort towards creating a successful organization for students on campus. From recruiting members, running chapter meetings, working on plans to get us to WEC and attending our parent chapter meetings in Boston, we work together as a team to generate ideas on how to build and grow MPI at JWU.
What made you decide to become involved in the MPI student chapter?
When the previous Vice President came into my event management class freshman year to talk about the MPI chapter starting on campus, her presentation drew me in right away. As I started learning more about the events industry in my classes, I realized my original thoughts of working with weddings and sports were no longer the right fit for what I wanted to do. MPI has shown me the meetings and corporate events world and from the first chapter meeting confirmed that I was in the right place.
Describe events that the JWU student chapter is currently planning for the upcoming year?
JWU MPI is so excited to announce that we will be working on planning our own MPI conference for our student community in Spring 2017. The conference will be focused on industry trends and will feature three professional MPI members as speakers. It will be an interactive event open to all students and professors of the JWU hospitality community and hopefully be a great recruiting mechanism for more members and an overall positive educational and networking experience for everyone.
Can you tell us a little bit about your coursework and what areas of the industry you enjoy most?
My favorite courses at Johnson and Wales have been Event Management, International Venues, The Entertainment Industry, Negotiations, Hospitality Marketing and Media Relations. The material in these courses is what I am interested in most and so learning more about each subject and working on projects has given me the knowledge I need to pursue my career. From creating my own press conference, planning a wedding, becoming certified in Trained Crowd Management, and attending field trips to various venues, I have learned so much about the industry that I cannot wait to apply in my future career endeavors.
Can you share an industry experience that has really inspired you?
This past summer I had an internship with Relevant Sports and the experience guided me to decide what I want to do in the industry. Relevant plans the International Champions Cup globally every summer. I had the opportunity of traveling with the German national soccer team, Bayern Munich, on their pre-season tour around the United States. Representing Relevant, I was the assistant to their team liaison for the tournament where I assisted the players and their board members in preparing for each match and traveling from one city to the next. Being in the different venues and seeing the events come to life was the greatest feeling because it was the true confirmation that this is the career path I was meant to follow. The fact that I was able to be part of the event rather than just attending it was the sign that told me this was where I was meant to be.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Other than running MPI on campus, I am excited to be graduating this May by earning my bachelor degree in three years rather than four. Throughout college I worked in Student Involvement, part of the events department for clubs and organizations. Having grown up just outside of New York City, I love going into the city on the weekends to attend sports events, concerts, and Broadway shows.
What are some of your other hobbies and interests?
I enjoy spending time with friends and family, going on hiking adventures and exploring different outdoor sites throughout Providence and Rhode Island. Also, with a background in theatre and production, I continue to film and edit movies on my laptop.