Before college, I had always thought that I wanted to work in the public relations industry. It is an exciting and fast paced environment where you work with many different outlets to help build and promote a business, brand, or person. That dream quickly vanished after I realized that I do not enjoy writing, and I am particularly not fond of writing press releases. Seeing as writing press releases is an integral part of becoming a publicist, I realized I needed to choose a different career path. I am very organized, detail oriented, personable, and creative, and the one profession that I found that encompasses all of these attributes is event planning. I have since had four internships from non-profit fundraising to wedding planning, and have helped plan and execute more events than I can count.
My first coop was at Harvard Medical School, and was my first foray into the event planning industry. I was the assistant to the program coordinator for the Office for Diversity and Community Partnership where I helped plan events and programs for underprivileged Boston public school students. The office is a non-profit organization within the university so we had to execute large events with very little funding. It was one of my favorite internships. I highly recommend applying because the children I was planning events for were so grateful and appreciative and made working had enjoyable.
For my second coop I was the programming assistant for Northeastern University’s Office for New Student Orientation. There were many early mornings as I had to help plan and staff all of the open houses and orientations for new students. Northeastern accepts roughly 3,000 new students each year and I had to coordinate all of the room reservations, media requests and catering for the events as well as organize all of the mass mailings and packet assembly. This coop was a really great experience, because it was the first time I helped coordinate large events for my peers.
At my third internship I assisted a wedding planner, Unique Weddings by Alexis, with eight weddings in six weeks. It was absolute madness and required a high level of detail and organization, but it was so much fun! I was responsible for researching venues and corresponding with vendors and clients. I was able to accompany my boss to all site visits, and each wedding was spectacular to work and observe.
My third and final coop was at the Boston Symphony Orchestra where I was a special events intern. I had to track hundreds of RSVP’s for over 30 events and manage all registration sites. It was such an amazing experience where I was also able to receive free tickets to concerts and attend some of the events. After six months of working there I had met James Taylor and seen Morgan Freeman and Robert DeNiro!
These four experiences have been invaluable as they have helped me realize what I want to do when I graduate. Take advantage of the coop program and internships because they not only help build your resume, but they give you experience that you can never gain the classroom.