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Event Planning Event Opens Doors for Students

By Alex Silverman
On April 22, 2013


Breaking into the event planning career field is all about networking and experience, according to three event planners that spoke at the careers in event planning workshop in Van Munching Hall.

Event planners Niki Charles, Kevin Cannady, and Dakia Kelly-Adams spoke at the event. Charles runs her own event planning company, Cannady is the regional director of development for the National Kidney Foundation, and Kelly-Adams is the assistant director of events and project management for the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

The three spoke about their experience in the field, the responsibilities of their respective jobs, and most importantly for the students in attendance, how to get their foot in the door at an event planning company.

The three agreed that experience is one of the keys to breaking into the field. Cannady said the volunteering is one of the best ways to gain initial experience. The National Kidney Foundation is a non-profit, and when hiring interns, always wants to see that they have experience handling various parts of events.

The event planners also agreed that networking is extremely important. Kennedy described the field as a "tight knit event community." Volunteering, gaining experience, and making contacts in the field are important factors when trying to find a job. Charles said her experience and contacts allow her to ask certain venues for favors that other planners could not ask, showing the value of networking.

Students in attendance quickly made use of a networking opportunity immediately following the presentation, when the majority of the students approached the event planners to introduce themselves and take their business cards.

Junior psychology and prospective marketing major Talia Evans, 20, found the workshop extremely informative. She is interested in planning weddings. Though the three experts found the pressure of planning weddings daunting, Evans thinks that the importance of the moment will give her more incentive to succeed.

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