Event Manager Excels with M.B.A., Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management Concentration Friday, September 26, 2014
Job titles: Event Manager, independent wedding planner
Employer: Pittsburgh Technology Council
Degrees earned: M.B.A. with a concentration in sports, arts and entertainment management, Point Park University and B.S. in hospitality management, Robert Morris University
Graduation years: 2013 and 2006
Hometown: Beaver, Pa.
High School: Beaver Area High School
Now living in: Overbrook, City of Pittsburgh
Hobbies/interests: Choral groups, church activities, cooking and spending time with family
Why did you decide to concentrate your M.B.A. in sports, arts and entertainment management?
The SAEM concentration within the M.B.A. program fit with my career goals in event planning and management. I believed this specific degree would bolster my business management skills and augment my education and experience in the hospitality field.
Also, I liked the idea of not only gaining more knowledge in business management but also in the sports, arts and entertainment fields. The program was unique and gave me flexibility in my career moving forward since I was gaining skills and knowledge in all of those areas.
What factors made you choose Point Park for graduate school?
At the time when I decided to go back to school, I was working across the river from Point Park at Station Square. The location was ideal and really easy to get to after work - and I liked that it was an urban campus that was "up and coming." It was also a good value for me. I didn't have tuition reimbursement from my employer at that time, so I was paying for the degree on my own.
Another factor for choosing Point Park was that it was the only graduate school offering a concentration in sports, arts and entertainment management. Also, I appreciate smaller class sizes and feel at home in creative learning environments like Point Park offers.
How did you land your position with the Pittsburgh Technology Council?
I was recruited for the position. The council was looking to replace the events person who was leaving, and wanted to modify the role to be more management focused. The position was a good fit for me and it turned out to be a boomerang situation because I had interned at the Pittsburgh Technology Council during my undergraduate studies, and now was back as a manager. It all felt like it was meant to be.
I definitely believe having an M.B.A. degree positioned me well for this role as someone who has invested in their education. Also, the knowledge I gained in the M.B.A. program has given me the opportunity to work in additional capacities at the Pittsburgh Technology Council beyond just planning events.
In what ways do you apply what you learned in the M.B.A. program into the work you do?
The team collaboration assignments and projects I worked on in the M.B.A. program have really helped me in this position. In my role at the council, I serve as the hub that keeps the wheels turning. I work with five directors, my supervisor and assistant on about 100 events per year. Earning my M.B.A. degree has made me feel more confident that I can achieve all of my goals and be successful both here and across my professional life.
What advice do you have for our M.B.A. students?
Be persistent in your studies. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you can. I felt the professors at Point Park were truly interested in my success. Over and over I heard, "You're investing in your success" so I really felt that grad school was my time to ask questions and not hold back. And remember that it's OK to show you have weaknesses, because that is how you are going to grow.
My other advice is to make connections with people in your classes - not only with your professors but also your classmates. They might be the ticket to a new job, a great friendship or a reference down the road.
What are your career goals?
I want to continue coordinating and managing events in corporate environments and would like the opportunity to manage larger budgets that would allow me to be more creative and use the latest technologies. I also want to travel more and coordinate events nationwide.
Additionally, I want to keep my hand in the wedding planning world. There is no better feeling professionally than to see a couple have the magical wedding day they have always wanted and to have played a part in that moment. It's a great privilege!
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I'm thankful to Point Park for giving me the opportunity to challenge myself and be part of the University's larger story. It's really exciting to see how much Point Park University is growing.