Internal Events Coordinator for Phipps Conservatory is a 2012 SAEM Alum
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Meet Rachel Kernic
Job title: Internal Events Coordinator
Employer: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Current activities: Member of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Canonball Crew and co-founder of Glitzburgh, a black-tie fashion show that has raised more than $50,000 for local children’s charities
Degree earned: B.S. in Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management with a minor in Business Administration
Graduated: May 2012
Hometown: Cranberry Township, Pa.
High School: Seneca Valley High School
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Traveling, baking and the outdoors
Featured in: "SAEM program at Point Park helps students find jobs," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jan. 24, 2013
LinkedIn: Rachel Kernic
Rachel is now event sales manager at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
How did you land your position with Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens?
I think building up my resume while in college was one of the key reasons I landed the job at Phipps. During college, I worked extremely hard to network and get as much experience in my field as possible. One of the job requirements for my position was to have a couple of years of professional experience in event planning. I believe that because I worked so hard volunteering my time and gaining experience in events, Phipps was able to look past the fact that I had just graduated and took my experience as a student as professional experience.
Do you think your SAEM degree gave you an advantage over other applicants? If so, how?
I absolutely do. The SAEM program not only offers classes that concentrate in events, but so much more. I was able to learn about sports, business, marketing, PR … I could go on and on. When you are in the event planning business, all of those other areas go hand-in-hand with events and are important to know. The professors in the SAEM program have real-word experience in the fields they teach and do not just lecture from a book. They help you learn what to really expect. They connect you with the real world not only giving you advice but also by helping you network and meet people. I love that the SAEM major is so many things into one. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll put event planning aside and decide I want to market for a company and I will already have the experience and the degree.
What are your key responsibilities as an internal events coordinator?
My key responsibilities are to figure out the logistics of the event and make sure it is a success. There are so many different types of events I plan at Phipps, from 25 guest board meetings to wine galas with 400 guests. Each event is different and requires less or more of something than others. I am the person who figures out what is needed and makes sure it is executed. At every event, I need to make sure my client is happy and that I have given them what they expect at the event. My client could be the CEO of Phipps, an employee of Phipps or a client that is bringing in a national three-day conference to Phipps.
The one thing I can say about event planning is that my responsibilities are always changing for each event. That is what makes my job so interesting. No two events are the same and the day never gets boring!
Please list internship and career-related experiences you had throughout college.
Glitzburgh made me realize event planning was really something I wanted to do and it proved to me, and everyone around me, that with help from my friends and so many supportive people, I could make an event a success.
What was one of your favorite experiences as a student at Point Park?
My favorite experiences were getting to know the professors and students and winning the Outstanding Graduating Senior of the Year Award for the School of Business. I left Point Park with so many great connections and lifelong friendships.
What are your future career goals?
I would like to continue to grow in my position at Phipps. Also, one day I hope to own my own event planning business or work for ESPN, the Olympics or fashion shows planning national, large-scale events.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would recommend anyone to the SAEM program at Point Park. I cannot stress enough to current and future students how important it is to work really hard to achieve the goal of landing a job you love doing. Also, I cannot thank enough the professors, students and everyone at Point Park who has helped me achieve my goals.