SAEM Alumna, West Africa Native is a Manager for Marriott International in Chicago Monday, May 4, 2015
Meet Louise Diallo
Job title: Performance Development Manager
Employer: Marriott International
Degree earned: B.S. in sports, arts and entertainment management, 2009
College activities: SAEM Club and president of the International Club
Hometown: Guinea, West Africa
High school: Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring, Md.
Now living in: Chicago
Hobbies/interests: Traveling, dancing, writing, directing shorts and project development
LinkedIn: Louise Diallo
Louise is now a front office manager for Marriott International.
Why did you choose to major in SAEM?
For my first semester, I was enrolled at Point Park as an undecided major. I then learned more about the SAEM program and since I always wanted to do something in the entertainment industry, I decided to go for it.
After a semester of having classes with the SAEM faculty, I felt like I had picked the right major. The professors all taught with a very hands-on approach, which was especially great for me as an international student. This program was different because you not only learned a subject in class but then benefited from a field trip to an actual venue discussed such as Heinz Hall, Heinz Field, First Niagara Pavilion, etc. Overall, the SAEM program was the right fit for me.
What was it like being an international student on Point Park's campus?
I was lucky enough to have gone through high school in the U.S. so it wasn't totally foreign to me. I quickly found the international community at Point Park through the International Club. By being a part of this club and hosting various events, I was able to bring both worlds together and mentor new international students. These students were usually individuals who were coming to the U.S. for the first time and I was able to give them some guidance based on my experiences. As a work-study employee for the International Student Services Office, new international students would often stop by with questions. It certainly was a wonderful experience and those are memories I will hold on to forever.
What were some of your favorite experiences at Point Park?
I had so many wonderful and favorite ones. The International Club was one. From putting together activities to getting together with friends in the Point Cafe to do "work," being a part of the international club was filled with great memories.
One of my other favorite (and exhausting) experiences was putting together SAEM's first fashion show. As seniors, we put on an event to raise money for the club. I noticed that we always did something with sports so I decided to pitch the idea of doing a fashion show instead. I presented my idea in class and became the senior project manager for the "Lights, Glamour, Fashion" event. It was a lot of work but so much fun. We found vendors throughout Pittsburgh who wanted to showcase their clothes and we transformed the Lawrence Hall Ballroom into NY fashion week with lights down the runway. We turned the upstairs study hall area into the dressing rooms and green room. Point Park's dance team performed as well. It was a great experience.
Please list internship and career-related experiences you had throughout college.
- Oscar Fundraising Event Intern, Pittsburgh Film Office
- Light up Night Event Intern, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
- Events Intern, Zoo Atlanta
- Office Intern, Atlanta AEG Touring Company
- Festival Intern, African Film Festival New York
- Box Office Coordinator/Ballot Lead, Sundance Film Festival
How have your Point Park classes helped you as a manager for Marriott International?
My strategic planning class has has been a major player in helping to form my management style. Also, my communication class helped me a great deal since having that skill is the key to success in any business. My event management class gave me the skills needed for the training classes I facilitate while the principles of management course has helped me manage large and diverse teams and run day-to-day hotel operations. In addition, my human resources course has assisted me with the recruiting, hiring and training process at several major hotels. I can certainly say that these classes and the hands-on teaching approach of the SAEM program have contributed to my success.
What advice do you have for our SAEM students?
I wish I had some amazing words of wisdom for this question but all I can say is to get involved with as many activities as your time will allow you. Be curious and take risks in projects. Lastly and most importantly, have fun!
Is there anything else you'd like to add?