Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby Steps in the Right Direction

My senior year of college flew by. Before I knew it, Spring was here and the magical "What Now" question was on everyone's mind. Including my own! I decided to focus on finishing school strong and let the rest fall into place! Looking over the last few months, I am so thankful for that attitude!

Throughout college, I was active in my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. I was chosen to be the Activities coordinator for 2008. This meant that I was in charge of Derby days, Greek Sing, and all Homecoming festivities. At the University of Arkansas, Homecoming challenges include: the Blood-drive, cook-off, create-a-hog, flag football tournament, lawn competition, parade/float, and pep rally. Homecoming week was by far my favorite sorority activity each year. This year it was an 80+ hour work week for me. And it opened my eyes to something I loved: designing, planning, organizing, and executing events.

In the Fall 2008, I also volunteered at two non-profit fundraising events. The first was in October in Memphis, Tn. I helped decorate and set-up for the Victory Ranch Fundraiser which was held on the rooftop of the Peabody Hotel. My friend Chelsea and I have worked at the Christian Outdoor Adventure Camp (http://www.victoryranch.org) for the last 3 summers prior to the event. We helped the Founders and Directors (and Friends), Dennis and Anne Smith, set up for the fundraiser. It was a very fun day! In December 2008, I also helped our Kappa Chapter Advisor, Anne Jackson with a fundraiser for the NW Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund. Volunteering with SPSF that night was very rewarding.

Fast forward to March, I realized that Graduation was 2 months away and I had no idea what I should do with my life. My sister sent me an email with links for event planning internships. This is when I made up my mind of what I wanted to do! I got connected with Jenessa Bailey with J. Bailey Occasions in NW Arkansas (http://www.jbaileyoccasions.com) and asked if I could volunteer with her. She told me that I could get a taste of a "hectic" day in the life of a coordinator if I wanted to volunteer Sat. April 25. I volunteered to help out with the Brides for the Cure Group (starting at 6am) which participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Then Jenessa, Ki, Gina, and I prepared for the wedding ceremony and reception that would occur that night. At 1:15am, I was on my way home from the 18 hour workday and I had a smile on my face, because I loved every detail of this day. In this moment, I knew I had a passion for this industry...

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