Career Connections


Rachel Jacobson

Major: Event Management

Secondary major: Hospitality Management

Year: Junior
Hometown/State: Iowa

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Center Grove Orchard
Company/Organization website: http://www.centergroveorchard.com/
Title: Event Coordinator
Destination: Cambridge, Iowa

Advisor/Coordinator Email: rmcclain@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
My position gives me the opportunity to gain essential event management experience in a fun environment! My responsibilities include; being primary contact for all CGO events; management, planning, and execution of events; scheduling events such as performers, bonfires, campfires, or other events and group outings; handling and returning phone calls and emails regarding events and groups while in the office and/or off-site in a timely manner; and other duties as assigned. I am available to execute and oversee potential events on weekday evenings and weekends as scheduled to be sure they run smoothly.

I accomplished...
My accomplishments include networking with a variety of customers and employees, executing events that I never thought I would able to do, strengthening my customer services stills by interacting with clients daily, and learning how to communicate efficiently with other departments to make sure we are all on the same page.

My most valuable effort...
So far my most valuable project that I have worked on would have to be the Pumpkin Relay. The event is still not for another month, but working on it has really been enjoyable. The Pumpkin Relay is when Center Grove Orchard puts on a fun run and all the proceeds go to a family in need. Interacting with the families that we have to choose from is the best part because you get to hear their stories, and might even make a difference in their lives.

I learned...
My most valuable learning experiences isn't a very proud moment of mine. Every Tuesday, we put food orders in on what we will need for the next week. I thought I was ahead and said I needed more chocolate for smores, when really I overlooked a group that was 200 people. I forgot to order 200 hot dogs. I had to tell my boss the next day and she had to run to the store. I felt really bad, but I will never forget something like that again. I learned to pay very close attention to the details because they can make big difference.

I will never forget...
My most memorable experience would have to be when I was working at a bonfire and they kids were jumping on the jumping pillow. It was night time and the pillow was getting a little dewy. I didn't realize it was until a girl fell and started screaming. It was my second day and I was freaking out. The girl dislocated her shoulder and went to the emergency room. I had to fill out an incident report and I was shaking so bad that my hand writing was barely readable. It was my most memorable experience because it was the scariest.

A surprising discovery...
Going into the job, I didn't think it would be so time consuming, but I was completely wrong. It definitely changed the way I will approach my profession and how I will handle my future. Taking into consideration the type of family I want to have and the vacations I want to take kind of made me think about what I want to do in the event industry. Spending so much time at work made me realize that I want that time to make a difference in the world. Working with non profits is where I want my future to go and this internship has made me realize that.

Advice for others...
When I went into this internship, there wasn't much information to go by and not a lot of people who could answer my questions. I had to figure it out on my own and that was really hard. I would advice the person who would follow in my footsteps to just relax and think about the bigger picture. Communicate with the different departments so that everyone is on the same page that way no one will get upset at you. Take food orders seriously and actually count of the supplies. If you think something is detailed enough, you're wrong, put more details!

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I heard about this internship through my advisor. She sends out e-mails regarding opportunities all the time and I just decided to take a chance on this one and put myself out there. It paid off!

I landed this assignment by...
It's kinda of a weird situation that happened to me. I applied for the assistance coordinator position but didn't get it. Then a month later, they e-mailed me and offered the head position to me. It was too good of offer not to take! I landed this particular assignment because I knew I could do it and be good at it. When you are confident about that, then the employer sees your passion for the job.

I wanted this experience because...
I wanted this assignment because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I knew events is where I wanted to go but I had no experience to see if I was actually good at it!

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