Career Connections

Ashley Preheim

Major: Hospitality Management

Year: Junior
Hometown/State: Tea, South Dakota

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Department of Residence Conference Services
Company/Organization website:
Title: Conference Manager
Destination: Ames, Iowa
Timeframe: January 2016-August 2016

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
I assisted with selection of Summer Conference Staff. I lead training sessions and supervised Summer Conference Staff throughout the summer. I managed assigned conferences by determining room assignments, confirming dining arrangements, arranging staff while the conference was staying in the residence halls, and preparing a bill. I coordinated with others working for the Department of Residence. At times, I would hold the on-duty phone where I would serve as a resource for Department of Residence staff in the event of an emergency.

I learned...
Throughout the summer I worked with conference sponsors that ranged from teen sports camps to professional training programs. Each sponsor I worked with had different expectations as far as communication. I learned how to quickly adapt my communication style to be successful no matter which sponsor I coordinated with.

I will never forget...
This year Odyssey of the Mind World Finals was hosted at Iowa State Universtiy. Almost every residence hall on campus housed participates for the week of the conference. That week is one I will never forget. I was constantly running around campus assisting guests. Getting to interact with so many people from around the world is an experience I will never forget.

Advice for others...
Keep an open mind. This position involves working with a lot of people who all have different opinions. Being willing to try new things enabled me to get the most out of this experience.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
Career Fair

I wanted this experience because...
Before becoming a Conference Manager, I only ever worked in a restaurant. I wanted a chance to see what other areas of hospitality were like.

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