Career Connections

Houa Vang

Major: Event Management

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Des Moines, Iowa

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Iowa State University
Company/Organization website:
Title: Human Sciences Week Intern
Destination: Ames, Iowa
Timeframe: April 2017 - October 2017

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
Become knowledgeable about all academic disciplines in the College of Human Sciences, work with student co-chairs on all aspects of HSW17, invite, communicate with, and coordinate hosts for event dignitaries, maintain budget, seek sponsorship and other resources to support the event, and reconcile event expenses.

I accomplished...
Created layout for crowdfunding platform, created and proposed budget to student leaders and the dean, finalized and prepared sponsor packets, working with advisors throughout the internship

My most valuable effort...
The most valuable project so far has been the crowdfunding platform. This is the first time using this platform as well as our first time emphasizing and seeking sponsors from outside parties. This allowed me to meet and work with Mary, executive director of annual and special gifts from ISU Foundation.

I learned...
The most valuable learning experience so far is the communication between the student organization and my advisors. When do I step in or take a step back, when do I delegate, how to compromise via email or phone call, how do I make sure I'm creating their vision, and communicating well.

I will never forget...
The most memorable experience so far is when we presented the budget to Dean Jolly. The long days in the office perfecting the budget was worth it. The budget proposal wouldn't have been possible without the Student Leadership Team. Most of the students were present and we all took a part in this. It was great seeing our teamwork and the improvement from spring to summer.

A surprising discovery...
I didn't expect the levels of hierarchy in the higher education that I would have to consider or communicate and the many services in the College of Human Sciences. To make Human Sciences Week successful, I will need to communicate with the Communications team, to create the alumni event, I will need to communicate to the alumni office, etc. Those resources are provided for a reason and I should use it to the best of my and their abilities.

Advice for others...
This involves organization and time management. Human Sciences Week consists of many events and you have to set goals for yourself to make sure all events are planned out. Which one is a priority, what deadline is coming up - you have to see the bigger picture and be very detailed.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I saw this opportunity from my emails as well as CyHire.

I landed this assignment by...
I completed the application through CyHire, had an interview, and then follow up.

I wanted this experience because...
I wanted this particular assignment for various reasons. One of them was to gain event planning experience. Second, I've had experiences with planning events through my organizations I've been involved in and would like to use my skills for the college. Third, this sounded like something I would like to be involved in the future and wanted to challenge myself.

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