Being a member of ACCED-I as a college student is an exciting opportunity. The Student Development Action Team had the chance to sit down with Katherine Rogers, a senior majoring in Tourism at the University of South Carolina, to talk about the benefits of becoming a new member in the organization. Katherine works as the Student Conference Assistant at UofSC and will be joining ACCED-I this spring. When asked about what she found most exciting about becoming a member, she expressed that it was the vast resources available to her. Networking is a crucial skill for college students and through the organization and future regional events, she is excited to meet other colleagues and fellow students that are in the same industry.
As the Student Conference Assistant, Katherine has been able to hone many skills that will benefit her career post-graduation. When thinking about which skill has been the most beneficial, communication immediately comes to mind. From answering phones and email inquiries to working with clients and attendees on-site, she has been able to further develop her communication skills and fully understand what the client needs and how to provide the upmost customer service.
As she reflects on her time as a student and working in conferences and events, the best advice Katherine has received is to not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. One area of event planning that she wanted to learn more about was the realm of catering. Over the past few months Katherine has taken the initiative to learn more about catering and has assisted clients with building their budget and planning their menu. One crucial aspect she has learned is just how important dietary restrictions can be. Katherine shared that by asking to learn more and assisting with the process, she's learned the key questions to ask clients in order to best meet their needs as well as creating a comfortable environment for all attendees to ensure they have a great experience while attending a conference. Don't forget - everyone always remembers the food! If there is one piece of advice Katherine would give students is not be afraid to ask questions.
Katherine is enjoying her time working with conferences and events. When it comes to what she loves most about her job, it is seeing all the moving parts of the planning process - really understanding all of the work that goes into planning a successful event months in advance. Understanding where to begin with a budget to observing staff members on-site to processing and helping manage registration, Katherine has developed a great understanding of all aspects of event planning. However, there is always something to learn! Over the next semester, Katherine hopes to continue to develop critical problem solving skills to help the client find the best solution as efficiently as possible.