Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Guest Blogger: Macaila Schlaff! "What I Learned During my Internship with Events North"

For those of you who didn't know, we had the privilege of having Macaila for our summer Event Coordinator. Macaila was an absolute dream to work with and we could not have asked for a more perfect fit. We asked her if she'd mind talking a little bit about her internship at Events North and she was happy to provide some answers for us! Tomorrow is her last day with us and we're still in denial, but here is a look into Macaila's internship with Events North: 

Meaghan, Allison, and Macaila on site at an event!

What are 3-5 things you have learned from your internship with Events North?
1. No matter what happens, there is no need to freak out. Allison Beers is a calm and collected professional who has taught me that when an incident occurs, panicking is only a waste of time. The best solution is to think about the problem, then either come to a realistic resolution or if there is nothing to be done then accept the fact that it is the way it is.

2. Networking is not as easy as it seems, but also not as scary as you think. When first entering the professional world, networking appears to be simple…you go to an event, talk to some people and hand out your card. However, there is a lot more too it. Walking into a room where you are not only the youngest person but the “new girl” too is very intimidating…I felt like the awkward girl at a high school dance just waiting for someone to come over. Then I realized that I need to make moves, I have nothing to lose if I just go talk to people and see what they do, how they got involved in their industry and their experiences. Being young was not a disadvantage like I believed because people were interested to hear my career goals and happy to give their advice on growing in the professional world. They had been in my shoes before and knew how to relate. Networking can be compared to going to a new school, the first day can be overwhelming but if you be yourself and get out there you are sure to find new friends and connections!

3. Always have your business card on you. Everyone and anyone you meet could be a potential client.

4. Be confident in all that you do. Before this internship I second-guessed choices and worried that my ideas/work would not meet expectations or be as good as someone else’s. Allison gave me large responsibilities but also gave me the tools I needed in order to be confident in the final product of those tasks. I make sure to triple check, ask if I need assistance, take time to perfect but also be efficient. Allison gave me constructive criticism on the assignments I turned in, and in addition she made sure to tell me when my work was fantastic.
What was your favorite event or experience in general?
I don’t think there was just one event that was my absolute favorite because each one taught me something new and when you are with the Events North team there is no such thing as a “boring event.”  I genuinely loved all the events I was a part of because our clients are fantastic people to work with and I spend my days with the two most fun people I know. 

One that sticks out was the LaBelle Family Reunion (also known as LFR to honorary members of the family…aka Meaghan and I) and Frank Wedding Weekend Bananza was one of the craziest, busiest, most fun events! It resulted in family shenanigans, karaoke contests, hiding out in a closet with Allison Beers and an intense dance party with the Events North team. Oh, and did I mention that Allison rapped the entire “shoop” song by Salt and Pepper to Meaghan and I…just one of the many skills she possesses. (owner's note: I'm mortified that Macaila told you I rapped the entire "Shoop" song by Salt and Pepper

...when the name of the group is "Salt and Pepa." I made her aware of her mistake, don't worry.)

 Two of my favorite parts about working with Events North were shopping days for different clients….there is something about spending money on random event items that is very entertaining. Also, just work days in the office where we are all in intense work-mode but on random occasion someone blurts out something weird or hilarious and just for a moment we get distracted for a mental break. The dynamic between the three of us works to make our job good-busy.

Meaghan and Macaila before the DTCA Annual Dinner
What has this internship taught you?
1. How to manage social media
2. How to market and promote events
3. How to properly budget for each client
4. How to spark my creativity and stretch my brain for ideas
5. How to construct a proposal
6. How to organize and collaborate with vendors
The list of things I have learned this summer are infinite. Not only will I take the valuable skills I acquired and apply them to my future career….hopefully in event planning…but I also have improved my life skills and grown up a little more during this internship.
What is some advice you have for future interns?
1. Always be early.

2. Events North is not just a company to work for- they are like gaining a new family. I spend about 100 hours a week with them and yes they are my bosses but I also know that I can come to them with anything.

3. If you don’t genuinely enjoy coming to work every day then this is not the job for you. People ask me how I deal with the insane hours and jam-packed days but it honestly rocks! I love what I do and who I work with. Events North is the best company to work for…no joke.

4. Pay attention to every detail, write everything down so you don’t forget and ask questions when you need to.

5. Have fun! Don’t be too serious all the time or you will not enjoy your job. Events North is a fun group so don’t be the odd one out.

Events North Staff onsite at an event
What will you miss the most?
1. Allison and Meaghan :(

2. Dr. Dre Pandora

3. Event Days

4. Ruby the Michigan Blood Drop Mascot

5. Road trips. Especially when I sit in the back seat and feel like I’m being driven to soccer practice or have to fit into a four year olds car seat. (editor's note: we did not actually make Macaila sit in a four year old's car seat....more than once.)

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