During my internship with the Iowa State Alumni Association, I was on Homecoming Central. More specifically, I was a Food on Campus Director for Iowa State Homecoming. My responsibilities include attending Homecoming Central meetings each week, holding office hours each week with my partner, and attending 2:2 director meetings weekly. During these meetings, each director updates Homecoming Central on what we have worked on throughout the week. The majority of my responsibilities for Food on Campus included reaching out to vendors, planning Iowa State Homecoming Food on Campus week, planning a week-long event that serves around 9,000 people. I get to work with each committee including Public Relations, Graphics team, logistics, and other directors to communicate anything I needed from them to make sure each event went smoothly. Overall, it is a large responsibility to take on to plan throughout the year and execute the actual event.
The greatest accomplishment of my internship was executing the actual event. It felt so rewarding to be able to plan one of Iowa State's traditions for our campus. Iowa State Homecoming was in October and I was able to attend each and every Homecoming event while running my own as well. Being one of the people behind planning Iowa State traditions was the best experience I have had at Iowa State so far.
The greatest lessons I learned from my experience are to always have a backup plan for your events. It's important to be prepared for any obstacles that may come up and persevere through them. A few weeks before Homecoming, we had to change the contracts with many of our vendors which was a difficult decision and frustrating to handle. We were able to get everything sorted out, but it would've been helpful to have had backup options beforehand for emergency situations.
What advice would you give?
For any event management students, I suggest that you get as much experience on campus that you can. Student organizations and on-campus opportunities have been so valuable in my event experience. They range from small to large commitments, but there is something out there for each student. I recommend applying for anything that interests you, be confident in yourself, and know what you are capable of. A lot of the time, students underestimate themselves because they are still in college, but each student is capable is many different skills. It has been so helpful to create connections on campus and expand my network with Iowa State.