Abby Batson plans to be a special events coordinator after graduating. When she isn’t studying, Abby enjoys spending time with her friends and family, boating, and crafting.
Get to know Abby
- Major: Event management
- Class: Junior
- Hometown: Bushnell, Illinois
- Career goal: Special events coordinator
- Clubs/activities: Event Management Club, CHS Student Council, CHS Ambassadors, DIY Craft Club
- Awards/honors: Dean’s list, top 2% of class
- Favorite place on campus: Central Campus lawn
- Most influential ISU mentor: Ritanne McClain
- Favorite class: ASL 275, Topics in Deaf Culture
- Why Iowa State: Great programs in kinesiology and event management, fell in love with campus
Abby Batson collects experience and connections to season event career
Abby Batson left her small hometown with plans to come back after graduation and build her dream career. Though she didn’t know exactly what this career would be, she knew that the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences had something that would be a perfect fit.
“I think I was interested in the College of Human Sciences because it’s the ‘people’ college,” Abby said. “I definitely wanted to work with people.”
Abby came to Iowa State as a kinesiology major with a pre-occupational therapy path. After three semesters, she started to look at other career options that would better fit her interests. In high school, Abby was student council president and had spent lots of time planning events for her class, including homecoming week and school dances. She remembered those experiences fondly, and decided to give the renowned event management program at Iowa State a try.
“[Kinesiology] didn’t fit, so then I thought, ‘Well, I know I love to plan events, so I’m going to take one class and see how it goes. Then, I fell in love with [event management],” she said.
After switching her major, Abby immediately knew that she belonged in the field. She got to work right away and served as an events team assistant at the ISU Foundation. Through that role, she was able to meet Iowa State’s president, Wendy Wintersteen, and event professionals who helped her build her network — something Abby says is crucial in the event industry.
“The [AESHM] department is just really great about getting you opportunities and experience,” she said. “You’re only going to learn so much from textbooks — your experiences are everything.”
Abby sees her future in events as open and full of possibilities; she is interested in special events and working directly with guests. She secured a wedding planning internship with alumna-owned White Willow Events in Des Moines to gain perspective on a different facet within the industry.
“Planning weddings is a dream — [the internship] will be so much fun,” she said.
Abby is excited to return home to Illinois after graduation and begin a fulfilling career managing events and meeting new people while staying close to her family.
“What I love most about managing events is that feeling of putting in all the hard work and all the hours, and then seeing your event become successful,” Abby said.Student Spotlights