My name is Samantha and as an undergraduate I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do an undergraduate research project entitled The Great Kate 5K.
The Great Kate 5K was a 5K race that I put together in memory of my sister Katlyn, a high school athlete who had been killed the year prior in an automobile accident. Katlyn was a young philanthropist, always concerned about the well-being of others, and I decided that raising money in her memory and donating it in her honor to local charities would be something that she would be proud of; and it would be a perfect fit for my senior honors thesis in Communication through the School of Informatics.
Organizing the race involved writing all of the press releases, handling all race logistics, working with town officials, dealing with the funds that we raised, registration, food, awards, parking, volunteers...everything from soup to nuts that comes with planning a major event.
I was blessed to find a job in local advertising a mere six weeks after graduation; one of the main reasons that they hired me was that my event planning experience set me apart from the rest of the candidates. Though event planning wasn't one of my job duties there, they loved that I had written a major research paper and handled the complicated logistics of a major event all while taking a full course load and participating in an internship my senior year.
Three years later, I left my position at the advertising agency for a position in the development department of a regional non-profit organization. One of my major job functions here is to single-handedly plan three of our major fundraising and cultivation events for the year. Again, having The Great Kate 5K listed on my resume proved to be one of the biggest factors in them deciding to hire me over other candidates. Almost three years later I am at the same job, and love it every day.
Planning the 5K as part of my undergraduate research project helped to spark my love for event planning; I am confident that the experience is largely responsible for where I am today.
Last updated: July 29, 2016 2:37 pm EST