As a senior in high school I am expected to know what I want to do with my future, have a mapped out plan of which post-secondary schools I will attend, and apply to them in the next few months for the exact courses I wish to take to get me to my coveted dream job. If there is a high school student out there who has all that under control, I have yet to meet them. How are we supposed to know what our passions are and what our dream job will entail? Luckily for me I have a vague idea of what I want to accomplish in my life and where I want to be after I finish school. But I still have no idea if what I think is achievable really is and if my dream job will turn out to be exactly what I want it to be.
I am Erica and if you didn’t already catch it, I am a confused yet ambitious teenager trying to figure life out. In that way I don’t really stand out much from the rest of my classmates. We are all trying to figure life out in one way or another. One of the ways I am going about this is cooperative education through my school, St. Michael Catholic High School. This will allow me to not go to class and instead be taught through real-life experience by working with a professional in the field of work I plan on pursuing. I showed up to school on the first day with a clear idea of where I was going to do my co-op placement. ITM Events, of course! I had been doing my research for months and I knew this was the best place for me. And now here I am, writing a blog post on their website and trying not to get distracted by all the other exciting things I have lined up for the next few weeks. It wasn’t a quick and clear path to get to this point though.
I’ll start from the point when I decided I want to be an event planner because I considered many other careers, such as musician, psychologist, and if we’re going way back, a ballerina, before coming to a possibly final decision with event planner. Three years ago I was attending a Pride event called Pride Prom, hosted by Etc. Youth. It was my very first Pride event that I had ever been to and it was pretty exciting. I got all dressed up and my mom took pictures before heading out. I went and had a blast! There was loud music, free junk food, magicians, pictures, a wide variety of different and fun people, and burlesque performances. I got home and was telling my mom all about it and she brought to my attention that there were people behind the scenes making this all happen. At that moment I thought it would be super cool to make events like that one happen for other people. Being an event planner sounded awesome! Over the past three years since then I have done research, looked into different schools and programs, and got a job working for my aunt at a linen rental company. Since I did all that without pushing the idea aside I want to get a real taste of event planning. That is where my co-op placement at ITM Events finally comes in.
I just started at ITM on Tuesday and I met with Julia for the first time on Monday. She told me before I started that I would get to see all sides of event planning; The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Just in the few days I have been working here I have already met with Angie, a venue, a high school to help plan their prom, and a graphic designer. That is all on top of getting all my accounts set up, doing research for events and about the event industry, taking over the planning of a Thanksgiving event for Julia’s friends and family, and getting inspired to join my own prom committee and create new ideas for a club I’m starting at school. It has been so fun and exciting to do all of this and I can’t wait to see more and meet more people. I have a pretty busy schedule ahead of me and I know I will get exactly the experience and knowledge to more effectively decide my future endeavors and career.
I will keep you all filled in on what I’m doing and learning as my co-op journey continues by posting a blog post like this one every Friday. I want to share my experiences about The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly parts of the job.