Lindsey King and Liliana Villanueva are among the lucky ones. After graduating from California State University San Marcos in May 2011 they both enrolled in CSUSM’s Meeting & Event Planning certificate program. As a result, today they are both gainfully employed, using the post-graduate training they received as a spring board for successful careers at Feeding America, San Diego and Stone Brewing Co. respectively.
“As an undergraduate I started working at Stone Brewing Co. in 2008,” said Villanueva. “I liked what I was doing but realized I needed extra training if I really wanted to excel. As soon as I graduated, a colleague informed me that there was a great Meeting & Event Planning program at CSUSM so I looked into it and realized that it was definitely something I wanted to pursue. And, I’m glad I did. There is no question that it opened up doors for me. After completing the program, I was promoted to Events Coordinator at Stone Brewing Co., the position I had been hoping to obtain.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists meeting, convention, and event planner occupations among the fastest growing in America.
Employment growth in this profession is projected to reach 44 percent between 2010 and 2020, adding 31,300 more jobs with a median salary of over $45,000.
Favorable job prospects help this profession rank No. 66.
King added that because all CSUSM Meeting & Event Planning courses are taught by working professionals, course content is relevant and meaningful and the opportunity for networking gives students a step up.
“You obtain insight from lots of different types of people working in the business — from hotel and restaurant managers to event planners at non-profits and corporations. You learn everything from how to write and evaluate a contract to legal pitfalls and liabilities. You interface with people who are in the trenches day in and day out. But the best part is the internship where you spend quality time working on an event. I took my internship with Feeding America, San Diego and loved it so much that it led to the full time job I have today.”
“If you’re an organized, detail-oriented person who’s passionate about people and events, this field is for you,” said Villanueva. “Between restaurants, hotels, non-profits and corporations there is a demand for trained meeting and event planners and plenty of room for anyone who’s genuinely interested in the field.”
For more information about the Meeting & Event Certificate program at California State University San Marcos in Temecula, visit the CSUSM-Temecula website.