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What have you done since graduating and where are you now?
After graduation I moved to Washington D.C., and am currently working as a Manager of Program Development with the Consero Group LLC located in Bethesda, Maryland. Founded just over two years ago by three veterans of the event management industry, Consero specializes in planning and executing high level forums for senior level executives across the country, and among a variety of focuses (litigation, human resources, procurement, etc.). As a manager of program development, I research and develop the content and structure of our programs as well as play a key role in the acquisition of the delegates who attend our forums.
How did RCAH prepare you for what you're doing now?
My time in the RCAH gave me the creativity, drive, and confidence in my own work and abilities that Consero actively looks for in their employees. They responded very well when I told them my reasons for choosing to study the arts and humanities over other more "practical" majors. I have always believed that people who choose technically focused majors run the risk of their newly acquired skills becoming obsolete by the time they graduate. Technology is always outpacing itself. However, as humanities majors, we learn that it is okay to ask questions of ourselves, the work we are doing, and of the people we interact with every day. We learn incredibly valuable critical thinking and interpersonal skills which translate seamlessly in just about every work environment. It is now my job to connect with and have intelligent discussions with the CIOs, CFOs, CPOs, etc. at Fortune 500-1000 companies. These are the world's current thought leaders and decision makers. My work in the RCAH gave me the confidence and belief in knowing that I can fit in and hold a place with these people.
What were your academic interests in RCAH?
My academic interests varied while I was in school. However, during my academic career, I loved the classes that gave me a reason to imagine and create media projects. I assume it was this love of media that led me to work in the LMC for two years!
What were your favorite aspects of the RCAH experience?
My most cherished aspect of my RCAH experience is the fact that I was constantly being challenged by my professors and my peers. No matter what class I found myself in or who I talked to, my opinions and ways of thinking were always being challenged. The results were simple yet profound in that these experiences made me reanalyze and revaluate why I believe the things I believe. As a result, I have become more confident in my own ability to think and speak articulately for myself.
Did you ever take part in Study Abroad/Study Away at MSU?
I did participate in a Study Abroad while I was at MSU, but it was not through the RCAH. I studied at John Cabot University in Rome during the summer of 2011.
What words of wisdom do you have for current RCAH students?
Take the time in college to hone in on your interests, and always ask yourself how the work you are doing will influence the career you want to have. Also, I can not encourage internships enough. They can really set you up for success when you graduate by giving you applicable experience in a professional work environment. Employers want to hear about your professional experiences in interviews! Also, please don't ever be afraid to graduate. The real world is daunting at first, but if you commit to being your own biggest advocate, you will find success where you are meant to find it! And one last thing: don't be put off by the private sector. I'm currently working at a private company that is now in the process of exiting the "startup" phase and have so much more autonomy and responsibility than I could have possibly hoped to have had in my first job out of school!