Katie MacWilkinson – Event Management

Class of 2015

“I am a fourth year student majoring in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, with a specialization in Recreation and Event Management. I am also pursuing a minor in Telecommunications and I am a candidate for the Combined Degree Program, with the intention of pursuing a Graduate degree in Tourism and Commercial Recreation. I declared this major my first semester here at UF.

During my time here at UF, and as a student in the College of Health and Human Performance, I have been exposed to a variety of different opportunities and experiences that have helped me learn about the field of Event Management. Through networking with student organizations, primarily Leisure Education and Parks Students (LEAPS), and classmates, as well as taking advantage of the opportunities sent out through the advising office and professors, I have been able to work in various jobs and internships in order to gain experience in the field. My first internship was during the first semester of my second year in the Fall of 2012, with ADORE Events, a local wedding planning company here in Gainesville. At ADORE Events, I was able to gain experience as a wedding planning intern who engaged in office work and wedding planning coordination, as well as on-site wedding planning and bridal expo coordination and execution. Also during the Fall of 2012, I became a Student Event Assistant where I worked for the Events Department at Emerson Alumni Hall. As a student Event Assistant, I assisted in the coordination of events, event set-up and break down, and I worked football game day tailgates. I also gained experience in providing audio visual (A/V) and beverage services to clients, as well as engaging in office work and customer service tasks. During the Summer of 2013, going from my second year into my third year, I was a full time Development Intern for United Way of North Central Florida (UWNCFL). As a Development Intern, I worked with the marketing and communications and events team to assist in event planning set-up and break down, post event data entry, marketing and sales tasks, social media promotions, preview facilitation, and office work, as well as being exposed to a variety of event databases.

With the start of my third year in Fall 2013, I started interning with the City of Gainesville’s Cultural Affairs Office in the Events Department, as well as working as a Hotel Associate at the Reitz Union Hotel, both positions that I currently still work at. Through the City of Gainesville, I have been able to assist with the production and planning of the City’s annual events, such as the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire and the Downtown Festival and Art Show, process and manage vendor and sponsorship applications, documents and contracts, as well as budget and expense reports. As a Hotel Associate at the Reitz Union Hotel, I manage customer service relations such as making reservations, facilitating guest arrival and departures, and attending to guest concerns and requests as well as serving as an ambassador for the University of Florida by providing directions, assistants, and aid to visiting patrons of the Hotel and Reitz Union.

Along with all of the different internships and jobs I have done throughout the last couple of years, I also served as a Preview Leader for the College of Health and Human Performance during the Summer of 2012, I have been a mentor and Site Coordinator for After School Gators (ASG) through the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS), and I have been an active member of Leisure Education and Parks Students (LEAPS), serving as both club Treasurer and President, a title I currently hold and have held for the past 2 years. I am truly grateful for my time here at UF and all of the experiences that I have had working in the Event Management field, and I love being a student in the College of Health and Human Performance. I was told as a first year student in the college to get as much experience as I could, so I tried my best to be open to new opportunities and learn as much as I can about my field of study.”