Regan Dempsey – Event Management

Class of 2015

As an HHP Student, I have received a rather diverse education, including a full range of subject like hospitality, management, marketing, leadership, and business. We have been enlightened on the ins and outs of facilities and program development, which I believe is highly valuable because it gives us a complete picture of how extensive these industries require you to be. I went into my internship knowing that it was going to take a lot of dedication and effort to produce quality work that contributes to a company. I think the overall value of the HHP Program is that it mentally prepares you for the industry we are trying to get into. To be perfectly honest, most of the skills that are needed in the event management field are only learned through experience, not in the classroom. However, the HHP program fully prepared us for that reality, making sure we acquired internships and stressing the value of diversified experience rather than just the value of the education we were receiving. Furthermore, because UF stressed internships, my experience at local organizations, like the City of Gainesville Cultural Department, gave me good experience to pull from, not only on paper, but in application.

Internship site: Cosmopolitan Events

At my agency, I literally do everything under the sun. Anything that needs to be done, I am ready to do it. On a day to day basis, I am often working with schedules, invoices, contracts, and design presentations. I am constantly communicating with vendors and our clients, making sure everyone is on the same page and that our client gets exactly what they want, from phone calls to emails to visiting companies in person. I will set up new clients in our system as well as archive old clients that we have completed our services with. I will attend meetings with clients and well as some rehearsals for their wedding, depending upon my involvement with the planning process.

My supervisor and the other planners have called me a leader in the office and great with clients, so I would so I am highly engaged with the agency.
My supervisor at my agency has been extremely helpful guiding my post-internship plans. Originally, I wanted to be able to be hired by the company afterward, but realized quickly that they wouldn’t be able to offer me a job full time, which is a priority for me. Also, they already have an intern that they are grooming to become an office staff member, so it was clear that opportunity was not available. However, because my supervisor knows she can rarely hire interns because of the small nature of the company, and she is so well connected, she takes the time to meet with interns and help them connect with people about employment. Several weeks ago, I sat down with my supervisor a couple times and went through what companies I would fit well with and who to contact at each of these companies. And it has paid off. Last week I met with the director of the events department of the Hyatt Regency in downtown St. Louis about opportunities at her company, and she loved me and is going to hire me!