Name: Rachel Stark
Title: Marketing Coordinator, Sales & Bus. Dev. – ON
Company: Intact Insurance
Education: Bachelor of Commerce, Ryerson University, Toronto
Association membership: MPI
I got my start in the meetings industry…by volunteering with events during the summer months. My idea was to test the theory; “in order to get a job you need experience, and to get experience you need to volunteer.” As it turns out this method actually works! The contacts I met through working different events provided me with internships and part-time work during school. Eventually as my network grew and my resume got stronger, I was able to apply for full-time corporate event planning positions.
The most valuable lesson I learned was…that to achieve something great, you have to go out of your comfort zone. But if you fail, it is not the end of the world, it is just another stepping stone to make you better. The best experiences I have had are typically ones where I have accomplished a feat such as winning the case competition at the World Education Conference Future Leader Forum. However, to gain the confidence speaking in public I had to put myself out there, speaking to over 1,000 people. While I did not achieve the top prize, the opportunity showed me that things that seem scary one day can be second nature the next.
When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them…I am a corporate event planner. Many people are not aware of the differences between planners, partly because they overlap so often. It is easier to give examples of what I do, such as create proposals, talk with clients, event mitigation, event execution, accounting and administration.
I plan to make my mark by…leading the way for young professionals and represent Generation Y in a positive manner. Growing the MPI Toronto Student Club provides others with an opportunity to put their best foot forward. I hope to grow this concept by working with young professionals, those who have graduated and are working, and create a place where networking opportunities, events, and collaborations can be explored. The benefit to being young is that we seem to have this endless thirst for knowledge and to explore new ideas. I hope to take that desire and focus it into something positive for the events community.
The most challenging thing for me when I began my career was…my age. When I started taking event planning seriously I was 19 and it was difficult for people to see past my age and into my passion. I like to believe that the people who know me now realize how focused and determined I am to excel at every aspect of events. Instead of competing with those 10 years my senior, I create new jobs for myself in niches that need to
In 10 years, I see myself…(hopefully) still planning events and continuing to explore new ideas. What the final destination will be I am not sure. What I do know is that I will always do what I think is best and learn from as many people and perspectives as possible.