Way back in February, I found out about an internship opportunity on the Omicron Delta Kappa website. It said “Are you interested in a career in event planning!?” And since I am interested in such a career and am an ODK member, I thought this would be perfect. The position would entail an intern to arrive at the ODK summer convention in Lexington, Virginia a few days early to help set everything up and run the events throughout the conference that lasts four days. I applied and found out in April that I got the position! This opportunity has been a long time coming, and it finally happened way too quickly.
The three days before everyone else showed up for the convention, I was in Lexington to help prepare, along with two other interns. Starting at early hours and ending late in the evening, I spent most of my time at ODK headquarters. I worked a lot with the registration packets, goodie bags, programs, meal tickets, and name tags. Another one of my responsibilities throughout the week was to be an RA for all the people that would be staying in the resident hall. Therefore, I prepared room assignments and the linens for each room. Also, I tried to become familiar with the campus as much as possible so that I could show people where to go for each event/meeting. Washington and Lee University is a beautiful campus and very historical (it was founded in the 1700s by George Washington and Robert E. Lee). This is also the school where ODK was founded in 1914. This year marks the centennial celebration for ODK’s founding. The little town of Lexington was very nice as well. All the residents were extremely friendly and the green hills and trees everywhere are so pretty.
It was very exciting when everyone else began to show up. I love meeting people from all across the U.S. I was extremely busy throughout the convention, always leaving things early to set up for the next event (and then actually run it). But I get a thrill out of being busy, especially for a setting like this. There were multiple workshops, guest speakers, delicious meals, service projects, and a 5K race. Some of the fun activities during free time were a brewery tour, concert, comedian, ghost tour, and drive-in movie. There was a formal ball to end the convention.
It was very hard to leave Lexington. My time there went by too fast. I had such a great time making so many new friends and professional connections as well. In just one week, I learned so much about ODK and about myself. I am eternally grateful for this experience and can’t wait to share my stories with my Fontbonne ODK circle.
The interns at the Centennial Ball celebration
Washington and Lee University
This semester, I took a leadership course for graduate students (HES535 Leadership Development for Professional Practice). In this class, we talked about different leadership styles based on theories. There were many meaningful assignments we needed to do for this class. One of my favorite projects is to shadow a CEO or president in a non-profit organization.
I chose the CEO at Health Literacy Missouri to shadow because I like their mission: “to help people make good health decisions,” and my major is related to what they do: to offer health literacy training, health environment assessments, and plan language services to help health care systems improve patient outcomes.
Dr. O’Leary is the CEO at Health Literacy Missouri. She is a very intelligent, organized, and supportive leader. She brought me to attend different meetings with her to observe different leadership styles, to experience the decision-making process and to observe the importance of synergy in the team’s action. After shadowing different meetings with Dr. O’Leary, and observing how she communicated with her staff and board members, I learned a lot leadership skills from her. The most important things I’ve learned from her is to focus on the real job. As a CEO at health literacy Missouri, Dr. O’Leary’s real job is to lead and manage that organization. She is a very knowledgeable female leader and very good at focusing on her real job. Moreover, she is a very good communicator who reads situations fast and communicates with people efficiently.
This is a one of the most meaningful projects I’ve done during my student life at Fontbonne. I will use the lessons I’ve learned from this class and Dr. O’Leary to encourage myself to be a successful leader in my future career.
I just wanted the end the year with a CONGRATS!! We made it!! I know I still have one more week left and it’s exams, but the end is so near that I can taste it. I have been a busy bee and Fontbonne has been great with making the last few weeks a blast! Just this past Friday, April 27th, I participated in Fontbonne’s annual Service Day. It’s a day where all from the Fontbonne community come together to volunteer at various locations across St. Louis. I volunteered at the Open Door Animal Shelter and played with kittens and walked dogs! The shelter is a “no kill” shelter, and they have hundreds of animals waiting to be taken home. I know I fell in love with every dog that passed by. Besides helping animals, other options were available like the St. Patrick’s Day Center, Project Solomon, and more! This was a great way to spend my Friday, and I am glad Fontbonne gives such an opportunity to all of its faculty and students.
To keep going, on Saturday night, I am sure everyone heard the tornado sirens, saw the golf ball size hail, and got wet in the rain. Fontbonne trudged through the weather and held a delicious SGA Banquet for all who showed initiative in leadership. I was lucky enough to be nominated for the Emerging Leadership Award, but my good friend Claire Toler won because of her outstanding determination to bring awareness of eating disorders to Fontbonne’s campus. The food was amazing and made by our own food service, Ameriserve. The theme was Doctor Seuss, which made my night because I loved reading those books when I was younger. It was great to see all of the people who influence our community and make Fontbonne a better place.
Finally, Spirit Week is this week and it is one of many ways to relieve some of the pressure of exams! Monday was field day, Tuesday was sand volleyball, and Wednesday was karaoke night. Tonight we got to celebrate Cinco De Mayo early with a fiesta and piñatas! I think I am the most excited for Friday’s Spring Fest and the concert in the meadow. We will be having South Jordan playing at Fontbonne, and it should be a good time. I recommend Googling this band because they are pretty impressive. That about wraps up my last post for the semester… Thank you for putting up with my rants, tall tales, and gibbering rambles!!! I’ll see you guys some other time!
This past weekend, I attended a great conference put on by Maryville University and Fontbonne called the Summit on Leadership Development. It was open to any school within “drivable distance” according to the keynote speaker, Tracy Knofla, a leadership trainer, and that meant there were students from as close-by as Saint Louis University and as far away as McKendree University (in Illinois) and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (I’ll let you guess where that one’s located).
Honestly, when I signed up for the conference, I did not think it would be very fun. I’ve been to so many “Be a leader!”-type motivational presentations that I figured there really can’t be that much more to learn. I was right in this prediction in the sense that I didn’t come out hearing anything new about the qualities good leaders have, how to be one, etc. However, it was really beneficial for me to hear from the presenters about topics like how to better market events and how to use the available resources to their fullest. At the conference, I was also able to interact with group leaders from other schools. Trading ideas with them, comparing club activities, and commiserating about the relationship between free food and meeting attendance got me excited about doing new things with the groups I’m in, namely the Commuter Advisory Board.
I’m really glad I attended SOLD this year, and I’m already excited about next year – it’s going to be hosted by Fontbonne!
Talk to you later,