Asked by justthatunappealing
Thank you so much for your question! My college major was completely unrelated to event planning, and most of my colleagues studied things like hospitality, business, and interior design, so there’s not necessarily a major that will set you up for this kind of job. I’d study something that you enjoy, that challenges and interests you.
People with creative, flexible minds tend to do best in this industry, and it definitely helps to have experience as a server. Whether it’s in a fine dining restaurant, as a caterer, or at someplace like Chili’s, you should get used to the pace of a busy day on the floor, the constant demands for your attention, and the ability to prioritize 18 requests that all have to happen in the next five minutes. You need the patience of a saint, a great poker face, and fine attention to detail without losing sight of the big picture.
The best ways to break into the industry are to intern with an event planning firm, work as a caterer at a venue and get to know their event team, or work at an event rental company and get to know the business from that end. I’ve worked with people from all of those backgrounds. I fell into it by working as a designer at a magazine and getting drawn into some of the events they sponsored, both for design or coordination. I loved it, so I got creative and answered a craigslist post for event staff at a venue, and was initially hired as a Catering Captain (not my first choice, but I figured I could work my way up). I ended up as the Head Coordinator at that venue and have recently started work at a 5 star venue as part of their award winning event team!
Best of luck to you!