Being chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Joe Floreano Scholarship for Venue Management School (VMS) was a tremendous honor. As a former VMS intern in 2012, it was a unique experience attending this year as a first-year student. While it was the second time I sat in the Year One classes, it felt like an entirely different experience. The classes were extremely informative and gave us a chance to participate in engaging discussions with our peers within the industry. At the sector and industry topic round tables, it was interesting to hear what issues other venue managers are facing and how they operate. Both programs gave me a chance to reflect on how my venue approaches different scenarios.
Networking was the greatest part of VMS. We were given many different opportunities to meet and interact with fellow venue managers. Whether it was at during lunch, socials, or outside of class, students and instructors formed friendships that are sure to last a lifetime! There is a wide variety of students who attend VMS ranging from different facility types to our allied partners. This ensures that everyone has an opportunity to meet someone from all parts of the industry.
The instructors are a vital part of VMS because of their knowledge and tenure. There is a diverse group of instructors with more than 100 years of experience in the industry and from a variety of venues. Students were able to connect with the instructor that they felt most comfortable with. Many mentor-mentee relationships are formed at VMS, making the program a valuable asset for students.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity given to me by the IAVM Foundation. I never thought I would attend VMS until the Joe Floreano Scholarship was created. The IAVM Foundation is providing opportunities to those who may not have the resources to attend IAVM’s conferences, schools, or professional development courses. I encourage everyone to take full advantage of these opportunities and apply for the various scholarships they have to offer. I am looking forward to my second year of VMS to reunite with my classmates as well as meet the new students of Year One and the Graduate Institute.
Shout out to Class 1B and our room dads, Jason Rittenberry, CFE, and Todd Hunt, CFE! It was a great first year!