The BCITMA is not all work. When we need to have fun, we turn to our VP of Events Carli Henssler, who organizes various events throughout the school year for our entertainment. Remember the series of three parties we held earlier in the year? You know, those parties that had music, great people and only one casualty?
Well those parties – along with the upcoming Fashion Show, click for more details – are all organized by Carli and the Events Committee. And students love parties, which is probably why the Events Committee generates a lot of interest and has high rates of membership. As the VP of Events, Carli creates the live gatherings that bring the club together and allow everyone to have fun in the process.
As in it is fun for the rest of us. While we are enjoying ourselves, Carli is hard at work planning, negotiating with suppliers and making sure it is executed smoothly. Events can be very exciting, but they can also be an exercise in micromanagement and dealing with competing interests. Which is why Carli has been very stressed all throughout this year and is even prone to collapsing on occasion.
I am kidding. Kind of. About the stress part, anyway. Carli did faint once, but it was at an event organized by someone else. In public. Right in front of people she had to impress.
Suffice it to say there is a great story behind what happened, but I’m not allowed to talk about it. This IS supposed to be a professional MA interview, after all.
Which is why we will let Carli speak for herself on her experiences in the BCITMA: why she joined, how it has changed her and what it is like to put up with the rest of us. So take a seat on the couch, preferably near the fireplace to ward off the February chill, and get ready for an exclusive (and highly entertaining) interview with the VP of Events.
Let’s start with some background questions (her answers are in purple):
Why did you come to BCIT?
I had seen some friends go through the program and heard their many complaints about the workload, but also noticed how successful they had become after graduating. Since I’m someone who believes in taking risks to push the borders of your comfort zone, I applied on a whim on the final day of intake… I know that’s a huge decision to randomly make but it has been the best decision of my life.
The interesting part is that when Carli is actually in BCIT, she plans ahead so carefully she knows my class schedule better than I do (no seriously, we are not even in the same set).
In any case, you’re almost finished, so what is your dream job after leaving BCIT (besides spending other people’s money)?
Hilarious Matthew. (For everyone who’s reading this and is confused… I was asked this question back in May when the Exec Board was formed and said: “Although unrealistic, I think it would be super cool to be a personal shopper for a celebrity. There’s nothing better than spending other people’s money!”)
My dream job has changed quite a bit since then because I finally landed my Internship and had to realistically start thinking about my future. I hope to be lucky enough to stay on with Cossette after May and work in their media-buying department.
Thanks for explaining our inside jokes Carli. I know at BCIT we’re supposed to say we want a professional career and all that, but spending other people’s money does sound pretty nice. Follow your dreams everyone!
Now give one piece of advice for first-year students who are trying to survive BCIT.
Build strong relationships with your peers, but especially your teachers. You’d be surprised how many times you’ll find yourself crying in Geoffrey’s office during the course of the Anniversary project and term projects in second year. Also, take full advantage of the two years you have at BCIT. Time goes by way too quickly, and although it is stressful at the time, its better to work hard and attend as many events as possible rather than regret it later.
Word of advice for the anniversary project: get started early, visit Geoffrey’s office often and consider it an achievement if you don’t have to pull an all-nighter or break down crying.
Next is some questions about the BCITMA in general:
During your first year you weren’t involved with the BCITMA; what made you want to be the VP of Events?
Since I’m a very introverted person, I like to take opportunities that make me uncomfortable so that I can become more social and outgoing. One of my biggest regrets was not joining the BCITMA during first year, so I couldn’t turn down the chance to be a part of the Board when I heard they were accepting applications for the VP positions.
Yep, she is definitely one those go-get-them types. And she may be introverted, but you may have noticed she is very talkative for this interview.
Now for a more interesting question: as the VP of Events, you regularly go through many different committees to put an event together. What is it like working with the other MA Executives? Be honest, now.
The other execs are really supportive of the events I plan; that’s one nice thing, always knowing you’ll have at least 12 people to back you up. It’s also great to have people like Matthew and Brian who write and create awesome promotional material and ads for the events. It’s a complete group effort and I definitely don’t think I thank them as much as I should.
Why thank you Carli, the feeling is mutual. I probably don’t say that enough either.
Moving on to the next question, this has been a very eventful (pun intended) year for the club. What have you gained through this experience?
I really don’t know where to start… I have learned how to manage a million tasks at once, gained tons of industry connections, and built strong relationships with those around me. I’ve also learned how to do my makeup in a fraction of the time it used to take and even chopped off most of my hair to maximize sleep time. Success comes with sacrifice. ^.^
If that’s not BCIT wisdom, I don’t know what is. Now it is time for some questions specifically about the Events Committee:
You have organized many events over the year. Describe the first thing you do when putting an event together.
It depends on the scale of the event. For the smaller events that are partnered with a local bar or club, I ensure all the legalities are in place before signing the contracts and building a brief for the creative committees. For something like that fashion show that I have been developing since May, I first try to do a lot of brainstorming and primary research to see what students are interested in. There’s definitely not a set process though, it’s more like collective chaos.
Now describe a time when things were not going well for you while working on an event, and how you handled it.
These past two weeks are a perfect example. Since I have had to delegate tasks to various leads (hair, makeup, model etc.), its recently been important to pull together all of the details. It can get quite stressful to ensure everything is successfully completed but I am proud to say you will all be in for a surprise on Saturday.
Hence the aforementioned collapsing. But I was supposed to let that go, so let’s move on to the next question.
The Events Committee is probably one of the largest committees in the club. How do you manage all of your minions?
I would have to say I am extremely lucky with the committee I have formed. We started with only a handful of members but we have grown to be over 25 students. There are so many eager first-year students who are willing to help in any way possible and they are some of the most committed people I’ve met. I can’t take credit for much of this other than the fact that I keep all members very organized and up-to-date on everything we are working on.
Despite her modest answer, Carli actually helps the first-years a lot. She just doesn’t want to say that.
Before we finish the interview, is there anything else you wanted to add?
I feel like I’ve talked enough for one interview but I want to congratulate anyone who has actually read this far. Good luck to all the second years who are starting their internships soon and to the first-years too; you’re almost half way done!
Didn’t I say this would be entertaining? Witty banter, inside jokes and life advice, this interview has everything. Special thanks to Carli Henssler for taking the time out of her busy schedule to have this interview. She may just be the most enthusiastic interviewee I have had so far: Carli is the only person to ask me when she can be interviewed. Normally it is the other way around.
Remember, the BCITMA Fashion Show is coming up, and it is the biggest event that the Events Committee will organize each year. This year’s theme is streetwear: on display will be leading fashion brands, edgy designs and two luxury sports cars right at the front door. Click this link for a preview, and be sure to stay tuned to the BCITMA Facebook page and Fashion Show Event Page for more details!