The BCIT MA’s Vice President of Professional Development is responsible for organizing and executing a long standing BCIT annual event- Schmoozapalooza. This event is a part of BCIT’s history, and is eagerly anticipated each year by industry members and Alumni, but most importantly the second year Communications students. This event allows for Comm students to connect with industry members to potentially find a future internship that could turn into a future career. Needless to say, it is the most important event of a Comm student’s career at BCIT.
Kailey Zenyk, this years VP of Professional Development, was up to the challenge of organizing this impressive event. Armed with a team of like-minded volunteers, Kailey has worked endlessly for months organizing every last detail of this industry mingler night- from the location to the centre pieces to sponsorship, Kailey has dealt with it all.
This year is the 10th annual Schmoozapalooza, so not only did Kailey have a huge event to organize, but she was also faced with the task of making this Schmooze the biggest and best Schmooze to date.
So how did she do it? How did she not spontaneously combust into a burst of stress? Well, that’s exactly what we are here to find out. So, go to your local liquor store and grab a bottle of Trialto-distributed wine (and then call the Comm students so they can host a focus group), and get ready for an exclusive interview with the VP of Professional Development- Kailey Zenyk (her responses are in red).
Why did you come to BCIT?
For the good times and relaxed vibe… Kidding!
I had finally realized that my direction in life was marketing, and had a few friends who have done the Marketing program before. While their recommendations came with warning of late nights and extreme stress, it made me even more excited to take on the challenge that is BCIT. The program’s reputation is amazing with students and industry, and the practical learning approach was right up my alley.
What do you want to do after graduation?
I’m hoping to jump right into the first step of my career. Ideally it will be somewhere I can continue to use my event planning skills and creativity. I’d also really like to go camping for a week, do some hiking and just relax in the wild.
Give one piece of advice to first years.
Learn how to prioritize. That is hands down the most important thing at BCIT. One of the first terms you learn in economics is “opportunity costs” and you need to apply it to every aspect of life. Sometimes it’s necessary to pull an all nighter to deliver a top notch project, other times it’s more important to get some sleep.
Why did you want to organize Schmooze this year?
One of the reasons I chose this program is because I’ve always really enjoyed event planning. After being a volunteer for Schmooze in my first year, I knew I had to do it. I love the excitement and challenges that come along with planning an event, and seeing it all come together in the end. I really wanted to take my education to the next level at BCIT and not only apply myself academically, but with extracurricular activities as well.
What did you think of your Schmooze committee this year?
My Schmooze committee has been amazing this year. We are lucky enough to be planning the 10th annual Schmoozapalooza, and it’s been quite a hefty task. Without them, this event wouldn’t be nearly as amazing as it will be this year.
What was the toughest thing about organizing Schmooze this year?
Honestly, living up to last years’ standards! Gillian Orris, the previous VP of Professional Development, did such an amazing job. I can only hope to fill her shoes and produce an event as well as she did.
What have you learned from organizing this event?
Communication is key. It’s important to make sure people fully understand what you’re requesting from them. That and make lists. Lists have been my best friend and what keeps me organized through this process.
You had the help of the Director of Schmoozapalooza, Katie Muir. Anything you would like say about her?
Katie has really been my partner in crime. She keeps me on track, comes up with amazing ideas and is my number one supporter through planning this event. We have worked tirelessly together to create an amazing event, and it would not have been the same without her.
I am so excited to have been a part of the legacy that is Schmoozapalooza. It has been one of the best learning experiences, and taught me things I didn’t know I would learn from it. I have made some amazing connections with students and faculty that I will cherish for a long time. That being said, I have to thank Joe Freeburn, our program head and my advisor for this event. He brings such brilliant opportunities to the students and gives us the best start for our future. I hope that all of the students enjoy Schmoozapalooza and build the next stepping stones to their careers. I’m so excited for our event and can’t wait to see everyone schmoozing it up!
Well, there you have it! If you see Kailey in the halls, make sure to give her a special thank you for all of her hard work. Remember, Schmoozapalooza is TONIGHT! If you want more details on the event, check out this BCIT MA article here.