Without the hard work and planning of Hannah Whelchel, The Consortium’s annual Orientation Program & Career Forum (OP) — its most important event of the year — might not be possible. As the organization’s events and conferences specialist, Hannah has a hand in everything related to event logistics.
She joined The Consortium in 2020 after graduating from Missouri State University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in entertainment management. During her time there, she completed two internships at nonprofits focused on events and venue management, which helped prepare her with the experience and know-how to plan and execute large events.
We recently sat down with Hannah to learn more about her detailed role, what she likes to do in her free time and what tips she has for first-year students preparing for OP.
Q: What do you do in your role as The Consortium’s events and conferences specialist?
I research and interact with vendors for supplies and services, and I help organize and plan all of the details for our events; this includes determining schedules, travel arrangements, signage, etc. Additionally, I help manage our database platform eShow for ticket registrations, underwriting information and more.
Q: What is one thing or activity you will always make time for — even during The Consortium’s busy OP planning season?
Even during our busy OP planning season, I will always make time for the outdoors. Walking outside on nature trails, having a picnic at a park or exploring new areas with friends always helps me feel rejuvenated and relaxed.
Q: Of the places you’ve traveled to, what is your hands-down favorite, and what do you love about it?
Hands down, my favorite place that I’ve traveled to is Spain. It was my first time out of the country, and I really enjoyed learning about the architecture and culture of the country. Additionally, it was during the time when I was learning Spanish, so it definitely helped me to be able to practice the language as well.
Q: What is your most unusual talent or skill?
I would say my most unusual skill is my ability to think creatively. Whether that is planning how food should be served at an event or adding a design element to almost everything I do, I am always trying to think outside the box in whatever situation I am in. Everything is more exciting when there is a creative element to it.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your job?
The most rewarding element of my job is knowing that it contributes to the overall mission of The Consortium. I love knowing that the work that I do could help a student make a connection with one of our corporate partners that could lead to more opportunities and success for them. Success stories from students are my favorite!
Q: What is your biggest goal in life?
My biggest goal in life is to be as happy as possible while contributing to other people’s happiness as well. While I’m not sure how to get there or what exactly needs to be done, I know that if I could help others be happy and reach their goals, it would have the same effect on me.
Q: If you could share one tip with incoming students related to OP, what would it be?
The main tip I would share with students would be to research, research, research! I think putting the time and effort into researching which companies and individuals they would like to connect with is the most beneficial thing they can do. Overall, I would recommend that they make sure they are as prepared as possible so that they can present the best version of themselves at OP.