NYIAD Wedding and Event Planning Instructor Sandra Serrant (check her out on Twitter and Linkedin) has been an Events Professional for over a decade. She has planned, coordinated and executed a variety of events ranging from multi-day national conferences and fundraisers to large weddings, galas and other social events.
She has worked with such organizations as the National Football League and American Diabetes Association; and has also served as the Head of Events for renowned international Chef Jose Andres, as well as planned events for Wolfgang Puck Catering. Enjoy this post about how you can get more out of your NYIAD Event Planning and Wedding Planning Courses!
So you want to be an Event/Wedding Planner…but you’re super busy with your fulltime job, family and your life in general! So many responsibilities, so little time! Because of all of these responsibilities you’ve decided to finally take the plunge and enroll in an online course. Oh yeah, you’re excited! But how exactly can you insure that you get the same or similar experience as you would in a physical classroom? Well here are some tips to help you:
Take the course seriously. Online study isn’t easier, it’s just more convenient. You have paid for this course due to your desire for a career change, open your own business or to try something new. So take it seriously. Read the help or Start Here sections so you become familiar with the ins & outs of the course.
Become Tech Savvy. Take time to learn how to use whatever technology you’re using to access the course (laptop, desktop, tablet). So many Students get frustrated in the beginning because they are unable to access the course due to not knowing what a browser is, or how to save the link/password into their ‘Favorites’. So spend a little time figuring this out early in the course or before you start it. Lastly, make sure you have reliable internet connection and use the recommended browser for course.
Create a plan. Set a study schedule for yourself. In the beginning of each month, review your calendar and list of personal/professional obligations; figure out when you will have time to study and put it on your calendar. Schedule the dates for each tests and assignment. This will help keep you focused.
Access Your Resources. Take advantage of resources available to you through the course. If you are given access to a Student Advisor (like in the NYIAD event courses), contact her, ask her questions about the events industry as a whole, pick her brains about potential difficult clients, work with her in putting together your study plan, etc. Find out from someone who has been there, done that.
Get and Stay Involved. Connect with other students. NYIAD has the Student Forum. Read what other students are having problems with, post your own questions, learn about certain recommendations and connect with other event students. Also, research things that are mentioned in the course (a specific Planner, an organization). Boredom is common amongst online Students because you’re not in a classroom. But getting involved with prevent this from happening. There will always be something to learn.
Take Notes. This might seem obvious. But many students do not do this. Take notes of things that you deem important. Create templates of what you’re reading about (budgets, event timelines, lists of questions to ask your client).
Stay active. If you have questions about the coursework, tests, assignments or even your assignment evaluation, ask your Instructor or Advisor. If an assignment calls for interaction with others (vendors, other Planners) then do the work. Do not just fill in the information. The assignment has a purpose and maybe it’s to push you to the VERY important part of being a Planner…establishing strong relationships with great vendors?