Wedding & Event Planning

Lauren Pederson
Emphasis Area
Spatial Organization & Design Thinking

Lauren Pedersen pitched an internship to a UA alumni to gain experience in the wedding planning industry.

How did you get this internship?

I got my internship by sending cold emails. I knew I wanted to do my internship in event planning or, specifically, the wedding planning industry. However, after starting my research online I realized this industry isn't as promoted as much as other positions on typical online job and internship platforms. So, I took matters into my own hands and researched event planners in Tucson. Then I emailed five event planners and followed up by calling them a week later if I got no response. From those five cold emails I connected with Jessica at JRE events, learned more about the opportunity to get involved and got the ball rolling to complete my Internship Work Plan to make it official.

What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?

The type of work I did throughout my internship was very hands-on. At the beginning of my internship journey, It was mostly online work. My focus at the beginning was to contact vendors, double check invoices, run social media accounts, create event timelines, and organize a couple’s portfolio. Then, once the wedding season started at the beginning of March, I assisted on the day of the wedding at all sorts of venues in Tucson. I tended to the bride and groom, set up and turned down spaces, set tables, and overall ran around getting everything perfect for their big day. Whatever our team needed, I stepped up and did.

What new skills did you learn in this internship?

I learned lots of new transferable skills throughout my time interning for JRE events. I first learned very quickly how to operate under high-stress situations. A wedding is a big deal, and most people only get married once, so the pressure for it to be perfect was definitely present. I learned how to juggle lots of responsibilities at the same time: tending to the bride, family opinions, and the venue's banquet team had to all operate cohesively or it wouldn't work. Overall, my communication and customer service skills shined through and contributed to my success throughout this internship. 

What is unique about your situation that influenced your internship experience? 

I think my internship is unique because of the event planning industry and how I found and secured it. It wasn't through a big huge company that is a household name. I interned for a U of A alum who has great passion for producing events and who was very easy to relate to. This was so different from what I knew some of my peers experienced in their internships with big name corporations who were more strict with their policies and the type of work that interns could participate in. This experience helped me realize that it doesn't matter how big a company is, as long as you get what you want to get out of the experience.

Why did you choose this internship?

I chose this internship because I have always had a passion for planning, organization, and customer service. I wanted to take an internship in event planning so I could gain experience in this industry and know for sure if I wanted to do this type of work in the future. This is a trade that not a lot of people know how to do. Now, I know more things than I ever thought I would, and growing in this industry has been a blessing. I see how people love it, and I see its challenges. However, every industry has those and when it comes time to select a career, what you decide really depends on what you value.

What impact did this internship experience have on you?

The impact this internship had on me was in providing me with clarity. It opened my eyes to what life would actually look like if this was my career. Ideally, when I consider what type of schedule I would want for my life, I would prefer my weekends to be free. However, weddings are typically on Saturdays so if I were to pursue planning I would have to adjust my expectations about my schedule or pursue events outside of the wedding industry. It taught me to work through challenges at work even if I don't want to or if it’s uncomfortable, and push through to gain new skills and experience. I am so grateful for this chapter of my life and still am considering doing this in the future.