U of L Student Thrives in Manhattan

by Rob Williams

Combining her internship with an Applied Study through the Career Bridge - Co-operative Education and Applied Studies Office, U of L student Megan Schlachter spent the summer of 2007 working under the bright lights of New York City. Spending eight weeks working with GenArt, a not-for-profit event planning organization, Megan was able to translate her academic training into success in the exciting world of event promotions.

A fixture of the New York City promotional scene for over 12 years, GenArt is involved in event planning and coordination in the areas of film, fashion, art and music. Holding events to promote everything from independent films to up-and-coming bands, GenArt is dedicated to showcasing and supporting the best emerging talent in all areas of artistic expression.

Working as an assistant event coordinator, Megan helped organize some of the over 100 events GenArt holds each year. Megan’s first four weeks at GenArt found her helping to plan the fashion showcase ShopNYC-an event showcasing the summer collections of over 40 top designers.

Primarily responsible for the research and scheduling of food sponsors, Schlachter worked closely with various sponsors to ensure the event was executed smoothly. Schlachter was also responsible for developing the display for Jet Blue Airways, the primary sponsor of ShopNYC.

Undaunted by the prospect of working in one of the world’s foremost economic and cultural centers, Schlachter found the entire aura of New York City invigorating. “I really enjoyed the atmosphere of my work,” Schlacter says. “In New York everything is really fast-paced, and I really enjoyed the fact that my work ran at that pace as well.”

“GenArt is known for finding new talent and introducing them to people who are already established in the industry,” she continues, “and because the industries that GenArt deals with are constantly changing we needed to be on top of what was new in each industry all the time.”

Through combining an Applied Study with her internship at GenArt, Schlacter received university credit while at the same time acquiring valuable work experience. “I really feel that during this applied study I was able to apply what I learned in school to a real-life situation, which had a huge sense of accomplishment for me.”

Graduating with a management degree in December 2007, Megan is keeping her options open in terms of post-graduation employment. “Working at GenArt has helped me realize that event planning is something I want to explore in the future,” notes Schlachter. “(This entire experience) has opened my eyes to new possibilities, and I feel it will open many doors for me.”

Regardless of what career she ultimately chooses to pursue, Megan maintains that her experience within the Applied Studies program was a worthwhile one. “I would definitely urge other students to take part in the program,” urges Schlachter, “as it’s an excellent opportunity to build your contact network and gain real-world experience.”

To learn more about the Applied Studies program, please visit the website or drop by Career Bridge located in room AH151, Anderson Hall.