My First Job as a Junior Special Events Manager for FIU


Name: Melanie Rodriguez

Degree Earned: BA in Communication Arts – Organizational Communication, 2019

Job Title: Junior Special Events Manager at FIU for the Event Protocol & Community Relations Department

How has FIU helped you get to where you are today in your career?
FIU has helped me get to where I am today because of the endless on campus involvement opportunities. Without the experience I acquired in organizations like Homecoming Council, Student Government Association, and my Greek organization, Delta Phi Epsilon, I wouldn’t have the experience I needed to further my career. I also worked as a student assistant in the Office of the Provost where I was able to network and learn many skills that help me in my role today.

What path did you take to attain your current career?
Coming into FIU, I knew that getting my degree wasn’t going to be enough. Not only did I want to enjoy my college years but I also wanted to make sure I became involved in leadership roles on campus to be able to get the experience I needed to land a great internship. I quickly got involved in my sorority where I was on the executive board and was in charge of planning all of our social events. I was also was the Public Relations Chair for the Homecoming Council in 2017 and the Assistant Director of Communications in 2018. Not to mention all of the exposure I received being a Senator for CARTA in the Student Government Association. Because all of this experience, I was able to land an internship for AARP’s Florida State office as the Communications and Outreach Intern.

What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far?
The coolest thing about working at my job so far is executing events! You spend so much time prepping and planning for the big day and when it finally comes, it can be stressful but it’s so rewarding seeing all of our hard work come into fruition.

What does a typical day for you look like?
Every day is different but that’s what makes it exciting! One day I could be working on organizational charts, the next day I can be in meetings or I could be working an event. No day is alike but that’s what makes me love my job so much!

Were there any classes or professors that influenced where you are today?
She may not know this but Dr. Raquel Perez taught my two favorite classes which were Organizational Communication and Managerial Communication. The hands-on coursework definitely helped me become better and more confident in what I love to do and ties back to what I do now.

What advice do you have for students interested in a career in Communications?
My biggest advice to anyone pursuing a career in special events or communications is to get all the experience you can before you graduate. Yes, your diploma is extremely important but your experience and who you know are what help you get your foot in the door to your dream job.

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