Elizabeth Minkus ’09, Catering Sales Manager for Brulée Catering at the National Constitution Center, has the job of her dreams and is relishing Philadelphia's young professional scene. Living independently in the Rittenhouse Square District of the city, she feels fortunate for her achievements and explains that her success is due to her personal resolve to explore every opportunity within her grasp.
Minkus got her professional career off to the right start by completing an internship with Greater Media at 99.3 WMMR during her senior year at Arcadia. Working in the promotions department, she realized the amount of complex organizational work that goes on behind the scenes of large events, such as the Campout for Hunger. In addition, she gained experience as a promotional representative for Wine & Spirits companies and as a freelance event planner working with Gift of Life.
However, many of her opportunities were derived, in part, from Arcadia’s team of faculty and staff members, who were committed to helping her achieve her goals. She worked with her academic adviser, Dr. Shekhar Deshpande, Professor and Chair of the Media and Communication Department, to tailor an individualized concentration in Corporate Communications. Through her major, she gained key skills in the fields of communications, marketing, business and hospitality with the goal of entering the event planning field.
Minkus completed human resources and international hospitality management courses taught by Robert Kieserman, Adjunct Professor and Coordinator of the Healthcare Administration program. Along the way Kieserman enlisted her to help plan a national marketing conference for Arcadia’s Global Small Business Institute.
“[During my] junior year, [the opportunity] was available class wide as an option for the final project, and I was the only one who was interested, so he and I planned it together,” she says. “I learned so much in those couple of months, from planning travel and room arrangements to planning a ‘night out’ activity for the group. The lessons he taught me were priceless!”
The experience of collaborating with Kieserman to plan a University event provided the perfect platform from which to execute her Senior Capstone project, which included planning an event benefiting the Jessica Beth Schwartz Scholarship Foundation. The event was held at Vintage Bar and Grill in Abington, Pa., and featured a live band, drink specials and complimentary appetizers. “I planned and executed an event from the ground up,” she says. “I was able to raise almost $1,000 in a four-hour period, and learned so much about exactly what it takes to draw a crowd, keep them entertained, and manage a crisis.” The experience may have been the most valuable in preparing for her current position, she notes.
Always a presence in the Arcadia community, Minkus was a member of Knight Club, Arcadia’s student dance performance group. From dancing at the end-of-semester shows to choreographing routines, her involvement was a perfect outlet for a lifelong passion. It helped her realize her passion for the events and entertainment industry.
After graduating, Minkus secured several positions with a couple different companies but yearned for a position that was a better fit. While attending a Wine & Spirits industry mixer at the National Constitution Center, she turned to my friend and said, “These are the kind of events I want to plan.”
“Over the course of my career up to that point, I was lucky enough to have met some prominent people in the industry at networking events, such as International Special Events Society and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. It was through one of those connections that I found out about the position. After several interviews over the course of a month, I was hired! It was absolutely my dream job, and I’m still the happiest I’ve ever been at work.”
While she’s been successful in pursuing and securing her dream job, she keeps a to-do list, and a goal list, which she updates on a monthly basis. “Everything I have and everywhere I’ve been in the last six years, is because I didn’t give up,” says Minkus. “I enjoy my job because of the people I am blessed to work with, and because no two days are alike. Every event, every client is different and it’s always dynamic and exciting. I am so happy, excited and eager to see what happens next.”