I have entered the most hellish month of my entire work year. Despite the fact that I might look like I’m keeping it all together, I’m a total mess. Maybe I look like a mess, too. My work/life balance is no more.
Well, I think most of you know I plan high-profile recruitment events for the university. And tis the season for recruitment. On Sunday, I hosted my third and final overnight visit program for admitted students. I had 46 students and over 60 parent/guest attendees. I think the event went well, and now I can finally stop worrying about 17 year-olds staying overnight in the dorms. At least until next year.
I’m now planning an event for 100 8th graders on Monday, which includes a press conference with the Governor and several University big wigs. Just this morning, the Governor’s press secretary called to let me know that we will need to start the event 15 minutes early to accommodate a last minute change in the Governor’s schedule. This makes me want to scream. Did I mention I was given two weeks to plan this event? And called during my vacation in Vegas to do so?
Also next week, is an event for which I plan all year. It’s our 16th annual Counselors Observing Wisconsin Schools (COWS) bus tour in which we partner with 4 other Wisconsin schools and colleges to host ~45 high school counselors from all over the country for a week-long bus tour. The counselors fly into Wisconsin on Tuesday, and will be at UW–Madison on April 16-17. I’ve planned their time on our campus to include a campus tour, an admission information session, an academic site visit to the Genetics/Biotechnology Center, an evening social at the Memorial Union terrace, and a formal dinner at the School of Business with our admission counselors and current students.
Also on my plate for April, are two Admitted Student Visit Days (this Friday and next), which is a full day on-campus for admitted students. And then finally, our High School Counselor Breakfast Series, which is a series of 7 events throughout April in the cities of Eau Claire, Janesville, Madison, Marinette, Marshfield, Richland Center, and Waukesha. All high school counselors, principals, superintendents, and state legislators in the state have been invited. Essentially, they are PR events for our office in which we talk about transfer options and other pathways to UW. My role is to plan the events and coordinate all event logistics including budget, staff travel, invites, presentation, registration, venues, catering, etc.
And so my life feels extraordinarily overwhelming, and I’m just trying to do as my mom always says, take things one day at a time. The following e-mail from a father who attended the overnight visit program this past weekend makes me smile. And although I've learned this type of praise comes few and far between in the life of an event planner, you have to relish it while you can.
Thank you for inviting us to the Wisconsin REAL program. It was a great way for me to get introduced to the University and it provided a real student experience for Anne.We came away from the session with enthusiasm for the University. Your entire staff and volunteers were great. The impression we got was that Wisconsin staff and students were caring and had a strong sense of a university community. . You're to be complimented by the Director of Admissions. I'm sure that you've improved your commitment rate among admitted student by a meaningful amount due to the warm welcome and introduction provided by Wisconsin REAL. Thank you.