NDSU Alumni Career Advice

Sarah Kasin
Degree: Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management
Position: Event Services Manager
Company: Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau
Location: Fargo, ND

Why did you choose to work for Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau?

I have lived in Fargo my entire life. I feel like I really know the area and working at the FM CVB gave me the opportunity to tell others (around the state and the world) about it. I am also able to utilize a lot of what I learned in my Tourism classes.

What do you love most about FM CVB?

We have a great corporate culture and we are able to experience what Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo has to offer regularly. It has made my love for the city grow even more.

Describe your job and responsibilities.

We have a sales team of 3 people who travel around the US and try to get events to come to Fargo. Once they succeed, they pass off the contact information to me and I help design banners, name badges, and signage (as well as a variety of other services) to hopefully make their event here the best they have ever had. In turn, we hope they continue to bring it back again. We are run off of a 3% hotel tax, so our mission is to get heads in beds and keep them coming back.

What skills are necessary for your position?

Experience with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop is helpful but not necessary. Most of us have learned everything we know since we got here through help from colleges and self-teaching. A willingness to learn, self-manage, and keep a good attitude in stressful situations is also necessary.

What is the most challenging part of your job, and how do you overcome it?

Dealing with aspects that are out of my control is what causes the most frustration. Mostly, this means waiting to hear back from clients and getting spreadsheets/information on time. This leads to having to do a lot of large projects last minute which can be difficult at times.

What is an average work day like for you?

On an average day, I will come into the office and check my emails. After that, the day totally depends on what events I have coming up and what they need from me. I have a binder filled with events by month and most days are spent beginning new designs, working my way through them, sending proofs to the clients, then printing and checking them off my list. A lot of days there are multiple projects I am working on.

What advice do you have for someone aspiring to work in your field?

A good attitude will always get you far. Try to never let yourself get too stressed because panicking never makes a situation better. Take everything one day at a time and always take an opportunity to learn something new.

What’s the best way to network with people in your field?

I’ve found that Chamber events are a great way to network if your employer participates in them. The Young Professionals Network through the Chamber has been a great way to meet professionals closer to my age and make connections. I think always being apart of a club or group that is relevant to the work you are doing/want to be doing is the best way to keep yourself on top of your game.

What is one career-related tip you have for students?

Hospitality and Tourism is an industry all about the customer/client having a good experience, which can be stressful for an employee at times. As I said before, staying positive is the key to success in this industry and will always keep you going. Of course bad days will happen, but try your best not to dwell!

By Lindsay Campbell
Lindsay Campbell Career Peer