Sometimes a career change requires a great deal of research and planning. Sometimes it’s as simple as saying, why not?
That’s exactly what Shannon Levandosky did when she decided to make a move out of the oil patch into event planning.
She was considering becoming a wedding planner after working for a number of years in the petroleum industry. “I thought, why not? I found the Event Management program and gave it a try. Started the Intro course and loved it. So from there, I decided I was going to change what I was doing – change my entire career – and I really wanted to get through the program quickly. I loved every second of it. I loved meeting the people. I enjoyed interacting with the instructors.”
Shannon completed the certificate program within a year and a half, finishing in June 2013. She chose the classroom version of Mount Royal’s Event Management program, rather than the online version.
“I am a visual learner and I need to interact. I found that being in the classroom was really beneficial, to meet all the people, to meet the instructors from the industry. It opened my eyes to more than just wedding coordinating, because there’s just such a wide variety of event management out there.”
Shannon credits the MRU program with jump-starting her new career, landing a job before she even finished. “I think the program has been a key factor in my career. It gave me the confidence to go out and apply for positions, having no formal event management experience. And I think that was key – they saw that I was dedicated to finishing the program, and that those skills I was going to learn were going to help,” she notes.
In her new role, Shannon is part of a team that manages events ranging from business meetings to Christmas and Stampede parties to large-scale conferences.
Shannon values the hands-on, practical training she received. “Learning about how to put it all together, I could take everything that I learned and apply it to a real scenario.”
For anyone interested in event planning, Shannon recommends starting with the introductory course like she did. “It gave me a really good flavour for what the rest of the program was going to be like.”
Down the road, Shannon would like to move into a management role. “I really enjoy what I’m doing right now. I’m learning a lot because it’s my first role. I think I’d probably like to be leading that team one day.”
Shannon lives in Calgary with her husband and 6-year-old son. Family is front and centre during her time off. “We spend a lot of family time together. We go for bike rides, go to Fish Creek Park, that kind of stuff.”
Hear what Shannon has to say about her experiences in the Event Management program.
— by Karen McCarthy