News - Students Flex Their Event-Planning Muscles With a Little Golf On the Side

Students Flex Their Event-Planning Muscles With a Little Golf On the Side

By Carla Morris

Mini-Golf-1If employers doubt the preparedness of college graduates to enter the workplace skilled, knowledgeable, and possessing the “habits of mind” they want to see in workers, they should talk to Danara Moore’s students. 

Moore, director of experiential education at Greenville University, turns assignments into real-world scenarios and projects into relevant workplace experiences.

By semester’s end, her students walk away with skills they can use to fill out their resumes and reference during job interviews.

Rolling Up Their Sleeves, Getting to Work

Earlier this year, students in Moore’s Artist and Event Management course rolled up their sleeves and applied all they had learned in class to create a vibrant grand opening event. 

The occasion? A “students-only” preview on Greenville’s town square of the newly renovated SMART Center—a three-level building dedicated to economic development, entrepreneurial enterprise, and a blend of university and community resources.

Many of the university students attending the event would likely one day fill internships there, participate in seminars, make presentations, or network with professionals. 

Variety, Ingenuity, and Empathy 

Moore’s team imagined, planned, critiqued, planned again, and built. They attended to dozens of details customizing the event for their audience. Some elements proved challenging, like constructing a mini-golf course.

“There’s always that nagging fear they are going to mess up,” she said. An experienced and reliable guide, Moore knows that extra encouragement goes far.  

Mini-Golf-5Ultimately, attendees enjoyed golfing on “greens” that took them from room to room—a novel way to explore the spaces and have fun at the same time. Refreshments, entertainment and live performances rounded out the celebration.

And, though Moore’s students probably gave it little thought in the moment, they engaged a new level of professionalism that would serve them well in the future.

Experience: A Fast-Track to Learning

The students’ later reflections revealed skills and attitudes that employers value. 

  • Heightened self-motivation
  • The ability to prioritize tasks
  • The ability to apply knowledge and skills in new settings
  • Understanding the critical role hospitality plays in producing a meaningful event
  • Organization, time management, and delegation
  • Identifying potential risks and creating contingency plans
  • Solving problems every minute, innovating often
  • Seeing a project completely through. “The event is done. Now let’s spend three hours cleaning it all up.”
  • Leadership

The Hard Lessons: It’s Not About YouMini-Golf-2

The students also learned how to work with people who hold different values, standards, and perspectives. They learned selflessness, and sometimes having to give up ideas they hold dear.

“They definitely learned that even when you give your best effort, it might have to change or be altered,” said Moore. She recalled one student who spent a great deal of time arranging golf greens. Later, when others identified credible problems with the layout, he reworked the configuration. 

“It was a good lesson in understanding that your contribution isn’t about what YOU contributed and that every action has to serve the bigger picture,” said Moore. “You can’t take it personally or base your self-worth on things like that. It’s not about you in the end.”

Learn More

Crash Course in Confidence Brought to You By Experience First
From Students to In-Demand Employees, Thanks to Experience First
Clearing the Job Hurdle With GU’s Experience First
Greenville SMART: a Distinctly Collaborative Initiative

When you support scholarships at Greenville University, you equip ambitious young students for today’s job market. Thank you for giving.

This story was published on June 04, 2020

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