On the Job with Brittany Williams
Which step do you find most taxing in your conference planning checklist?
What I find most taxing is obtaining details from clients in a timely manner. We have a series of initial meetings with the clients to gain basic needs for their events, and follow-up with a preproduction meeting about 10 business days before the event to begin finalizing their details. Usually we don’t get most of the details for clients until that preproduction meeting or the event; then we’re usually updating their event until the day before it. We’re working on educating our clients about the planning process and going over details from previous years or similar events to help guide them in thinking about details when we initially meet. Having the correct information is key, and we want both our clients and staff to have the most enjoyable experience with events in the Norris University Center.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned working in the profession?
The biggest lesson I have learned is to use my voice and show up authentically. As a new professional, I have felt as though I could not use my voice and that I had to adapt to my surroundings to succeed. I wanted more to fit in than stand out. After some growth and support from my supervisors, I have been able to discover the importance of using my voice and showing up authentically. This has led me to be a better supervisor, help to create initiatives, and show up for others who do not have a seat at the table.
Describe a memorable day on the job.
The most memorable days on the job are when the new students come back on campus at the beginning of the academic year. There is an excitement in the air and everyone is ready to start the school year off fresh and make it a memorable one. I enjoy being able to connect with the new students and create lasting memories for them as they begin their college journey.
What is one project or innovation you’re proud to have helped implement?
I am incredibly proud of the initiative that myself and a few other colleagues helped to implement for black undergraduate women on campus called F.U.B.U. (For Us By Us). After the black student experience task force report came out, one of the recommendations was to create initiatives that addressed the issues that the black undergraduate women were facing and a space to support those issues. F.U.B.U. is an ongoing space for courageous conversations by black women, about black women, and for black women. We have dedicated the space to empower self-identified women to be unapologetic in their black identities. We achieve this empowerment through building community, dialogue, and group discussion so that the participants can gain the tools they need to navigate the Northwestern University environment with confidence, positive self-image, and formation of healthy female relationships.