Gretchen SunSeptember 10, 2019
Gretchen is an Entertainment Coordinator for Contemporary Productions in St. Louis where she organizes and executes corporate and wedding events. She is an avid shopper, cat-lover, and coffee connoisseur. In her free time, she loves to travel across the country and abroad, she continues to write, and run in the 5ks that have cool-looking medals.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
I was a member of Alpha Sigma Gamma (where I served as social chair) service sorority, the National Communication Association Student Club (where I served as Treasurer), Sigma Tau Delta: International English Honors Society (where I served as Webmaster), the Women’s Resource Center, and I worked for Detours Magazine.
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
I did not! But who knows what the future holds!
What was your first job after graduation?
Throughout my time at Truman, I worked at Hy-Vee and continued to work there for a ‘semester’ after graduation. Once January of ‘14 rolled around, I moved to Columbia, MO and got a job at a retinal eye doctors’ office.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
I am currently working and living in St. Louis, MO. I am an Entertainment Coordinator at Contemporary Productions. My job includes making contracts for clients, confirming entertainment (band/DJs mostly) details, and making sure every event is run smoothly. I love my job! I’m very detail-oriented and the timelines I get to make and finalize to ‘perfection’ are what I enjoy.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
My Liberal Arts/COMM education has helped me to become a more confident person in my professional and personal life. My critical thinking skills allow me to make the best choices in every decision and my communication skills got me into my current career.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
Definitely Public Speaking (which I took with Dr. Self!). At the time, I was SO not looking forward to it, but looking back on it now, I’m extremely glad I did. As much as I wasn’t a fan, I am a more secure public speaker now than I was at the beginning of my Truman education. Still a work-in-progress, but I use the techniques and skills I learned back then for my experiences now.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
I enjoyed being involved in and on exec boards within the organizations I was a part of. To be nominated and to hold an office within ASG was such an honor and privilege. I learned a lot from my fellow exec board members and those leadership qualities I like to think I still carry with me today.
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
Truman houses students that are just like you! It is easy to form study groups and speak to professors who have the same educational values.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
Get involved! Joining an organization helps to meet new people and can bring you out of your comfort zone. You never know what organization will lead to friends that turn into life-long friendships.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
Make sure you have great customer service skills. That’s a lot of my current job – speaking to clients in a way that will benefit them so they will provide you with the information to succeed in executing their event. The right communication skills can bring you a long way in my position and related jobs in event planning, producing events, etc. And you need to be very detail-oriented.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
I miss being so close to my friends!
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
“COMM: You will learn a lot more than just communication skills.”
If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?
Starbucks and Chipotle: How to surprisingly spend a lot of money by drinking and eating delicious foods. (Editor’s note: I don’t need help with this.)
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
I didn’t start out knowing what I wanted to do for my college education. I went through three different majors in my freshman year. It’s OK. You don’t have to know what you’re doing right away. It is a learning process and you will find a way.
It took me a year to realize where my strengths were and what I was actually interested in. With great friends and engaging professors, Truman can help you shape you into the best version of yourself.