Megan Shepard ’13, who majored in Sport Management at Rice University, obtained a position with the 2014 Valero Texas Open (VTO) as the Event Coordinator after graduating last December. The golf tournament, located in San Antonio, is scheduled March 24-30.
As the Event Coordinator, Shepard has her hands in many different aspects of the VTO. In addition to heading the leadership for different events during tournament week, such as the Astellas Executive Women’s Day, she takes care of smaller, but crucial details. Some of her tasks include ordering and organizing the numerous gifts given to players, sponsors, panelists, and other attendees, monitoring the ticket packages assigned to different charities, and updating information on both the PGA and VTO websites.
Essential for her new position, Shepard’s experience in event management began during her time at Rice. Her freshman year, she assisted with the Major League Soccer All-Star game at Reliant Stadium, and she worked with the NCAA and Strike Marketing in 2011 when the Final Four came to Houston. As an upperclassman, Shepard interned in the Rice Athletic Development Office, where she coordinated the Student Ambassador Program and assisted in donor relations and fundraising efforts. It wasn’t until her internship in the summer of 2013 with Pearl Events Austin, though, that she realized she wanted to go into event planning.
“I interned as a wedding planner for a summer and loved it and realized events were where I wanted to be,” Shepard explained. “Upon looking for a job after graduation, I knew I wanted to be in events and I also was passionate about non-profit organizations.”
When Shepard saw a posting for a position with the PGA, which is classified as a non-profit organization, Shepard went to Tom Stallings, a professor in Rice’s Sport Management Department, for advice with the application and interview process.
“Professor Stallings has always been supportive of me and my career ambitions,” Shepard said.
Those career ambitions change every day, according to Shepard. With her career just beginning, she is exploring the many different options before her. Although she is learning more about the golf industry with her current job and can see herself as a tournament director one day, she says one of her dream jobs would be working for a world renowned wedding planning company.
Molly Mohr ’15, a junior from San Antonio, is majoring in Sport Management and English and minoring in Business.